Time of review: Friday, November 1, 2013, 16:00-18:30
Coffee Quality: I drank one cappuccino and found it to be tasty, smooth with great foam. The barista asked if I wanted a dash of cocoa on my foam and I answered affirmatively. Barista’s should always ask before adding anything to one’s drink, so I appreciate this.
Coffee Choices: There are several drinks on the menu. I have enjoyed their Americano and Espresso. Their frappe latte is a favorite in the warmer months.
Atmosphere & location: In the Astoria Towers, they have the best view. I saw a sign that seemed to indicate that they were moving to the floor below their current location. I hope this has a equally good view. Sadly, Astoria is under renovation, and seemed a bit like a ghost town when I arrived, but Caffe Nero was bustling.
The Astoria Towers are at the edge of Mecidiyekoy. Some would even call it Gayreteppe, but since it is near the top of my list, I consider it to still be in Mecidiyekoy.
This location is convenient for Halic University, Fatih University and for Nations Church.
Extras: I have enjoyed there sandwiches on occasion. I had a delicious fudge cake at this time.
Service: This has counter service, only. But, the staff is friendly and helpful (and professional baristas).
Bathrooms: I didn’t check it out this time, but the bathrooms are maintained by Astoria Towers and they have always been clean.
Likelihood of a return visit: Very high likelihood, as I am a great fan of this cafe and it is convenient for my office.
Personal notes:I consider Caffe Nero to be my favorite coffee chain in Istanbul. I have consistently received the best coffee at the four locations I have visited outside of the airport (it is my desire to report nothing negative, therefore I will not discuss the Caffe Nero at the Attaturk Airport).
I absolutely love the Astoria location, with it’s view of the backside of Mecidiyekoy, the fir trees of Zincirlikuyu and the towers of Levent. They do not offer a terrace, but that means that there is not the annoying smell and taste of cigarette smoke accompanying my cappuccino, as there can be at other coffee shops around Istanbul.
The first time I ever drank at a Caffe Nero, it was at the Astoria. It was in the Autumn of 2011, and my wife and I were new to the city and living on the Asian side. After a meeting with some people in Uskudar, we decided to cross the Bosphorus by ferry (one of my favorite things to do) and explore. From Besiktas we walked up Barbaros Blvd in order to find Mecidiyekoy. We found the Astoria Towers. On this cool Autumn day, and we were exhausted from our uphill trek, but that first cup of Caffe Nero cappuccino is now the “high water mark” for my appreciation of the lovely brew.
Yesterday, I met with a friend and colleague. We both love coffee, and his choice was Americano, while mine was a large cappuccino. My favorite barista was washing dishes, so I was concerned when someone I didn’t know was making my treat, but he prepared with excellence.