Food & Drink,  Places

Breakfast of Pashas: Emek Cafe

Breakfast on the Bosporus is a sure way to start off the day feeling like a Pasha. One of my favorite spots lately is Emek Cafe, one block north of Yeniköy Iskelesi. The tea is kept fresh, the service is classic white shirt professional, and the food simple, unfussy but good. It’s the sea-side atmosphere and neighborhood charm that elevates the experience. Then there’s the menemen, perhaps one of Turkey’s finest breakfast offerings, eggs cooked up in a sauté of tomato and green pepper. You simply can’t go wrong if you want something savory. If your taste runs sweet, then there’s always bal-kaymak (honey-cream). Turkish honey is deservedly famous, with a pure uncluttered taste. Paired with another Turkish specialty, kaymak—somewhat like clotted cream—and served on the thick fluffy wedges of bread, it’s like something out of a dream.

As always for me, though, the starring duo of the morning, is the tea and sea. There are an abundance of places to drink tea seaside in Istanbul, but at Emek the tea is always fresh, hot and never bitter. I drink it without sugar and it balances out both the sweetness and the savoriness of the dishes served. It’s also perfect way to see off any morning chill when a cool breeze washes over you from the Bosporus, as you watch the independent motorboats from departing Yeniköy or arriving from Beykoz, ferrying people too busy to pause and appreciate one of life’s great pleasures, breakfast on the Bosporus.