Cafe keyif im Inside 5
“Sometimes you wanna go
where everybody knows your name.
And they’re always glad you came.”

Cafe keyif im Meal 1No, there is no alcohol. No, there are no bar stools. And there certainly isn’t any “Norm” (Although Mehmet, the cook, certainly could play the part!)

FEELING WELCOME

But despite all that, Cafe Keyf-im has the feel of “Cheers.” (My apologies to those of you not from America and who have no idea what I’m talking about.)

As I sat in the cafe and watched the people come and go I was intrigued by the clientele. Old, young, male, female, student and businessman. It was quite an eclectic crowd that all seemed very comfortable enjoying the cafe together.

Ibrahim Gümüş, a native to Göreme, has opened an attractive place that is unique for Avanos. You can find tea gardens in Avanos. And you can find restaurants. But Cafe Keyf-im is the first hybrid – cafe/restaurant – in Avanos.

THE TWIST

“We decided to do something different and offer a full menu in addition to the tea and coffee” said 23 year-old general manager Burak Göçmen. From the outside driving by it looked like another tea house. But there is a full kitchen with an oven serving pide, pizza, and lahmacun. They also have various kebaps for a more satisfying meal. And if you are there for the tea, but get a little hungry playing backgammon, they have a full array of fast-food: toast, gözleme, hamburgers, and döner. I can see a date nite in the future where my wife and I can get a latte and pistachio chocolate cake, or a brownie and a frappe. YUM!

“I got out of tourism in 2004” shared Ibrahim, recalling his past. “I had a hostel in Göreme. Then I gave tours to the east. But when Ocalan (PKK leader) was arrested everything went flat.” So he opened a tea house in Göreme just to stay afloat. When his rent increased he left Göreme and opened Cafe Keyf-im. “At least I can make enough money to feed my family without having to depend on tourism.”

While they don’t need foreign tourists to pay the bills, “we prefer foreigners,” said Burak. Burak graduated from the Hotel Management department at Burdur University and spent his summers doing internships in touristic areas like Alanya, Antalya, and Istanbul. “Tourists have a better idea of what to do and not to do. They are more cultured” he explained. I asked if there were customers who asked to ‘open a tab’ to which Burak replied, “they try!”

Maybe Cafe Keyf-im is more like Cheers than I thought.

Cafe keyif im chefMehmet, the chef, is as friendly a cook as you will find. When I sat down to have my coffee Mehmet asked me where I was from. When I answered that I was from Avanos, he burst out laughing. He is a second generation chef who has found a home at Cafe Keyf-im. He too was in tourism in Ortahisar and had to close his restaurant when rents got too high. I asked how it was that Burak was able to find him, and he said “I love this kid, he’s like a nephew to me.”

I really think you should go check out Cafe Keyf-im when you are in Avanos. Especially, if you are staying in one of the big three hotels on the South side of the river: Hilton, Avrasya, or Suhan. Instead of walking all the way into town to find a restaurant, you can stay on your side of the river and enjoy Burak, Ibrahim and Mehmet after a nice 10 minute walk from your hotel.

I think you’ll enjoy Cafe Keyf-im.

Even if they don’t know your name, they’ll still be glad you came!

Cafe keyif im front pic
ADDRESS:
Bahçeli Evler Mah.
Saruhan Caddesi (Hastane Karşısı- Near the hospital)
No. 5/1 Avanos
Tel: 0505 977 9122

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Christian Dedrick is an English teacher living in Avanos. He has lived in Turkey since 2008 with his wife and three sons. He moved to Cappadocia in 2011 and is excited to be sharing stories from his life here. He enjoys spending time with Cappadocians, hearing, and telling their stories.
He began writing for CaptivatingCappadocia in spring 2012.
Click here to read more about Christian.