Are you surviving the heat? In our book, warm days = long outdoor brunch. Istanbul may be fast becoming a city of concrete, but there are still many cafes and restaurants that offer a getaway from the bustle of the city.
One of them is Divan Brasserie Kalamış, perched over the marina on the Asian Side. Their open-buffet Sunday brunch, which starts at 9am and lasts until 3pm, offers Divan’s best and includes fresh patisserie goods, eggs, a wide range of charcuterie products, classic breakfast necessities like olives and jam followed by pasta, sushi, desserts and much more. The garden is relaxing, especially earlier in the day when the crowds haven’t yet made their way to Divan yet, and the view of anchored sailboats over the sea makes you feel like you’re somewhere over the Aegean.
Another great city escape is Backyard, a quaint restaurant nestled on a hilltop in Bebeköy. It has a huge garden and attracts families with kids (but rest assured that it’s not a designated area for screaming kids). Their breakfast platter features regional cheese (such as goat cheese from Çanakkale) as well as other breakfast favorites like honey, jams, and nutella. For those who want to keep it light, they have muesli and granola with yogurt, whereas for those of you wanting to indulge, they offer delectable pancakes. Their eggs list is wide and varied, and some come with real, actual pork bacon.
We saved our favorite for the end: Kahve 6 in Cihangir, which hides its cozy garden (that features communal tables and hanging plants) out in the back. Kahve 6 emphasizes the use of local, natural and organic ingredients in its menu, and this laid-back café draws crowds, especially on weekends, for its perfect breakfast/brunch which includes all the classics (cheese, olives, fresh bread and simit, eggs, jams, tomatoes and cucumber, honey and kaymak) that become a feast adorning the entire table in this little oasis.
Divan Kalamış: Amiral Fahri Korutürk Yat Limanı, Kalamış – for reservations: (0216) 414 5703 (the all-inclusive brunch on Sundays is 90 TL per person)
Backyard: Otlukbeli Cad. Bebeköy Sok. No: 4, Etiler – for reservations: (0212) 287 1506
Kahve 6: Anahtar Sokak No.13/A, Cihangir – reservation is not required but recommended on weekends: (0212) 293 0849