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The terraced restaurants of Bahçesaray produce sensationally delicious Tatar food. First on the left after the statue of İsmail Bey Gaspıralı is Cafe Meyhane (about 500 yards before you reach the Khan’s Palace), in a lovely setting with breezy, shoes-off divans to sit on. Lagman, sarma, shashlyk, samsa, shurpa, cheburek, baklava, chak-chak… they are all there.
The traveller Charles Koch describes people eating stews ‘with great gusto’ in Bahçesaray when he visited for the day in the 1844: ‘There is much to remind one of real Turkish towns,’ he writes, ‘including the kebabji, those restaurauteurs who prepare there good things in the public street… I also found the spit, schishlick, arranged here as is usual in the East. Boys twirled the wooden spit, which was covered with small lumps of meat, over a charcoal fire.’
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