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Food & Drink

How to truly experience Istanbul's culinary scene

Istanbul's best breakfasts and brunches: middle of the road

 





August, 2012


BEYOĞLU

 

Balkon Restaurant & Bar

Sitting high above the Asmalımescit district, otherwise known as the centre of Istanbul’s nightlife, Balkon moonlights as a rooftop restaurant and bar, but during the day, it serves an affordable 15-TL breakfast plate. The breakfast itself is nothing to write home about but offers generous portions of cheese, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, grilled hot dogs and fried eggs, with a cup of tea or coffee included. What makes Balkon special is its copious amount of outdoor seating – something that is hard to find in a bustling city of 15 million – and the 360-degree view of the Bosphorus. Affordability and a great view almost never go hand in hand, but that is exactly what you will get having breakfast at Balkon. Dalia Mortada

 

Şehbender Sokak 5, sixth floor, Tünel-Beyoğlu (0212) 293 20 52/www.balkonrestaurantbar.com (Turkish-language website). Breakfast for two with drinks: around 30 TL. Breakfast served daily 11.00-15.00.

 

Gezi Istanbul

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on the canopied terrace of Gezi Istanbul, which affords a panoramic view of bustling Taksim Square.  Though the establishment originally gained fame as a confectionary, Gezi Istanbul provides breakfast options in a sleek, minimalist setting. Try the Gezi Istanbul Breakfast, which includes the traditional Turkish breakfast offerings of kaşar cheese, white goat cheese, butter, jam, black and green olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs, an assortment of traditional Turkish pastries and two cups of tea. The restaurant also offers a French Breakfast, which comes with a croissant, a danish, a fresh bread basket, butter, jam and a cup of filtered coffee. Julia Chrusciel

 

İnönü Caddesi 5, Taksim (0212) 292 53 53/geziistanbul.com. Breakfast for two with drinks: around 30 TL. Breakfast served daily 07.30-12.00.

 

CİHANGİR

 

Cafe Firuz

At the heart of Istanbul’s trendiest neighbourhood, Cafe Firuz in Cihangir Square boasts outdoor seating and floor-to-ceiling windows for those sitting inside, making it the perfect place for people-watching. The café caters to many needs, whether you want a typical Turkish breakfast plate or a more Western breakfast of Eggs Benedict. The Turkish breakfasts are more its forte, with a variety of plates: some have more meat, others feature eggs and others still serve börek. Firuz also specialises in fresh fruit and preserves. Although a little pricier than the typical breakfast plate, the food does not disappoint. Dalia Mortada

Defterdar Yokuşu 55, Firuzağa, Cihangir (0212) 252 02 41/www.cafefiruz.com (Turkish-language website). Breakfast for two with drinks: around 45 TL. Breakfast served all day, every day.

 

Giritli Idilika

A canopy of vines and a collection of rustic tables covered in blue and white chequered tablecloths provide a quaint brunch setting in the heart of Cihangir. Idilika prepares 100-percent organic food inspired by the cuisine of the Aegean region. Keep an eye out for twists on Turkish classics like the Island Breakfast, which adds sundried tomatoes, crushed olives and homemade jams to a traditional Turkish breakfast plate. The restaurant also gets creative with parsley and feta as well as potato and kaşar cheese versions of menemen. A self-service brunch with unlimited tea is available on the weekends. Julia Chrusciel

 

Palaska Sokak 1, courtyard of the Firuzağa Mosque, Cihangir (0212) 244 46 37/www.giritliidilica.com (Turkish-language website). Breakfast for two with drinks: around 35 TL. Breakfast served daily 09.00-14.00.

 

Kahve6

A play on the words ‘kahve altı’ (which combine to mean ‘breakfast’ in Turkish), Kahve6’s namesake, the first meal of the day, is also its specialty. Not only does the ambience provide the perfect city getaway right in the centre of it all, but poems should be written about the food. Be sure to try the çıldır, a layer of lush Turkish pide bread cushioning a bed of sautéed spinach beneath two perfectly poached eggs, swimming in a pool of yogurt. That first bite of soft, chewy bread, slightly crispy spinach, buttery egg yolk and creamy yogurt will have you begging for more. Another recommendation is the scrambled egg sandwich, spiced to perfection and served on ciabatta – a rare find in this city. Dalia Mortada

Anahtar  Sokak 13, Cihangir (0212) 293 08 49. Breakfast for two with drinks: around 35 TL. Breakfast served daily 09.30-00.00.

