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Karabatak Café

Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mah., Kara Ali Kaptan Sok. No 7/A-B, Karaköy, Istanbul

Mon–Fri: 08.30–22.00, Sat–Sun: 09.30–22.00

Nearest tram: Tophane

Long may Karaköy remain laidback and utterly Istanbul – gruesome plans are being gloated over by heinous developers. But meanwhile, ‘the Cormorant’ (Karabatak) is a local favourite with regular visitors to Istanbul Modern serving up perfectly brewed Julius Meinl coffee and treats.

The building – once a metal-bashing workshop – was beautifully converted into a warm, welcoming, unashamedly bohemian cafe in 2011 (it feels much older, but it was one of the first to breathe new life into once-rather-sad Karaköy). There are plenty of outdoor tables on one of Karaköy’s prettiest street corners, perfect for people-watching. Those looking for solitude head for the deep sofas on the first-floor library, where larger parties are strictly forbidden.

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