With an outdoor dining room nestled under a hut adorned with swaying straw lanterns, El Turco beckons with a charming Istanbul-meets-Tulum ambiance. The focus isn't on innovation at this Turkish restaurant nestled off NE Second Avenue in the Upper Buena Vista complex, but rather on familiar, comforting flavors reminiscent of family meals. If you're looking to kick-start your day with indulgence, opt for an assortment of mezzes, salads, dips, and breads. In need of something a little more substantial? Graze from the all-day menu, which highlights small appetizers, enticing "simit'' sandwiches on sesame-coated Turkish bagels, and classic dishes like beef kebabs and delicate, meat-filled manti dumplings. Not to be missed: dessert. Try the baked cheese borek — crisp layers of house-made phyllo enfolding a gooey interior of Balkan cheese — or pistachio-filled baklava delivered each week from Turkey. Pro tip: El Turco doesn't serve alcohol, but you're welcome to bring your own beer or wine with no corkage fee.
- Price: $$
- Hours: Daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Outdoor seating: Open-air patio
- Parking: On-street