Although the vast majority of tourists never make it to this old quarter in Istanbul, Balat’s picturesque buildings and winding streets have made this neighbourhood a hotspot for locals from all across the city. Eclectic little Velvet Cafe is a reflection of Balat, where the city’s best vintage and antique dealers are located among old Greek houses. The decor inside is charming. It is a homelike, cozy place decorated with some matching antique furniture. You can even select your own coffee cup from a bunch of antique ones. Some of these cups are 80 to 100 hundred years old. Each one of them have been selected carefully as a reflection of true taste.
They serve a breakfast appreciated by many, but I have never had the chance to try it yet. I highly recommend the companionship of coffee and desserts though–especially the homemade halva.
Like many specialty coffee shops in Istanbul, Velvet Cafe has limited seating. If the weather is nice, try the little garden at the back where you can hide from the bustle of the city.
I highly recommend this place for its food, atmosphere, and great prices. The staff is very friendly and bilingual, so even non-Turkish speakers can expect excellent hospitality.