 

Rose Marine Restaurant & Café & Bar

Come for Rose Marine’s airy interior, with bright bursts of red, pink and green punctuating a crisp white backdrop on a fashionable street in Cihangir, then stay for the omelettes. With a multitude of ingredients such as cheese, mushroom, olive, sausage, fresh herb, tomato and fresh peppers, the café has all the classic Turkish staples. The menemen and the Turkish breakfast platter come with unlimited tea. Julia Chrusciel

 

Akarsu Caddesi 27, Cihangir (0212) 249 62 77/www.rose-marine.net. Breakfast for two with drinks: around 32 TL. Breakfast served daily 08.00-15.00.

 

Smyrna Café

With a menu as eclectic as its quirky Victorian-chic interior, Smyrna Café has something to please every palate. You’ll find Western breakfast staples like pancakes with maple syrup, a classic English breakfast and eggs with potatoes and bacon, though curiosity seekers can try the French toast with mozzarella, served with sides of honey and jam. Don’t miss the wide variety of juices, from freshly squeezed orange to a tomato, carrot, basil, celery and lemon blend. Julia Chrusciel

 

Akarsu Caddesi 29, Cihangir (0212) 244 24 66. Breakfast for two with drinks: around 50 TL. Breakfast served daily 09.00-17.00.

 

Van Kahvaltı Evi

Breakfast is something that’s taken very seriously in Van. This eastern province has turned the morning meal into a business that’s taken Istanbul by storm. Are we complaining? Absolutely not – especially after visiting Van Kahvaltı Evi in Cihangir. There’s a line year-round that goes out the door, and it just so happens to be one of the most rewarding queues in Istanbul. Once you find a seat, your table will be decked out in the blink of an eye with various cheeses (including the herbed cheese brought straight from Van), honey and kaymak to rival other Istanbul institutions famous for it, cacık (creamy yogurt mixed with herbs and cucumber), murtuğa (a creamy non-egg blend), eggs, olives and jams. We’re willing to bet you won’t be able to eat lunch afterwards. Even though Van Kahvaltı Evi has successfully branched off to Nişantaşı and Kuruçeşme (see our Food & Drink section for our review of the latter), the Cihangir location remains a cut above the rest. Onur Uygun

 

Defterdar Yokuşu 52/A, Cihangir (0212) 293 64 37. Breakfast for two with drinks: around 45 TL. Breakfast served daily 08.00-17.00.

 

Yımırta

A newcomer to the Cihangir breakfast scene, Yımırta offers two breakfast plates: the Yımırta breakfast and the Turkish breakfast. Both are brought to your table on a wooden platform peppered with cheeses, kaymak, butter, honey, jams and olives. This casual breakfast joint also serves fresh eggs from a farm in Tuzla, which you can get poached or fried, in an omelette or menemen. If that doesn’t cut it, you can order the ‘extra’s ranging from 3 to 8 TL and really deck out your table. The Izmir-style pişi plate is the most highly recommended item here, featuring freshly fried yeasty bread dough served with Izmir tulum cheese, muhammara and raspberry jam. If there’s room outside, try grabbing a seat in the garden that surrounds a Byzantine cistern. Elif Eren Altınarık

 

Kılıç Ali Paşa Mahallesi, Defterdar Yokuşu 52/A, Cihangir (0212) 244 78 42. Breakfast for two with drinks: around 50 TL. Breakfast served Monday-Saturday 07.30-00.00; Sunday 07.30-21.00.

 

EMİRGAN

 

Emirgan Sütiş

One of the most established Sütiş branches in Istanbul, Emirgan Sütiş is known for its great location and view, though we believe its two best assets are its attentive staff and emphasis on offering natural, regional food – and nowhere is this more evident than on the breakfast menu. You’ll find a whole world of fresh breads baked on premises 24 hours a day, as well as cheeses brought in from around Turkey. The jams are made without any preservatives, artificial ingredients or sugar, while the flavourful menemen and minced meat börek never disappoint. It might sound too good to be true, but Emirgan Sütiş also manages to offer all of this at a very reasonable price. What more could you ask for when it comes to breakfast? Gizem Ünsalan

Sakıp Sabancı Caddesi 1/3, Emirgan (0212) 323 50 30/www.sutis.com.tr. Breakfast for two with drinks: around 40 TL. Breakfast served daily 06.30-18.00.

