You can tell a lot about a place by its food. This series – now in a dinky mini format – dives right into each of these cities with a full-on celebration of food, culture and place: you get a tantalising overview, insights (a photo essay on Tokyo’s soba masters), insider’s tips (the house blend from a tiny honey shop in Instanbul’s Üsküdar) and, even if you can’t travel there, you have the recipes to get the feel at home. This is a chatty, informal trip and the food celebrated is reflective of the authors’ experiences. Marc Grossman craves the New York of Jewish delis, old-school diners, Brooklyn cafés and junk food, so he takes you through homemade Pop-Tarts, noodle kugle and knish, tuna melts and cherry pie; Pomme Larmoyer reveals that in Istanbul almost every dish has its own district, so she leads you through alleyways to the finest kahvalti salonu for breakfast, points out the little red carts like tiny trams selling simit (twisted rings of sesame-covered bread) and gives you a lightning tour of the best tastes of each neighbourhood; Maori Murota takes a series of side-trips to highlight Japanese ceramics, shokuhin sanpuru (the curious art of fake food), senbei crackers, confectionery and neon-coloured crêpes. This is not the food of the cities’ renowned fine- diners, but the snacks of the streets, the food served in cafés and homes. These books are part guidebook, part recipe book, pure inspiration. TRACY WHITMEY