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“Wonderful Turkish cuisine in the heart of South Street” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Istanbul

Istanbul
216 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (Formerly S & H Kebab House)
(267) 639-3214
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Ranked #375 of 3,481 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Price range: $5 - $28
Cuisines: Seafood, Turkish, Vegetarian, Middle Eastern
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Delivery, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Istanbul Lounge is a family owned restaurant specializing in authentic Turkish, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Located just off of South Street, this cozy oasis brings a taste of the Ottoman Empire to the heart of Philadelphia. Featuring organic lamb, chicken and Top Choice Black Angus steaks, as well as traditional vegetarian dishes and fresh seafood, this BYOB satisfies every palate.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Wonderful Turkish cuisine in the heart of South Street”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2012

I can't say enough good things about this place - delicious food, nice atmosphere, and reasonable prices, all in a great location right off of South Street. I went there for the first time recently and was pleased to find that not only the prices were very affordable, but also that the restaurant offers a great prix fixe lunch menu for something like $8.95 during the week. The prix fixe includes an appetizer, entree, and beverage. I ordered the spicy Turkish salad, and was surprised to find that it wasn't a salad but rather a vegetable spread served with warm pita bread. Regardless, I wasn't complaining, since it was absolutely delicious. Next came the spicy chicken kebab served with rice, bulgur pilaf, and charred tomatoes. I really enjoyed the marinade on the chicken, and the richness of the buttery bulgur pilaf. Since my meal had been so good, I decided to splurge and order dessert. Most of the desserts are similar to those you would find in a Greek restaurant, but there was one I hadn't seen before - the kunefe. It consisted of shredded filo dough stuffed with mozzarella cheese and soaked with a very rich sauce of butter and honey. When I read filo stuffed with cheese on the menu, I assumed the cheese would be a farmer's cheese or ricotta, so the first bite of mozzarella came as a bit of a shock. While it may sound weird, the combination of the saltiness of the mozzarella and the sweetness of the honey actually works. It's one of the best ethnic desserts I have ever had. Overall, I was delighted to discover this restaurant and will definitely be back the next time I go to South Street.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kebabhouse1234, Owner at Istanbul, responded to this review, September 11, 2012
thank you very much
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43 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    28
    8
    3
    4
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Philadelphia, PA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Best Felafel Iv'e Had Anywhere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

We went to Leziz for a small meal before leaving the city to go home. I ordered the Zucchini Pancakes and my husband got the Felafel. The pancakes were very flavorful, especially with the dipping sauce they came with. The felafel was the best I ever had. I usually find felafel bland, but this was full of flavor and a little spicy. I also usually don't like pita because it, too, is bland and tastes like chewy, thick, white sandwich bread to me. The pita at Leziz was thin, actually had a bit of interesting flavor, and had been warmed in a pan. What a difference! The owner, Sal, was extremely pleasant and eager to make our visit as pleasing as possible.
Next time we are in town we will make it a point to have dinner here.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kebabhouse1234, Owner at Istanbul, responded to this review, July 18, 2012
thank you very much
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Enjoyable and Tasty”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2012

This is a neighborhood restaurant for us. We'll go there every few months and always enjoy it. We'd go more often if we dined out more frequently in general.
We have a soft spot for Turkish food since our honeymoon took us that way in September 2009. I've found the food at Leziz Turkish Cuisine brings back fond memories of good times and good food from our trip. On this visit, we tried something new ....we tried a fixed per person menu offering. The restaurant offers varying price points for you $30 person for 4 course, $35 for 5, and more for courses that include top notch / more expensive food. We knew we would only be able to handle the "smaller" amount so that is why we chose the $30 option. Since I do not like onions, I asked our server if the starter salads could be prepared without them ...they are ALWAYS so eager to please their customer that, of course, they could prepare ours without onions. We do not know if this special preparation accounted for the unexpectedly large servings of both the tomato/cucumber salad, and the white bean salad but they were huge and deliciously fresh. Next came a mixed spread platter with pita meaning we had taramasalata (the red caviar spread), hummus, baba ganoush, a zucchini spread and something spicy too - wonderful. The $30 option's main course was a mixed grill platter over rice - oh my - so much meat our left over take homes fed us for two more nights!! Some of the meat was a little dry for my tastes but they brought me out some tzatziki (cajik?) and that helped.
Your fixed menu options ends with "dessert and coffee" ...we are not sure if what we got was the usual accompaniment, because there had been a bit of construction noise that evening that disturbed some patrons so the owner treated EVERYONE in the restaurant to dessert!! We had a nice mixed plate of three desserts and all were terrific. The construction was because they were intent on finishing a back garden outdoor dining area --- perhaps when this huge heat wave breaks we will get back and see how that is too. Leziz is BYO so all in all it is a comfortable, fun evening when we are able to get out. I am impressed that the manager/owner ALWAYS comes by the table and asks if everything is ok. I think he/they truly want to know what they can do to make your experience better so I give them credit for that.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kebabhouse1234, Owner at Istanbul, responded to this review, July 18, 2012
thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Oaky Turkish Food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2012

Quick friendly service. The food is okay, nothing to write home about. The location is close to South Street. South Street can be difficult no Friday and Saturday nights.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Fabulous Find”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2012

I have to thank Groupon for this find...I never noticed it before. Food is so fresh and delish. Best falafel I have ever had! We will definitely be going back!

Visited June 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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