 

ETİLER

 

Big Chefs

While Big Chefs locations around the city offer pretty much the same menu in spaces with pretty much the same décor, we have a soft spot for the Etiler branch. Its garden is the perfect place to try some of the cleverly named breakfast plate options from the menu like ‘quick and salty’, ‘quick and sweet’ and ‘slow and calm’. Pair those with any egg-based dish – we particularly recommend the pizza with Turkish pepperoni and eggs – and you’ve got yourself a meal worth putting off anything you’ve got to do for the rest of the day. The most popular (and crowded) time at Big Chefs is the Sunday brunch, where you’ll find an open buffet of cheeses, cold cuts, pastries, salads and an assortment of Big Chefs’ popular sweets for 39 TL per person. Gizem Ünsalan

 

Nispetiye Caddesi 89, Etiler (0212) 263 83 53/www.bigchefs.com.tr. Breakfast for two with drinks: around 27 TL. Breakfast served Monday-Saturday 08.30-12.00; Saturday, Sunday 08.30-15.00. Brunch served Saturday, Sunday 08.30-15.00.

 

Maria’nın Bahçesi

When one of our favourite Aegean restaurants, Maria’nın Bahçesi, returned to Etiler earlier this year after a six-year stint at Küçükyalı on the Asian side, we were besides ourselves with joy. And when we finally got the chance to have breakfast at the new location in a villa off a side street right across from Akmerkez, we wondered to ourselves how we’d been able to go without it for so long. You’ll still find the same high quality seafood, the same Aegean flair and home-like ambience, but the 30-TL-per-person open-buffet weekend brunch seems to have grown even more varied and, dare we say, more delicious. Gizem Ünsalan

 

Zeytinoğlu Caddesi, Yeşim Sokak 7, Etiler (0212) 352 26 26/www.marianinbahcesi.com. Breakfast for two with drinks: around 30 TL. Breakfast served Monday-Friday until 10.30; Saturday, Sunday all day.

 

GALATA

 

Café Privato

Tucked away in one of the most tourist-filled neighbourhoods, entering Café Privato is like walking into breakfast heaven – one decked out with antique furniture and a counter full of people ready to wait on you. In other words, this cosy café has by far one of the best breakfasts and the best wait staff in Istanbul. There is only one option to start your day off at Privato, the traditional village breakfast that keeps you coming back for more. Privato uses spices from eastern Turkey to give its scrambled eggs an added umph; it serves homemade preserves using seasonal fruits, of which the plum, fig and peach flavours are by far the best; and the special tiny pancakes (they call them gözleme) are lightly sweetened and perfectly moist even without syrup. Dalia Mortada

 

Galip Dede Caddesi, Tımarcı Sokak 3B, Galata (0212) 293 20 55/privatocafe.com (Turkish-language website). Breakfast for two with drinks: around 30 TL. Breakfast served daily 08.30-00.00.

 

Molly’s Cafe

Looking for your pancake fix? Look no further than Galata, where Molly’s Café gives you the American-breakfast-in-Istanbul you’ve been dreaming of. Pancakes with real maple syrup and breakfast burritos with real Tabasco sauce mean there is no beating Molly’s North American authenticity, and it will not cost you an arm and a leg, either. In a land where Turkish breakfasts prevail and anything ‘foreign’ costs twice as much, this is an excellent find to add a little variety to your first meal of the day. The location is central, easily accessed from the Karaköy ferry or Şişhane metro stop and just a few steps from the Galata Tower. Dalia Mortada

Camekan Sokak 1/A, Galata (0212) 245 16 96/mollyscafeistanbul.wordpress.com. Breakfast for two with drinks: around 40 TL. Breakfast served daily 09.00-20.00.

 

NİŞANTAŞI

 

Kırıntı

After spending time in Istanbul, you will find that real bacon is hard to come by. But have no fear, Kırıntı is here! This diner-style café in the heart of the luxurious Nişantaşı district serves real fried eggs, pancakes, sausages and bacon, and Kırıntı is one of the few places in the city where one can find pork. The food is good, especially for an American breakfast in Turkey – the buttermilk pancakes are fluffy and the bacon crispy. The location is ideal for people watching should you wish to sit outside, as this brunch spot sits on the neighbourhood’s beautiful main cobblestone avenue, Abdi İpekçi Caddesi, just near Maçka Park. Dalia Mortada

Abdi İpekçi Caddesi 32, Nişantaşı (0212) 291 26 92/www.kirinti.com.tr. Breakfast for two with drinks: around 50 TL. Breakfast served Monday-Friday 09.00-12.00; Saturday, Sunday 09.00-14.30.

