Here are a few other ways to experience some of the best Turkish delights in New York City.
Turkey is definitely known for its exquisite coffee, and you can find the NYC version holds true with no exception. I’m particularly fond of the Hell’s Kitchen joint Kahve (which means coffee in Turkish), for both their spot-on cup of joe and cutesy exposed-brick coffeehouse vibe, splashed with just the right amount of pink. They’re also quite famous for their Oatmeal raisin cookies, so be sure to give one a try.
There’s certainly no shortage of hookah joints in NYC. Truth be told, you’ll probably get a more authentic (not to mention cheaper) experience if you head to the outer boroughs, but if you’re looking for a quality spot right here in Manhattan, Babylon and La Sultana are among my top picks. If you’re looking for the loud, crowded, more clubby scene featuring belly dancers and music you’d expect to hear in Murray Hill on a Saturday night, Babylon is probably the place to get your shisha. But for the non-alcholic hookah joint with excellent mint tea and kebabs accompanied by traditional Middle Eastern music, you’ll be better off going to La Sultana.
The Turkish Cultural Center
Being the melting pot that it is, NYC is famous for its fabulous cultural centers for almost every population of people you could possibly think of, so it should come as no surprise that the Turkish Cultural Center is alive and thriving right here in Manhattan as well as the outer boroughs. From volunteer efforts to panel discussions, to film and art events, you can find just about anything Turkish-related at the center.
Whether you’re planning a trip to Turkey and want to learn how to ask “Where’s the bathroom?”, or perhaps want to impress your new Turkish beau with your language skills, Turkish classes are readily available in the city. As one of the 10 largest spoken languages in the world, you can expand your language knowledge with the following companies: Cactus Language Courses offers Beginner Turkish 1 and 2, and you can also sign up to take classes even more advanced at the Turkish Cultural Center.
From halal meat to a wide selection of Turkish imports (Ayran, kokorec, not to mention the tried and true Turkish Delights), you can find all kinds of Turkish goodies at Turkiyem Market in Sunnyside, Queens.
Here’s to enjoying the best of New York City, Turkish style.