The Best Breakfast in Istanbul: 10 Excellent Breakfast Places

Taste of Two Continents starts with market breakfast of olives cheese eggs cream simit tea on newspaper
Taste of Two Continents Breakfast

Do you have a hankering for some traditional Turkish breakfast? There are many places in Istanbul to choose from, and this blog post will help you decide where to go for the best breakfast in Istanbul.

The best part of all these breakfast places on our list is that they’re either walking distance from Sultanahmet or a short taxi drive away. Istanbul is a big city with terrible traffic, and no one wants to be stuck in it for hours.

Your hotel in Istanbul is likely to serve breakfast, but if you’re looking for the most traditional local dishes of all time, it’s always a good idea to skip the breakfast at your hotel and search out new places where locals eat.

I would suggest starting your day with a Turkish breakfast at any of these 10 best Turkish breakfast restaurants in the city!

What is a typical Turkish breakfast?

Traditional Turkish breakfasts are a symphony of flavours. Turkish tea, cheese, eggs, fresh vegetables and fruit like tomatoes, cucumbers or peppers to name just a few items that make Turkish breakfast unique from other breakfasts around the world. A variety of breads can also be found on an average table in Turkey such as bagels, pastries and even more exotic options like katmer which is crunchy sweet pancakes with pistachio and clotted cream.

Turkish breakfasts vary greatly depending where you go but they all have some foods in common: cheese, black olives, green olives, jam, honey, butter, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and Turkish tea.

Eggs are also a common component of Turkish breakfasts and there is no shortage of eggs to be found on the table. Depending on how you like your eggs cooked, they can be boiled or fried with breadcrumbs or mixed into various dishes such as ‘menemen’ which is eggs seasoned with red pepper flakes, onions and tomatoes.

10 varieties of green and black Turkish olives in rectangular tubs on display, Istanbul food tour
Olives are eaten at breakfasts in Turkey

List of foods you will find in a traditional Turkish breakfast menu:

Cheeses

Tulum peyniri: It is a traditional Turkish goat’s milk cheese. The cheese is ripened in a goatskin casing.

Kasar Peyniri: Kasar cheese is a medium-hard or hard cheese made from sheep milk and up to 20% goat’s milk.

Beyaz peynir: Beyaz peynir is made from unpasteurized milk. It is a brine cheese. Similar to feta.

Drinks

Cay: Turkish tea is processed as black tea. It’s known for the red colour, which is a rich crimson red.

Turk kahvesi: Turkish coffee is very finely ground coffee brewed by boiling.

Egg dishes

Menemen: Menemen is a Turkish dish which includes eggs, tomatoes, green peppers and spices. It is often eaten for breakfast or lunch.

Sucuklu yumurta: Eggs with sucuk. Sujuk or sucuk is a dry, spicy and fermented sausage.

Haslanmis yumurta: Boiled eggs

Sahanda yumurta: Fried eggs

Pastries

Su boregi: Type of pastry with cheese and butter.

Simit: Simit is a bread that has sesame seeds on it. It is shaped like a circle.

Sigara Boregi: Fried cheese rolls

Akitma (kaygana): Turkish savory pancakes.

Tost: Toasted bread with cheese and sucuk

Boyoz: Sunflower oil and tahini pastry

Gozleme: Gözleme is a savory Turkish stuffed flatbread.

Spreads

Tereyagi: Salted butter

Bal kaymak: Honey and buffalo clotted cream

Recel: Jam

Findik ezmesi: Hazelnut spread similar to nutella

Meats

Pastirma: Cured beef meat

Sucuk: Sucuk is a dry, spicy and fermented sausage.

Kavurma: Seasoned beef meat

Do not leave Istanbul without tasting these breakfast foods:

We have been running food tours in Istanbul since 2013 and have served thousands of breakfasts on our Taste of Two Continents food tour. Our guests favourite breakfast dishes are usually, bal kaymak, menemen and findik ezmesi.

List of best breakfast places in Istanbul:

1. Namli Gurme, Karakoy

For a more traditional Turkish breakfast experience, Namli Gurme is the perfect choice. The restaurant has been serving up delicious fare for over 40 years and they are best known for their pastirma (cured beef) which can be served with fried eggs or plain.