 

RUMELİHİSARI

 

Kale Café & Pastane

Just across the street from the oft-peaceful waters in Rumelihisarı, this modest eatery is the place to go for a sigh-inducing spread of cheeses, olives, sliced cucumber and tomatoes, jam and kaymak with honey. You’ll also find menemen, eggs with pastırma and börek varieties, like the paçanga (with pastırma and melted kaşar cheese) and sigara böreği (white cheese-stuffed filo dough, rolled like a cigar and fried). If the line outside doesn’t assure you of this breakfast joint’s success, perhaps this will: Kale has even received Anthony Bourdain’s seal of approval. Enough said. Gizem Ünsalan

 

Yahya Kemal Caddesi 16, Rumelihisarı (0212) 265 00 97/www.kalecafe.com (Turkish-language website). Breakfast for two with drinks: around 30 TL. Breakfast served daily 05.00-21.00.

 

Sade Kahve

Finding excellent food with an incredible view is almost too good to be true, but Sade Kahve offers just that. Located in an old yalı (seaside mansion), this restaurant only has outdoor seating, rain or shine. And why shouldn’t they when they’re literally steps away from the sea? You can sit beneath the yellow canopy on the ground floor or climb the five flights of stairs to sit high above the rest for an unobstructed view of the water – either way you will not be disappointed. As for the food, the menemen is so juicy and buttery it practically melts on your tongue, and the sucuk is fried just right so that it’s not too crispy or too soft; the freshly-churned kaymak with honey is delightfully creamy and sweet and the assortment of cheeses balances the sharp goat flavours with more mild ‘string’ cheese. Dalia Mortada

 

Yahya Kemal Caddesi 20/A, Rumelihisarı (0212) 358 23 24/www.sadekahve.com.tr (Turkish-language website). Breakfast for two with drinks: around 40 TL. Breakfast served daily 07.30-01.00.

 

ULUS

 

COOKSHOP.

This winner of our Best Café award in the 2011 Time Out İstanbul / Gusta Eating & Drinking Awards pops up on just about every one of our ‘best of’ lists, and with good reason. The Ulus branch serves all day a la carte breakfast, with a wide assortment of omelette and egg specialties and toasts, as well as some newcomers to the menu like the COOKSHOP. toasted tortilla with sucuk, tomato and pesto sauce. At 23 TL, the hefty breakfast plate with cheeses, sucuk, kaymak, jam, Nutella, tomatoes, cucumber and black tea is a winning deal, given COOKSHOP.’s famously large portions. As usual, we have to recommend that you save some room for the Mövenpick Magnolia Pudding. Note that the Altunizade branch on the Asian side offers an open-buffet breakfast on weekdays from 07.00 to 10.00 and on weekends until 11.00. Gizem Ünsalan

 

Adnan Saygun Caddesi, across from the Ulus entrance to Akmerkez (0212) 351 20 01/www.cookshop.com.tr (Turkish-language website). Breakfast for two with drinks: around 35 TL. Breakfast served daily 10.00-00.00.

 

BAHARİYE

 

Piraye Restaurant & Bar

This one-year-old eatery on a side street in Kadıköy is hands down one of the best-kept secrets of great breakfast places in the area – and it’s not even a breakfast-only locale. Piraye (which gets its name from the wife of celebrated Turkish poet Nazım Hikmet) does double duty as a restaurant by day and meyhane by night, doing both parts equal justice. The owners are some of the friendliest people we’ve met to date, with the husband overseeing the meyhane at night and the wife and her sister in charge of breakfast. Natives of Izmir, these two ladies know how to do an Aegean breakfast right. Served in a well-shaded garden, the 20-TL Piraye Authentic Breakfast plate is a great deal for two to share, with an exhaustingly long list of flavours: a gratifying variety of cheeses (Izmir tulum, Van herbed, Erzincan tulum, Ezine white, kaşar, stringed), jaji (thick strained yogurt with green peppers and cucumbers), black and green olives brought from Izmir, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, kaymak with honey brought from Van, butter, a rich tahin-pekmez, muhammara made with white cheese instead of bread crumbs, homemade jams (like red grape and the spectacular apricot) and the unique, woodsy gypsy salad, which features tulum curd cheese nestled under lots of Aegean herbs, cherry tomatoes and olive oil. An order of the breakfast plate and either an egg-based dish or gözleme – like the spinach and curd cheese one or the eggplant and walnut variety – plus a couple of glasses of tea are more than enough to keep you in Piraye’s garden for hours. Gizem Ünsalan

 

Serasker Caddesi, Rıza Paşa Çıkmazı 8/A (in front of the Müjdat Gezen Theatre), Bahariye, Kadıköy (0216) 330 57 52/www.pirayerestaurant.com (Turkish-language website). Breakfast for two with drinks: around 33 TL. Breakfast served daily 09.00-13.00.

