From classic tuck shops that calm a quick craving to stylishly furnished restaurants – when it comes to Turkish cuisine, Cologne’s offerings are multi-faceted. Alongside Cologne’s established entities, whose döners have saved lives at ungodly hours, there are also some undiscovered pearls. That includes restaurants that combine system catering with Turkish cuisine, or those with extraordinary ambiences that make them special. Get ready to want to try something new with our selection, or be reminded of your favourite tuck shop or restaurant that you haven’t visited in a while.
What makes it special: Tasty, tasty, tasty – you’ll get freshly-made lahmacun (also vegetarian) and a lot of love in this not-so-eye-catching, yet friendly shop. If you exchange a few words with the cheerful team behind the counter, you’ll be greeted by name for the rest of your life. The friendly family business, which especially gets excited about the evening rush, has coveted outside seating in the summer. You can get food to “take-away” or “eat in”, a talk with the regulars who have been coming for years included.
Here you can get: Döner specials, daily dishes and tasty classic pizza
Best dish for a budget: Soup ex. mercimek (lentil soup) or vegetarian lahmacun 2,50 €
Most expensive dish: Mixed grilled plate 10 €
What you’ve got to try: Lahmacun with lemon and parsley (also vegetarian)
Adress: Venloer Str. 464, 50825 Köln
Opening hours: Sunday–Thursday 9 AM – 1 AM, Friday–Saturday 9 AM–4 AM
What makes it special: The small Turkish-Lebanese house, with its noticeably high charcoal grill chimney, lures you in from afar with the smell of delicious grilled meat. It even makes the hearts of some vegetarians beat faster. It’s clear that the diverse kebab sandwiches here tasty really good from the daily, non-stop rush. Recently, Jan Böhmermann asked for his heard to be buried in Kebapland. You might want to get in line for your pilgrimage today though, in order to be able to enjoy the delicious kebab dishes.
Here you can get: Something good and frilled in a charcoal grill in a tasty sandwich or dürüm and plate dishes
Best dish for a budget: Mercimek (Lentil Soup) 3 €
Most expensive dish: Mixed plate from the charcoal grill 13 €
What you’ve got to try: Lamb shish sandwich
Address: Venloer Str. 385, 50825 Cologne
Opening hours: Monday–Sunday 11:30 AM–midnight
What makes it special: The well-chosen furnishing and the ambience as well as the nice pair who owns it are what make this restaurant – aside from the delicious food – so special The first Turkish restaurant in Cologne’s Rodenkirchen district places a lot of emphasis on the best ingredients and even lets you know if there are allergens in the dishes. Wonderfully prepared dishes and a selection of wines and further alcoholic drinks top off a nice evening in Artistanbul.
Here you can get: Something fine from a charcoal grill, soups, a large selection of appetizers, fish and crock pot dishes
Best dish for a budget: Appetizers ex.. közlenmiş patlıcan (grilled aubergines) 3,90 €
Most expensive dish: Shoulder of lamb with sheep cheese sauce 19,90 €
What you’ve got to try: Kuzufile (Lamb filet on top of Orient sauce, tomatoes and pine nuts)
Address: Kirchstraße 13, 50996 Cologne
Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday 5 PM–11 PM; Friday-Saturday 5 PM–midnight
What makes it special: The selection of Turkish specialties between Südstadt and Ehrenfeld is relatively rare, which is why Oruc Kebap has not only been a Cologne entity for years, but also a saviour for those who get a craving for döner in this realm. The flat bread is baked in house, the döner is home-made and tastily spiced, and the fresh lahmacun has been talked about since year dot. The service is prompt, and there is often a niche at the standing tables, where you can still squeeze in in order to devour your treat.
Here you can get: Döner, lahmacun, börek, pide and freshly-baked flatbread and simit
Best dish for a budget: Lahmacun 2 €
Most expensive dish: İskender Kebap (Döner with tomato and yoghurt sauce) 9 €
What you’ve got to try: Supposedly the best döner in Cologne and the fresh lahmacun
Address: Heinsbergstraße 1, 50674 Cologne
Opening hours: Monday–Thursday 12 PM–midnight, Friday–Saturday 12 PM–3 AM
What makes it special: Öz Harran Doy Doy, in the charming multi-cultural Weidenfasse is open 24/7 for aficionados of Turkish cuisine. Here, you can get comfortable between large families, pairs and business dinner guests at the tables decorated with white tablecloths. The very attentive and quick service makes sure that you don’t have to stay hungry for long. Only one thing might slow you down: The large selection of appetizers and main dishes might make it difficult to make up your mind.
