Istanbul Eats Part II

Confectionary stores in Turkey (selling lokum and baklava etc) are like 7-11s in Asia, you can’t walk a few steps without running into one, although they all look temptingly delicious, only a handful of them do it well. I was obsessive about doing my research, reading all about the best baklava and lokum in Turkey before our trip and had my fair share of tasting when I was there. The first day we landed in Istanbul, Lisa had to drag me away from baklava and lokum, I wanted to try all the ones listed on the top 10 list; Karakoy Gulluoglu, Haci Bekir, Hafiz Mustafa 1864 just to name a few. While the famous/ popular names offer a wide variety (one might ask how many variation can baklava or lokum come in, the answer is A LOT), they were not particularly outstanding. Thanks to the local blogs and friends who are seasoned travelers- these recommendations made my heart sing 😉


Best baklava-Cigdem pastanesi

Layers of paper thin phyllo pastry sheets stuffed with chopped nuts drenched in rich honey sounds every bit alluring. I dragged Lisa over to the Galata Bridge just to try Karakoy Gulluoglu but their baklava were overly heavy. Cigdem Pastanesi’s baklava was by far the best I’d tried, it was rich, decadent, moist and sweet without being cloying the pistachio fresh and crunchy… mmmmm… the amount of honey/ syrup/ butter lavished in this “small” dose of sinful pleasure has gotta be bad for you but it tasted sooooo good!

V: *about to step into yet another confectionery after devouring 3 pieces of baklava thru the day and had more lokum than any human could possibly have*

Lisa: stop!! *pulled viv away* learn to say no!!

V: *with tears in her eyes* no…  *stuff another lokum from the sampling plate in her mouth*

Address: Divanyolu Cad. 62,  Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey

T: +902125268859

Screen shot 2013-04-23 at 12.07.46 AM

Best Lokum (Turkish delight)- Egyptian Bazaar Pinar (No.14)

I read about store no. 14 at the Egyptian Bazaar which apparently has exceptionally good lokum and was determined to hunt it down. There are two sets of store numbers, one set runs outside the Egyptian (open air) and the other set numbers the stores that are actually inside the bazaar. Pinar is inside the bazaar, I bought the double pistachio lokum after sampling the first plate they handed me. Its texture was perfect! It was chewy without being tough, it was bouncy with a good bite to it. The flavor was excellent too, it was sweet without overly sugary and the pistachio flavor was very prominent. They were so good, I probably din stop eating since the minute I stepped in, and even after they wrapped up my purchase and was waiting for me to leave I was still hanging around and stuffing my face, they had to move that sampling plate away from me *blush* at which point Lisa peeled me away from the store

Egyptian Bazaar stall no 14

Open 8am-7pm Mon-Sat

Stayed at the beautiful Ciragan Palace Kempinski


2 thoughts on “Istanbul Eats Part II

  1. BAKLAVAAAAAAA! LE YUUUM! One of my most fave, especially chocolate with orange blossom baklava. 😉 Turkish delight also! Man, you’re making me cry with all these photos Viv! Looking extra puuurty in the last photo eh! wink wink

    • Wow! Orange blossom baklava? I wanna try that! where do you get those? Ya baklava, when made well, is so heavenly! I’ve had some overly sweet ones which made me sick for the rest of the day 😦 luckily the ones at Cigdem were VERY GOOD!!!

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