Kurdish Style Breakfast: Where to Have a Bite in Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey

10 places
Ksenia Mardina

Turkish cuisine rules the world: kebab, tea and coffee – you can taste it all in Istanbul. And our guide will help you to get the best experience.

Ara Café

A great getaway from Istiklal hustle. Calm down with a glass of mint lemonade or Turkish tea with a chocolate cake. It's not a lunch place but you can have a sigara boregi – cigar-shaped pastry with feta cheese and potatoes. The owner is the famous photographer Ara Güler who modestly named the place after himself. You can spot his pictures on the walls and him in person at the next table – look for an old grey-bearded man.

Susam Cafe

Striped chairs, an old-fashioned tiled mirror console with magazine – that's not everything charming about this place. The cafe is located in a quite Cihangir and the atmosphere matches the spirit – calm and lazy with nice music and long chats. A good choice for a relaxed night out with friends and wine. But better have dinner somewhere else – they offer routine salads and pasta, but cocktails are fab.


Sukuk, bal kaymak, borek and menemen – no, these are not Turkish names but delicious pastry you will be served in Kale. They also offer a real Istanbul breakfast – eggs with spicy cured sausage, tomatoes, olives, peppers and cucumbers as well as cream with honey, cheese rolls and warm pita bread. Come here after a dancing night or skip lunch. Actually, better do both. And they have a great view of the Bosporus – leave your food for a second and enjoy it.

Smyrna Cafe

A tiny place in a quiet Cihangir street. A converted antique shop, it still has old leather sofas, cherry and oak tables and lots of floor lamps. Locals come here to have a drink before going to bed, but they offer great dinners. In the summer you can take one three outdoor tables – an idyllic oasis in this crazy city.


If Istanbul had a lavash museum, it would display the one from Durumzade. Oval-shaped, herbs-rubbed and ideally balanced dough and crust – it's worth wandering around Beyoglu’s fish market in search of the sign. If you get lost (and you will), think about their chicken or spicy beef kebab with a bed of parsley, onion and tomatoes. But don't have it before a date – better invite your girl to look for the place together.


Wet burgers. But nothing indecent – they just serve soggy buns – first they have been soaked in a tomato sauce and then go to burger hammam making the whole thing wet and claggy. The smell is so tempting and can be felt everywhere across Taksim. This works especially great at night luring all nearby bar clients. The burger costs 2 liras, better take two at once.

Van Kahvaltı Evi

A Kurdish style breakfast place. Which means a big one. For Kurds in Turkey breakfast is an important ritual, often performed in a special club. The food is all fresh, right from the farm – be it day or night. Order cucumbers and olives and you'll get a platter of local cheeses, yoghurt cream and murtuga rye porridge. This comes with gallons of tea and if you have a nap right after the meal, you'll wake up younger. Better come in the middle of the week to avoid lines.

Pierre Loti Tea Garden

A tea house on a hill with a stunning view of the Golden Horn in the Eyup area. The district is not that hot but if you have time, come and sit at the Garden's tiny tables, watch locals play backgammon and drink very strong tea. The view beats the top restaurants but the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. Another bonus – a cable car ride from the Eyup Sultan Mosque – don't take a taxi – discover Istanbul from a new angle.

Duccan Burger

Istanbul food is awesome: be it a small joint-like restaurant or street kebab. By the Galata Tower or Istiklal you'll get an orange fresh for two liras instead of five by the Egyptian bazaar. And Duccan Burger is the best place for juicy, super nutritious and giant burgers.

House Café

Quite expensive for Istanbul but splendid interiors and yummy food. Shown to us by a local friend of ours. In winter, their ginger tea with lemon and honey kept us warm and in summer we munched on their perfect sandwiches and oatmeal with berries sitting in the outdoor veranda. There are two locations in Istiklal – one closer to the Tunnel and the second right in the heart of the district.


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