Cafe Istanbul

4.8
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83 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Turkish
Mustafa Guler is no stranger to restaurant, and hospitality business as he spent most of his life in Turkey doing just that.
After arriving to Chicago in the late 90s, he introduced Turkish cuisine to Roscoe Village at Turquoise Restaurant. After serving many Chicagoans the delicious recipes he put together for many years, he decided to seek something different. Upon selling Turquoise in the early 2018, he spent some time in Turkey collaborating with local chefs on traditional recipes.
Summer of 2018 brought his delicious findings, and the chefs he met in Turkey, opening Cafe Istanbul. Stop by at one of the two Cafe Istanbul locations to experience the difference in his traditional twist of Turkish Cuisine prepared by chefs he met himself in Turkey.
Our specialties include wood-roasted lamb doners, chicken gyros, kebabs, pita and thin-crust Turkish pizza with ground beef and seasoned vegetables, all cooked with charcoal or wood.There will also be Turkish pastries and other baked goods.
What 83 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.7
value
Noise · Quiet
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Indiana
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely and authentic cuisine. We’ll be regulars here.

A
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great food and the staff are incredibly nice and welcoming. Amazing feta salad, its a must every time I go, I try something every time I go and never disappointed. cute outdoor seating for when the weather is nice and nice to people watch.

OT
Columbus
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Such delicious food! Wonderful staff and service.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 5

They add the tip alreas

OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Enjoyed every bit of it.

OT
Columbus
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and portions were generous. Few places in Chicago do I need to go back, this is one of them.

B
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Surprised how good it was. Great service. Friendly. Decent pricing.

G
Chicago
42 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Lovely restaurant with interesting menu. The trout and vegetables were perfectly cooked and delicious. Others enjoyed the kabobs and eggplant dishes. The servers are very friendly and appropriately attentive. We felt welcomed and were not rushed.

B
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had the best service we’ve ever had at any Chicago restaurant.

5
Columbus
90 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Good food, nice sized portions, good value lunch special.

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was delicious.
Ordered the manti, was very tasty. Came as very cute little dumplings. Will definitely come again :)

L
Chicago
46 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very good food and value. Warm friendly place. Great mezze and Turkish specialties. A few non Turk dishes as well. ( particularly good short rib and polenta entree). 10.00 corkage. 👍

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had beautiful experience with my family and friend, it was busy Friday night, service was exceptional and all the food was very tasty. The Fillet Mignon is one of the best in the city, cooked to perfect Medium Rare. Chef Mustafa works very hard to serve excellent food to his guests. Thanks to all the staff making our night special!

SS
Des Moines
2 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a great dinner with delicious food. Great for all ages. Lots of options for vegetarian and meat lovers.

OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The food especially the meat dishes are outstanding! It’d be great if there were more wait staff on busy nights. They work hard but struggle. Large parties are asked to order from the fixed price menu which needs to be better advertised. Cafe İstanbul is quickly exceeding the capacity of this location. I’d love to see them in a bigger spot perhaps West Loop or River North.

N
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

Waitress didn’t give us menus because we were a large group and insisted we get the family style dinner but didn’t tell us the price. When we received our bill it was 2x the amount we would have paid if we had gotten individual plates. Never gonna listen to a waiter or waitress again!

KA
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Mediterranean food in town, reasonable price. Definitely recommend this restaurant.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were celebrating my Turkish son in laws birthday. Food was delicious. He said it was very authentic. Would definitely go back

AS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place. My wife and I don't love going to the same restaurant twice, since Chicago has such a great range of places to enjoy, but Cafe Istanbul never ceases to impress us with every new dish we try.

KB
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved Cafe Istanbul. The service was great, staff friendly and helpful and the food was delicious. Will definitely go again and recommend it to friends.

C
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

I enjoyed this restaurant a lot. The food was good and the service was great.

s
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really good food. Service was excellent. Try this restaurant. You won't be disappointed.

WC
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another great meal by Chef Mustafa. The neighboring patrons were so happy with their Flamed sea salt encrusted Bass, others enjoyed the Seafood stew with Lobster, Shrimp, mussels, fish etc. We reall enjoyed our Mahi Mahi & Shrimp risotto. Dinner was complete with Turkish flan, ice cream, strawberries and the perfect tea.

GP
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was delicious and the Kusleme and Adana Kebab (both lamb) dinners were excellent, seasoned very well and basmati rice was flavorful. The additional bonus is this restaurant is connected to their parking
lot and has outside seating. Must try!!!

G
Chicago
42 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All of our dishes were prepared perfectly and delicious. The waitstaff was very friendly and attentive without being intrusive. We will be returning often!

f
Chicago
38 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Everything was delicious and Tatiana was very helpful!

FD
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been here a few times and it seems that each time we return the food just gets better and better. We always come back with a new set of friends that also love the food. We have had many of the appetizers which are delicious as well as the lentil soup! The bread is to die for and the Iskender, Cag Kebab, Lahmacun and Adana Kebab are all amazing. All different flavors and all YUMMY! I am crazy of this place right now. If I lived in the city I would be hear at least a few days of the week! Check them out.

JE
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Everyone was happy with our orders chicken kabob, mixed grill, and Gorgonzola chicken. And Turkish salad was excellent as well as the baklava- yummy.

OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food

BV
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place serves delicious food with a great atmosphere. Perfect, authentic, generous tasty portions Turkish Food! Always fresh, tasty and warm service!

OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 1ambience 5

Good food great value, amazing desert and tea but low on employees, service a little slower than usual.

OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

The service was extremely bad and very slow. I asked the waitress to make some recommendations and she was very annoyed and not helpful. The food was below average and didn’t match its high price.

m
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food! My friend and I were celebrating our birthdays! Our first time at restaurant.

WC
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Truly a Chicago GEM! A must for anyone visiting or living locally....you will return often.

M
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

The kitchen had a fire early morning and they put it out but the entire place smelled like fire and charcoal. I walked out of there having to go home and rewash my hair and throw my cloths in the laundry. It was terrible! We did a family style meal and they had too many unnecessary appetizers and not enough meat and rice on the main entree. There was a salted fish platter next to me that someone ordered, the waiter had salt thrown all over the floor. The place got messy and we got grossed out. The food was overpriced too. $300 bill for appetizers and 1 main entree dish? Not worth it at all!

JO
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

It was very, very crowded on Saturday night, and the wait staff was a little overwhelmed. But the food was fantastic and I'm looking forward to going back!

OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My new favorite restaurant! Whoop whoop!!

CL
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Loved the food!

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing experience with delicious, fresh food. Service was excellent and very attentive. Try ribeye steak with mashed potatoes it says 16oz on the menu but they served 40oz no joke. The best restaurant in the city. Menu doesn’t limit you with only Turkish dishes they have risottos, pastas, seafood and many fish choices. You truly feel how much they care about business and guests. With no doubt try this restaurant.

CS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is probably one of my most favorite restaurants in Chicago right now. It is so fresh and wonderful.

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