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“OMG, you have to go back or take a big crowd to enjoy all the yummy things on the menu”
Review of Cafe Orchid

Cafe Orchid
Ranked #1,804 of 9,883 Restaurants in Chicago
Price range: $5 - $20
Cuisines: Turkish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Takeout
Neighborhood: Lakeview
Reviewed April 12, 2014

I've become a Turkish food fan after a trip to Istanbul in 2013. I try to learn how to duplicate the recipes at home, but with this restaurant in Chicago, I can stick to the easy stuff. They make lamb and other complex dishes look easy. I love it. We had the hot combo platter, lamb ravioli and the lamb cubes. Lots of yoghurt, the only thing that would have made it perfect was if they had real Turkish ice cream. I can't wait to go back!

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1  Thank nancyinChicago_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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19 - 23 of 34 reviews

Reviewed March 13, 2014

This Turkish restaurant is in my neighborhood, I've been twice now and it's always worth a stop. Not much for atmosphere but the food is definitely good Appetizer-wise, I've tried the lentil fingers and the mujver (zucchini cakes). I *loved* the lentil fingers. They're a cold appetizer, sort of a lentil mash with lors of other herbs and things, shaped into a finger. It was a million times yummier than it sounds after that description. The zucchini cakes were hot and crispy and great with the plain yogurt.

In terms of entrees, I've tried the iskender, with doner and tomato sauce. I'd never had it before but it was really quite tasty! Doner was recommended by the server as the "traditional" choice. I'm not a big gyro person and don't usually like the texture of that meat, but it was surprisingly moist and flavorful, though I think I might do a different sort of meat if I got it again. Big portion, we had to take some home.

Last time I went I tried some new dishes - kofte kebab and the Uskudar. Kofte kebab was fantastic, one of the best versions of the dish I've had. Uskudar was really good too but involes lots of eggplant slices. Eggplant isn't my favorite thing but I honestly didn't mind it so much here, so clearly Cafe Orchid is working some kind of magic in the kitchen. The lamb cubes were really tender.

Pretty reasonable price considering how tasty the food is, and how large and filling the portions are.

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1  Thank Meredith B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2014

We were visiting Chicago for the weekend recently and being that my boyfriend is half-Turkish, we HAD to get some Turkish food. While researching restaurant options, we came across Cafe Orchid and only saw good reviews. We got to the restaurant on a Saturday evening (half hour before close), we were the only ones in the restaurant. We were greeted with, "Are you picking up an order?" We said, "We'd like to dine in for dinner, if you're still serving." We were quickly seated (in the attached porch) and since we had already looked at the menu online we were ready to order.

It should be noted that it was a very cold night in Chicago and the staff left the door from the porch to the actual restaurant closed because the temp in the porch was quite chilly (I'm assuming they didn't want to get cold), we didn't even take off our jackets nor hats, and I had to move my seat closer to the center of the room, away from the window because it was sooo cold!

Our food came within 15 minutes and we quickly scarfed it down as we could tell the staff was antsy to close (as they kept staring at us). Suggestions for the restaurant's staff and manager: 1. Stop accepting dine-in customers at least an hour before closing time (so your customers won't feel rushed), 2. Please get some space heaters and/or offer indoor seating when there is freezing temps outside, 3. Please learn some basic customer service skills (i.e., don't stare at the guests, don't rush their experience, make them feel comfortable, etc.).

The food was okay, however the coldness in the porch and rushed feeling put a complete damper on the entire experience. If we weren't visiting from out of town and staying at a hotel downtown, we would've probably taken our food to-go. To conclude, we walked out of the restaurant at 10:58pm, we didn't want to take up any more of their time than necessary.

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Thank Rebecca0500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

I had lunch here yesterday with my son while visiting Chicago. We started with a plate of Sigara Boregi. I had the doner kebabs and he had the chicken kebabs and hummus. Bakklava for dessert and Turkish coffee. Everything was delicious and piping hot. Our waitress was very attentive. We ate outdoors; it was a delicious meal. And the price was very reasonable! Can't wait until I'm in Chicago again!

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1  Thank dzmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013 via mobile

Menu prices very reasonable for traditional dishes such as hummus, baba ganoush, kebabs etc. BYOB means a lower tab overall. Excellent bread for dipping, spreading, sopping flavorful spreads and sauces. Share several appetizers then move on to entrees to sample different dishes. Service was very friendly. Our waiter made good suggestions and paced our meal slowly as we were a party of 4 enjoying lots of "catching up" conversation. We also sat for quite awhile afterwards enjoying our wine at the table. Lamb, chicken, beef and "doner"( a kind of Gyros-type meat) were featured choices. Good spot for either couples or groups. Family- friendly, cosy and comfortable, but simply furnished. Outdoor patio for summer.

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2  Thank Go_Ask_Eddie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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