 

FENERBAHÇE

 

Josefine Café & Bäckerei

Another best-kept breakfast secret on the Asian side is Josefine Café & Bäckerei. As the name suggests, the emphasis here is on great coffee and German-style baked goods, like the wide variety of breads and bite-sized cookies, Berliners, danishes, simit, poğaça – you name it, they’ve probably just made it within the last half hour at Josefine. Their aptly-titled variety of breakfast plates (like the ‘hungover’ breakfast or the ‘old frump’ breakfast), offered at very reasonable prices, make the eatery a morning favourite with families, university students as well as the neighbourhood lunching set. Our recommendation is to try the Josefine omelette, and be sure to save room for their popular warm apple pie with ice cream. Gizem Ünsalan

 

Dr. Faruk Ayanoğlu Caddesi 24, Fenerbahçe (0216) 414 91 23/www.josefinecafe.com (Turkish-language website). Breakfast for two with drinks: around 40 TL. Breakfast served daily 09.00-18.00.

 

KALAMIŞ

 

Tatlı Huzur

This newcomer to the Kalamış breakfast scene earned itself a spot on our list for several reasons. You’ve got homemade breads and pastries made with an emphasis on high-quality ingredients, and then you’ve got the calorie-conscious desserts (they even have Dukan cheesecake!) and out-of-this-world tartlets… But above all else, you have the delightful, attentive owners. You can try the breakfast plate (17 TL) of smoked beef and turkey, white cheese, fresh kaşar cheese, black and green olives, tomatoes, salads and two glasses of tea any day of the week, but the best time to visit Tatlı Huzur is definitely for their 30-TL-per-person open-buffet brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, when the spread is even more eye-filling. Those who speak at least a little Turkish can benefit from the Saturday chats with life coach Derya Akkaya, while those who don’t can still pass the time enjoying the breezy garden and sipping on delicious smoothies. Gizem Ünsalan

 

Yelken Sokak, Onur Apartmanı 1, Kalamış (0216) 349 27 79/tatlihuzur.com (Turkish-language website). Breakfast for two with drinks: around 45 TL. Breakfast served Monday-Friday 10.00-19.30; brunch served Saturday, Sunday 10.00-15.00.

 

KOŞUYOLU

 

Ceviz Ağacı

At first glance, this ever-crowded food and drink complex might strike you as a huge patisserie, but don’t be fooled: you’ll find just about every kind of dish here, from breakfast options and whole cakes to noodles, fajitas and steaks. Those with a sweet tooth will of course think they’ve landed in heaven (and should certainly make a note of their strawberry lemonade), but if your breakfast preferences are more on the savoury side, you’ll be glad to know that the variety of börek and poğaça offered here is pretty much unparalleled in the area. With this many options, it should come as no surprise that the open-buffet brunch on Sundays is almost too overwhelming to look at, let alone taste your way through – add to that the very reasonable prices, and you’ll find yourself more than willing to bear the crowd and occasionally slow service. Gizem Ünsalan

 

Muhittin Üstündağ Caddesi 85, Koşuyolu (0216) 339 18 26/www.cevizagaci.com.tr (Turkish-language website). Breakfast for two with drinks: around 40 TL. Breakfast served Monday-Friday 24 hours a day; brunch served Sunday 09.00-14.00 (not available during the month of Ramadan).

 

Kirpi Café

Right across from Koşuyolu Park is where you’ll find this café situated in a two-storey villa. Its décor and atmosphere were such a hit with neighbourhood locals in its Kozyatağı location that it branched out to Bağdat Caddesi and Koşuyolu, as well. This second branch remains our favourite, particularly when it’s nice enough to sit in its peaceful garden. Although the service quality varies from time to time, the consistently good (and filling) breakfast plate keeps people coming back to Kirpi. Of particular note are the honey-kaymak and the omelette, though we’ve also heard people claim to be addicted to the cheesecake and homemade soufflé. Gizem Ünsalan

Mehmet Akvan Sokak 31, Koşuyolu (0216) 339 09 05. Breakfast for two with drinks: around 30 TL. Breakfast served Monday-Friday 09.00-12.00; Saturday, Sunday 09.00-15.00.

