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Eating Mindfully: Turkish delights await at Social Sloth Café

Aybars and Burcay Gunguler brought Turkish-style café to the region.

Turkey is about 5,647 miles or almost an 18-hour airplane ride away. However, you can get a taste of the food and culture of Turkey by visiting Social Sloth Cafe in downtown Lansing at the corner of South Washington Square and West Washtenaw Avenue.

When Aybars and Burcay Gunguler were visiting friends in the area, they noticed that there wasn’t a Turkish-style café. They went back to their native land, worked out a plan and gifted Lansing with a comfortable spot to relax, offering the region a delightful rotating menu of traditional Turkish meals and baked goods made from scratch.

Burcay Gunguler encourages people to venture in.

“Don’t be afraid,” she said. “We know you’re not used to eating this kind of food. It’s like going to another country. We have many things, something that everybody can eat.”

Social Sloth’s diverse menu includes breakfast, salads, sandwiches, soups, baked goods, cakes, specialty drinks and catering. The flavorful sucuklu yumurta has two sunny-side-up eggs served with sucuk and homemade bread. Sucuk is a dry spice and fermented sausage traditionally made from beef. Sucuk is considered one of the world’s most delicious and ancient types of sausage.

The Gungulers want people to feel comfortable while traveling the world of flavors right in downtown Lansing. Hence having sloth in the name of their cafe. A sloth is normally known for being lazy.

“Sloths aren’t lazy. They’re a reminder to not to be fast,” said Burcay Gunguler. “Eat mindfully. Be thoughtful about how you use your energy. Have joy.”

It’s a reminder that food can be the bridge to being social and joyful while breaking bread with others.

When asked why they chose Lansing to open a cafe, Burcay Gunguler’s eyes smile.

“Lansing is great. Why not Lansing?” she said. “Come hang with us.”


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