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.
Cag "Dza" Kebab
Originating in turkey's erzurum province horizontally stacked marinated rotating lamb kebab served with basmati rice
Seasoned lamb cooked slowly on a horizontal rotisserie
Hand chopped seasoned lamb shoulder on skewers cooked over a charcoal grill, served with flatbread and basmati rice
This place had excellent lamb and I don't usually enjoy it. Very nice inside as well.
LOVE Cafe Istanbul! Interesting, delicious and plentiful menu items. Friendly and attentive waitstaff.
Kabobs, salmon and gnocchi, trout, and Turkish delight are perfectly prepared and scrumptious!
Service was great. Food was amazing. Portions were just right for the money. Took some leftover too. Coming back again. Thank you. Already recommended to family and friends.
My fiance and I went there for Valentine's Day this year and the food was not impressive at all. There was no information regarding having to eat the fixed menu but upon arrival that was all that was available to us. Others in the restaurant were able to order other items but we were not. Our waiter was not attentive and our food not impressive. I personally barely ate most of food and felt that none of it had flavor. It was very unfortunate.
This is one of our goto restaurants and have been here half a dozen times. Friendly services and great food for a good price. Can't go wrong.
Most of the entries offered need improvements. Quality of the food is poor, particularly when it comes to meats. The lamb tenderloin was overdone and dry, very hard to chew the side dish, potatoes were great. I want to support business like these but honestly, I had better Turkish cuisine in other cities. I hope the restaurant chefs makes significant improvements. I don’t plan on returning back.
Great food...nice place...a little loud but very easy
Nice way to experience something different
It was a nice place!
Great place, headed back Saturday!
Good was fresh perfectly cooked. We had the hummus, calamari, lamb shanks . Rice with seafood all excellent. Turkish wine reasonably priced and wonderful . We will go back often . There is free parking which is an additional asset .
Great food. Staff could not have been nicer.
Love this place. Our sophisticated British guest had the lamb and said it was the best he had ever had in the US. The server is adorable, so kind and everything was delicious.
It was a wonderful visit. I heard from a food critic friend that it was good and it lived up ot its reputation.
We had stuffed eggplant which is great, Donner kabab tender and juicy and beef shank also good though I would have enjoyed it to be accompanied by more sauce. I'm sure that if I had thought of it the waitstaff would have obliged. They were efficient and helpful, describing dishes and making solid recommendations. A Saturday early evening was packed with a wonderful assortment of diners, including many Turks. It was a festive atmosphere, with everyone enjoying the experience. A bit busy which was to be expected on a Saturday evening in Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village. Great value for the food and experience.
Really great experience and free parking too!!
The staff is friendly and attentive and the food is delicious!
I love their Cag Kebab!
Very kind service, absolutely delicious food. We got a complementary eggplant spread for the toasted bread, and an elegant dessert.
We have been to Istanbul, and the food was spectacular everywhere and this local cafe does a fine job here in the US.
The calamari was very good, charred and chewy. The lamb chops (8 of them!) perfectly cooked.
All in all, a pleasant experience Would not hesitate to come back or recommend it.
Amazing Cag Kebabi 👍location, parking, service, and food was very Good 👏
Delicious food! Noise level was just fine on Saturday afternoon. The bread, main course, appetizers were delicious, but the desserts were impressive! I don't know that I'll have baklava anywhere else, this place has the BEST baklava!
Cafe Istanbul’s staff is always very attentive and professional. Their homemade bread is delicious and I’ve loved every single dish that I’ve tried. This is our go-to when an out-of-towner comes in because it’s authentic (so says my cousin who lives in Turkey) and exemplifies how Chicago is a multicultural city! I also love that you can get excellent healthy/clean meals or splurge. There’s something for everyone.
Lovely and authentic cuisine. We’ll be regulars here.
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.
Such delicious food! Wonderful staff and service.
They add the tip alreas
Enjoyed every bit of it.
Excellent food and portions were generous. Few places in Chicago do I need to go back, this is one of them.
Surprised how good it was. Great service. Friendly. Decent pricing.
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.
We had the best service we’ve ever had at any Chicago restaurant.
Good food, nice sized portions, good value lunch special.
Everything was delicious.
Ordered the manti, was very tasty. Came as very cute little dumplings. Will definitely come again :)
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. 👍
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!
It was a great dinner with delicious food. Great for all ages. Lots of options for vegetarian and meat lovers.
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.
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!
Best Mediterranean food in town, reasonable price. Definitely recommend this restaurant.
We were celebrating my Turkish son in laws birthday. Food was delicious. He said it was very authentic. Would definitely go back
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.
You can order delivery directly from Cafe Istanbul using the Order Online button. Cafe Istanbul also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (773) 661-9487.
Cafe Istanbul is rated 4.6 stars by 104 OpenTable diners.
Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.