If I'm feeling a bit mellow, what are some cool quiet bars?

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You might be out of luck. Most bars in Istanbul tend to be a bit rowdy and smokey at least during the evening, especially if there is a game on. I'd  recommend Cafe Kafka, which is right next to the Galatasaray Lycee on Istiklal Cd. It has a lot of quirky artwork and big windows. They have big glasses of wine and very comfy chairs. If you feel a bit more extravagant, I'd check out Sensus wine bar, a stone's throw from Galata tower. It serves only turkish wines, presents them impeccibly, and will answer any of your questions. By the way, their cheapest brand, Vintus, is actually made by the owners, and is by far the best under 15tl bottle of wine I've had here.

Of course, during the day, most bars tend to be quiet, so feel free to pop into anywhere in the afternoon for beer and your book.


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John McCarroll •London, United Kingdom

Irresponsible anthropologist and fiction writer. Used to be an expat in Istanbul. 

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