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Paçacı Hüsnü

Paçacı Hüsnü, Kurtuluş Cad. No: 219, Yıldırım, Davutdede Mah. 16230 Bursa, Turkey

Paçacı Hüsnü, just behind the Davutdede tramstop, is off the beaten track in downtown Bursa and is not particularly easy to find by car. It makes an excellent break if you are passing Bursa on your way south to Izmir, as you can slip on and off the motorway without getting snared in too much traffic, or at least that was the case until Bursa blossomed into a city three times the size of Birmingham. If driving, leave the Yıldırım roundabout in the direction of Ankara and take the first turning on your right after the Shell petrol station and backtrack 100 yards. Paçacı Hüsnu is on your right. You can usually find a place to park in the street.

Bursa’s (actually the world’s) best offal soup (paça) shop: the immaculate Pacacı Hüsnü. Like many Bursa citizens, Hüsnü is originally from the Balkans. Veal, vinegar and garlic are the main ingredients of his soups, always rich but delicate, and always the tastiest bits: there’s tongue (dil), tripe, finely chopped (iskembe) or chunky (tuzlama), head (kelle), trotter (ayak), or a mix, or a mix with more stew than soup. Served in a trice in a smart, newly enlarged (but not too large) shop run by Fatma, Hüsnü’s daughter and her husband, while Paçacı Hüsnü himself (in the glasses) is up at 5 every morning readying the next day’s offerings – each bowl takes a full 12 hours to cook. Just remember that the soup is just about finished by 1 and work is underway on another 12 hours of cooking.

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Issue 66, December 2023 Turkey’s Centenary Issue
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