In the bustling and ever-changing city of Istanbul, it can be difficult to find a delicatessen that caters both for those who have been living here all their lives as well as newcomers. However, Namli Gurme is proving itself not only able but also willing to change with the times by running a breakfast spot in Karaköy which aims at catering equally towards locals and tourists alike.

Namli Gurme offers one of the best breakfast in Istanbul
Namli Gurme

If you’re staying in the Sultanahmet hotels, Namli Gurme is only a 30-minute scenic walk away from where your stay. This place offers one of the most diverse and traditional Turkish breakfasts with many different dishes that can’t be found elsewhere for walking distance.

Location of Namli Gurme:


2. Van Kahvaltı Evi, Cihangir

Van Kahvalti Evi is a delightful place to enjoy a breakfast spread, with fresh and natural local specialties from Eastern Anatolia plateaus being prepared on site.

The most popular foods on their menu are some Kurdish breakfast foods Kavut, Mirtuga (made from butter and walnut) and Jaji. For cheese lovers there is a variety to select from including an herb cheese from Van, tulum cheese aged in sheep skin and Kars gruyere.

Kurdish style breakfast is served at Van Kahvalti Evi
Van Kahvalti Evi

The Van Breakfast House was voted the best breakfast place in Istanbul by a survey of a famous online website!

Location of Van Kahvalti Evi:


3. Dogaciyiz Gourmet, Beyoglu

One of the best breakfast place on this list is Dogaciyiz Gourmet. The food is reasonably priced but the best part about it is that there are plenty of options for everyone – you can order a traditional Turkish breakfast if you want to feel like you’re in Istanbul! The ambiance here is great too – it’s never noisy or crowded with plenty of space so everyone can enjoy a late weekend breakfast.

Dogaciyiz Gourmet Breakfast

Dogaciyiz Gourmet was created to offer an extraordinary Turkish breakfast experience. They make all of their dishes from scratch with ingredients sourced locally. You can tell how much care is taken when you walk into the restaurant- everything looks so clean! The staff are friendly too -you’ll feel like a regular before long!

Location of Dogaciyiz Gourmet:



4. Yiğit Sofram Gözleme ve Kahvaltı, Beyoglu

Yiğit is a small, family-run restaurant with an open kitchen. They only do breakfast and lunch plus they’re open everyday except Mondays so you can’t make any mistakes by going there! The food here tastes just like what your mum would cook for you – full of love, care and attention to detail.

Had a late night and is it already noon? Do not worry, Yiğit Sofram Gözleme ve Kahvaltı serves breakfast even at 2pm! This is a small family-owned business with just enough space for their kitchen. The food they prepare there couldn’t be more delicious or satisfying, and the friendly staff will make you feel right at home in this cozy spot that’s perfect for any time of day.

Location of Yigit Sofram Gozleme ve Kahvalti:


5. Ferikoy Organik Pazar (Ferikoy Farmers Market), Bomonti

Important: Only available on Saturdays

Turkish breakfasts are often a table full of different foods, but they can also be as simple as gozleme.

Ferikoy Organik Pazar is one of the best places for breakfast in Istanbul if you feel browsing a local farmers market and having a simple Turkish gozleme.

Gozleme at Ferikoy Organic Market

The gozlemes that the local woman make are worth waking up for. They smell like fresh bread and taste even better than you’d imagine. If you do not have a favorite gozleme mix yet, you should start with the cheese and potato one!

Location of Ferikoy Organik Pazar:


6. Taste of Two Continents Food Tour

Turkish market breakfast of menemen cheese kaymak simit tea on newspaper flavours of old city tour
Locally sourced Turkish breakfast at Taste of Two Continents Tour

This is not just some restaurant or food market. It’s actually a food tour! You will learn about Turkish cuisine, traditional breakfast and Turkish foods and meet the people who make it and eat delicious dishes you can’t find anywhere else.

