Welcome to our esteemed Turkish gastronomy blog, where we embark on an exquisitely profound odyssey through the resplendent culinary realm of New York City's preeminent Turkish establishments. Brace yourself on a gustatory journey that will tantalize your taste buds as we delve into the abundant tapestry of flavors inherent in Turkish cuisine, situated in the heart of the sprawling metropolis, the Big Apple.
New York City epitomizes a confluence of cultures, and its Turkish community has contributed an epicurean heritage that is as diverse as it is delectable. From sizzling kebabs that emanate an enticing aroma to fragrant pilaf, from delectable mezes that leave the mouth-watering to the lusciously sweet and adhesive desserts, Turkish cuisine proffers an extraordinary amalgamation of flavors, hues, and textures.
Within the confines of this digital diary, we shall embark upon a virtual vacation, traversing some of the most excellent Turkish restaurants that grace this bustling city. Whether you are a seasoned epicure seeking novel culinary escapades or simply an individual who harbors an appreciation for gastronomic excellence, rest assured that we have your interests covered. We shall share our encounters, erudite perspectives, and commendations, ensuring you have all the requisite information to partake in a memorable Turkish dining experience.
Accompany us as we unearth the concealed jewels, iconic establishments, and burgeoning luminaries within the Turkish culinary landscape of NYC. From the customary to the avant-garde, from unpretentious eateries to upscale epicurean destinations, we shall peruse them all, savoring each morsel. Moreover, we shall also delve into the cultural and historical influences that have shaped Turkish cuisine, thereby bestowing upon you a profound comprehension of the narratives enshrouding every dish.
Whether your preferences lean toward succulent kebabs, delicate baklava, or a piping hot cup of Turkish tea, our blog endeavors to be your definitive go-to compendium for all things about Turkish gastronomy in New York City. Therefore, recline comfortably, procure a napkin, and prepare to embark on an epicurean expedition with us as we traverse the culinary marvels that Turkish cuisine offers within the city that never slumbers.
Midtown East and the Upper East Side boast an extraordinary concentration of Turkish eateries, making it a haven for enthusiasts of this delectable cuisine. Regrettably, the majority of these establishments fail to meet the highest standards. However, there is a glimmer of hope amidst this sea of mediocrity. Located within a stroll from the renowned Grand Central lies the city's pinnacle of Turkish dining experiences. If you seek an authentic Turkish culinary adventure in the vibrant streets of New York, look no further than Sip Sak.
Sip Sak in NYC is a halal restaurant. The restaurant serves traditional Turkish cuisine, and all of the meat is slaughtered according to Islamic law. The restaurant also has a separate kitchen for preparing halal food, and the staff is trained in handling halal food.
Renowned chef extraordinaire Orhan Yegen possesses a distinctive vision of Turkish gastronomy—a vision that is unmistakably his own. His vision manifests an array of tempting mezze dishes, bursting with flavors that transcend mere words. Within these mezze creations, there is no need for the pretentious showcasing of farm names to convey the tender juiciness of eggplant immersed in a rich tomato-infused patlıcan soslu or to describe the velvety smoothness of artichoke hearts and leeks gently braised in the finest olive oil and a delicate vegetable broth. The mezze offerings at Sip Sak vary according to the availability of the freshest produce—a reassuring testament to their commitment to quality. Although not explicitly stated on the menu, it is possible to embark on a culinary adventure by entrusting the selection of mixed mezze to the experienced hands of the chef. (In keeping with the Yegen tradition, the cost remains undisclosed, yet it typically amounts to approximately twelve dollars per person.)
The restaurant is located in Midtown Manhattan, on the corner of 5th Avenue and 34th Street and is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. The restaurant has a casual atmosphere and is a popular spot for both tourists and locals. Sip Sak is a great option for those looking for a halal restaurant in NYC. The food is delicious, the service is excellent, and the atmosphere is casual and inviting.
These mezze delicacies are substantial enough to constitute a complete meal, yet Sip Sak's meat-centric main courses are equally enchanting, complementing the vegetable offerings most exquisitely. The Adana kebabs, meticulously crafted from minced lamb or chicken expertly blended with vibrant red peppers and skillfully molded around a skewer, rival the juiciness of the most succulent burgers. A harmonious medley of spices heightens the savory essence of the meat without overpowering its inherent qualities. Tender chunks of braised lamb effortlessly yield to the gentle prodding of a fork in the hünkar beğendi, never surrendering to undesirable stringiness. Accompanied by a masterfully smoky eggplant puree, this dish represents culinary perfection. Unlike inferior establishments that drown the eggplant in cream, Sip Sak's culinary artisans deftly coax an astonishing, almost ethereal, sweetness from the purée that evokes images of luscious berries.
