El Turco: Your Ticket to Turkish Flavors in Miami

4 mins read
Vegan Bowl and El Turco Salad
Vegan Bowl and El Turco Salad

Nestled in the heart of Upper Buena Vista, Miami, El Turco offers a delightful escape into the vibrant world of Turkish cuisine. This charming, outdoors-only eatery boasts a menu brimming with authentic dishes, beckoning diners to savor the rich flavors of Turkey.

El Turco’s dedication to producing quality cuisine is evident from the very first bite. They’ve garnered a loyal following for their delectable offerings and have received multiple accolades, including recognition by the Michelin guide (and rightfully so). 

El Turco Salad
El Turco Salad

While the whole menu is a highlight, there are a few dishes that you absolutely need to experience. One of them is the perfect starter or complement to any meal here: the namesake El Turco salad. The refreshing dish features freshly cut steak tomatoes, Persian cucumber, white onion, green peppers, and extra virgin olive oil – that’s it (unless you decide to add feta cheese or chicken). It’s so simple yet packed with flavor and perfect for sharing; we ended up taking some of it home to enjoy later. 

Locksmith Simit at El Turco
Locksmith Simit with Salmon

And we’re glad we did because that meant more room for El Turco’s other stars, like the simit selection. These are thin Turkish sesame bagels topped with eggs, avocados, salmon, and spicy sausage. We opted for the Locksmith simit with salmon, which impressed us with its brightness; the sandwich is also a meal in itself and a steal at $17.     

Lamb Over Rice at El Turco
Lamb Over Rice

For something a little more dinner-esque, consider the “over rice” options, which are—unsurprisingly—delicious proteins over rice. The crowd favorite is the chicken over rice: grandma-style chicken rice with chickpeas served with a side of cacik (a yogurt dish); it’s a kid favorite, too, so take note if you have little ones. 

Manti at El Turco

But if there’s one dish you can’t leave El Turco without trying, it’s the signature manti (aka Turkish dumplings). The beef-stuffed dumplings with brown butter and garlic yogurt will make you a repeat customer. We could eat multiple bowls of it, and we’re sure you’ll feel the same way. Words can’t do it justice—just order it. 

Baklava at El Turco

We mentioned earlier that this is an outdoors-only spot, and on a nice day, it’s ideal for just hanging out. When that’s the case, and you just want something to nosh on over good conversation or get work done, we strongly recommend the vegan bowl. This dish comes with an assortment of dips, pita, and other goodies that are perfect to pick at. Or just get some coffee and baklava—that’ll hit the spot as well. 

We could go on recommending dishes, but you get the point: El Turco is the real deal, and the Michelin-recognized restaurant shows no signs of slowing down, recently launching a generous happy hour. The next time the weather is nice, grab a table at this Upper Buena Vista gem and get ready to enjoy some great food and vibes.

Geoffrey Anderson

Geoffrey Anderson Jr. is a contributing/staff writer for Dish Miami. For over six years, he has covered the South Florida dining scene with his wife for the award-winning local food blog Miami Food Pug. When he's not writing about food, he's eating it—or attending rock concerts and traveling.

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