Ankara Picnic, the first restaurant on your right the second you walk out exit 3 at Itaewon station. A staple in the Itaewon community. Always open late to satisfy that craving after a long night on the strip, or just a quick place to grab a sandwich or a kebab, I’ve always found that Ankara Picnic has hit the spot. I was down in Itaewon checking out some Turkish restaurants for a friend, and decided to stop by Ankara Picnic on my way home for a quick bite.
How to get there: This is one of the easiest restaurants to get to. Head to Itaewon State (Line 6) and depart from Exit 3. It is the first restaurant on your right.
Atmosphere and Service: Ankara Picnic is not a place you would go to for a quiet meal. Most customers order their food to go and then head off to explore the mean streets of Itaewon. However, they do have a few stools and a counter for people who want to stay and enjoy their kebabs in a warm or cool (depending on the season) place. The atmosphere can be lively depending on when you turn up, or it can be pretty chill. It all depends on the timing. I went on a Thursday afternoon, needless to say it was pretty relaxed. That said, I went a couple of days later on Saturday night and it was packed wall to wall.
Service is always pretty exceptional. I have never had a bad service experience there. Occasionally, it will get busy, and therefore it can be a little slow, but they push out your order as soon at they can. They speak excellent English and they will customize your order. Finally, they are open nice and late! You can grab that kebab for the long subway right back to your neck of the woods after a long night of partying.
Food and Drinks: Most people head to Ankara Picnic for the kebabs, but today I felt like a sandwich. I decided to grab a couple of their sandwiches for the ride home and needless to say I wasn’t disappointed. Their kebabs cost 4500KRW and the sandwiches cost 6000KRW. Today, I ordered a chicken sandwich and a lamb kebab with tzatziki sauce and no hot sauce. They cut the lamb sandwich first. First, I noticed how much lamb they actually put on the sandwich. They don’t skimp, and the lamb is nice and juicy. The other toppings are pickles and onions which are proportioned nicely throughout the sandwich. Finally, the bread is soft and fresh. I ate the sandwich on the way home in the taxi. One of the most relaxing and enjoyable rides in quite sometime.
The chicken sandwich was nice and juicy. I really appreciate the chicken at a kebab restaurant because you know the chicken isn’t going to be dry. The juice melt off the spinning turnstiles of chicken deliciousness. It truly is a beautiful thing for you to watch, as they slice away pieces of chicken and put it fresh on your sandwich. The coolness of the vegetables and the tzatziki sauce make this sandwich an excellent option in the summer. But personally I can eat these sandwiches any time of the year.
Drinks: Soda is on tap, including Coke and Sprite.
Who should visit Ankara Picnic: Ankara Picnic is definitely for the budget traveller. The kebabs and sandwiches are filling and are only 4500KRW and 6000KRW. This is great value, and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to save a little money, but still wants to enjoy a Turkish/Middle Eastern specialty. Great value and open late!
Who should avoid Ankara Picnic: Looking for a nice, sit down restaurant for an evening of laughter and chatting? Head elsewhere my friend.