Top 10 Best Cafes in Istanbul (European Side)

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Istanbul, the bustling metropolis that straddles two continents, is not only famous for its rich history but also for its vibrant coffee culture. If you’re a coffee enthusiast, you’re in for a treat.

In this article, I’ll take you on a caffeinated journey through the city’s best cafes at the European Side. From traditional Turkish coffee to trendy hipster hangouts, Istanbul has it all.

Istanbul offers an extensive selection of cafes, each with its unique charm and character. In this article, I will focus on the 3rd Wave Cafes in Istanbul.

Table of Contents

Best Cafes in Istanbul

Attempting to identify the absolute best cafe in Istanbul was no simple task. Among the many exceptional options, one of my personal favorites is Norm Cafe in Cihangir, ranking at number 3 on this list. I appreciate the cozy, intimate ambiance of smaller cafes over the bustling crowds of larger establishments.

However, it’s challenging to objectively claim that Petra is inferior to Norm, given its higher footfall. In the quest for objectivity, I must say that any visit to these Istanbul cafes will be a delightful experience. So, rather than fixating on rankings, I encourage you to savor the unique charm of each cafe.

10. Ara Cafe

Instagram: @arakafe
Location: Beyoğlu

Ara Cafe in Beyoglu

Ara Güler is a world-known Turkish photographer. He was the owner of this restaurant/cafe, where the walls are covered with his great photos of the city. Ara Café is a distinctive modern café that serves delectable tea and coffee variations along with delectable foods like falafel and cokertme kebab.

Particularly on Sundays when they offer a breakfast buffet, it’s the ideal location for a brunch. Despite being in a busy, touristic region, this café provides a pleasant, tranquil environment that is ideal for tourists looking for hideout cafes.

9. Brew Coffeeworks

Instagram: @brew_coffeeworks
Location: Sirkeci, Karaköy

Brew Coffeeworks in Karaköy

Their store in Sirkeci is at the legacy ottoman hotel building which was beautifully designed by architect, Kemaleddin. This cafe is a great place to relax and read novels. They have great coffee and freshly baked cakes available. Come in for a great tasting coffee after your shopping trip!

8. Starbucks Bebek

Instagram: @starbucks_tr
Location: Bebek

Starbucks Bebek has fancy entrance

You might be curious about Starbucks making the cut here, and typically, I’d be inclined to share your sentiment. However, this particular Starbucks is truly exceptional, as it has earned a spot in the prestigious “World’s Must-See 50 Starbucks Stores” list.

 "World's Must-See 50 Starbucks Stores" list Sign at the Starbucks Bebek

It is one of the most luxurious Starbucks locations, boasting a spectacular view of the Bosporus Strait and multiple terraces to provide comfortable seating. The friendly, laid-back atmosphere of this Starbucks is what makes it so great.

Starbucks Bebek offers a great View

Istanbul boasts the second-highest number of Starbucks stores in Europe, trailing only behind London. Turkish coffee aficionados have embraced Starbucks with enthusiasm.

Among the many Starbucks locations, Bebek stands out as one of the finest in the world, making it a definite must-visit for coffee enthusiasts.

7. Cup Of Joy

Instagram: @cupofjoy_istanbul
Location: Nişantaşı

Cup Of Joy Nisantasi has a modern Design

While they have stores in various locations, our absolute favorite is the one in Nişantaşı. Housed in a steel building, it’s flooded with natural light thanks to its numerous windows. The indoor greenery adds a vibrant touch to the ambiance. What’s more, the staff greets you with smiles, and the coffee is simply delightful.

Whether you’re looking for a quick stop or planning to indulge in an extended morning ritual, this place has you covered. Their selection of carefully sourced global coffees, expertly roasted, is a true highlight. They have a particular passion for crafting the perfect Flat White. And if you have a sweet tooth, you’ll find their desserts irresistibly tempting. This café is a definite must-visit for all coffee lovers!

