One of the many Turkish things I still miss is the fantastic kahvaltı or Turkish breakfast.
To an American or other foreigners, having fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and parsley as part of your breakfast selection may seem strange at first. However, it is a Turkish tradition I fell in love with and have recently been rhapsodizing about to two expats who are soon moving to Istanbul. I miss the breakfast plates piled high with varieties of Turkish cheese, balkaymak (honey with clotted cream), green and black olives, gözleme, eggs with sucuk, homemade jams, tahini paste, simits, soft, slices of white bread and the list goes on and on.
|Turkish mezes for breakfast at Sütiş.|
Are you hungry yet?
Well, since I’ve been telling these new expats about my favorite breakfast places located in and near the Emirgan neighborhood, I thought this information would make an excellent blog post as well. Emirgan is a popular, slightly posh neighborhood located along the Bosphorus and is known for its many seaside cafés and the large Emirgan Park. Even though we lived in the city center, we often retreated to this area on the weekends to indulge in the Turkish kahvaltı tradition and admire the amazing water views.
I first heard about Kale Café shortly after we moved to Istanbul. In 2010, chef and TV show star Anthony Bourdain filmed an episode of his “No Reservations” television show in Istanbul and showcased this small, family-owned café. I’ve always admired Bourdain and had a mild crush on him for awhile. I figured if the café was good enough for him, it was certainly good enough for us. I recommend ordering the serpme kahvalti (breakfast spread) and sharing between at least two people. You can order additional egg dishes separately.
Often, Kale Café is swamped because of its popularity and that’s how we discovered the nearby Café Nar. Here, you can order several delicious omelets or breakfast plates based on Turkish names such as Asli, Beril or Demet. The presentation is a bit more modern and the portion sizes are more than generous. Just keep waving down one of the friendly servers if you want more çay to drink.
My husband and I usually would order one of the omelets and a breakfast plate to share between the two of us. You can even get small, almost American-like pancakes here!
Sütiş has several locations around the city, but we preferred the Emirgan location because of its spacious, seaside position. This place gets packed on the weekends, so I’d recommend arriving by 10 a.m. if you don’t want to wait forever for a table. Here, you want to order small plates of individual items, sort of like Turkish breakfast mezes.
|Photo credit: Emirgan Sütiş|
If you save room, I also can recommend Sütiş’s selection of homemade desserts and ice cream, or you’ll have to make another trip back here just to try the sweets!