The restaurant was opened in 2006 by Turkish-born chef and restaurateur, Mehmet Ozcanand and has a menu that features traditional Turkish dishes, as well as some fusion dishes that combine Turkish flavors with other cuisines. The restaurant has a full bar, and offers a variety of Turkish wines, beers, and cocktails. The restaurant also has a private dining room that can accommodate up to 20 guests and wheelchair accessible.
With impeccable sourcing of top-tier ingredients, a charming bistro ambiance, and a coveted location in the heart of Midtown, Sip Sak's prices may surpass those of its counterparts on this illustrious list. However, the experience of indulging in Turkish cuisine in its most authentic form, prepared with utmost care and respect, undoubtedly justifies the investment.
Featured on New York Times.
Discover yet another vibrant Turkish community nestled in the heart of Midwood, Brooklyn. Within this bustling neighborhood, Taci's Beyti (pronounced Tah-jee's Bay-tee) has solidified its status as a beloved local establishment for 26 years. Unlike its counterpart, Sip Sak, Taci's Beyti offers a more laid-back ambiance and affordable prices, making it a popular destination for those seeking an energetic dining experience. However, while the culinary artistry may not rival the finesse of Sip Sak, except for their extraordinary eggplant creations, the vegetable mezze cannot captivate your senses in quite the same manner. However, prepare yourself for an exquisite lamb feast like no other, for the chefs here possess an unparalleled mastery of lamb preparation.
Taci's Beyti in NYC is a halal restaurant. The restaurant has confirmed its halal status verbally, and it is also listed as a halal restaurant on several online directories, including Zabihah and Tripadvisor. The restaurant's menu features a variety of Turkish dishes, including kebabs, pides, and salads. All of the meat served at Taci's Beyti is certified halal.
The restaurant is located in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn and is open for lunch and dinner. Reservations are highly recommended, especially on weekends. Know that the restaurant is BYOB (bring your own beer or wine) and the atmosphere is casual and relaxed with friendly and attentive service.
Picture succulent cuts of lamb that exude an irresistible saltiness, gaminess, and a glorious layer of delectable fat. This is the lamb that beckons to true lamb enthusiasts. If you find yourself in this category, I implore you to order their tantalizing iskender kebab promptly. Delicately sliced lamb, kissed by a touch of charring, is delicately arranged atop a bed of pita bread that has been lovingly toasted with butter. A generous drizzle of tangy yogurt cascades over the dish, while a tangier tomato sauce consisting of crushed tomatoes heated to a delightful liquid consistency adorns the ensemble. In contrast to the typically fresh flavors of Turkish cuisine, this dish embraces indulgence and can be likened to a guilty pleasure of epic proportions. Without a doubt, Taci's Beyti reigns supreme when savoring this exceptional culinary delight.
But let us not overlook the lamb adana kebab, an equally enticing option, nor the scintillating hot appetizer featuring a bed of hummus crowned with broiled basturma—a Turkish-style air-dried beef charcuterie reminiscent of bresola. The Turkish people have traditionally struggled to produce amazing hummus, yet Taci's Beyti shatters this trend with their superbly creamy rendition, destined to leave you utterly satisfied.
Located slightly further south along the waterfront in Sheepshead Bay, this charming establishment offers a captivating vista. While a picturesque setting alone does not guarantee culinary excellence, Liman's exceptional bay-side tables transport me back to leisurely lunches spent admiring the Bosphorus in Istanbul, surpassing any other location in New York.
Liman Restaurant in NYC is a seafood restaurant that offers both halal and non-halal options. The majority of the menu is halal, with the exception of the steak and a few other dishes. The restaurant has a dedicated halal kitchen and uses only halal-certified ingredients. Non-halal options include Steak, Lamb chops, Chicken schnitzel, Veal parmesan and Pizza.
Liman also achieves perfection in its mezze selection. The tomato-cucumber salad maintains a refreshing and crisp quality throughout the year. The ezme, a zesty tomato-based dip, fearlessly embraces its spicy essence. Moreover, the cacık boasts a luxuriously thick consistency akin to sour cream. Although the grilled meat options are commendable, the ambiance of Liman is bound to awaken a desire for delectable seafood. In this regard, the hamsi, Turkey's rendition of breaded and fried anchovies, must not be overlooked. Fresh, delightfully briny, and possessing a subtle sweetness, these delectable morsels require a splash of lemon to be devoured with the same enthusiasm as a plate of golden french fries.
Hazar Turkish Kebab
Located in Bay Ridge, an additional ocakbasi embraces a remarkably inclusive stance towards Middle Eastern cuisine, offering a diverse selection of delectable dishes such as shawarma and falafel. These culinary offerings stand out as the epitome of excellence within this establishment. The lamb shawarma, when savored, reveals its true splendor by seamlessly melding into an iskender. At the same time, the lentil-shaped falafel boasts an irresistibly crunchy exterior imbued with a harmonious medley of aromatic spices that tantalize the senses.
