Tag Archives: Cihangir

Van Kahvalti Evi: The Best Breakfast Place in Cihangir

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As you may know, Cihangir is home to many cozy, charming and lively cafes that offer wonderful breakfasts. One of my favorite weekend activities is a breakfast date in Cihangir. As a result, over the past year I have written rave reviews about several different breakfast places in Cihangir. But, if you only have one morning in Cihangir, you must go to Van Kahvalti Evi.

This place is the star of the Cihangir breakfast scene. There are lines of young hipsters and expats along the sidewalk, awaiting a coveted seat in this bustling cafe. The staff runs around delivering one glass of tea after another  and work harder than any other wait staff I have ever seen. Several minutes after you place your order, numerous small plates cover the table. Unfamiliar delicacies await you. They include a ground walnut paste with honey, a hearty mixture of wheat and egg and the best tahini you wil ever sample. Additionally, a wide variety of incredibly fresh cheeses, the juiciest tomatoes, fresh kaymak (clotted cream) and homemade honey. Read the rest of this entry

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Anne’s Cafe: A Very Special Breakfast in Cihangir

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I first discovered Anne’s Cafe in the Spring of 2010 thanks to a review in TimeOut Istanbul. I have been obsessed with TimeOut Istanbul’s restaurant reviews, and Anne’s Cafe ever since. Gul Anne is a wonderful host who opened her kitchen to locals, tourists and old friends. Nestled in the back streets of Cihangir, you immediately feel at home when you enter Anne’s Cafe. As you enjoy your meal, friends and family drop by to visit and share their news. Gul Anne sits at the corner table scouring the internet, updating her blog and playing music from her personal computer.

Gul originally ran a cafe in Antalya, a holiday destination located in Southern Turkey, but relocated to Istanbul when she became a grandmother. It is an intimate, colorful and lively space. There are trinkets and quotes on the walls. The kitchen is full of activity, and Gul Anne welcomes you like an old friend.

While Cihangir is infamous for its numerous intimate cafes and special breakfasts, Anne’s Cafe is usually my sole destination.  I love her breakfasts, and I do not need to look at a menu to make my order. I always start with her special yogurt dish. It consists of plain Turkish yogurt, covered in layers of honey, kiwi, corn flakes and dried fruit. It is decadent and delicious. Then, I order the “Ozel Kahvalti” or  ‘special breakfast’, which is a compilation of small plates and platters of every design and shape. These dishes are full of homemade jams and marmalade, olives, cheeses and the special treats of the day.  Cats wander in and out as you sit comfortably in the cafe. Gul works the room chatting with everyone as they enter. Introductions are made, numerous languages are spoken and lively conversations commence. Anne’s Cafe is a unique Cihangir treasure that I love to share with old friends and visiting guests. Everyone is humbled by the hospitality, delighted by the decor and fully satisfied by the special breakfast…

Address: Kılıçali Paşa Mh.  Samanyolu Sokak 9, 34433 Cihangir Istanbul  

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I was first introduced to this charming cafe by my friend Hayley, who works with me at Aci. The colorful buildings and tree-lined streets are two of the numerous reasons Cihangir remains a haven from the bustling city. Cafes  and boutiques are scattered throughout the streets of Cihangir. Kahve 6, a simple play on words (6 is alti in Turkish, so together it makes the word Kahvalti..the Turkish word for breakfast), is one such special cafe. It is an intimate and vibrant space, with a courtyard hidden in the back. It’s food is fresh and flavorful. It’s crowd is young, hip and internationally diverse. It is always busy and joyous on Sunday mornings when I come with various girlfriends to catch-up and chat…

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Kahve 6: My Latest Breakfast Destination in Cihangir

Secret Gardens

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There are secret gardens hidden throughout Taksim and Cihangir. They rarely advertise, and often require a special introduction by a friend. Some are situated on quiet residential streets, and others are surrounded by loud bars in the center of Istanbul’s nightlife district.

White Mill in Cihangir contains a large secret garden, which I discovered for the first time last night. Situated on a residential street, as you walk by you only notice a small gallery space on the ground floor. However, if you wander inside and up the stairs you find a fabulous restaurant that opens up to a beautiful garden. At night, you can observe friends celebrate special occasions and couples sharing intimate moments with one another. The garden is lit primarily by candles and lanterns. The branches of the tall trees planted throughout the garden serve as a natural ceiling, and the autumn breeze gently passes through the space.

The menu offers strawberry mojitos, wraps and excellent pasta. We gathered at White Mill last night to celebrate the birthday of my friend Neslihan, and shared an unforgettable evening with friends. It was full of laughter, travel stories and great food.

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