2 istanbul favorites: Kahve Dünyası and Saray

Kahve Dünyası

Keep an eye out for this awning everyone! Or this logo:

Kahve Dünyası, which was started by a group of young entrepreneurs a few years ago is the local answer to Starbucks: Cheaper - and this with waiter service, I should add; the place specializes in all types of Espresso based coffees, teas, sandwiches and international pastries. Added to these you can also have really good Turkish coffee and Turkish tea in the traditional glass.

Although such a recent addition the chain has become tremendously popular in no time at all because of the prices and the quality. So, they seem to be pretty much everywhere these days, you are quite likely to find one in most neighborhoods that you will go to.

Unlike Starbucks, Kahve Dünyası is not really a fast in-and-out sort of place. People will hang out for a while once they are seated. And everyone goes to Kahve Dünyası: From students, to local merchants, to high flying business folk, to artsy types, to middle aged retirees who meet there for their weekly kaffeeklatsch.

And yes, we do have Starbucks also. And Cafe Nero, and various other international chains as well. And they are all overfilled. But Kahve Dünyası is the winner - hands down!

View Larger Map for Kahve dünyası locations (and this map is highly incomplete by the way, as an example the one in my 'hood isn't on here! grrrr... ;-)

Check out their website here (Turkish only, but it is HTML so you can probably use google translate on it): http://www.kahvedunyasi.com/


Saray is an Istanbul coffee shop (more or less in the American sense of the word) which can be found in many neighborhoods of Istanbul. One of my big favorites, this is a really really great place for food and especially for dessert as is evident from the photo above: Saray has the whole range, from traditional Turkish sweets to profiteroles and tiramisu!

A full meal at Saray will cost you from 8 to 15 Euros, being a typical coffee shop alcohol is not available.

While the desserts are great, the food is not to be sneezed at either. What you should definitely try out is chicken and rice, cooked in the Turkish way which is actually very simple - no spices whatsoever except the black pepper on the table - and yet astonishingly tasty. Also good is Kol böreği with ground beef, a savoury pastry dish. And everything else is just as good.

View Larger Map for all Saray locations (again, sadly incomplete! There are at least 10 other Saray's that I know of that aren't shown here!)

Also check out their site here: http://www.saraymuhallebicisi.com/english/index.htm

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