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RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

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CUISINES
Turkish
Special Diets
Halal, Vegetarian Friendly
Meals
Lunch, Dinner
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meals, features
Reviews (43)
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LanguageEnglish
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Reviewed March 11, 2024

The interior is very comfortable and it was a nice touch of authenticity to see Turkish patrons there. The bread was so, so very good - tender and warm and fresh. I ordered the Sultan’s delight, a pureed eggplant with lamb chunks. I liked the...roasted tomatoes and peppers that were on top. I also tried a dessert that was like a birds nest of phyllo dough, drenched in honey and filled with pistachios. It was very sweet, but also good, and with a pleasant texture. The dessert portion was very generous. I would return.More

Date of visit: April 2023
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Reviewed March 11, 2020

ISTANBULU’U Except for its lack of handicapped access, everything about our brunch last week at Istanbulu’u was tremendous. The room is intimate, attractive and colorful; the folky padded banquettes part of the charm. Service was friendly, efficient and helpful, and never rushed. My husband liked...his Apple Tea, which was more like a warm apple juice, but the Turkish Tea was just very strong black tea; I wouldn’t bother with it next time. The Kavurmali put a big smile on my husband’s face, eggs cooked in a sauce with meat , onions and peppers. My meal was the eggs cooked in garlic butter with which I had the zucchini fritters, and the spinach cooked with yoghurt beschamel. The eggs were completely unctuous, as the garlic butter bath took them to a whole new stratosphere. I did feel the yoghurt components of the spinach and zucchini fritters plates overwhelmed the dishes’ flavors but I just scraped it off. I know some unique dessert experiences await us for our next visit, and I can’t wait for a return repeat of the brunch we had.More

Date of visit: March 2020
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Reviewed February 29, 2020

We had Lamb Chops and Yogurt Kebabs.. They were well made and was really good. Our little one enjoyed thoroughly eating well done lamb chops that we ordered twice.. Yogurt Kebabs were soft and juicy.. The food was really delicious and Yes, I will recommend.....More

Date of visit: February 2020
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Reviewed December 5, 2019

Good thing we made a reservation while visiting Boston, it's a small place but the service and food were absolutely amazing. I have never visited the country of Turkey, but lived in Berlin for a while and got a glimpse at the great cuisine, so...this was so lovely to revisit Turkish great food, friendly smiles. We'll be back for sure. An interesting touch was wine originating from the country of Georgia!More

Date of visit: November 2019
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Reviewed March 31, 2019

To repeat: Make a reservation. Seating is extremely limited. One disappointment, and it's minor. Efes beer wasn't available; had to make do with Sam Adams. Our party of 5 ordered a variety of starters which arrived promptly an allowed us to get our mouths watering...for the kebabs and köftes to come. When they arrived, we were fully prepared for the deliciousness. Nobody was disappointed, even a little bit, including the actual Turkish person who was our guest. Servers remained attentive throughout. Portions filled us all - one small leftover to be a lunch in a day or so. I seldom comment on background music, but this deserves note - an appealing mixture of Turkish and top-shelf rock (Pink Floyd and REM for example). After dinner coffee was perfect, and everybody managed to find room for a bite of authentic baklava. All pistachios, not a walnut in sight. The aromas and flavors brought me back to Istanbul and Bursa, and made me long for another visit to my favorite foreign country.More

Date of visit: March 2019
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed March 25, 2019

Had brunch here with friends in March of 2019. Everyone had been to Turkey several times and are fans of Turkish food. The food here was authentic and very well prepared. It is a small place and it filled up on a Sunday morning, but...it was worth the wait. Made me wish to be back in Istanbul. One complaint, sort-of, that the service seemed a bit slow but I think that was because it is a small kitchen and they are working hard at authenticity. And, if you're with good friends and the conversation is flowing, it really wan't a problem.More

Date of visit: March 2019
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed October 7, 2018 via mobile

Try their specialties such as eggplant, poached eggs with yogurt. Don't get the assorted breakfast. It was disappointing with some salty cheese and some feta, olives, cucumber, tomatoes, sweet canteloupe, and very good scrambled eggs. Not sure whether this is Turkish or a regular breakfast....Serving staff nice. You definitely need their help unless you frequently eat Turkish food.More

Date of visit: October 2018
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Reviewed August 23, 2018

I used to live in Somerville and would come here with my boyfriend frequently. We went back on a recent visit and it's as good as ever. The food is always delicious, no matter what we order. The wine is excellent and the service is...great. It's a small space, but they are always welcoming. If you've been to Turkey, you won't be disappointed -- and if you haven't been to Turkey, this place will make you want to travel there.More

Date of visit: August 2018
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed July 11, 2018

Nice place, prices are fair, good food, good location. We just came back from Turkey and wanted to try Food Turkey here in Boston. We are glad we came here, food was very tasty and the waiters were very friendly

Date of visit: June 2018
Helpful?2  
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Reviewed April 9, 2017

Ate a very substantial meal with our two teenage boys here last night. Shared everything around the table--between 3 omnivores and 1 vegetarian, this was a great approach. The food was excellent--particularly enjoyed the sigara borek and ispanak borani (hot tapas). Staff was really attentive...as we'd made reservations for 8:15 but earlier diners were taking their time (why not?) and we had to wait a bit for a table to clear in this little spot. We ended up getting desserts on the house, which was really unnecessary but completely appreciated.More

Date of visit: April 2017
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed March 23, 2017

Istanbul'lu was a very pleasant surprise. We were six in total and sampled everyone's. The lamb dishes were formidable. Couscous, kebabs all scrumptious. Waitstaff quite congenial. Reservations are a good idea, the place is small and (rightly!) popular.

Date of visit: March 2017
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Reviewed March 1, 2017

We went to Istanbul'lu in Somerville for lunch this past weekend. We had Menemen, Izmir Kofte, Adana Kebab & Lamb Kebab for entree and baklava & Turkish rice pudding for dessert. Read my restaurant review on my blog Zest and Leisure (zestandleisuredotblogspotdotcom)

Date of visit: March 2017
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed December 19, 2016

I was here with friends and we found that the food is really good. The staff is quite friendly, and the prices are reasonable. I suggest a visit here to avoid eating the "usual" US food ! My suggestion? Exaggerate with tapas and skip main...dishes !More

Date of visit: December 2016
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Reviewed November 3, 2016 via mobile

Came here on a whim for a friend's birthday. Actually, became one of my favorite restaurants in Boston. The lamb is magnificent. A wonderful dining experience. Great family staff.

Date of visit: November 2016
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Reviewed August 20, 2016

For the quality of food you are getting, this place is way too overpriced. I ordered the iskender kofte and it was very dry with a poor yogurt tomato sauce. The sigara borek did not have good cheese in it, which is the most important...part. I've eaten at many Turkish restaurants, and this restaurant is towards the bottom of this list. I would not recommend coming here.More

Date of visit: July 2016
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ISTANBUL'LU, Somerville - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Order Online Food Delivery - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Istanbul'lu

Yes, Istanbul'lu offers takeout services.

Istanbul'lu is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 3.5