Ara Café takes its name from one of the most celebrated photographers of Turkey, Ara Güler. This cosy little café with a well appointed patio is located right under Ara Güler’s studio/atelier. The name ‘Ara’ in Turkish also means ‘side’, which perfectly suits the narrow side street location of this place, just few steps off the infamous Istiklal Street. Istiklal Street’s craziness makes anyone feel like taking a relaxing break, and this cosy place with cool and chill vibes is the right answer.
The photographs on the walls and the placemats are made by Ara Güler himself of course. You might see the photographer (he does not want to be called as the ‘artist’) sitting at one of the small tables during the day. He is the aged wise guy with an out of trim beard.
The menu offers a wide selection from Mediterranean – Turkish cuisine, and changes seasonally. One of their most famous dishes is Balkan Kofte (Balkan Meatballs). My personal favorite here is ‘Sigara Boregi’ (an exact translation would be: Cigarette Borek), a famous Turkish cylindrical pastry with cheese and potato filling. You might opt to have just a snack with a nice hot Turkish tea, or a mint lemonade with their infamous wet chocolate cake.
Ara Cafe is also good for snacks, providing nice people observing opportunities both from upstairs and the patio. Of course, the tourists would not know how many actors and actresses, playwrights and other renown people there are in the place at any certain moment.
Ara Café | Coffee & tea, Snacks, Restaurants (Turkish) | Balkan Kofte TL 30.50
Tomtom Mah. Tosbag Sok. No.8/A | +902122454105
Mon – Thu 07:30 – 00:00, Fri – Sat 07:30 – 01:00, Sun 10:00 – 00:00