You will start your morning as locals do – at the Spice Bazaar gathering an assortment of Turkish breakfast items, including cheeses, buffalo cream, olives and simit. You’ll sit down at a local tea house to enjoy your kahvaltı with a glass of freshly brewed Turkish çay and menemen (Turkish scrambled eggs). Your guide will share stories about culture and daily life while you’ll wonder if this could be your favourite breakfast ever.

Instantly book your Taste of Two Continents Tour here.

7. Beşiktaş Kahvaltıcılar Sokağı (Breakfast Street), Besiktas

While this famous Istanbul breakfast street is not close to all the tourist attractions, it’s worth a visit for those who want a taste of Turkish culture. The best part? All prices are under 50 TL ($6) per person – and include coffee or tea! It can be crowded at peak hours so come early in the morning if you want your pick of tables outside in fresh air.

Street with full of breakfast places

Besiktas is an amazingly vibrant and international part of Istanbul, which means that there are plenty of students all over the place. They need affordable options for their meals too! The food is not the best quality, but it’s still a great experience to join in with the locals and people-watch.

Breakfast is served all day long in this student district, so come whenever you like to enjoy a Turkish breakfast plate. Pişi Breakfast & Burger and Çakmak Kahvalti Salonu are two of the good places in here with a good breakfast menu. A local delicacy here is “pisi” which is a deep-fried dough.

Location of Cakmak Kahvalti Salonu:


8. Cafe Privato, Galata

Istiklal Street and Galata are great places to head for shopping and also home to some of the best Turkish breakfast restaurants in Istanbul. Cafe Privato might not be as famous or well-known as other places on this list, but it still has that traditional feel you’ll find all over Turkey with its delicious food choices like boreks, eggs (served anyway) and more!

Cafe Privato

The Privato Cafe provides a great breakfast experience for people with taste. With their selection of premium quality products, they provide an environment where you can enjoy the best breakfast in Istanbul. The café has 100-year-old clocks and old objects on display that add to its charm as soon as one walks into the place. You are welcomed by an organic home cooking breakfast served on tables decorated with lace and only using carefully selected items from producers who make homemade jams without sugar if your preference is not sugary spreads!

Location of Cafe Privato:


9. Lades Menemen, Beyoglu

Lades menemen is one of the best places for breakfast to try a local Turkish breakfast in Beyoǧlu, near Taksim Square. They have an extensive number of egg options (menemen) that are perfect breakfast for mixing and matching with your favourite foods.

Lades Menemen

Menemen is a traditional Turkish breakfast dish that looks like scrambled eggs but tastes a lot better. The restaurant Lades specializes in this food and the best way to eat it is with white cheese (feta cheese), black olives, tomatoes, peppers and other ingredients on top as long as you let them know how you want your menemen cooked: soggy or not too soggy! With these toppings we guarantee an unforgettable taste experience of fresh vegetables combined with tangy feta cheese which will be sure to wake up your senses. Don’t forget some bread for dipping and order one pan for everyone!

Location of Lades Menemen:


10. Cuma, Cukurcuma

Çukurcuma is the neighborhood of Istanbul that has it all: antique stores, street cats and even a welcoming cafe.

Cuma is a cozy, intimate restaurant that offers delicious breakfast with your loved one for early risers. Brunching with friends at Cuma will have you arriving hungry and leaving stuffed in the best way possible.

Cuma Restaurant

I love that there are tons of great, interesting choices for breakfast and tasty food for lunch in the menu. The staff is friendly as well; every time I go, they always know my order! There’s something on here for everyone: traditional options too if you’re feeling like a more conservative taste bud adventure. I strongly recommend Cuma located in one of the most popular neighbourhoods of Istanbul with excellent service!

Location of Cuma:



Final words

We hope you find the list above to be helpful in your quest for the best breakfast in Istanbul. Whether it’s just coffee and pastries, or eggs on Turkish toast with some fresh fruit, Istanbul offers many options! If you have any questions about our recommendations (or if we missed one of your favourites) please do not hesitate to get in touch!

Alternatively, join us for a food tour through this amazing city; where else can you explore new neighbourhoods while tasting unique culinary delights at each stop?