Banana Yoshimoto’s debut novel Kitchen was such a sensation in Japan that the press dubbed the public’s obsession “bananamania.” Yoshimoto’s raw and poignant book paints a moving picture of urban life in 1980s Tokyo. It’s a love letter to the people and experiences that help us cope with loneliness: the misfits who cross paths in large cities, the way they become like family, and the simple but profound truth that when all feels lost, there’s nothing like the healing power of a good meal.

Everybody in Tehran has a favorite kebab house. The best of the best are tucked away in hidden corners of Tehran’s Grand Bazaar. Don’t let their unassuming exteriors fool you: this is where you’ll some of Tehran’s best food. This dreamscape piece for Flung Magazine explores my journey into the labyrinth-like market to hunt down my favorite spot in town.