Yabangee Recommends: “Where do I take my Turkish friend who just moved back from abroad out for dinner?”

cigerci hulusi
(Source: J. Tressler)

“Where do I take my Turkish friend who just moved back from abroad out for dinner?”

For anyone who loves Turkish food, the approach that Ciğerci Hulusi employs is basic: fast, efficient and tasty.

This is not a place where you go for Turkish staples such as lamahcun or dürüm döner. Rather, it is classic Mersin-style şiş kebap – your choice of chicken, beef or liver. The meat is brought on sharp metal sticks in two separate servings of five apiece.

Along with the meat, you get generous sides: cabbage, onions battered in olive oil and red pepper, and a kind of Turkish salsa. Also, there is a specific flat bread that you wrap the meat in as you would a burrito. The fun part is to create as many different variations as possible, using all the side dishes.

“If I ever left Turkey, this is the kind of food I would miss most,” my Turkish wife said on a recent evening. Her mother, who was visiting from southern Turkey, heartily agreed. She even made a note of the address, so that she could remember to go there on future Istanbul visits.

If that’s not an endorsement, then I don’t know what is.

(P.S. It is a bit pricey at 27 TL per person for a basic 10-piece serving, but you will leave full and more than satisfied.)

Address: Caferağa Mah. Misbah Muayyeş Sok. No. 6/4, Kadıköy

James Tressler
James Tressler is the author of several books, including Conversations in Prague and The Trumpet Fisherman and Other Istanbul Sketches. He lives in Istanbul.


  1. Open and shut case, Johnson. I saw this once when I was a rookie just like you. Seems like this advertisement escaped the ad zoo and disguised itself by wearing the skin of an article.


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