Finding Good Turkish Food in Las Vegas


I missed home so much that I found I was dreaming about it more and more. I didn’t really want to leave Bodrum, Turkey but I felt it was time. I was leaving during the height of the holiday season, I really had to compare any flights to Vegas from one travel agency to another. Because I usually route through the UK (I have family there) I use flythomascook to connect me when I travel to and from Turkey. I have been scammed before by ‘local’ airlines and wasn’t going to fall prey to another.

After returning home from travelling back and forth between Ankara, Istanbul and Cyprus, I found it difficult to give up the Turkish food I had been eating for almost ten years. But finding good Turkish food (not Greek…they are not the same thing) in Las Vegas was harder than I thought.

IBO Turkish & Mediterranean Restaurant & Bar (Phew, quite a mouthful)


Ok, so I searched and searched for a place that served *genuine* Turkish food and I was certain I was only going to find a good meal by visiting the houses of little old Turkish women and having supper with their families…but thankfully I didn’t need to.

Ibo Olmeztoprak is the proud owner with a charming Turkish lady (Hey Selmin!) holding the reins in the kitchen. This is the real deal, a bone-fide authentic Turkish restaurant that serves some of my absolute favourite dishes and desserts.

Their décor is elegant and upscale (vastly different from the wooden crate and table I once sat at in Muratpaşa) with leather booths and soft lighting. There’s a definite romantic feel about the place.
I sat in a booth all to myself, I had a few onlookers and ordered Manti (beef dumplings) which are like Ravioli except a little different. They are also fresh and hand-made (A rarity in the US, let alone Las Vegas)


Next I ordered a bowl of Tavuk Corbasi, which is an amazing chicken soup and soft orzo pasta with a side of Sigara Borek (these are crispy-fried pastry rolls filled with Gruyère cheese, like cheesy spring rolls) which I dip into the soup…heaven.


And that was my supper for that night.

The next evening, I was greeted by Selmin and she showed me how she makes the Kaşarlı Köfte (ka-SHAR-luh kuf-TAY) which is basically cheesy meatballs (I then ate about a bajillion at my table) and I ordered some kebabs, a mix of lamb and chicken with some yogurt to soften the tangy sauces.
For dessert I had traditional Baklava (just a small piece, they are drier than the Greek version) and a hefty-helping of Kazandibi (a soft and malty cream pudding). Don’t forget to order their signature deep, dark and delicious Turkish coffee…remember not to drink it all, always leave a little behind (some say it’s for good luck but I say it’s so that you don’t eat the bitter coffee grounds that have sunken to the bottom)

This is a great Turkish restaurant in Las Vegas, I wish I had more time to try everything on their menu but I was only staying a few days before a taxi ride back to the airport for my flight back to my other home away from home…with some delicious leftovers.