New Restaurant Alert: Zehra Turkish Cuisine in East Hamilton

Tucked away in a discrete location in a small plaza in East Hamilton, Zehra Turkish Cuisine is a place that is rich in culinary heritage that spans generations. Founded by Zehra Çetin, alongside her husband İbrahim Çetin and father Fevzi Altunay, this team has a remarkable story that began in 1952 with the Nuri brand, inherited from Zehra’s grandfather. Their journey, which initially started in Turkey, took an unexpected turn after the devastating earthquake, leading them to bring the flavors of Hatay to the vibrant community of Hamilton, Canada.

The Çetin family’s culinary journey began with the Nuri brand in 1952, and it evolved into Zehra Hatay Cuisine in 2016, following Zehra’s graduation in industrial engineering. With a remarkable presence in shopping malls, boasting 10 branches and 170 employees, their journey faced a pivotal moment due to unforeseen circumstances in Turkey. The seismic impact of the earthquake propelled the family to explore new horizons, eventually bringing them to the welcoming embrace of Canada.

Upon arriving in Canada, the family conducted extensive research, leading to the decision to continue their gastronomic legacy in Hamilton. The charm of the city and its welcoming neighborhood served as the perfect backdrop for the birth of Zehra Turkish Cuisine, which officially opened its doors on December 1, 2023.

At the heart of Zehra Turkish Cuisine is Hatay, a UNESCO Gastronomy City, known as the gateway to Mesopotamia and the Middle East. Hatay boasts a rich culinary culture, with centuries-old kitchen tools and local recipes passed down through generations. It is a city steeped in history, located on both the Spice Road and Silk Road, influencing its diverse and flavorful cuisine.

One of Hatay’s most celebrated dishes finds a new home at Zehra Turkish Cuisine—the iconic “Tray Kebab.” This dish, characterized by its unique taste and appealing presentation, features meat, parsley, red pepper, and garlic chopped into large pieces on a wooden board. After the addition of carefully selected spices, the flavorful meat is spread on a tray and baked to perfection in the oven. It’s a culinary experience that not only tantalizes the taste buds but also captures the essence of Hatay’s rich gastronomic heritage.

In addition to the renowned Tray Kebab, Zehra Turkish Cuisine brings forth a diverse menu that showcases the family’s favorite dishes. From kebab on wax paper to succulent chicken cutlets and pan-fried chicken dishes, each offering reflects a dedication to preserving and sharing the unique flavors of Turkish cuisine.

Zehra Turkish Cuisine doesn’t just aim to serve delectable dishes; it aspires to make a significant contribution to the food scene of Hamilton. By introducing the community to the unique flavors of Hatay and preserving Turkey’s rich culinary heritage, Zehra Çetin and her family invite patrons to embark on a new and exciting culinary journey.

The warmth of Turkish hospitality, combined with the authenticity of centuries-old recipes, creates an inviting atmosphere at Zehra Turkish Cuisine. Welcome to Hamilton! 

You can find Zehra Turkish Cuisine at 997 Cannon St E. You can find their full menu online here: