Rating: 7 / 10
2Bites sit's in a small sidestreet a 2 minute walk from Banko Burger. It claims to be the only true BBQ place in Istanbul that smokes their meat in a proper smoker. Being of curious sensibilities, I felt the need to satisfy my roaming mind and popped in for a quick lunch on the way to the Baris Manco museum.
Barely wider than a double-decker bus, 2bites is tucked away in a row of shopfronts and is easily missed if you don't know what you're looking for. The interior was a nice mix of cool and cosy, and the man who greeted me was very friendly. I chose to sample their brisket sandwich since I also had my eye on trying a kebab at Korkmaz Bufe. Sparkling water is never a bad idea on a humid day, and I took my place at a little table for 2 minus the company.
This isn't the best BBQ you'll ever have, decidedly. However, this is Istanbul and the tradition for smoke-rings, bark and burnt ends isn't rife. What I will say is these boys are churning out a totally decent version and with practice they could turn it into something quite exciting.
Let's hope enough locals keep them afloat until travel resumes and the tourist market can keep them in profits.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Sadness is tempered by umami, grief by the motion of slurping, hope restored in the ladling of glistening, fatty broth"