This pretty, period building has been turned into a modern bar with late opening hours and a cool cocktail menu. As it's sat right in the centre it's impossible not to stumble upon it and when you do make sure you pop in.
Despite the name the Turkey Cafe has nothing to do with the country. Don't expect belly dancing, shishas, or Turkish Delight. The cafe takes it name from the building which has a turkey made from pretty tiles perched on the top. This art nouveau thin townhouse is really quite pretty and although it's narrow it's spread over several floors.
Its period decor has remained, and the cream and sage green tiles and the graceful cut-out shapes on the facade clearly show this place is old, it was in fact completed in 1901.
However, the interior is totally modern and the furniture has a distint 60s space-age look with red and white egg chairs and streamlined white round tables. Funky glass lamps with metal stands are another tribute to the swinging sixties.
Another nice aspect is that the Turkey Cafe is composed of small rooms on different floors. These are ideal for groups of all sizes who can party the night away undisturbed.
While the lower floor and the ground floor are all space-age sophistication the first and second floor are all about slouching, with retro leather couches and lounge armchairs that were just made for kicking back and sipping cocktails.
It's a late night bar and rather than having that staid, lock-in feel, it still has a vibrant atmosphere, even at 1am on Monday.
It attracts a varied crowd, with students and young professionals, and when other bars start closing at midnight expect to find anybody in here. The Turkey Cafe, while mainting a cutting-edge look, is far from daunting. Glamour girls are not the standard here so feel free to walk in wearing trainers and jeans. Live DJs make regular appearances and there are also open mic nights.
The Turkey Cafe doesn't stick to any cuisine in particular, and instead gathers the best international favourites.
You can pick from mushroom risotto (£6.95), chicken enchilladas (£7.95), Thai green curry (£7.95) and the more British toad in the hole (£7.95), bangers and bubble (£7.45) and rack of ribs (£7.95).
They also do sharing plates for around £5, a good selection of inventive burgers for £7, filling salads for around £6 and panini, sandwiches and jacket potatoes for £5. Movenpick ice creams are on offer for those with a sweet tooth.
The cocktail menu, printed on 50s pin-up photos, is what you should pay attention to first. You can pick from twisted classics, a selection of iced teas, martinis, premium cocktails and more. The prices start from just below £4 and go up to £6 for the premiums.
There's a Berry Debonnaire, which mixes raspberry puree, raspberry vodka, Creme de Mure, Creme de Fraise, grenadine and soda, or there's the Marzipan Sours with Cherry Marnier, Amaretto, Orgeat, lemon juice and Angostura bitters. Or what about a Toblerone, a sweet mix of honey vodka, Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, Creme de Cacao and Amaretto shaken with cream and chocolate sauce? It is a good idea to forget the classics for once and experiment with their own creative mixes.
The shooters (£2.50) are just as appealing. For a punchy start try the Red Headed Slut, a mix of Jagermeister, Peach Teichenne and cranberry juice. And the menu is even better if you're a NUS or student-card holder as there's a special section where cocktails cost just £2.50 and shooters are £1.
Beer drinkers have a choice of Baltika and Kronenburg Blanc on draught for £3.30 to £3.70 and bottles of Michelob, Estrella Dam, Staropramen, the rare Peroni Gran Riserva, Erdinger Weiss and Dos Equis for £3 to £3.70. St Hellier and Jacques ciders costs £2.50 to £3.70. A small selection of wines cost £11 to £16 a bottle.
The Last Word
Relaxed in attitude but very serious with drinks and food, The Turkey Cafe is a Leicester essential. The central location makes it a natural stop anyway, so just walk in and relax with a cocktail.