6. Kapicciiiinoo

Instagram: @nusr_et
Location: Teşvikiye

Nusret in front of his Cafe

Saltbae recently unveiled his renowned new café, making a grand entrance on Instagram, where he energetically exclaims ” Kapicciiiiinoo ” with quirky gestures. At first, I was somewhat skeptical about yet another Instagram-driven café. Maintaining the quality of both food and drinks amidst skyrocketing demand can be a challenging feat. However, my initial doubts were quickly dispelled.

Kapicciiiiinoo is a charmingly unassuming establishment. The interior, while not opulent, exudes an Italian espresso bar ambiance rather than a lavishly designed space. Inside, you’ll find a selection of croissants, delectable cakes, and a prominent coffee machine, reminiscent of an Italian espresso bar.

Kapicciiiinoo is designed like an italian espresso bar

What sets this café apart is the unwavering commitment to excellence in every aspect. From the coffee they serve to the skillful baristas and the state-of-the-art coffee machine they employ, quality reigns supreme. My experience sipping on a Flat White was nothing short of exceptional.

Conveniently located near the historic Nişantaşı neighborhood, renowned for its fashion boutiques and Art Deco apartment blocks, Kapicciiiiinoo provides the ideal opportunity to elevate your shopping day with a delightful cup of coffee.

5. MOC Nisantasi

Instagram: @moc_coffeeofficial
Location: Nişantaşı

MOC Nisantasi is a luxury Cafe

The Ministery Of Coffee (MOC), a renowned coffee chain boasting 21 stores, is an exceptional choice, and we wholeheartedly recommend the one nestled in Nişantaşı. This coffee shop truly has it all: a captivating ambiance, tasteful interior designs, exceptional coffee, delectable food offerings, and a fast Wi-Fi connection.

While it’s true that the prices may lean on the higher side, one sip of their offerings will leave you understanding exactly why. After all, when in Nişantaşı, you can expect nothing less.

In essence, it stands as one of the city’s finest coffee shops. It serves as an ideal spot for both focused study sessions and leisurely relaxation. Without a doubt, it comes highly recommended for all coffee aficionados and those seeking a great place to unwind.

4. Coffee Sapiens

Instagram: @coffeesapiens
Location: Karaköy

Coffee Sapiens in Karaköy

While their stores can be found in various locations, I highly recommend the one nestled in Karaköy. Karaköy is the ultimate destination for the young and the spirited, boasting a vibrant coffee culture that’s both charming and welcoming. The locals here are known for their open-mindedness, which translates into a plethora of exciting and experimental coffee products.

The Karaköy branch of Coffee Sapiens is unique in its own right. It occupies a relatively modest space but underwent a complete transformation, emerging as a coffee bar where customers can witness the coffee-making process and glean insights into their brews.

With Coffee Sapiens, the adventure is in the diversity of roasting techniques tailored to each bean type, all aimed at discovering the perfect flavor profile. Additionally, they craft their own special blends that are nothing short of exceptional.

As a word of advice, finding an available table at Coffee Sapiens can be a bit of a challenge due to the limited seating. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend opting for a “take away” experience, allowing you to relish your coffee while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of Karaköy.

3. Norm Cafe

Instagram: @normcoffee
Location: Cihangir

Norm Cafe in Cihangir

Nestled in the Beyoğlu district, you’ll find Norm Coffee conveniently situated just a stone’s throw away from the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. The cafe’s origin story is quite intriguing, with its owners having crossed paths while working a mere few blocks away at another notable 3rd wave coffee shop, Kronotrop. Their combined expertise also extends to Petra Roasting.

Norm Coffee is more than just a coffee spot; it exudes an intimate charm, basking in the gentle embrace of natural light that streams in through its windows. What sets Norm apart is its dedication to quality. They grind coffee from single-origin beans thoughtfully roasted by the Coffee Collective, hailing from the vibrant coffee scene of Copenhagen. Moreover, their daily pastries are freshly baked on-site, perfectly complementing the exceptional coffee they serve.

