Drinking a cup of very good kahve [kah-vey] can be quite an unforgettable experience. How do the Turkish make such good coffee? Another top spot that locals rank as one of the best Turkish coffee in Istanbul is Fazil Bey located on the Asian side of Istanbul in the neighborhood of Kadıköy. What makes this golden oldie so good? In business since 1923, Fazil Bey roasts and grounds the coffee beans on site at the coffee shop. Sitting down and sipping coffee here means you get the constant aromatic smell of fresh coffee beans as the machines work their way through roasting and grinding. That's a pretty delightful bonus.
It sure makes a difference when the cup of coffee is prepared right at the source of where the beans are roasted. As far as flavor goes, the kahve at Fazil Bey is aromatic at every sip; the fragrance penetrates right into the drink. Comparing Fazil Bey and Mandabatmaz (both are top local joints in Istanbul) is to talk about aroma vs. texture. Fazil Bey shines in bringing out the deep coffee fragrance and Mandabatmaz stands out with its heavenly rich texture in the coffee. It's hard to pick a favorite over the other but if we really had to, it would be Mandabatmaz which brings the richness of Turkish coffee to another level. Nevertheless, Fazil Bey is still very good. Visit both places for how they bring out the best of kahve in their own way.
Fazil Bey is surrounded by several other coffeeshops and be sure not to mistake the seating area. Along the sidewalk, look out for the black tables and chairs among the white tables. The black tables belong to Fazil Bey. Grab a chair, sip on a cup of Turkish coffee, and watch the people go by in Kadıköy.
Serasker Caddesi, No:3
When ordering kahve, the general practice is to tell the server the level of sweetness you'd like. I like mine with little sugar, az şekerli [ahz sheh-kehr-li] and T likes his with medium sugar, orta şekerli [or-tah sheh-kehr-li]. Learning these simple and very, very useful Turkish words helped us go a long way. English is barely spoken at Fazil Bey. Gesturing helps and it's easy to gesture for "one" or "two" cups of coffee but learning to say in Turkish how sweet you take your coffee is even better.