Where to Find the Best Turkish Food in Paris
One of the best parts of traveling is gaining access to worlds of cuisines that you’d perhaps previously never would have encountered.
Being on the cusp of Europe, authentic Turkish food slowly mades its way across the Med and up into the Northern European regions. In theory, Turkish food would qualify under the Middle Eastern cuisine umbrella; holding many similarities to Lebanese, Moroccan and Tunisian style eating.
I’ve written before about the prominence of Middle Eastern cuisine across Paris. It is something that has been widely embraced by the people who call Paris home as well as those who come in and out.
Being and up and coming cuisine in the greater scheme of Paris, Turkish restaurants tend to avoid the city center due to the high cost of rent. You’re more likely to find them further out in areas such as Bercy or Gare du Nord.
If the thought of authentic kofta and baklava is enough to make your mouth water then read on; I’ll tell you exactly where to go to find the best Turkish food in Paris.
Istanbul in Paris
1 Rue des Fossés Saint-Jacques
Between the Paris Pantheon and the Jardin du Luxembourg is this little hideaway restaurant known only as Istanbul. As the name suggests, this is about as authentically Turkish as it’s going to get in this part of town.
In terms of quality and affordability, Istanbul takes first palace. The atmosphere of the place is also notable; Istanbul plays ambient Turkish music in the background of the restaurant at all time.
The menu here is extensive, if you want to save yourself from being overwhelmed rather do one of the plates. This way you’ll be able to taste all of the different dishes that the restaurant specializes in.
This part of Paris is prime real estate when it comes to free guided walking tours. Take one from Istanbul right up north until you come to the historic Shakespeare and Company bookstore on the bank of the Seine.
La Voie Lactée in Paris
34 Rue du Cardinal Lemoine
My mom always said that the surest way of telling whether a restaurant is any good or not, is to take note of if there are locals to the cuisine dining inside of it. This is how we know La Voie Lactée is distinctly Turkish.
Every time I’ve visited here I’ve shared the space with people of Turkish descent who choose La Voie Lactée as their restaurant of choice.
I recommend doing the buffet. This is also the Turkish restaurant that caters well for vegetarians and vegans (which isn’t standard in Turkish dishes).
The restaurant is located on the Left Bank just across from where Notre Dame floats mid the Seine. It’s actually just a few block from our previously mentioned restaurant, Istanbul.
Don’t leave without trying their yoghurt and dried mint dip!
Sizin in Paris
47 Rue Saint-Georges
The award for most charming Turkish restaurant in Paris must go to Sizin. Located north of the city center in the 9th arrondissement, Sizin is another little hideaway making an effort to bring authentic Turkish dishes to the people.
Everything at Sizin is made fresh and this is evident once you taste the flavors. Pricing is also reasonable although the portions are nowhere near some of the other Turkish establishments.
Turks have the tendency to overfeed their guests — hence the popularity of tasting plates and buffets. This makes regular portioned restaurants like Sizin feel out of the ordinary; when in reality this is probably how it should be.
When dining at Sizin I recommend the mezze plates. I also recommend going with one or two companions so that you get more opportunity to taste a variety of the foods.
Le Cheval de Troie in Paris
71 Rue de Charenton
Another Turkish restaurant that has become one of the most sought after places to eat in the Bastille area. Frequented by Parisian and Turkish locals, Le Cheval de Troie offers incredible food and live entertainment most days of the week.
The restaurant is almost always packed so book in advance if you’ll be attending with more than two people. The prices at Le Cheval de Troie are also notably higher than other places so be prepared to fork out a little for the experience.
Despite being authentically Turkish, Le Cheval de Troie also offers a limited selection of authentic Greek food as well.
Did someone say kebabs?
Restaurant Ella in Paris
14 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis
I found Restaurant Ella by accident on a Wednesday afternoon while walking home from the Chocolate Museum (you must!) in the 2nd arrondissement.
The space prides itself on making patrons feel like they have left Paris and landed in the heart of Turkey. The ambiance, food and service does well to create this beautiful illusion.
At restaurant Ella you’ll enjoy the kebab plate with all the trimmings and sides on offer. Be sure to ask for a side of their fresh baked bread and then end your meal off with their konafa — delicious!
I must mention that Ella is open seven days a week from 8am until 2am everyday. You can quite literally eat from this Turkish menu at any time you please.
A Middle Eastern cuisines continue to spread through the arrondissements of Paris we need to continue to support them!
Turkish cuisine is somewhat of the new kid on the block, but in no way the least impressive. If you’re open to being pleasantly surprised — head to any of these Turkish gems of Paris!