Prepare to be bathed in the vibrant shade of red as you set foot in Turkish Kitchen. The beautiful decor sets customers on a path for exploring the most traditional Turkish cuisine. Customer favorites include the staple foods: tangy hummus and baba ghanoush (mashed eggplant mixed with onions, olive oil, and a variety of seasonings). Make sure to order the falafel, or the Iskender kebab (grilled lamb smothered in rich tomato sauce served over pita bread) for a filling dinner, and finish off the meal with baklava or keskul, a rich almond pudding made with milk.
Turkish Kitchen, Third Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 679 1810
Agora Turkish Restaurant
Warm, crusty bread with an olive oil and crushed olive mixture is served as soon as you arrive at Agora Turkish Restaurant. And for a full Turkish cuisine experience, order the mixed grill kebab. This delicious combination serves up lamb shish, lamb meatballs, chicken shish and chicken adana kebab (ground chicken with seasonings, grilled to perfection). It is served with an onion salad and traditional buttery rice pilaf. Also, make sure to bring along your favorite bottle of wine, as the restaurant has a BYOB policy.
Agora Turkish Restaurant, 2nd Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 717 1220
This popular restaurant tends to get very crowded on the weekends, so make sure to arrive early. Set in a causal bistro setting, Sip Sak offers a variety of traditional Turkish dishes, from flavorful shish kebabs to eggplant moussaka. Try the shepherd salad with feta cheese to start off your meal. The restaurant also displays a large full bar featuring both red and white wines.
Uskudar Turkish Restaurant
Named for a neighborhood in Istanbul, Uskudar is a small restaurant that is a hit with Upper East Side families. The selection of appetizers includes favorites like hummus and ezme, a spicy tomato and pepper salad. The dish Hunkar Begendi is particularly delicious, consisting of lamb chunks simmered in homemade tomato sauce and fresh herbs that is served on pureed eggplant. Dinner dishes are also easy on your wallet; so Uskudar is a must-try.
Uskudar Turkish Restaurant, 2nd Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 929 232 3542
Serving the Upper West Side for many years, Pasha knows how to make guests feel welcome and comfortable. Squeezed between the bar and dining area is a lounge space with brightly colored tribal chairs, making for a chic atmosphere. Vibrant red walls, candles, and festive dish plate make this restaurant a top choice for a date night. Order the manti, a dish consisting of tender lamb dumplings served with garlic yogurt sauce. A customer favorite is the yogurtlu kebab, a lamb and yogurt dish topped with rich tomato sauce and served with hot pita bread.
Pasha Restaurant, 70 West 71st Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 579 8751
Located in the heart of Chelsea, Papa Kebab is inspired by both Turkish and Persian cuisines. For starters, try the cold meze combo. Order the red lentil soup, a spicy blend of red lentils, carrots, mint, onions and marash red pepper. For dinner, be sure to try the Adana chicken kebab, served with a house salad or bulgur rice pilaf. Also, ask to sit in the restaurant’s small dining area outside if you want to catch a breeze on a sunny day in NYC.
Located on the Upper East Side, this bright café is known for its numerous and appetizing meze dishes. Turkish mezes are similar to Spanish tapas: both are tiny plates packed with flavor. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the Ahtapot Salatasi. This meze dish features char-grilled octopus marinated in lemon, vinegar, and fresh olive oil. Both hot and cold meze dishes are priced very reasonably.
Located on the Upper West Side, Turkuaz has been serving up a fusion of traditional Turkish cuisine mixed with familiar Mediterranean flavors to its customers since it opened its doors in the fall of 2000. Try the zucchini pancakes with garlic yogurt dipping sauce as a hot appetizer. Another must-try is the shepherd salad, a cucumber, tomato, green pepper, and red onion mixture tossed with fresh parsley and extra virgin olive oil. Looking for some entertainment? Stick around for the belly dance shows, offered on Friday and Saturday evenings, starting around 9:30 pm.
ABA Turkish Restaurant
The moment you step into ABA restaurant, you are transported to the city of Istanbul. All the furnishings in the restaurant are imported from Turkey, giving customers great food with an authentic feel. Make sure to try the stuffed grape leaves for your cold appetizer, along with cacik (a yogurt and cucumber dip similar to Greek tzatziki). Dinner specials run Monday-Thursday from 4:00-7:00 pm, and the restaurant prides itself on its special desserts: the baklavas are directly shipped from Turkey and other desserts are made by hand in house.
ABA Turkish Restaurant, 325 West 57th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 655 9368
Taci’s Beyti is family-run restaurant and nothing short of warm and cozy. Try the tabuli and eggplant with spicy tomato sauce for your cold appetizers, and then move on to a salad served fresh with a light lemon dressing. The restaurant also offers a variety of shish kebabs and adana dishes that come served with hot yogurt sauce and warm toasted bread. For dessert try the kazandibi, a pan fried milk pudding served with a touch of cinnamon.