Decatur >Food & Dining > Cafe Istanbul
1850 Lawrenceville Hwy Ste 100, Decatur, GA | Directions 3003333.801665 -84.280175
Daily, noon to midnight
Worst Dining Experience Ever – Let me first say that our dinner at Café Istanbul was so bad that referring to this establishment as a restaurant is a bad joke. The dining experience is by the far the worst we have ever had. The service was very slow and the food was horrible and very greasing. My Moussaka was just a mound of tasteless beef and eggplant that was saturated with grease that pooled in the bottom of the plate. The waiter never returned to see if we needed refills on drinks. After we finished eating, what was edible, and waiting a very long time for our check, I had to chase down our waiter to request the check. When I found him, he was having a casual conversation on his cell. The place is also so dimly lit that you can barely see what you are eating. I guess the combination of insufficient lighting and black lights should have been a sign to exit the premises before ordering. There was also an element there that seemed to be made up of friends, family, acquaintances and off duty workers that had put down roots for the day. They were lounging around and drinking and seemingly enjoying themselves. However they were not eating as they apparently know better. This type of clientele created an unsettling atmosphere that made us want to leave as quickly as possible. It is evident Cafe Istanbul is more interested in establishing themselves as a hangout instead of a restaurant that caters to the paying public. Due to our miserable experience, I DID NOT LEAVE A GRATUITY, however our credit card statement showed a gratuity added, without my knowledge, in excess of 60%. I would heed all other negative reviews about Café Istanbul and question the glowing reviews and supposed awards. I truly wonder how they survive as they certainly cannot count on repeat business. Eat at your own risk.
All I know is that the food was a bit pricey, and the service in mid afternoon was pathetic. (Visited with wife and daughters, so the wait was probably exacerbated by that detail) The lines to get in must mean that they do something right, and the decor was very cool.
I absolutely LOVE this place!! Whether you want to just chill and hang out with a few friends or you feel like letting your hair down and dancing, this place is great for both. If you have never had hookah before, than this a great way to experience something different also. Several times in the week there will be belly dancers here for your entertainment as well. Dinner and a show, what more could you want? On the weekends, Cafe Istanbul is the place to be! Exotic music, great food, belly dancing fire shows, hookahs gurgling away and just a unique environment in the heart of Decatur. This would be a great place to impress a date or a group of friends. It sure beats the monotonous club scene.
The food here is also very authentic. They have this appetizer called the Sigara Boregi, which is like the American equivalent of a mozzarella stick but its stuffed with feta cheese instead. SO GOOD. And then try their Beyti kabob. Spiced ground lamb with tzatziki sauce all wrapped up in this thin bread. Its like a Turkish burrito. Or the combo platter so you get a taste of everything. Make sure to get extra tzatziki and red sauce. I put that stuff on everything. Oh god, my mouth is watering already!
Another great thing about this place is that the staff treats everyone like regulars. If you come here more than once the managers will probably great you with a hug! Everyone is so nice and treats you like family. I guarantee you will want to come back and then your hooked.
I absolutely love this place, the food is great and so is the service, the waiters and the manager is very nice and polite. I have been coming here for a few years now, it is a very relaxing atmosphere.
I've been this restaurant several times and always left happily. Sometimes, I went there with my several friends to celebrate something (birthday party) and all said the food and the atmosphere were great. It is nicely designed restaurant where people sit on the cushion and have food on level tables. The music is ok and in addition they have belly dancer. I tried their several dishes (Adana Kabob), but mostly like their special 'Iskerder Kabob' dish. It's too much full of meat served with yoghurt and its prize is reasonable. I think, their servers are foreigners, so sometimes it is hard to understand them and might take time to get your order. Because, this place is usually very crowded on Friday and Saturday, so servers might be slow sometimes. But I always make reservation before going there, so it takes 10 minutes to get seated at most. To summary, I recommend this restaurant to anyone who wants to try something different in Atlanta.
Dont care about bad comments, give it a shot and you re not gonna be disappointed! Food is great so customer service. Also try their hookah
very very prejudice – I was stared at once entering the restaurant. Those who entered the restaurant after me were helped before me and given prime seating. There were many tables available in the main area. However, I was sat at a table by the bar and never helped. I saw multiple people of middle east nationality helped. If you are white, black, Hispanic, Asian, etc expect not to be helped. There were MANY people around me who also had the same problem I was appauled and will never go back. If want good hookah, better food, and be treated like a human being go to Divan in Buckhead. Not the dirt hole in the scary part of Decatur!
save your time, money, and dignity--don't go! – Rude, incompetent, money grubbing staff and a manager who feels entitled to treat his customers like dirt. You get a very "us against them" vibe here--like in the old westerns when the stranger walks in the saloon and everybody stares at him?
Don't waste your time in this horrible place!
Awful, awful, and did I mention, awful? – The Bad: Horrible service; cold, mediocre quality food; way too loud; much touted belly dancer appeared for 5 minutes and then disappeared for the rest of the evening.
The Good: Nothing.
Avoid this place at all costs. If you want good middle eastern food try Rumi's Table on Roswell Road or Sufi's of Persia on Peachtree.
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