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Café Mediterranean - A Turkish Culinary Experience

By Zoe Schnadower, Walnut Hills High School

When you first enter the charming establishment, you are greeted by a stunning, light blue interior with meticulously folded napkins atop black tables and quiet music. Located in the popular Mount Lookout neighborhood, the blue-fronted Cafe Mediterranean is a Turkish restaurant boasting authentic Mediterranean flavors, founded by owner Fahri Ozdil in 2008, initially in Anderson Township. Ozdil, originally from Adana, Turkey, uses his 40+ years in the hospitality industry to create true Mediterranean food that he proudly calls authentic and healthy.

Ozdil, who I spoke to last Saturday, was generous and very willing to share his fascinating story of founding one of the most popular restaurants in the Mount Lookout area, proven by the over 4.5 star reviews on Google. Though I visited on a hot, mid-afternoon, the patio was full of people enjoying delicious food. Throughout our short interview, we were frequently interrupted by couples looking to enjoy a nice meal. At first, Ozdil explains, many people didn’t

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understand the concept of authentic Turkish, Mediterranean food. Americans hadn’t heard of the historical Turkish dishes he serves - some dishes, he notes, having a historic culture thousands of years old. What changed the business forever, though, was COVID-19. While many other restaurants in the area had to shut down, Ozdil bravely continued operating his restaurant through the pandemic, leading to a massive boom. “We almost doubled in business,” Ozdil explains to me, “and regulars brought other people to us too.”

With a menu full of delicious traditional options such as dips, kebobs, salads, and much more, Ozdil particularly emphasizes the lamb shank, as well as the Bronzino Mediterranean sea bass as his favorite dishes. In the restaurant where the most important ingredient is Turkish love, it is certain that you will find the true Mediterranean Turkish flavors that everyone needs in their lives.

Café Mediterranean Interior

Check out Café Mediterranean here:

3520 Erie Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45208

Zoe in front of Café Mediterranean

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