Istiklal Avenue, right downtown Istanbul – or better said, İstiklal Caddesi – is a pulsating artery that connects Taksim Square to trendy Karaköy. Inevitably, I’ll walk up and down this avenue almost every day whenever I’m in Istanbul. This sometimes makes me semi-numb and oblivious as to what’s going on around me.
Until one day, coming from the Galata Tower area, I looked right and saw this interesting coffee shop called Türk-Alman Kitabevi. It took me a few seconds to realise what the name meant, but as soon as I went in, the coin dropped.
This mix of café and bookstore specialises in selling all sorts of books in Turkish and German – hence the name, which means Turkish-German Bookstore.
But if you’re not really interested in either language, you’re better off going upstairs. There are many books for sales as well, but the upper floor is a huge space filled with comfy velvet or leather sofas, a brick fireplace and individual or communal tables. It’s a very cool area to meet friends, work or just enjoy your cappuccino and watch life go by.
I love coming here to just work for a few hours – but I must confess that their lemon cake is a good excuse to stay longer on each visit.
So, after I found this place, I keep walking with my eyes wide open whenever I’m walking around Istiklal. After all, I don’t know when I’ll bump into my next favourite café in Istanbul – or is it my favourite bookstore?
Address: Şahkulu Mahallesi, İstiklal Caddesi, No 237, Beyoğlu, Istanbul (metro station Şişhane)
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