The place: Fazil Bey’in Turk Kahvesi (Fazil Bey’s Turkish Coffee) in Kadikoy, the original one located in the fish bazaar
The offerings: Turkish coffee, sahlep, filter coffee and more
Price range: 4 – 7 TL
The pros: Traditional Turkish coffee and yummy sahlep served with lokum in an authentic atmosphere
The cons: It’s really small so it can be difficult to find a place to sit & there is no credit card machine
Fazil Bey’s has been one of my favorite cafes since my days at Sabanci University – the days when I spent a lot of time on the Asian side and trips to Europe were few and far between. Now, that I live in Besiktas, it’s quite a treat to spend some time in Kadikoy, but it also takes a bit of planning.
This week’s occasion was meeting up with my good friend, Alia, who I met while doing my Master’s with Sabanci University. The last time Alia and I had been to Fazil Bey’s was a couple years ago right after I had finished my coursework and before I moved back to the US (momentarily). That day was a snowy one, and I remember climbing the narrow stairs of Fazil Bey’s, shaking off the snow, and sitting down only to fall in love with Fazil Bey’s sahlep. The upstairs was a cozy one with a few disparate tables squeezed into the small area, and the servers had had no shame when it came to telling us when we had overstayed our welcome. To be fair, with very limited seating, I can see how they want to move people in and out as quickly as possible, but to our Midwest sensibilities, this seemed quite the affront!
That’s why this past weekend we decided to check out Fazil Bey’s newer cafe, but it was packed to the brim, and there was no hope of finding a table especially since neither of us wanted to be stuck on the balcony with the copious amounts of second-hand smoke. After a quick stop at Beyaz Firin to grab some acibadem cookies to take home for later, we went to the old Fazil Bey’s and found a prime spot right inside on the first level. We were able to catch up over a round of sahlep and then coffee which are both served with lokum, and the drinks were just as good as I remembered. This time we sat for a couple of hours and it didn’t seem to be an issue at all. We chatted about blogging, recipes, home, work – all the stuff you talk about with a good friend.
*If you are looking for a real Turkish coffee in a traditional Turkish coffee shop, this is definitely the place to go. I always make it a point to bring guests to this cafe for a Turkish coffee experience, and in my many visits in the last few months, I haven’t felt rushed at all. Must have been a one-time thing!