 

KAVACIK

 

Kulindağ

Located just 20 minutes outside of Kavacık, Kulindağ is a humble and secret mountain resort that is perfect for unplugging of sorts: camping, trekking and other open-air activities that do not include TV-watching. For breakfast, breakfast is what they offer; no pretentious dishes trying to pass off as part of the day’s first meal. Their homemade jams are quite good, as are the scrambled egg and menemen options. Go to Kulindağ early in the morning and you may just end up spending the whole day there – and maybe even the night.

 

Ayvalıdere Çıkmazı Sokak, Mahmutşevketpaşa (0532) 315 59 51/www.kulindag.com. Breakfast for two with drinks: around 50 TL. Breakfast served Saturday, Sunday 09.00-13.00. Closed during the month of Ramadan; re-opens on August 19.

 

KUZGUNCUK

 

Hayat Kahvesi

This under-the-radar café and restaurant situated in an old mansion boasts a green garden where breakfast is a pleasure. One of Hayat Kahvesi’s biggest assets is its attentive and friendly management, though the delicious cookies don’t hurt either. The 30-TL breakfast spread is the best deal here, accompanied by a cheese plate, an olive plate, honey-kaymak, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, as well as freshly brewed tea. You’ll also find börek, homemade pastries, a satisfying list of egg dishes (fried and omelette, with cheese, sucuk, kavurma, hot dogs, veggies, ham or a mix, menemen) and toasts and sandwiches on baguette bread. Gizem Ünsalan

 

İcadiye Caddesi 89, Kuzguncuk (0216) 492 89 25. Breakfast for two with drinks: around 40 TL. Breakfast served daily.

 

Pita Kuzguncuk

One of the most popular eateries in one of Istanbul’s most darling neighbourhoods, Pita gets its name from the cheese, pastırma, kavurma and sucuk served atop a special toasted bread that comes out of a Kuzguncuk bakery. The 16-TL breakfast plate isn’t all that unusual, and offers a couple of cheeses, butter, homemade jams, olives, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. What sets Pita apart, however, is that you’ll find seasonal ingredients from all over Turkey – cheeses from Kars, Altınoluk, Edirne and Bolu; thyme, pine and chestnut honey from Datça; flower honey from Kars and a special Bolona cheese that’s made with goat’s milk, also available herbed. The homemade jams are like dessert on their own, but we suggest you pair them with the fresh cookies and pies for full-on flavour. Perhaps Pita’s best quality is that it does double-duty as a café and charcuterie, which means you can take home the ingredients you won’t find elsewhere. The fried eggs with cheese and kavurma come highly recommended. Gizem Ünsalan

 

İcadiye Caddesi (across from the post station), Kuzguncuk (0216) 532 32 15. Breakfast for two with drinks: around 30 TL. Breakfast served daily 07.30-20.00.

 

İlya Café

Owned by two lifelong friends, Ayşe and Arzu, this cosy eatery even caught The Guardian’s eye with its daily offerings of omelettes, menemen, fried eggs (plain or with cheese), sweet and savoury crepes and the best pancakes with maple syrup you’ll find in the neighbourhood, as well as fresh juices, coffee and an assortment of teas. It can only accommodate around 25 people at a time, which makes the service attentive and the planning ahead crucial. Not to worry, İlya Café’s more than willing to open its doors exclusively for you and your friends if you plan to host a special event – late-night breakfast, anyone? Gizem Ünsalan

 

Bican Efendi Sokak 1A/B (next to church), Kuzguncuk (0216) 553 86 90/ilyakuzguncuk.com (Turkish-language website). Breakfast for two with drinks: around 40 TL. Breakfast served daily.

 

MODA

 

Kutu Cafe

Back in March, Kutu Cafe made our list of Istanbul’s smallest businesses, but this box-sized eatery has so many things going for it that it’s already back for round two. Known as Kadıköy’s vegetarian haven, Kutu Cafe serves up a delicious all-day breakfast that uses daily, fresh ingredients, our favourite being the homemade jams. You’ll also find zahter (lemon thyme) with olive oil, a satisfying selection of cheeses and various toasts on the menu. And since one of the owners, Ekin Sanaç, is a member of the local synth and bass duo Kim Ki O, it goes without saying that the music is a cut above what’s offered in other cafés in the area. Gizem Ünsalan

 

Fırıldak Sokak 25/A Moda, Kadıköy (0216) 550 74 00. Breakfast for two with drinks: around 30 TL. Breakfast served Tuesday-Sunday 09.30-19.00.




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