Akdeniz’s Red Lentil Soup is a Bowl of Lemony Peppery Goodness


A few months back when I posted about my undying love for the red lentil soup at Dervish, Lunch’er “steveroller” tipped me off that “there’s a similar soup for a similar price at Akdeniz on 46th a couple blocks away.” Interesting. Very interesting. Never one to pass up the opportunity to check out a new soup spot, I paid Akdeniz a visit to see how their red lentil soup stacks up.

Like Dervish, Akdeniz seems to be much more of a dine in spot than a quick take out joint. Their prices place them solidly out of the Midtown Lunch zone but shy of a fancy pants “expense account” business lunch (if anyone still has expense accounts.) I arrived and ordered just a red lentil soup to go. Be warned that, like Dervish, there isn’t much space to wait for your food, so you’re probably better off calling ahead and picking up. On my previous post lunch’er “Goudaburrata” commented about getting some bad vibes from the Dervish staff for just ordering a red lentil soup. I’ve never found that to be the case at Dervish or during this visit to Akdeniz, but I tend to be a late luncher, so there wasn’t anyone waiting for a table while I was hanging out awaiting my soup.

Akdeniz Red Lentil Soup

Just like at Dervish, the soup is served with a nice big hunk of pide bread- a crusty Turkish flat bread topped with black sesame seeds (i.e. perfect for sopping up soup.) Unlike Dervish’s though, Akdeniz’s soup came with a lemon on the side- which is how I serve the soup at home. Nice touch if you like a little citrus kick in your soup. The Akdeniz soup is noticeably more peppery–tasted like a little bit of red pepper bell pureed in with a touch of hot pepper mixed in.

All in all, Akdeniz makes a delicious soup. I can see why they have their fans. That said, it’s $1 more expensive for basically the same amount of soup and bread ($4.95 vs $3.95). If you like you red lentil soup with a lemony, peppery kick Akdeniz is the place for you. The thriftier lunchers among us might save the buck for a slice of pizza at 2 Bros on 46th to make for a more filling meal. Next up- Akdeniz’s chicken soup, which got a glowing review from Lunch’er Grace in her “ultimate Midtown soup list.”

Akdeniz, 19 W 46th St (btw. 5+6th), 212-575-2307


  • their hummus is terrrrific!

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    I have ordered the red lentil soup from Dervish on many occasions, and have always found them to be very gracious even when that is my only order. It is filling enough with the bread to be a meal by itself, but you might get hungry two hours afterwards. Not being a fan of spice, I prefer Dervish’s red lentil soup over Akdeniz’s red lentil soup, but actually prefer Akdeniz’s regular food over Dervish’s. What a dilemma!

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