Hazar Turkish Kebab is a halal restaurant. The owners of the restaurant are Muslim and have confirmed its halal status. The restaurant uses only halal-certified ingredients and has a dedicated halal kitchen. This means that there is no risk of cross-contamination between halal and non-halal dishes.
Hazar Turkish Kebab is located in Brooklyn, New York. The restaurant is known for its delicious Turkish cuisine, including kebabs, pides, and baklava. The restaurant is also a popular spot for takeout and delivery.
Furthermore, a distinctly Anatolia-centric creation awaits the discerning palate: a lusciously thick concoction of colossal white beans, possessing a dense and creamy texture, elegantly accompanied by a medley of flavors in the form of a jazz-infused, subtly sweet tomato sauce generously imbued with the richness of olive oil. This amalgamation of flavors culminates in a harmonious symphony for the taste buds, showcasing the utmost precision and artistry in its execution.
Kofte Piyaz does not solely specialize in lentil soup; one sip will immediately reveal its culinary excellence.
Kofte Piyaz is a halal restaurant. The restaurant has a certificate from the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA), which is a non-profit organization that certifies food products that meet Islamic dietary standards.
Housed within an old-fashioned American-style lunch counter, the restaurant has retained much of its original decor. However, the menu showcases the flavors of Turkey: in addition to the renowned tomato-cucumber salads we have been discussing throughout the day, there is a wide array of expertly grilled lamb dishes, including the signature kofte (meatballs) that are seared to perfection before being nestled in fluffy bread cushions, forming delectable sandwiches.
The restaurant's menu features a variety of Turkish dishes, including kofte (meatballs), piyaz (bean salad), and doner kebab (a grilled meat dish). All of the meat served at Kofte Piyaz is halal, which means that it has been slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law. The restaurant also uses only halal-certified ingredients in its food preparation.
Now, let's talk about that lentil soup. It epitomizes creaminess, striking a harmonious balance without overwhelming the palate. With its earthy essence intertwined with delightful sweet and vegetal notes, this lentil soup is worth embarking on a culinary journey for. As a food writer, I never anticipated making such a bold claim, but here I am, declaring its unparalleled excellence. The delicate sprinkle of dried mint on top is crucial; fresh mint would not possess the same concentrated flavor. Therefore, be sure to stir it in and savor this soup promptly.
Trip to New Jersey
One cannot simply disregard the fact that some of the finest Turkish culinary delights in the grand city of New York are not actually found within its bustling streets. Instead, they are nestled in the immigrant-rich enclave of Paterson, NJ. Therefore, if you possess the means of transportation, I implore you to embark on a journey to this destination without delay.
What awaits you there, you may ask? To commence, let me introduce you to Taskin Bakery, a round-the-clock establishment engaged in wholesale operations, proudly proclaiming its motto of "Hand Made Freshly!" This esteemed establishment supplies many Turkish restaurants and grocery stores in the metropolis of New York. Now, you might wonder why one would venture across state lines to Jersey when these delectable offerings are available within the city. The answer lies in the fact that Taskin is the sole purveyor of simit, a circular bread adorned with sesame seeds, quintessential to Turkish breakfast. While you certainly have the option of purchasing a bag of simit and toasting it (or indulging in any of Taskin's superb carbohydrate-based creations), I must assert that nothing can rival the experience of savoring a fresh-from-the-oven simit.
Taskin Bakery in New Jersey is not a halal bakery. The bakery is certified kosher, which means that the food is prepared according to Jewish dietary laws. Halal food is prepared according to Islamic dietary laws, which prohibit the consumption of pork and alcohol.
Furthermore, Taskin tantalizes the taste buds with various pastries that warrant placing an order. Their selection is truly noteworthy, from almond paste-filled croissants to savory delights featuring olives. However, you must leave space for the pièce de résistance: the made-to-order gozleme. This delicacy involves a wafer-thin dough cooked on a grill and generously filled with spinach and fresh white cheese. The gozleme is then skillfully folded, enabling you to relish it single-handedly. No other establishment has replicated the remarkable freshness and authenticity of Taskin's gozleme in this locality.
Additionally, nearby, you will discover an exceptional lunch venue known as Toros. Here, an even more remarkable proposition awaits—their special lunch offers a splendid three-course meal for a mere twelve dollars. Moreover, there are ample opportunities for shopping at various grocery stores, allowing you to acquire an abundance of Turkish cheese, sausage, and sundry dry goods, satisfying your gastronomic desires.
Toros in New Jersey is a halal restaurant. The restaurant has a dedicated halal kitchen and uses only halal-certified ingredients. The menu features a variety of Turkish and Mediterranean dishes, including kebabs, pides, and mezes.
Indeed, embarking on a journey to New Jersey may require some effort. Nevertheless, consider this: the distance you must traverse is far shorter than embarking on a flight to the captivating city of Istanbul.