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Latest Stories

Daily Dispatches from the Frontlines of Local Eating

Diporto: Time Travel Taverna

Athens |
By 
In business since 1887, Diporto – a defiantly traditional spot in downtown Athens – has no sign and no menu. The staff doesn’t speak a word of English, and you might have to share a table with eccentric old men who look like they stepped out of a folk ballad. Read more
In business since 1887, Diporto – a defiantly traditional spot in downtown Athens – has no sign and no menu. The staff doesn’t speak a word of English, and you might have to share a table with eccentric old men who look like they stepped out of a folk ballad. You will probably have to mime your order or draw it on the paper tablecloth. But if you ever wondered what it would be like to eat in a working-class Greek taverna circa 1950, read on.

Diporto is located smack in the middle of what is – at least by day – one of the Athens’ most fascinating areas, home to a variety of specialized marketplaces. Varvakeios, one of the few of its kind in Europe, is the city’s largest fish and meat market, in operation since 1886. Around this enormous, chaotic market, where vendors try to outdo each other in shouting, lies Athens’ traditional center of trade, with streets devoted to specific merchandise: hardware stores and bric-a-brac on Athinas Street; spices, cheeses, kitchen equipment and plants on Evripidou and Sofokleous; doorknobs on Vissis (yes, there is a street dedicated solely to doorknobs). Read more
August 4, 2021

Kadıköy Kelle Söğüş Muammer: Head Start

Istanbul |
By 
Istanbul Before we cross the Bosphorus Strait to Asia, this story starts on Istanbul’s European side, at a small stand that has been operating in Beyoğlu since the mid-1970s. There, Muammer usta serves up expertly-cooked and sliced cuts of kelle söğüş (chilled lamb's head meat), perched in a strategic location across from the local fish market and a stone's throw from the Nevizade strip of meyhanes and bars. Read more
August 3, 2021

El Rey Zapoteco: The Matron of Mezcal

Oaxaca |
By Lydia Carey
Oaxaca “When you like what you do, and you're young, nothing is impossible,” says Doña Juanita Hernandez, one of a handful of female master distillers in Oaxaca, the heart of Mexico’s small-scale mezcal industry. She sits, tiny and relaxed on a wooden bench as we sip mezcal in her distillery, El Rey Zapoteco, in the Oaxacan town of Santiago Matatlan. Read more
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