Best Turkish Coffee in Istanbul: A Sip of Authentic Delight

Turkish Coffee Illustration

Love This? Save and Share!


Turkish coffee is an important part of the country’s culture and history. The drink has been enjoyed for centuries, with roots that date back to the Ottoman Empire.

Today, Turkish coffee can still be found in traditional coffeehouses throughout Istanbul, where locals gather to socialize and enjoy the rich flavors of the drink. In this post, we’ll explore the best Turkish coffee places in Istanbul and guide you on how to make and enjoy the perfect cup of Turkish coffee.

Editors Note:

I initially began writing this article with the intention of highlighting the top coffee places in town. However, as I progressed, I realized that it was necessary to provide additional information to the readers so they could have a better understanding of what I was talking about.

As a result, this article turned into a comprehensive Turkish coffee guide. If you’re only interested in the top locations, you can simply scroll down to the list. If you want to learn about the history and details of Turkish coffee, you can read the full article.

Table of Contents

History of the Turkish Coffee

Representation of an Ottoman Coffeehouse by Amadeo Preziosi, 1854
Representation of an Ottoman Coffeehouse by Amadeo Preziosi, 1854

Istanbul may not have been the origin of coffee, but it certainly played a role in establishing the coffee shop. Istanbul is the city with the first recorded coffee shop in the world in the mid-16th century.

The history of coffee as a popular drink in the Ottoman Empire dates back to the mid-16th (some sources say 1475 some other 1545) century, with the establishment of coffeehouses. The first coffee shop “Kiva Han” was opened by two Yemenis in Istanbul during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, a known coffee enthusiast. For several centuries, coffee remained the preferred beverage in the empire, until the rise of tea consumption in the late 19th century.

The proliferation of coffeehouses in Istanbul serves as a testament to its popularity, with an estimated 600 establishments by the end of the 16th century and over 2,500 by the end of the 19th century. These figures clearly illustrate the widespread love for the drink. Kiva Han is long closed, If you want to drink coffee in a really old place Tahmis Kahvesi(established 1635) in Gaziantep, Turkey is still serving coffee.

A Coffeehouse in 19th century, by Mıgırdıç Civanyan
A Coffeehouse in 19th century, by Mıgırdıç Civanyan

How Coffee Become Popular?

History tells us that coffee was first introduced by Ozdemir Pasha (Turkish Governor of Yemen) and It quickly became a popular drink in the empire, with coffeehouses popping up in cities like Istanbul and serving as social hubs for the community. As a beverage Turkish coffee carries special preparation and brewing techniques. It is one of the oldest coffee-making methods still in use. (You can find the details for the preparation method at the end)

There are even marriage traditions that contain Turkish coffee. A potential new bride will prepare coffee for the groom’s family as a test of her worthiness. Also, the bride will add salt to the groom’s coffee so the groom can prove that he would do anything for her, including drinking a bad-tasting salty coffee.

Where To Find the Best Turkish Coffee in Istanbul

Turkish Coffee Representation

A cup of Turkish coffee adds a characterful flavor to all the gatherings. Whether you drink it with an old friend or take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life and have it by yourself.

A richly frothed coffee is the most effective detail to discover the beautiful aspects of life. The tradition itself is a symbol of hospitality, friendship, delicacy, and entertainment. All these are reflected in the famous Turkish proverb “The memory of a cup of coffee lasts for forty years.”

Turkish coffee enthusiasts know, it can’t be consumed everywhere. The ratio, temperature, and presentation of the coffee are very important. For you, I have compiled some of the best Turkish coffee shops in Istanbul where you can enjoy both the taste and the memory that you won’t forget in forty years.

7. Pierre Loti Cafe

Location: Eyup

Pierre Loti Hill in Istanbul

Pierre Loti Cafe is a historic coffee house in Istanbul. I covered this a couple of times in this blog. It is named after the French writer and naval officer, Pierre Loti, who was a regular visitor to the café during his travels to the city.

The cafe is known for its picturesque location, perched atop a hill with panoramic views of the Golden Horn and the city of Istanbul. In addition to its stunning views, Pierre Loti Cafe is also famous for its rich history and association with the literary world. It was a popular gathering place for writers and artists in the early 20th century, and today it is considered a cultural landmark and a must-visit destination for tourists.

Visitors to Pierre Loti Cafe can enjoy a great cup of Turkish coffee while taking in the breathtaking views and imagining the history and culture that has passed through the cafe over the years. The cafe is a unique and memorable experience that offers a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural heritage and history.

