Get Your Caffeine Fix Here

In a country of çay (black tea) drinkers, thankfully more coffee shops are popping up around the city with baristas who can brew an Italian coffee—satisfying caffeine connoisseurs seeking a morning kick-start or afternoon pick-me-up.

Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi, Kara Ali Kaptan Sok. No:7, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
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.)
Kuloğlu Mahallesi, Cihangir Mahallesi, Firuzağa Cami Sk. No:4, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Çağatay Gülabioğlu’s micro roastery and specialty coffee shop, KronotRop, is located in one of Istanbul’s most hippest neighborhoods. The outlet was a revolutionary initiative in Turkey’s gourmet culinary world, and as such, it set the scene for other third wave coffee roasters in town to blossom. Coffee beans from around the world are imported, roasted onsite, and ground upon order. The beans are brewed from fair-trade, organic, single-origin beans and presented in all styles of caffeine and de-caf concoctions. If you’re missing that favorite cup from home, then KronotRop may have what you’re craving—brewed hot or cold.
Bereketzade Mahallesi, Galata Kulesi Sk., 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Recently opened, the Galata Lavazza Coffee Shop is becoming the meeting place for tourists who appreciate traveller’s timeout with a good cup of Italian coffee. The café faces the Galata Tower and square where all manner of people and laid back activities can keep you entertained as you sip on your favourite blend and say, "Çok lezzetli!” (Turkish for, very delicious). Lavazza coffee was first served in Turin in 1895 and is now touted as Italy’s favourite coffee and brewed all over the world. If you’re missing your daily cappuccino, double espresso, Americano, macchiato or latte, then drop by Galata Lavazza and order a cup to drink on their provincial street-side terrace. Italian pastas, desserts and café snacks are also available. Afiyet olsun / Bon appetit
Alemdar Mh., İncili Çavuş Sk. No:15, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
On arrival to Istanbul, many tourists order the chicken şiş (chicken kebab) for a meal because it’s familiar and safe, but they’re really missing out on some of the best food in the world! I encourage anyone visiting Turkey to gastro-travel through the country’s tasty cuisine and sample the many Ottoman dishes and succulent regional kebabs on offer. My favorite place to take guests is Fuego Cafe & Restaurant in Sultanahmet. Fuego opened in early 2012 and is fast becoming one of the most reputable restaurants in the tourism precinct. The outstanding service by owner-operators Can, Ali, Mehmet and Salih has earned the restaurant accolades. Try the Ali Nazik (minced beef on yogurt, eggplant and tomato mash), Hünkar Beğendi (tender lamb on a bed of smoked eggplant puree) or pilic dolma (stuffed chicken with a rich saffron sauce) and wash it down with a glass of Turkish wine from the comprehensive wine list. The restaurant is also open late, so pop in for a nightcap or two on your way back to your hotel. If you’re a coffee drinker, ask Can, a former barista, to brew you a cappuccino, latte, espresso, French coffee, Irish coffee, or even a herbal tea. Fuego welcomes guests for breakfast, lunch, and dinner all through the year and can accommodate people with food intolerances—just ask your waiter for recommendations.
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