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Turkish delight: the best food spots in Green Lanes

By
Kate Lloyd
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Kate Lloyd discovers rows of baklava and bargain mezze platters on a trip through London's miniature Turkey

There are so many Turkish joints in Harringay, it’s hard to know where to start. The Green Lanes thoroughfare runs from Turnpike Lane to Newington Green and is lined with Mediterranean restaurants. Women sit in café windows, kneading Gözleme dough, and even some of the nail salons have traditional Turkish tea tables outside.

My first stop is Yasar Halim [1] (495-497 Green Lanes), a Turkish supermarket with a dreamy patisserie. You’ll find fresh veg, an extensive olive selection and 35p cups of chai, though the real magic is in the bakery. Counters are piled high with Middle Eastern breads, as well as Turkish lahmacun pizza and cream cakes. Oh, and there’s a long glass cabinet filled with row after row of golden baklava at just £9.50 a kilo.

Prices are low and portions are huge at most of Harringay's Turkish restaurants. My go-to spot is Gökyüzü [3] (26-27 Green Lanes). The wood-panelled restaurant has a warm homely feel, with bright ceramic plates on the walls and a big pile of flatbread on top of the wood-fired oven. Every meal here starts with an overflowing bowl of complimentary lavash bread and tzatziki. Try to leave a bit of space, though: the güveç (lamb and aubergine casserole) and spicy minced chicken sarma tavuk beyti are both winners. For lunch, I usually opt for a bargainous mezze sharing platter. Big enough for three, it costs £8.50 and comes with tomatoey kisir (bulgur wheat), rich hummus, fried aubergine, and haydari - a fresh yoghurt and feta dish.

A sales assistant in Yasar Halim introduced me to Diyarbakir [5] (Green Parade, 69 Green Lanes). The tiny halal restaurant is always packed, and while it doesn’t serve alcohol, its creamy ayran (a yoghurt drink) is the perfect kebab accompaniment.

Elsewhere, there’s Devran [2] (485-487 Green Lanes), a bright, airy joint with an open serving counter. It’s got the widest range of vegetarian food in the area, including crunchy-crusted falafel.

Top tip: Start your day with a traditional Turkish breakfast at Zer [3] (Grand Parade).

Take the Overground, getting off at Harringay Green Lanes.

Hungry? Take a look at the best Middle Eastern restaurants in London.

Illustration: Matthew Hams

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