6. Nevi Cafe

Location: Balat

Nevi Cafe in Balat

Balat, a neighborhood that spreads beauty through its streets, is a popular destination for weekend excursions. Nev-i Café in Balat is a warm place that offers delicious Turkish Coffee cooked on coals to its guests. While sipping your Turkish coffee with the authentic Balat atmosphere, you will fall in love with Balat once again.

5. Sark Kahvesi

Location: Fatih

Grand Bazaar Istanbul

Şark Kahvesi is a cafe inside the Grand Bazaar. They are cooking Turkish coffee on the sand, which is something you can’t find everywhere. You can get some Turkish delight and baklava to accompany your delicious Turkish Coffee.

While exploring the bustling areas around Eminonu and Grand Bazaar, you can take a break here and enjoy a great cup of Turkish coffee. Despite all the crowds, I highly recommend you go and try the taste of the coffee. The unique atmosphere of Grand Bazaar makes the experience unforgettable!

4. Okkalı Kahve

Location: Beşiktas

Okkali kahve in Besiktas

Okkalı Kahve is a small cafe in Besiktas. What makes this place unique is that there are dozens of options on the menu. The most popular coffee at the place is Kervansaray, a type of coffee unique to Adiyaman and a bit smoother in taste compared to regular Turkish coffee. If you are looking for some intense flavors then you should try “Hatay” or “Adana Gar Kahvesi”.

It might interest those looking for different flavors in coffee. The owner and waiters know about the coffee a lot, so if you have a question they will be happy to answer.

3. Fazıl Bey’in Türk Kahvesi

Location: Kadıköy (Asian Side)

Fazil Beyin Türk Kahvesi in Kadiköy

Fazıl Bey owned a coffee roastery and not a regular cafe. The sons who decided to keep Fazıl Bey’s memory alive, have transformed their father’s coffee roastery, which he operated for approximately half a century in Kadıköy Market, into a coffee shop, adapting it to our era.

Now you can drink here tasty Turkish coffee and this place is definitely one of the best Turkish coffee places to go on the Asian side of Istanbul.

2.Bebek Kahvesi

Location: Bebek

Bebek Kahvesi in Istanbul

Bebek Coffee, which was started as a fisherman’s coffee in 1945, is still a beloved place and one of the stopovers of celebrities today. It has a big loyal customer base.

Its location is perfect for watching the sea and finding peace, behind Bebek Mosque. They don’t only serve coffee but also lunch and dinner. Although it has turned into a sophisticated place due to its neighborhood, it still retains its friendly and nostalgic atmosphere with its old wooden chairs.

1. Mandabatmaz

Location: Beyoğlu

Mandabatmaz in Beyoglu Istanbul

Mandabatmaz, located in a narrow alley in Beyoğlu, has long been a popular place to enjoy authentic Turkish coffee in Istanbul, maintaining its long-standing reputation.

Its name, meaning “Even Buffalo will not sink in it,” refers to the extra foam on top of the coffee and is considered a sign of its flavor. The open kitchen inside always fills the small shop with delicious coffee aromas.

Mandabatmaz is using Its unique brewing technique, adding hot water to the cezve (long-handled pot) instead of cold, since 1967. Mandabatmaz, with its easily accessible location and delicious coffee, is the go-to spot for Turkish coffee in Istanbul.

Bonus: Pera Palas (Pera Palace Hotel)

Location: Beyoğlu

Kubbeli Lounge at Pera Palace Hotel

The Pera Palace Hotel is also the first venue for afternoon tea in Istanbul. The afternoon tea served with delightful piano melodies and special flavors are hosted at the Kubbeli Lounge every day of the week from 3 PM to 6 PM. You can also order Turkish coffee within this time.

What makes Turkish coffee at this place unique is the rich history and nostalgia embodied in the building. Many famous personalities, such as Ataturk, Ernest Hemingway, Agatha Christie, and Alfred Hitchcock, have stayed at this hotel. Turkish coffee is served on silver platters, making it a unique and unforgettable experience in Istanbul.

The Roastery Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi

Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi Shop in Eminönü

As you walk by the front of the Mısır Çarşısı (Spice Bazaar aka. Egyptian Bazaar) in Eminonu, you will smell the fresh aroma of freshly roasted coffee coming from one of the corner streets. This is the place at Tahmis Street where Mehmet Efendi started selling the roasted coffee beans that he inherited from his father in 1871, and this legacy continues to this day.

