This cafe is a hidden gem; if anything, it’s a testament for exploration: make one turn from Istiklal Caddesi and you’ll find yourself in a completely different place. It’s great for some solitude during the day and the potted trees provide some well-needed greenery. The cafe has daily menu changes, but a decent coffee and breakfast can always be counted on.
Gölge Cafe, Olivya Geçidi N7, Galatasaray Mh, Istanbul, Turkey
Current city: Istanbul
Stephanie is a photography and video artist originally from Michigan. After receiving her MFA degree from Purdue University, she moved to Istanbul, Turkey, and currently teaches art courses there. She loves anything and everything about pinhole photography and focuses on camera building techniques. Her current photographic series explores, in both pinhole and digital photography, the degradation of a small town.

More Places in Istanbul 6

Posted by cemre yesil
FiL is a space dedicated to photo books, coffees, delicious cakes and workshops. A bookshop meets café meets gallery at FilBooks, one of Karaköy’s leading cultural hubs. Filled with photo books and various other titles, artworks, stationery and a charming and unusual range of ornamental toy cameras, it’s the perfect place to find a unique souvenir of your time in Turkey. The store often plays host workshops and talks from leading Turkish and international artists and photographers, and, in typical Turkish fashion, FilBooks has its own coffee shop, making it well worth a visit. FiL is a bookshop-coffeeshop where one will be able to find artists’ publications, books on history and theory of photography, journals, children’s books, independent publications and cute little accessories. Also FiL is a meeting place that hosts workshops, artists talks, panels discussions and other collective activities. FiL is a collaborative space or a hub for arts that focuses mainly on photography but its doors is open for other disciplines and ideas. FiL offers delicious coffees, cakes, sandwiches, breakfast. FiL is working on organizing social gatherings aiming to debate around photography, art, design, education and publishing. FiL loves photobooks.
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Many places on the European and Asian sides of Istanbul can offer great views of the Bosphorus. But the shoreline in Üsküdar is unique for its limitless sight of the city’s historical skyline and modern architecture, all at once. Büfes along the shoreline offer some local foods, and it’s easy to grab a snack from a passing vendor. Seating is below the street level with comfortably broken-in cushions.
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The Bambi Cafe is well-known for its döner and local celebrity sightings (check out the location facing this one and you’ll find the walls and tables are covered with images attesting to this!). Anytime for Bambi döner is a good time, but you’ll see its busiest and best moments are in the early morning, after a night out.
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Posted by Stephanie Paine
Kadiköy is the slightly calmer equivalent to all the happenings in Beyoğlu, and yet, a must see place. Lâl Bar, located on the infamous Bar Sokağı (Bar Street), is a definite for a late afternoon beer. Renovated from an Ottoman house, the interior is covered with dark wooden walls and accents. A stay later into the evening will grant a local dj or band, and the location allows for bar hopping with ease.
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The Arter gallery is one of the galleries that I like to frequent the most. The building was renovated in the past few years and has four floors of exhibition space. It always features the leading national artists and introduces contemporary international artists to the city.
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