Iskender kebab is one of the most popular meat dishes of Turkey, typically enjoyed in the north-western areas of the country. It dates back to the early 19th century and is so-named after it’s original creator, Iskender Efendi. It can also be known in Istanbul restaurants as ‘Bursa kebab’, referring to Iskender Efendi’s home town. Bursa is famous with its Uludag mountain and the wild thyme growing on these mountains. Iskender kebab should be made with the lamb feeding on this special thyme. “Kebapci Iskender” is trademarked by the Iskenderoğlu family, who still run the restaurant in Bursa. This family has restaurants also in Istanbul serving delicious kebabs.
This special kebab is made by layering delicious doner meat (thinly-cut rotisseried lamb) mixed with tomato sauce over bread, and generously topped with melted butter and yoghurt. This kebab is different than the classic doner kebab. Iskender kebab is served on a plate, first the sliced pide bread goes on the plate, then layers of thinly sliced kebab and finally tomato sauce. It is served with yogurt on the side and they usually pour melted butter on the table.
This is one of the favourite types of kebabs enjoyed by locals in Istanbul restaurants, and easily becomes a favourite of visitors to Turkey, also.
Best restaurants to eat Iskender kebab in Istanbul:
Kandilli Borsa: Sakıp Sabancı Eğitim ve Kültür Merkezi Adile Sultan Sarayı Kandilli Mah. Vaniköy Cad.Sıraevler Sok. No: 12
Kebabci Iskender, Family who cooked Iskender Kebab the first time: Caferaga Mah. Albay Faik Sözdener Cad. (Rıhtım Cad.- PTT Yanı) Kadıköy / İstanbul
Bursa Garaj Kebap: Levent Mahallesi, Çamlık Caddesi, Hanımeli Sokak, No 2, Beşiktaş, İstanbul
Bursa Kebapçısı: Hüseyinağa Mahallesi, Atıf Yılmaz Caddesi, No 8, Beyoğlu, İstanbul
Kasabım Ethane: Kılıçali Paşa Mahallesi, Şimşirci Sk 4/A, 34433 Beyoğlu, İstanbul