The small but charming shop is the central branch of Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi, and the long queue outside always shows the quality of the coffee inside. This is the most famous Turkish coffee roastery in Turkey.

Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi Coffee Pack
The Roasted Coffee from Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi can be found in every Supermarket

In the 19th-century Turkish coffee beans were generally sold raw, then roasted at home and ground using hand-operated coffee mills. Mehmet Efendi took over the family business in 1871. After that, he began roasting raw coffee beans, grinding them in mortars, and selling roasted and ready-ground Turkish coffee to his customers.

Soon, Tahmis Street was filled with the rich aroma of freshly roasted coffee. Thanks to Mehmet Efendi, coffee lovers were able to enjoy this convenience and he soon became known as “Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi”, or Mehmet Efendi, a vendor of roasted and ground coffee.

I would recommend you visit Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi Exhibition on Tahmis Street, Eminonu. You can find out more about the journey of the Turkish Coffee and Mehmet Efendi Family.

Fortune Telling

Turkish Coffee Fortune Telling

In Turkish Coffee Fortune Telling is called “Kahve Falı”. The word “Fal” in Turkish is originally coming from Arabic. Its original meaning is a symbol that shows beautiful things. The first person to mention coffee fortune-telling was Tommaso Tamonelli, an Italian fortune-teller.

It is believed that the first coffee fortune-telling was performed in the Ottoman Palace. It is thought that female servants, who were unable to express their thoughts openly, would communicate with each other by looking at the coffee cup and conveying what they wanted to say.

Over time, this culture became widespread and transformed into coffee fortune-telling. People share their predictions from the cup with each other. For centuries, it has been a method used by people who want to hear hopeful news about the future. To call the fortune-teller believed to bring news, the cup is rotated three times and invoked as follows: “Coffee-pir, enter my heart, and exit from my heart then enter into my fortune.”

How to Prepare Turkish Coffee?


Turkish Coffee Presentation

Presentation is an important aspect of Turkish coffee culture, and the coffee is often accompanied by Turkish delight and water. The traditional service of Turkish coffee involves pouring the coffee from a small pitcher, called an ibrik, into the cups with grace and precision.

Contrary to the belief that the water served next to Turkish coffee is meant to relieve the bitter taste after drinking the coffee, it is actually meant to cleanse the palate before drinking the coffee.

Preparing Turkish Coffee at Home

To make Turkish coffee at home, you can easily find Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi coffee online in the USA and Europe. If you are unable to find Turkish coffee online, you can opt for any coffee of your choice. You can grind it to an extremely fine powder-like consistency, finer than espresso. This fine grind is a crucial aspect of the brewing process and is what gives Turkish coffee its unique body.

In addition to the coffee, you will also need a cezve. These can be found online as well, and if you want to have the best of the best, I recommend trying the handmade copper cezve from the Turkish brand SOY , known for its high-end copperware.

Istanbul City Pass Banner


Turkish coffee is a rich and flavorful drink that has been popular in Turkey for centuries. Whether you’re a coffee lover or simply looking for a unique cultural experience, a visit to one of the best Turkish coffee places in Istanbul is a must.

So, go ahead and savor the traditional flavors of Turkish coffee. Immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of the country.


Is Turkish coffee strong?

Yes, Turkish coffee is strong and contains a bold flavor that packs a delightful punch.

What makes Turkish coffee unique?

The use of finely ground coffee beans and special preparation methods, including simmering the coffee in a cezve, contribute to its uniqueness.

Can I add sugar to Turkish coffee?

Yes, you can customize your Turkish coffee by adding sugar according to your taste preferences.

Are there variations of Turkish coffee?

Yes, there are regional variations, each offering a distinct take on the classic Turkish coffee.

Where can I find the best Turkish coffee in Istanbul?

Explore the Grand Bazaar, Eminönü, and Karaköy for an authentic experience, discovering hidden gems along the way. I also added 7 Best Places to drink Turkish Coffee in Istanbul in this Article.

What is the significance of Turkish coffee in culture?

Turkish coffee holds cultural importance, symbolizing hospitality and tradition in Turkish society.


Related Posts

Scroll to Top

Istanbul Deals and News to Your Inbox

Discover the most recent Deals, Openings, and Recommendations for Istanbul and plan your trip to this vibrant city.