Boystown is known for many things – dancing, drag queens and, for one notorious week in June, Spring Break-style debauchery – but authentic Anatolian cuisine? What is this, some kind of diversity celebration?
Hold that thought. Turns out Boystown does in fact lay claim to a little Turkish delight. And no, that's not the name of a new drag performer. Located at the corner of Addison and Broadway, in a rather unassuming brick building, Istanbul Restaurant cooks up some of the best Turkish food in the city, as well as trusty American fare at prices that any nationality can appreciate. In addition to serving inexpensive and filling Turkish breads (the flat pide is a must) baked fresh in-house daily, Istanbul offers a menu of generously sized entrees priced in the $10-$15 range. And, as if that wasn't deal enough, the restaurant is BYOB, with no corkage fee.
The atmosphere may not be as hip as other Boystown eateries, but what Istanbul lacks in decor, it more than makes up for in flavor. Try the manti, a Turkish style ravioli, or lahmacun, aka "Turkish pizza," a thin round of dough stuffed with minced beef or lamb and wrapped around veggies like tomato, peppers and onion. For the less adventurous, there are familiar staples like gyros and kebabs, and for the downright boring, there's a tuna fish sandwich.
Istanbul even serves a knockout breakfast - the hearty Royal Omelet attracts diners from miles around. Looks like Boystown can add another notch to the long list of things it offers.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Amanda Nyren