Oh, our mighty coffee culture! The most perfect yet historical beauty of Istanbul – coffee – dates back to the 16th century. Turkish coffee has long been one of the most famous characteristics of our nation, but since 2003 coffee chains have sprung up in Istanbul and become as popular as our coffee. Traditionally, coffee houses were places that soldiers, merchants, and artists met to discuss and debate. Nowadays we all love a coffee and a chat. So we’ve put together a list of some of Istanbul’s best coffee houses.
1. Cafe Ara
The name of this café comes from the Armenian-Turkish photojournalist Ara Güler, nicknamed “the Eye of Istanbul”. The interior displays many of his magnificent photos of the city which will make you fall in love with the place – if you haven’t already. But more than the interior design, what makes this place so special is that the coffee tastes exquisite. And you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find, despite its elegant design, the café, located in Beyoglu, is easy on your pocket.
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2. Dem Karaköy
Dem Karaköy offers a relaxing atmosphere in which to enjoy one of its 50 different teas accompanied by a tasty cake! This hidden gem is perfect for an escape from the crowded streets of Karaköy. The staff are friendly, polite and helpful, and the interior is modern and trendy, but the prices are affordable compared to other places in Karaköy. It also has vegan-friendly options.
3. Kev Cafe
Found in the hippest and most unique district of them all, Kadıköy! Kev Cafe offers a warm, cosy atmosphere and a huge variety of foods. Add to this its array of tasty coffees and teas, and you’ll soon see why it’s stolen many a heart. This place is ideal for a day or a night out with family or friends – and the burgers and desserts are to die for. The staff, the area and the great quality food and drink will make you want to return again and again.
4. Ağa Kapısı
This place has the absolute best views of the historical part of Istanbul, Fatih! The mesmerising landscape, chilled atmosphere and relaxing music will heal your soul the moment you enter the café. Here you can easily lose yourself in your own thoughts. As well as great coffee and tea, you can enjoy the sweetened fruit juice (sherbet), which will linger long in the memory. The prices are reasonable bearing in mind the location and stunning views.
5. Mums Cafe
A homely feeling is rare in a café, but that’s exactly what you’ll get in this delightful little place. The name says it all; friendly staff, food like Mum made, and great tasting teas and coffees, are just some of the reasons why you must visit this lovely café. Close to Galata Tower, located in Beyoglu, the prices are average.
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6. Walter’s Cafe Roastery
If you loved Walter White then you’ll love this Breaking Bad themed café. The food and drink on offer is inspired by the show as are the decor and the staff dress code. The coffee is served in test tubes and there are some great little touches such as a periodic table in the wall. The café is based in Kadıköy and prices are average.
One of the best cafes serving some of the tastiest coffee. Kronotrop is a cozy little cafe with seating inside and out. You can even get a coffee-to-go and enjoy it while having a stroll around Istiklal Street, Beyoglu. Different from other Istanbul coffee houses, it offers high-quality coffee and doesn’t mind stray cats or dogs inside the café! Prices are reasonable.
8. Atölye Kafası
This old-style wooden café with its paved stone walls will bring a smile to your face the moment you enter. Their legendary dessert, “Balat’ın Gülü”, is one of many reasons why this café holds a special place in the hearts of those who have visited. Handmade woodcraft souvenirs are on sale in the café and live music is a regular entertainment. Located in Beyoglu, the prices are very reasonable.
9. Minoa Bookstore & Cafe
More than just a cafe; this is a bookstore too! It’s easy to lose yourself among the books and completely forget you’re in a café! The menu is light and vegetarian-friendly, and changes with the seasons. This is a most magical place located in the mysterious streets of Beşiktaş, and the prices are affordable.
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