On Sunday I grabbed brunch with my friend Şemsa Denizsel at Van Kahvaltı Evi (there are several locations but we met at Defterdar Yokuşu in Cihangir). Within minutes of being seated at an outside table, there was barely room for our tea. Plates bearing several types of cheese (including the classic Van otlu peynir, string cheese, and soft white cheese), tahini, tomatoes, cucumbers, hard boiled eggs, scrambled eggs with sucuk (a dry, spicy sausage), jam, honey, kaymak, and bread filled the tabletop.

This approach to breakfast, a sort of go big or go home mentality, really makes sense to me. It’s a big f-you to the egg white omelet (one of the most unforgivable crimes against food, if you ask me), the grapefruit, and the bowl of cereal with skim milk. It is an affirmation that the recommended daily fat intake can be achieved before lunch, and that the most important meal of the day does not and should not skimp on flavor.

Van Kahvaltı Evi
Defterdar Yokuşu No. 52A
Cihangir – Istanbul