Looking for Breakfast in Turkey and Best Breakfasts Places in Istanbul? Then you’re in the right place! Decide between Mangerie, Kahve 6, and Namlı Gurme and more, with options for Turkish breakfast or international choices.
Istanbul, the cultural and historical heart of Turkey, offers a wide array of breakfast options that cater to different tastes and preferences.
Here is a guide to some of the best places for breakfast, whether you crave traditional Turkish fare or an international menu. Read here Cappadocia Hot AIr Balloon Prices
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UNDERSTANDING TRADITIONAL TURKISH BREAKFAST – BREAKFAST IN TURKEY
Turkish breakfast, or ‘kahvaltı,’ is a culinary ritual that reflects Turkey’s hospitality and love for food. It’s a leisurely affair that can stretch over several hours, especially on weekends or holidays. Here are the key components:
- Bread: Bread is an integral part of Turkish breakfast. This could be a crusty loaf, soft rolls, or ‘simit’—a sesame-encrusted bread ring that’s one of Turkey’s most popular breakfast items.
- Cheese: The Turkish cheese plate is diverse and flavorful. Favorites include ‘beyaz peynir’—a feta-like white cheese, ‘kaşar‘—a mild, semi-hard cheese, and ‘tulum‘—a hard goat’s cheese.
- Olives: You can’t have a Turkish breakfast without olives. Green and black olives, often marinated in olive oil, lemon, and herbs, are a must.
- Tomatoes and Cucumbers: Freshly sliced tomatoes and cucumbers add a refreshing touch to the breakfast table.
- Eggs: Eggs are often served as ‘menemen’—a scramble with tomatoes, peppers, and occasionally, spicy sausage or cheese—or simply as a hard or soft-boiled egg.
- Jams and Honey: Jams made from a variety of fruits are a sweet accompaniment to the savory items. Honey, often served with ‘kaymak’ (a clotted cream), is another favorite.
- Pastries: Pastries such as ‘börek’ (flaky pastry filled with cheese, spinach, or meat) and ‘poğaça’ (savory buns) also make an appearance.
- Meats: Slices of ‘pastırma’ (air-dried beef) and ‘sucuk’ (spicy beef sausage) add a meaty dimension to the breakfast spread.
- Tea: Turkish tea, served in a tulip-shaped glass, is an essential part of the breakfast. Coffee, although popular in Turkey, is typically consumed after meals, not during breakfast.
In Istanbul, the breakfast culture is strong, and you’ll find places that serve traditional Turkish breakfast throughout the day. Whether you’re seated by the Bosphorus or in a bustling city café, take your time to enjoy the spread of fresh, flavorful dishes that make up a Turkish breakfast. After all, the Turkish word for breakfast, ‘kahvaltı,’ translates to “before coffee”—showcasing the importance of the meal before starting the day.
TRADITIONAL TURKISH BREAKFASTS – BREAKFAST IN ISTANBUL TURKEY
- Van Kahvaltı Evi – Cihangir: One of the most famous breakfast places in Istanbul, Van Kahvaltı Evi serves a delectable eastern Turkish breakfast. Their Van-style breakfast offers a wide selection of cheeses, homemade jams, creamy honey, and ‘otlu peynir,’ a cheese embedded with herbs. The casual and cozy ambiance of this place makes it perfect for a relaxed weekend breakfast.
- Çakmak Kahvaltı Salonu – Beşiktaş: This classic Turkish breakfast spot is known for its expansive breakfast spreads, featuring a variety of cheeses, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, pastries, and of course, Turkish tea. Their homemade jams and ‘menemen,’ a traditional Turkish scrambled eggs dish, are particularly popular.
- Privato Cafe – Galata: Nestled in a narrow street in Galata, Privato Cafe offers an exceptional breakfast menu that uses organic ingredients sourced from local farmers. Their offering includes an array of homemade jams, farm-fresh cheeses, olives, and ‘sucuklu yumurta,’ a dish of eggs cooked with Turkish sausage.
- Brew Coffeeworks – Sirkeci: For a more international-style breakfast, Brew Coffeeworks is the place to go. Offering an extensive coffee menu along with a selection of sandwiches, pastries, and desserts, this café is a haven for coffee lovers. Try their avocado toast or croissants paired with their specialty coffee for a satiating breakfast.
- St. Antoines – Cihangir: This French bakery is a gem for those craving a French-style breakfast. From freshly baked baguettes, croissants, pain au chocolat, and éclairs to a variety of cheeses and coffees, St. Antoines offers an authentic Parisian breakfast experience right in the heart of Istanbul.
- The House Café – Multiple locations: Known for its contemporary decor and versatile menu, The House Café offers a delightful mix of Turkish and international breakfast dishes. Their Eggs Benedict, French Toast, and freshly squeezed juices are must-tries.
A MIX OF BOTH WORLDS – BREAKFAST IN ISTANBUL TURKEY
- Mangerie – Bebek: Perched on the upper floor with a view of the beautiful Bosphorus, Mangerie is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. It serves a mix of Turkish and international breakfast options. Their ‘karışık tabağı’ (mixed plate) is a generous serving of cheeses, olives, tomatoes, honey, and cream, while their pancakes and sandwiches cater to the international palate.
- Kahve 6 – Cihangir: This artsy café offers a great mix of traditional and international breakfast dishes. Their breakfast menu includes classics like ‘simit,’ Turkish bagels, served with cheese and tomatoes, and more international options like omelets, sandwiches, and cereals.
- Namlı Gurme – Karaköy: This gourmet market and restaurant is a popular spot for breakfast. You can either choose from their vast buffet of Turkish cheeses, olives, ‘boerek,’ pastries, and much more, or order off their menu that includes international options such as omelettes, toasts, and waffles.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BREAKFAST IN TURKEY
Whether you’re indulging in a lavish Turkish breakfast spread or craving a familiar international dish, Istanbul offers a cornucopia of breakfast experiences to savor. Embark on a gastronomic adventure that takes you from the traditional ‘kahvaltı’ at Van Kahvaltı Evi or Çakmak Kahvaltı Salonu to a French-inspired morning at St. Antoines.
If you can’t decide, venues like Mangerie, Kahve 6, and Namlı Gurme serve the best of both worlds. For coffee connoisseurs, Brew Coffeeworks provides an extensive coffee menu to accompany a light breakfast.
The essence of Turkish breakfast lies in the variety and quality of its offerings, and the pleasure of sharing it with good company. It’s a meal that’s enjoyed slowly, not rushed — a testament to the Turkish adage, ‘eat breakfast like a king’.
When in Istanbul, surrender to the city’s rhythm and let your breakfast stretch for hours. Start your day by immersing yourself in the city’s culinary culture — the perfect introduction to the melting pot that is Istanbul. With such a rich array of options, breakfast in Istanbul is not just a meal, it’s an experience.