In a district that is famous for its cozy coffee shops, an inspiring corner to work from isn’t difficult to find. Hardly anything can be as stimulating as a good cup of coffee in a comfy chair, and all the more so if you don’t need to go far to find it.
So when you find yourself in central Beyoglu, where to go with your laptop in search of some good work atmosphere?
Coffee shops of Cihangir and Çukurcuma are certainly the best bet.
Possibly one of the most popular ones is Journey. With its “living room” design on the upper floor, and a quiet atmosphere during the day, it is definitely one of the best places to get work done. If you get hungry, their mid-priced menu is quite appealing too.
Just a few steps down the road will take you to It’s OK, a relatively new place with work tables and perfect AC for the unbearable summer heat. However, if you prefer to sit comfortably for long hours, you might feel challenged sitting on their chairs.
A few corners down, in Çukurcuma, the popular Cuma found its recognizable corner on top of a popular street with antique shops. For those who have a sweet tooth, a great selection of desserts on display will hardly go unnoticed. They also offer a great selection of sandwiches with interesting combinations of ingredients.
One of the most original coffee shops in the area is certainly Magritte. The only danger with that place is that your mind can easily wander around inspecting interesting artwork on the walls. As for the food, sandwiches are your best option here.
You can read more about where to go in Cihangir and Çukurcuma here.
Istiklal and its side streets offer some interesting options too.
On top of Istiklal there is Espresso Lab, often quite packed with people and their laptops. Personally, I find its somewhat grandiose setting not too welcoming, and the homey feeling is definitely missing there.
A much better option would be on the other end of Istiklal, where you can find Türk Alman Kitabevi. One of the most popular places around, that also serve perfect Apfelstrudel. Don’t get surprised if you don’t find a free table, though, or if the speed of their wi-fi isn’t as fast as you would like.
?imdi, which is just across the street, gets also busy with working people, but again, it would not be my personal first choice. Simply their tables seem to be more designed for food than for laptops, and I do not last too long there. They used to have excellent soufflés though, I hope they still keep that sweet tradition.
Further down the road, in Galata, Mavra is a great neighbourhood café. If you are lucky to get tucked into their corner sofas, it might get difficult to leave.
Just opposite the Galata Tower, Best Coffee Shop Lavazza is very spacious and often very quiet. It doesn’t have that “in the living room” feeling, but it is pleasant and comfortable enough.
Or alternatively, make yourself comfortable in Federal Coffee Company, which is just around the corner. Don’t forget to check their menu and order some exotic coffee combinations.
Finally, if you want to work in a perfectly silent atmosphere, without a cup of coffee on the desk, though, head towards Salt Galata. On the ground floor, you will walk into a very elegant library whose grand space is soothing and alluring at the same time.
Being a museum and an art space at the same time, Salt Galata is closed on Mondays.
Finally, there are lots of wonderful cafes in Karaköy, but these get busy quickly and don’t give a very productive promise.
When Billur moved from her hometown of Izmir to Istanbul at an early age, she immediately fell in love with its charm and uniqueness. Over the years, she became part and parcel of Cihangir – a zone heavily inhabited with expats and intriguing locals, where today she is known as the real expert of the neighbourhood. Also known as an animal rescuer, Billur currently owns two cats and one dog, all three of them saved from tough conditions on the streets.