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Fearless Critic restaurant review
New Haven
Food
Feel
Price
8.8
8.5
$30
Turkish
Casual restaurant

Hours
Daily 11:00am–11:00pm

Features Kid-friendly
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

www.saraykebab.com

West Haven
770 Campbell Ave.
West Haven, CT
(203) 937-0707
Saray
Some of the best Turkish food in Connecticut—get your grilled meat before the crowds descend

Campbell Avenue in West Haven is a playground for foodies. Turkish food, Salvadoran food, Taiwanese food—it’s all here for the taking, and it’s all cheap. Word hasn’t exactly gotten out about this lovely area, where finding a place to eat is a fun and rewarding treasure hunt, so you won’t find too many well-heeled New Haveners in these parts...yet.

Here’s the scoop on the Turkish scene: for a while, Turkish Kabab House was the grande dame, so to speak, drawing in a steady stream of diners. And it is indeed good. But then along came Saray, another Turkish joint just up the street. And it was better. Saray immediately became the new darling of the local Turkish community, along with the foraging foodies, and that’s why there’s now such a reliable crowd here.

Saray actually has a lot going for it. Some of this is atmospheric: to step in here is essentially to set foot in another country. It feels like Turkey, in a way that’s simultaneously cheesy and authentic. The space is big and commanding, and it has an equally big and commanding chandelier. Purple tablecloths deck out the tables, and there’s a loud, open kitchen and fish tank to complete the scene.

The menu here is long. We recommend starting your meal with some of the “special combo appetizers”—this will allow you to sample quite a few dishes. Antep ezme (onion, peppers, tomato, and garlic ground into a paste) is bright and flavorful; imam bayildi (stuffed eggplant) is another winner.

Among main courses, kebabs are particularly strong (again, there are some combos that will allow you many tastes). Meats come out tender and juicy; we particularly like versions with lamb. Döner kebab with a touch of cool yogurt is positively delicious. And prices are quite reasonable, too. With apologies to Istanbul Café, the real deal is out in West Haven. So sit back and enjoy your feast.

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