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Best of Nargile Cafés

 Untitled Document Nargile, an accessory native to Eastern Culture, was first used in India by emptying a coconut and dipping in a straw. "Nargil" means coconut in Persian. Many years later nargiles with glass and ceramic bodies were manufactured and the Ottomans inherited this ritual from Persians and Arabs.

In the last decade, this almost-forgotten habit has been revived in metropolises and many nargile cafés have opened in every district. In the old days only plain tobacco was used; however, now a variety of aromatic tobaccos such as apple, cappuccino etc. are also prepared. Still, the old and famous nargile users in İzmir insist that the nargile should be smoked using only plain tobacco. Therefore the famous nargile cafés in İzmir do not offer aromatic tobaccos.

The jury formed by the daily Hürriyet newspaper, each of whom is a nargile enthusiast, have chosen the best nargile spots in Turkey.

Erenler Nargile
Located at historical Çorlulu Alipaşa Medresesi in Çemberlitaş, this place is very famous. Besides plain and aromatic nargile it serves various kinds of tea and soft drinks. It is open from early morning until 02:00. The site also has a garden and has a capacity of 200 people. Erenler Nargile is mentioned in most foreign tourism guides.

Nargilem Kafe
The last nargile café located in Tophane, towards Beşiktaş next to Nusretiye Mosque. The decoration and the engravings on the ceiling are attractive. Visitors can benefit from the shadow of the trees in front of the café, as in all cafes in Tophane. Ömer Usta prepares the hubble-bubbles - plain and aromatic tobaccos (tömbeki) are available. The gözleme is worth trying. Various kinds of tea, Turkish coffee and Menengiç coffee (a specialty of South-eastern Anatolia) accompany the hubble-bubble.

Erzurum Nargile
It is one of the oldest nargile cafes in Istanbul and was famous when it was first located below the old Galata Bridge. However, with the renovation of the bridge, Erzurum has moved to Tophane and has been serving there for 15 years. Like other nargile cafés in Tophane it is open 24 hours a day. It also provides hubble-bubble service to tourist groups, excursion yachts and 5-star hotels upon request.

Ayni Ali'nin Yeri
In Manisa and located next to Ayni Ali mosque, it is known by the entire hubble-bubble enthusiast world in Turkey and has been run by members of the İşanlar family for 140 years. Mystical music is played on long winter nights. It is also famous for aromatic tobaccos such as apple, strawberry, vanilla, coffee and chocolate. Sultan Çayı (Sultan's Tea), which is made from Spil Mountain herbs and drunk with honey instead of sugar, is the place's specialty. The café takes women customers.

Nezih Kafe
Nezih is located in Balgat, Ankara and run by Hüseyin Bilgin, nicknamed Kel (Bald) Hüseyin, from İzmir. He insists that he is the only real hubble-bubble master left after the deaths of the masters nicknamed Gavur Şükrüand Gavur İbrahim of Istanbul. The café has been serving in Balgat for three years and the frequenters are usually university students. It is open until 01:00 and it is difficult to find an empty chair between 20:00 and 01:00.

Salon Koparan
The address in downtown İzmir for hubble-bubble enthusiasts. Only plain tobaccos are served, seeing as most nargile enthusiasts and cafés insist that aromatic tobaccos are against the "spirit of hubble-bubble". Koparan has two branches and is open 24 hours a day. The customers are mostly women at the branch located at Akdeniz Caddesi, 5A/C, Pasaport (Tel: (232) 441 47 30).

Recep Özgen Aile Çay Bahçesi
It is located in Gençlik Park, Ankara and widely known as "Recebin Yeri". It is one of the oldest sites offering hubble-bubble and has been in service since 1925. The tea garden moved to Gençlik Park in 1957. Nevzat Erdoğan of Malatya has been preparing hubble-bubble for 15 years and is the master of the site. It is open from 07:00 to 24:00 and covers a quite large area beside the pool.

Can Nargile
Located in Tophane, it has been in service for two years. Aromatic tobaccos are preferred. Menengiç coffee is also served. You can also have gözleme, tost, dürüm and kumpir. It is open 24 hours a day.

Hakkı'nın Yeri-Bayramyeri Kafe
This 20-year-old café is named after its owner and called Hakkı'nın Yeri (Hakkı's Place). It is located at Eşrefpaşa Bayramyeri in İzmir. The site only serves plain tobacco and the charcoal used is derived from a special kind of bush native to the Aegean area. It is open all night.

Egemen Kıraathanesi
Egemen is located on Bostanlı Camii Street in İzmir and has been famous for its hubble-bubble in Karşıyaka district for 60 years. Aromatic tobaccos with banana and apple are the specialties.

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