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Turkish Restaurant Owned by Manhattan Restaurateur Opens in Astoria

Lokanta, located at 31-16 Broadway, opened Thursday (Photo: Orhan Yegen)

April 5, 2019 By Meghan Sackman

A Turkish restaurant owned by a Manhattan restaurateur officially opened in Astoria Thursday.

The establishment, located at 31-16 Broadway, is named “Lokanta” which is the Turkish word for restaurant. It serves homemade Turkish style cuisine.

The restaurant offers traditional Turkish items such as braised lamb over a mashed eggplant puree, beef dumplings, moussaka– a layered eggplant and spiced meat sauce that can be made vegetarian, red lentil soup, and “the best chicken soup in the world,” according to owner Orhan Yegen.

Other dishes include zucchini pancakes, cauliflower with a yogurt and garlic sauce, a seasoned spinach and chickpea dish, and vegan desserts such as stuffed apricots, baked pear, and baked butternut squash.

“The food that you cook has to be the food you like to eat in your home,” Yegen said. “I never cook something just for the trend.”

(credit: Orhan Yegen)

Yegen, who immigrated from Istanbul in 1977 and lives in Manhattan, also owns midtown Turkish restaurant Sip Sak which he opened in 2004.

The new Astoria restaurant, Yegen said, has a homier and more casual feel than his midtown joint.

Lokanta, which has a 650 square foot dining area that seats about 40, does not sell liquor but allows customers to bring their own to enjoy with their meal.

Lunch on weekdays and Brunch on weekends will also be available with items such as homemade pastries and egg casseroles.

The restaurant, which will be open seven days a week, does not yet have set operational hours but will open everyday around 11 a.m., Yegen said, who is excited to provide the people of Astoria with his food.

“I’m excited for people who want something that I have,” Yegen said of his new Astoria location. “I’m fighting for my culture by serving the best Turkish food…people here will appreciate it.”

(credit: Orhan Yegen)

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29 Comments

Judi

I loved Sip Sak and always enjoyed Orhans food
Lucky me, now he’s in my hood with great Turkish food. Can’t wait to go. Judi

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Butter weeda and trey

Thank god a Turkish eatery here!! I dont have to drive into Crooklyn dealing with traffic on the Gowanus anymore for some great Turkish food . Heading there this weekend .

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Rachel L.

I’m very excited about the opening of this restaurant as my family and I have been loyal customers of Mr. Yegen establishment in Manhattan. The cuisine is utterly delicious and different from any other Turkish restaurant in NY. Homey indeed, with attention to delicate flavors such as the vegetarian choice of artichoke and celeriac.

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Joseph Lucarno

Will the heavily Greek community on Astoria support this Turkish restaurant? We’ll have to see.

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Seni

Turkish food is the best! I can’t wait to try this new place! I shared the article with my family and Turkish friends! ❤️

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Samantha

I love Turkish food! Kofte, kebab, borek, kurabiye, musakka, sarma, döner, baklava, helva, cacık and turkish coffee! All are delicious!

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JB

I look forward to trying this place out sans comments from the peanut gallery above

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Luz

I actually believe that all the Balkan region has been strongly influenced by the Ottoman/Turkish cuisine.

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New York residents suddenly don't ever eat vegan?

Pat Macnamaracist is there any group of people you tolerate besides geriatric Trumptards?

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Veganette

All answers you seek are on trip advisor, which has your info, minus your insults.

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early signs of dementia?

Yeah, looks like there ARE lots of vegan places in NYC?

I wonder why Pat Macnamaracist is so confused?

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Name

Any red meat, cholesterol soaked dishes for the locals, so they can die prematurely and I can take their rent stabilized apartment?

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Constantine

That’s your homestate’s favorite dish, not ours; please go back to the heartland.

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the Real Pat Macnamara

Who cares. Get a life. Have 6 pints with me at Cronin and Phelans. Loosen up. Let the Greeks hate the Turks and bicker about the Ottoman empire.

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Native Astorian

Born and raised in Astoria (Boulevard Hospital), still live here and happily eat a healthy vegan/vegetarian diet.

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the Real Pat Macnamara

Would you like a medal? The question was clear—”any vegan plates for the transplants?” No one cares what you eat. This is for those deer-in-the-headlight kids who recently moved here and are living with 4 other people pursuing their dreams of making it. The reactions for a simple comment really show just how unhinged the snowflakes are. They preach tolerance, but if they perceive anything to be out of line they become the biggest bullies out there. Meet me at Gilbeys where I am binge drinking, chain smoking and looking to bang 60 year old bar rags. We can have a few drinks and talk like adults-because I am an accomplished author and most of you spend your day cleaning toilets and blogging about your bowel movements. You could learn a lot from me…

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Peter Zhang

Dear Pat, you drink and smoke and think you know it all. That makes you real special, right?You can even muster condescension. Wow. Bravo, sir. You’re so accomplished. Seriously though, if you have anything empirical, perceptive, and helpful to contribute, please do so. Otherwise, while you’re ahead, quit running your c*nt mouth.

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Pat McNamara

tough guy behind the keyboard. loser. you must be a transplant or an illegal

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