Istanbul Cafe / Petra Coffeebar AD

A delightful Istanbul cafe that looks more like a speakeasy from 1920s New York

Petra Coffeebar AD boasts a charming atmosphere thanks to its detailed retro upholstery and inviting timber counter. Patrons can indulge in their favourite coffee beverage while immersing themselves in the nostalgic ambiance created by these tasteful design elements, making it a cosy retreat for coffee lovers seeking a touch of classic elegance.

istanbul cafe Petra Coffeebar AD

An Istanbul café that looks more like a speakeasy from 1920s New York, Petra serves premium locally roasted coffee and divine homemade pastries to a devoted crowd of Istanbul’s coolest locals.

Whether it’s the wooden newspaper holders or the century-old antique bar, the interior of Petra feels timeless. Marble and cast iron tables line a bench that runs the length of the shotgun-shaped space. Baristas wear Petra’s trademark striped shirts and white lab coats, and ring a bell every time an order is up, short-order-diner-style. 

House-baked pastries are shuttled over daily from Petra’s Gayrettepe headquarters, along with, of course, an extensive selection of single-origin coffees, including famed estates like Finca Tamana in Colombia. Espresso, always a single origin, is prepared on a La Marzocco Strada EP and Mazzer Robur grinder. Petra is also one of the few places you’ll find doing a full size batch brew on a FETCO brewer, a luxury in an espresso-centric specialty coffee scene. 

istanbul cafe Petra Coffeebar AD

Owner Kaan Bergsen amassed his deep coffee knowledge at Toby’s Estate in Brooklyn and returned to Istanbul to put his education and passion into practice. Bergsen now has five Petra cafes in different locations throughout Istanbul.  

Petra Topağacı is a coffee shop but it doesn’t have the visual cues of a modern cafe. It is basically a French/New York style bar but serves delicious freshly roasted premium coffee. “We call the shop our neighbourhood cafe,” says Bergsen, “because we designed the space so that it targeted people who lived in the area and the design details were created so it looked like a cafe that was already there before it opened its doors. 

“We serve sourdough tartines and coffee. So it’s well known for both. But a standout would be the ‘noisette’ which we only serve in this shop. It’s basically a double espresso and as much milk to fill a pastis glass. 

“This bar is unique in the sense that it is very old fashioned in terms of its design elements, but it does embrace change. Anytime you go, you will notice small changes which makes the experience worthwhile and if you’re going there daily then the routine never gets old.”

istanbul cafe Petra Coffeebar AD

Coffee’s history and presence in Turkiye dates all the way back to the times of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Introduced to the court via Ethiopia and Yemen, coffee has gained a firm hold on the country ever since. Its place in Turkish history and culture cannot be underestimated as it became the Ottoman’s favourite drink. 

Many travellers to Istanbul have commented on the importance of this beverage to the cosmopolitan city of Istanbul. From there, it was later introduced to Europe by Ottoman ambassadors who took coffee and its ritual to foreign lands.

Coffee houses were typically a male space, but in the 1920s life in early Republican Istanbul slowly began to change. Today, you’ll be hard-pressed not to find modern coffee houses in almost every part of the city and in the many lively neighbourhoods.

istanbul cafe Petra Coffeebar AD

Petra roasts the coffee it offers to its customers a mere 24-48 hours before it’s served, guaranteeing freshness. All of their coffee is single-origin, non-GMO and direct trade and they roast it themselves. Their passion for the beverage is evident in the amount of information and transparency they provide their customers, both in-store and online. In its main cafe at Gayrettepe, there’s a collective shop, kitchen and roasting area. On the other hand, its other shops have their own distinctive atmospheres, from the 1920s in Topağacı to the futuristic design of their latest cafe in Maslak. 

istanbul cafe Petra Coffeebar AD

When next you’re looking for an Istanbul cafe head to Topağacı to experience Petra Coffeebar AD. 

Petra Coffee Bar Topağacı, Teşvikiye Mh. Prf. Dr. Orhan Ersek Sk. 18/7, Şişli/Istanbul, Turkiye

istanbul cafe Petra Coffeebar AD

Photography by Eda Hatip

For further European Cafe designs click here

istanbul cafe Petra Coffeebar AD
istanbul cafe Petra Coffeebar AD
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