If you haven't checked out Beşiktaş's now famous "Breakfast Street," referred to in Turkish as "kahvaltıcılar sokağı," then it is definitely time to make this amazing discovery in this spectacular city. Less than a five-minute walk from the coast into the heart of the bustling and buzzing neighborhood of Beşiktaş, which has also become a favored destination among the expat community and foreigners that visit Turkey, there is a sort of U-shaped enclave of streets called Çelebi Oğlu laden with cafes that specialize in the art of breakfast.
A unique and creative area of Istanbul, each cafe is quaint and possesses its own character, most with wooden tables laid out in friendly proximity along the sidewalk, while some also have comfortable indoor spaces. Unlike the fancier breakfast venues in Rumelihisari, Bebek, Cihangir and even Kadıköy, the vibe here is much more relaxed, fast-paced, loud and crowded. Highly frequented by students, tourists and the more bohemian professionals, some days it can be tough to even find a table, and cues for one can extend into the street. But let me tell you, it is all worth it, because the lively morning energy of the area and of course, the delicious breakfasts are truly out of this world. From traditional Turkish breakfasts to pancakes and even burgers, there are also a number of innovative twists on classic breakfast favorites that have been spurned from this new trendy and fun area. Make sure to try one of the many variations of menemen, stuffed pişi and treats such as Nutella-filled gözlemes.
Çakmak, which now has two venues on the same street, is credited for having started the area's breakfast phenomenon by offering quality products in a simple setting at a reasonable price. The stark, simple vibe of the place has remained the same over the past decade; however, each breakfast is high quality, with many products sourced from the owner's homeland of Erzincan.
Zeytindalı is another established venue that places a special focus on providing organic products. There are also all sorts of breakfast items on the menu, including a variety of stuffed pişi, gözleme and menemen. While the outside offers slightly more space than others, the inside is known for its characteristic walls covered in photos of customers.
Cafe Faruk is also one of the older establishments in this breakfast arena, which has comfortable outdoor and indoor seating. Offering all of the breakfast classics, including a wide list of gözleme and egg dishes, this venue is famed for its menemen varieties.
Eat in comfort
Pişi Breakfast and Burger is comfortable inside and out, with a quaint interior and alternative music blasting, this cafe stands out for their pişi-centric breakfasts. There is an undeniable revival in the popularity of this traditional palm-sized piece of fried bread, referred to as pişi, which are now being served stuffed with delicious ingredients. At Pişi Breakfast and Burger, you can enjoy these delicacies stuffed with cheese, mushrooms, a variety of meats or even chocolate, and there are also many lunch-like items on the menu, such as their pişi and pesto burgers.
While the setting is simplistic and traditional at Teyzanne, the menu is anything but. Teyzanne stands out for their inspiring vegan breakfast, equipped with menemen and a lentil börek, their innovative savory French toast and their signature dish "zeyze," which is a simit stuffed with eggs, sucuk and melted cheese.
Peynir Ekmek is a funky, colorful and comfortable breakfast spot that serves up cheese-based breakfast classics, such as their Black Sea breakfast that includes the region's fondue-like dish mıhlama as well as crepes and pancakes.
As you may have guessed, Reçel Türevleri, which translates to "jam derivatives" in Turkish, is famed for its jam selection, prepared in Adana as well as their homemade peanut butter and muhammara. Arguably boasting the most stylish interior, the walls are adorned with a mural of The Little Prince and jars of jams, and the spacious wooden tables offer a contrast to the picturesque Turkish tiling.
The colorful yellow and black decor at Limos coupled with the classic Turkish tiled floor make for a modern and funky vibe that brings the place to life. Limos is where to go for a more lively and stylish breakfast indoors or to dine at any other time of the day as they also have a full burger, pizza, pastas and entreé menu.
Eleven Brothers stands out for taking its yellow and black decor outdoors, exposed brickwork and slightly more spacious seating and chairs equipped with comfy yellow shawls. This newer venue serves all the breakfast classics, including crepes, gözleme and stuffed pişi as well as offering a full lunch and dinner menu.
Siyah Cafe has the most comfortable seating and attention-detailed atmosphere indoors with walls lined with artwork and filled bookshelves. The menu has all the breakfast classics, including the rare appearance of granola and their savory menu includes hamburgers, pastas and mains such as quesadillas and fajitas.