Karaköy is one of Istanbul’s most eccentric neighborhoods. Within a kilometer square you can find an unusual medley of several churches, synagogues, hardware stores, büfes, art galleries, scuba-equipment shops, hip cafés and much more. The sweeping urban renewal project has affected this historic neighborhood deeply – galleries and modern cafés are opening one after another among old warehouses and plumber stores.
Another addition to Karaköy’s hip scene is Karabatak coffeehouse, opened as a branch of Austria-based Julius Meinl coffee. They have converted an old warehouse to an interesting café – the terrific interior design is complemented by vintage Meinl posters and mismatching items of furniture. Prices have risen with growing popularity, but it still might be worth the price when compared to uninspiring global coffee chains. Karabatak offers a warm atmosphere, whether you want to chat with friends over cups of coffee or tea, or spend hours to read and write, this spot is ideal. Light breakfast and lunch items such as tosts and salads accompany fresh brewed tea and coffee.
Istanbul is symbolized by the iconic seagull over the Bosphorus, but the equally common and characteristic karabatak (black cormorant) is generally overlooked. Taking its name from this dear seabird, Karabatak is no underdog; its inviting ambiance and kind service definitely establish it as a Karaköy winner.