Ask anyone on Istiklal Caddesi for the best cup of Turkish coffee around and they’ll point you to… no, I’m kidding. It’s never wise to ask around on Istiklal, you’ll get a thousand answers on any subject.
So I tell you where to get the best cup of coffee: Mandabatmaz. This shop has been around on its tiny street since 1967, and Cemil Usta has been brewing his perfect cup for over 20 years. You just need to tell him how you like your coffee. Quick lesson: “Sade”, no sugar, is the way to go. Ok – maybe “az şekerli” (a little sweet) could also work.
For Turkish coffee, one of the primary success indicators is the foam on top. Mandabatmaz literally means ‘a buffalo wouldn’t sink’ – so imagine.
This spot is rather tiny, so you won’t spend hours, but it’s great for a little pick-me-up. When the weather is good, the outdoor tables are great to enjoy your coffee.