The Hunt for Rice Pilaf in Istanbul
There are plenty of good street eats in Istanbul, but the rice pilaf carts stand out. We read about an exceptional one and hunted it down in foot. The Meşhur Unkapanı İMÇ Pilavcısı cart does not move around as most do, and has been in the same unassuming spot on Ataturk Bulvarı near the aqueducts for over 15 years. The cart is filled with layers of rice, chickpeas and tender chicken, carefully scooped up and served with skinny hot peppers, a dollop of catsup, and a cup of ayran, a white Turkish yogurt drink, for about $4. Eat on small plastic stools on a concrete slab with a few dozen cats, and go for seconds. Worth the hunt!
By Kristin Rust, AFAR Local Expert
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