ISTANBUL - Turkish Daily News
Everyone living in Cihangir knows Firuzağa Cafe, which, no matter the time, is always busy and crowded. Located right under the mosque with the same name, the cafe seems to have always been there. The fact is, however, that the former taxi stand has only quite recently been turned into a cafe, remembering that most Cihangir cafes were established after 1997. In the place where everyone can come to have breakfast at every hour of the day, the dish selection is not very varied, limited simply to toasts. Yet another possibility is available for people to simply bring their own food and enjoy it with traditional tea, coffee or whatever else they like to drink for breakfast, available at a reasonable price. A small patisserie next door can also be useful in this case, serving freshly baked products every day.
The secret of Firuzağa
It is not the menu (or rather its lack) that makes the place extremely popular among the locals. What is it then? Its location? If one is not lucky enough to grab a place in the shade, one may be seated right next to the main street, entertained by traffic, horns and dust. Its design? But is it possible to talk about any design in an outdoor place consisting of identical wooden tables and chairs, which by many customers cannot even be considered comfortable? So what is it?
The most attractive idea of the cafe includes only one factor: the customers. Firuzağa was made for everyone and it serves everyone. Sociological observation, which one can make while drinking tea or coffee, leads to a concise conclusion that the people sitting next to each other, no matter if they are students, famous actors, designers, writers, housewives or whole families, will most probably not meet in many other places. The age of the customers varies from five to 105, and representatives of both sexes, as well as political views, can be seen all together. And what is most important is that, no matter what one is wearing, one is always welcomed and will not be asked to leave the place.
The easiest way to get there from Taksim square is to go down Sılaselviler until one sees a bunch of busy tables on one's right (five to seven minutes walking).