Chopped up intestines might not sound very appetizing to 99% of my readers, but for me, it’s become the perfect late-night treat. Kokoreç, or kokoretsi (κοκορέτσι) in Greek, is served in just about every neighborhood in Istanbul. It is a mixture of finely chopped lamb or goat intestines, diced tomatoes, and peppers, perfectly spiced to your taste with a dash of lemon. It’s usually served in bread – usually in a half loaf (yarım), or quarter (çeyrek) – that soaks up all the tasty juices, but if you’re avoiding carbs you can also get a portion of meat only and skip the bread.
Sound good? No? Well, I guarantee if somebody gave you kokoreç and told you to eat it without telling you exactly what it was, chances are, you would love it.
Kokoreç isn’t one of those foods you just sit down to eat for a nice meal. Of course, it very well can be. But in most cases, it seems to come at you spontaneously at the end of a long night of drinking. Or a really weird night, i.e. “I have a feeling this night is gonna end with kokoreç”.
Most Turks will tell you the best place to get kokoreç is a popular chain found all over Turkey called Şampiyon Kokoreç. Think of them as the McDonald’s of guts. In my opinion, it’s pretty good, but not out of this world. I prefer a little place on Kadife Sk. in Kadıköy, conveniently located right next to a row of bars and across the street from Rexx Cinema in the Moda district. Why don’t I know the name of the place? Because I never bothered to pay attention. But trust me, it’s the best kokoreç I’ve ever eaten. (Note: It’s called Reks Büfe – I happened to walk by and spontaneously had another one on 24/11/2013)