As if that weren’t enough, the stunning Bosphorus is right at your doorstep, offering a breathtaking view that you can savor as you indulge in your beverage of choice at Norm Coffee.

2. Coffee Department

Instagram: @coffeedepartment
Location: Balat

While their presence extends across multiple locations, the one situated in Balat serves as their headquarters and coffee roasting hub.

If you’re in search of a delightful coffee experience, this is the place to be. The interior exudes a cozy ambiance, and the staff is exceptionally friendly, ensuring a warm welcome for all patrons. It’s the ideal spot for individuals seeking a conducive environment to work on their laptops while relishing a superb cup of coffee.

You have the option to purchase your favorite coffee blend, perfect for leisurely sipping as you explore the charming streets of Balat, or unwind in one of the many welcoming cafes dotted throughout the area.

1. Petra roasting

Instagram: @petracoffee
Location: Gayrettepe

Determining the best coffee in town is never a straightforward task. All the cafes on this list excel in serving exceptional coffee, and the nuances that set them apart are often quite subtle. Petra Roasting has established itself across multiple locations, with their headquarters and coffee roasting hub located in Gayrettepe.

For those seeking a taste of their exquisite brew, you can also find them in Maslak, Nişantaşı, and Bebek. Notably, they maintain a small kiosk in Kanyon Mall, but our strongest recommendation is to pay a visit to their Gayrettepe establishment.

The brain behind Petra Roasting, Kaan Bergsen, has a remarkable journey that includes a stint at Stumptown Coffee and Toby’s Estate in New York. His focus on quality control and wholesale accounts significantly shaped his expertise, particularly in the art of roasting.

Working at Toby’s, he recognized that it’s not solely about roasting excellent coffee but also about ensuring its quality when brewed by wholesale partners. This involves educating and supporting them to craft exceptional coffee, a philosophy that Petra Roasting ardently embraces.

Nestled within the Muse Collective art gallery and shop, Petra Roasting’s store is not just a place to enjoy freshly roasted coffee but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in a world of captivating objects and art pieces. Beyond their coffee offerings, Petra is committed to education, whether catering to their wholesale customers or consumers eager to perfect their home brewing.

They periodically organize workshops at their store, ensuring that their patrons have the knowledge they need to brew a superior cup. And, to sweeten the deal, they offer a delectable selection of house-baked pastries. With a prime location, outstanding coffee, and an excellent store design, a visit to this place is an absolute must for all coffee enthusiasts.


Istanbul’s coffee culture is as diverse as the city itself, offering something for every coffee lover.

Whether you’re seeking a taste of tradition, artistic inspiration, or a scenic view, the best cafes in Istanbul have it all. So, next time you’re in this beautiful city, don’t miss the chance to explore its coffee gems.


What is Turkish coffee, and how is it different from regular coffee?

Turkish coffee is known for its strong, finely ground beans and unique brewing method. It’s unfiltered, giving it a rich, thick texture. The grounds settle at the bottom, so don’t drink the last sip!

Where can I find the best Turkish coffee in Istanbul?

For a traditional experience, visit cafes in the historic Sultanahmet or Eminönü districts. You can read here more about the best Turkish Coffee places in Istanbul

Are there cafes with a view of the Bosphorus?

Absolutely! The waterfront cafes in Beşiktaş and Ortaköy offer stunning views of the Bosphorus. Don’t forget your camera.

Do Istanbul’s hipster cafes serve traditional Turkish coffee too?

While most hipster cafes focus on specialty coffee, some do offer Turkish coffee, giving it a modern twist with unique flavor combinations. Most of the Cafes offers traditional Turkish coffee as well.

What’s the best time to visit Istanbul’s cafes?

Best Cafes in Istanbul are bustling throughout the day, but the late afternoon is an excellent time to enjoy your coffee and watch the city’s vibrant life. After 17:00 they get crowded again

Can I find cafes with international coffee options in Istanbul?

Yes, many cafes in Istanbul offer a variety of international coffee options, including espresso, cappuccino, and cold brew.


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