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What happens when an expat falls in love with Istanbul? She creates a home away from home! Molly, the owner, set foot in Istanbul years ago. Her cozy and friendly café serves hot drinks and delicious homemade cakes. There is also a book swap and some pre-loved articles for sale. Molly organizes philosophy and poetry meetings where everybody is welcome, as well as Easter get-togethers and Thanksgiving dinners for the expat community.
Brew Lab looks like a modern laboratory, only it is a coffee lab run by Turkish Barista Champion, Ozkan Yetik. Besides all the coffee merchandise and lab like apparatus adorning this small yet cozy coffee, their artisan brews are served in handmade kitchenware. Fancy varieties, usual ones or traditional cuppa can be sipped at this affable place. Nibble on tasty bites with your caffeine drinks and enjoy a conversation or two.
Whether you had a late night out on the town or just need some yummy brunch, the Smyrna Cafe is a great neighborhood cafe to step into. With a bohemian and relaxed vibe, it is a great place to waste the day away reading your favorite book or people watching (artists and actors frequent this funky haunt). The cafe is also open until 2am for the late night crowd.
Pia is a gallery-style café that is quite small, but beautifully decorated, and has a warm and cozy atmosphere. It is also a major hangout for creatives of all kinds in the area. Whether it's writers, filmmakers, painters or actors, everybody seems to stop by for a good coffee or one of the daily specials on the menu that feature different cuisines of the world. The prices are fair and the food is definitely worth a try. Pia is one of the places where you can experience the open-minded, arty and international Istanbul without fighting with masses of tourists. - John Luas