Here you can get: Large appetizers trays and diverse main dishes from the grill
Best dish for a budget: Lahmacun 2,50 €
Most expensive dish: Karışık Izgara (Mixed grilled plate with rice and salad) 14 €
What you’ve got to try: Karışık Izgara
Address: Weidengasse 28 – 34, 50668 Cologne
Hours of Operation: Monday – Sunday 24 hours a day
What makes it special: Bona’me brings system catering and Turkish-Kurdish dishes together in a friendly way. The modern styled, large premises in Rheinauhafen and Deutz are perfect for business lunches, after work drinksor a dinner with a modern ambience. You can order your dishes from the self-service theme counters and you pick them up when the buzzer you’re given goes off.
Here you can get: Dishes from different regions of Turkey, ex. mantı, pide (filled dough ships), beyti (thin, rolled flatbread with grilled meat), sweets and wine from Turkey
Best dish for a budget: Ezme-Meze 2,50 € (spicy tomato and pepper appetizer)
Most expensive dish: Şis Kebap 9,90 € (Lamb Shish Plate)
What the owners say: Bonaˊme comes from Kurdish, and means “our house.”
We didn’t only choose the name because of how it sounds. We want to share the warmth, goodwill and attention of the East in bona’me and include our guests in the bona’me family.”
What you’ve got to try: The meze tray (appetizer tray)(Vorspeisenplatte)
Rheinauhafen: Anna-Schneider-Steig 22, 50678 Cologne
Deutz: Kennedyplatz 2, 50679 Cologne
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 11 AM–midnight, Sunday 10 AM–midnight
What makes it special: Tuck shop or chic restaurant – Osman Bey offers its guests both. While you can get something to quickly munch on in your hand or on the wooden tables in the front of the restaurant, there are nicely set tables in the restaurant part of the building. The menu contains a large selection of traditional dishes. Along with that, a large cold buffet with many different salads, creams and other tasty delights will get your heard beating faster.
Here you can get: A diverse selection of soups, meat dishes (ex. döner plate, grilled meat), breakfast during the week from 7-11:30 AM and on the weekends from 7 AM-4 PM
Best dish for a budget: Soups 3,50 €
Most expensive dish: Osman Bey Karışık Izgara (Large mixed grilled plate) 13,50 €
What you’ve got to try: Create your own meze plate at the cold dishes buffet
Address: Chlodwigplatz 16, 50678 Cologne
Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday 7 AM–2 AM, Saturday-Sunday 7 AM–5 AM
What makes it special: Mevlana is in the culturally colourful Keupstraße and especially stands out as a classic restaurant. The large, Eastern furnished premises and nicely set tables invite you in for a meal full of tradition. The restaurant’s name giver, Mevlana (founder of the twirling dervishes), graces the walls and reminds you of the delicately turning dervishes.
Here you can get: A large selection of meat dishes from a charcoal grill, delicious fry-ups, taş kebab (goulash Turkish style) and bıldırcın (fried quail) as well as a hearty breakfast.
Best dish for a budget: Mercimek (Linsen Suppe) 3 €
Most expensive dish: Karışık Izgara (Mixed grilled meat) 13,50 €
What the owners say: “Our traditionally Turkish cuisine and our staff take you on a trip through the delicious spectrum of pleasure in our country. The dance of the twirling dervishes will put you into ecstasy and convey our guiding principle to you: The power of love in the universe.”
What you’ve got to try: Karışık Izgara a mixed plate form the charcoal grill
Address: Keupstraße 47-49, 51063 Cologne
Hours of Operation: Sunday-Thursday 7 AM–2 AM, Saturday-Sunday 7 AM–5 AM
What makes it special: Three generations of the family have been cooking and baking in this friendly restaurant with an Eastern ambience. For those who want get to know Turkish cuisine far away from döner, this is the place: The house specialises in the delicacies of traditional Turkish cuisine and refrains from offering döner dishes. The menu includes various types of kebab and grilled meat, lahmacun, soups and a large selection of Turkish sweets, which have been produced in the house’s own confectionery next door since 1985.
Here you can get: Kebab variations and grill meat, lahmacun, soups, breakfast and a huge selection of baklava
Best dish for a budget: Lahmacun 2,10 €
Most expensive dish: Mixed grilled plate (lamb, meatball, chicken, shish kebab) 13,50 €
What the owners say: “We spoil you with exquisite Eastern dishes from the country of culinary delicacies. The best ingredients, gently prepared, melt with the unique aesthetic of Turkish table culture to create a culinary art piece.”
What you’ve got to try: It’s said the lahmacun is out of this world!
Address: Keupstraße 69, 51063 Cologne
Opening hours: Monday-Thursday 8 AM–1 AM, Friday-Saturday 8 AM–3 AM, Sunday 8 AM–1 AM
Text: Teslime Yağmur