I have a passion for nutrition and healthy eating. I make raw desserts, bake gluten-free cakes and brew my own kombucha. Fortunately for me, there are many İstanbulians with the same taste, and one by one, cafes and restaurants embrace this clean eating trend. Vi is one of a growing number of raw cafes that have sprouted up across the city. It’s a small and cozy place in Topağacı. They use organic ingredients wherever possible, completely free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar.
There are plenty of yummy raw vegan desserts. My favourite are so far the cheesecakes, which is surprising, because in general they are not my cup of tea. I think what makes the difference is the filling: a mixture of cashews, coconut cream, and vegan cream cheese. They manage to balance and enhance flavors so it doesn’t leave any waxy texture on the palate. During the cold winter days, “the golden milk” they serve is also a life saver.
The co-owner and chef Beril assured me that everything has been considered as much for its nutritional benefit as well as how it tastes. The only downside is the price. When I compare the portion size, prices are expensive. (This situation is same for every clean eating cafes though — the ingredients are generally imported or hard to find.)