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Hi, I'm Berkok Yüksel.

I’m a food and culture writer from Istanbul.

Food writer Berkok Yüksel

I was born in Istanbul and grew up there. I also lived in Italy and the US for a good chunk of my life and am now based in London. 

I’m currently the restaurant critic of Aposto and was previously the founding editor of Apéro, Turkey’s most-read food newsletter where I still do interviews and culture pieces. I cover food through the lens of history, identity, pop culture and the food tech industry.

Before identifying as a writer, I was a failed food truck entrepreneur, a research consultant for venture capital funds, a brand developer for an acclaimed fine-dining restaurant, a taste developer for a global iced tea brand and a single-hit viral TikTok creator.


Dig In Istanbul is a guide made for friends. 

This website was born from the need of putting together all my handwritten recommendations to friends visiting Istanbul. That’s why the language I use is casual and genuine, the tips I give are honest and straightforward and when I ask you to say hi from me to a waiter I mean it.

It always astounded me how one of the great food cities of the world had no detailed, occasion-specific guide. So I made Dig In Istanbul in the efforts to have an easy way to discover different aspects of the Istanbul food scene. You can search for a restaurant based on the neighbourhood, where you are in that moment, the cuisine or the occasion you are looking for.

Also there is a blog part where I try to give context to the food you will be eating and the culture that surrounds it. It’s sort of a 101 on Istanbul food culture, but some historical tidbits and fun facts would be new even to the most seasoned Turkish eaters.

What’s the catch?

Currently, no catch. I’m not getting paid for this, no one expects me to do this. If you feel like you have enjoyed this website or it helped you experience Istanbul better, you can support my endeavours by buying me a coffee here:

Support is what made this website possible in the first place. My thanks go to all the friends who have eaten with me in the places on and off this guide. 

More specifically, thanks to Hazal Yılmaz for coming up with the name, to Bilge Can Gürer for the web design and being a friend on this journey, to Deniz Williams for the cheeky branding, to Cenk Güngör for the social media designs and to my family for everything else. Also thanks to Deniz Sabuncu, Bekir Dindar and Cevahir Akbaş for their photographic support. 

Finally, I am aware there are some crucial spots (about 10 or so) missing on this map. They are coming. They are either waiting to be written or need a revisit. So spare your criticisms until then.


Contact me here for any other issues, questions, congratulations:

Or follow me here.

Now please dig in,