The blocks of Karikoy from the Galata Bridge going east to Istanbul Modern have emerged as one of the hottest areas in the city in recent years. In this transitioning neighborhood, there are still plenty of local barbershops and offices and shops that reflect the port-related economy of the old Karikoy, but emerging among them are boutiques and cafés catering to a new crowd. Karabatak's name, Turkish for cormorant, reflects the harbor front location of the neighborhood (Karabatak itself is three blocks inland), but this coffee house which opened in 2011 is all about the new Karikoy. It is the Istanbul headquarters of the Austrian coffee roasting company Julius Meinl and you can sit in its comfortable rooms with tiled floors and vintage furniture and choose from a long menu of coffee drinks, as well as sodas, limonatas, and some sandwiches and snacks. On warm evenings, patrons sit under the vine arbor that forms a roof over the pedestrian street, extending to another popular café, Unter, diagonally across the intersection. (Karabatak is on the right side of the street in this photo.)
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Coffee Stop in Karaköy
Karaköy, one of Istanbul's oldest neighborhoods, is being transformed into the city's latest hip and happening place. Located on the doorstep of the Bosporus and the international cruise-liner terminal, the neighborhood is changing from a forgotten place of hardware stores, run-down warehouses, and dormant buildings to a local haunt of good quality cafes, art galleries, and hotels.
At the leafy Karabatak cafe, you can relax street-side, people watch, and be transported to another world: Are you in Istanbul or in a trendy coffee shop in the laneways of Melbourne, Barcelona, or Italy? The charming design of the cafe has a cosmopolitan feel due to its European brand: Austria-based Julius Meinl coffee. It's a great place to kick back, soak up some sun rays through an overhanging grape vine, and enjoy one of Istanbul's most pleasant cups of coffee.
Cafe food is available, as well as a good selection of coffees, teas, and other refreshments.