Istanbul summers can be brutal. In August, the sun burns down and can make an already challenging Istanbul commute unbearable. If you’re worn on water, try these tasty alternatives and stay cool in the concrete jungle.
Holy Coffee, a cafe in the Çukurcuma neighborhood generally deals in great coffee, but serves up a sharp fruit smoothie that is refreshing as it is healthy. Owner Arzu Kiraner caters to the customer’s taste, and any number of fruit combinations can be thrown together to help stay chill. Kuloğlu Mahallesi Çukurcuma Antikacılar Çarşısı Hacıoğlu Sokak No.1/B, Çukurcuma; P: (0212) 243 68 69
Located just steps away from the Nuruosmaniye Gate, Fes Cafe serves as a chic and modern reprieve from the bustle of the Grand Bazaar. They offer a creative, icy treat in the form of lemonade with ginger, mint, basil, and cinnamon. Another unique drink is their otlu ayran, a yogurt drink made with dill, mint, parsley, basil, and bay leaves. Ali Baba Türbesi Sokak, Nuruosmaniye; P: (0212) 526 30 70-71
The first and only micro-roaster in Istanbul, which is decked-out in award-winning Nuova Simonella espresso coffee machines, Kronotrop is a Beyoğlu cafe that serves up a fantastic iced coffee, made from freshly ground beans that are imported from around the world. Kuloğlu Mahallesi Yeniçarşı Caddesi No. 5/B, Beyoğlu; P: (0212) 249 92 71
House Cafe in Ortaköy, designed by the award-winning Autoban Design Office seamlessly blends modern, classic, and the idustrial, offers a great atmosphere to sit back, relax, and enjoy an ice cold lemonade while gazing at the Bosphorus. Salhane Sokak No. 1, Ortaköy; P: (0212) 227 26 99
The staple Marmaris Büfe in Levent is a national award winning chain of restaurants that serve the classic fare of a büfe (lunch counter). They offer up a cold ayran (salted yogurt drink) that is said to be quite healthy and hydrating. Nispetiye Caddesi No. 24/32, Levent; P: (0212) 269 53 39
The ubiquitous purveyors of coffee, Starbucks does a fine frapuccino (coffee blended with ice and your choice of aroma) that, at their branch in Bebek, is wonderfully complimented by a Bosphorus view. Cevdetpaşa Caddesi No. 30, Bebek; P: (0212) 287 43 63
This chilled out, comfortable, and smartly decorated Karaköy café is the perfect spot to outrun the summer’s rays. Surrounded by the high walls of old Orthodox churches and shops, the café’s indoor or outdoor seating areas are equally appealing. Try Julius Meinl's karadut (black Mulberry) smoothie for a new spin on a fruit blend. Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi Kara Ali Kaptan Sokak No.7, Karaköy; P: (0212) 243 69 93
Pinkberry in the Kanyon Shopping Mall serves up a great variety of frozen yogurt that may make it the ultimate place to cool down and have a snack while the end of summer drags on. Yogurt flavors include chocolate, pomegranate, strawberry, original, and more, and can be combined with a ton of different fruit and granola options. Büyükdere Caddesi No. 185, Levent; P:(0212) 353 53 00
The name literally means ‘love café’ in Turkish (with an added ‘ş’ for emphasis), and the Kuruçeşme Aşşk Kahve puts the same care into their products. For the summer months, try their iced coffee on their waterfront view. Muallim Naci Caddesi No. 170A, Kuruçeşme; P: (0212) 265 47 34
Located on the terrace of a 3- story building, Mangerie benefits from indoor & outdoor seating with view of the Bosphorus. Take in the breeze and try their tasty mint-accented lemonade before the cold months come. Cevdetpaşa Caddesi No. 69, Bebek; P: (0212) 263 51 99
If you’re looking for a cold drink and don’t have the time to head to a sit-down restaurant or cafe, drop by any convenience store and pick up an icy Çamlıca Gazoz, a fizzy, soda-like drink that will help you cool down on the go.