June 2014 Update: Molly moved back to North America, and the cafe is closed at the moment. We miss her. :(
Galata neighborhood is one of the most popular destinations in Istanbul. It is a charming, quaint little section of Beyoglu where the Galata Tower and its great panaromic view are located. During day & night, this neighbourhood is full of locals & tourists alike. Molly’s Cafe offers a great escape to people who are overwhelmed by the crowds. It is one of the best bets for a relaxing, calm experience and can be found just a few streets away from the tower. This cafe feels like home and has delicious, simple homemade & vegetarian dishes with free internet connection (wi-fi) and some of the best coffee in Istanbul!
Molly’s cafe welcomes you with a small patio full of colorful seasonal flowers at the entrance. This small, cozy & lovely cafe has only a few tables (3-4 people per table) and comfortable reading chairs. The lingering scent of coffee, baked goods and fresh flower perfumes the air, while the checkered table clothes, the traditional carpets, and the open kitchen make you feel pretty comfortable from the get-go. The exposed brick walls are lined with work by a local artist and natural jams are also available for purchase. As it is located within a small street, there are not so many distractions from outside, only locals passing by and the occasional neighborhood cat. Galata homes, furnished apartment complex, is just located in front of the cafe. This lovely place has been created by Molly, a Canadian expat, who has been living in Istanbul for over 16 years. She moved to Istanbul as a language school director. Most expats prefer this cafe for Molly’s fresh food, welcoming atmosphere & friendly chit chats. However locals enjoy it as well since Molly is versed in the Turkish language.
Molly’s menu is full of homemade dishes; American breakfast: pancakes with maple syrup; salads; soups; quiches; cookies; cakes & even bread is homemade and fresh. Soup of the day may vary but generally lentil; vegetable; hot–chicken choices can be found. Food is served in the pan as a mother would. For a vegetarian menu; vegetable soup, quiche, lemon cheesecake are recommended with her delicious bread. A favorite with the regulars is chocolate cheesecake. I met someone who had come just for that on the day I visited Molly’s.
Molly’s cafe offers a comfortable place for reading or working with enjoyable chill-out music. You would not be disturbed like in other regular cafes to be pressured into consuming more beverages or food. There is also one more floor downstairs, a separate and quite space with a small library. You may exchange or buy books. This place is also used for special events such as self-development workshops, singing lessons, English lessons and even acoustic sets on some nights. Events are updated on facebook page. Also special dinners may be organized such as Thanksgiving and Christmas and most recently a St. Patrick’s Day meal, for the homesick expat. Molly’s is truly a gem hidden in this sometimes hectic city and isn’t to be missed.