Stops for Tasting from Sirkeci to Eminönü
In this blog we gather a tread mill from twitter about stops for tasting in Istanbul. The writer is Hasan Meet Kaya. Let’s get into it!
Here are some of my favorite spots to share for a pleasant walk and taste breaks over the weekend.
First stop, Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir, founded in 1777. My favorites are the double-roasted, cream-filled and rose-flavored Turkish delight and hard candy.
(Note: Turkish delight, also known as Lokum, is a type of sweet confectionery typically made with sugar, starch, flavorings, and often nuts or fruits. Hard candy, or “akide şekeri”, is a type of traditional sugar candy in Turkish cuisine.)
Spice Bazaar: Stops for tasting
Entering the Spice Bazaar from the Sirkeci direction, Galeri Set is on the left. It is clearly the most beautiful place in Istanbul for beautiful and eye-catching coffee cups. Each piece is collectible, including cups, sugar bowls, and Turkish delight boxes, and they are all waiting for you here.
At the Tahtakale exit of the Spice Bazaar, you will see a tiny greengrocer on the right. It’s been there for many years. The prices are high, but the fruits are incredibly eye-catching. You can buy some to taste and eat.
And of course, coffee is an essential part of our route. As soon as you exit the bazaar, you will see Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi right across from you. About 15-20 meters to the left of this place, you will find Kurukahveci İhsan Efendi, where I regularly get my coffee. The name of the inn where it is located is also called Kurukahveci Inn.
İhsan Efendi Coffe Shop: stops for tasting
İhsan Efendi roasts the coffee over a wood fire. The coffee is strong and the aroma is high. Another coffee maker I would recommend is Nuri Toplar, located about 20 meters ahead and on the same side when you take Mehmet Efendi to your left. Try both, and continue with the one you like.
I get my tea from Beta Tea at the entrance of Beta Han. It’s a place where you can find both smuggled tea varieties and different teas from around the world, it’s a friend of tea addicts. I would definitely recommend a visit.
A little further down on the right, the künefe cooked on a charcoal grill at Lezzet-i Şark is also very good. They add syrup well, it is just right and crispy. Further down, there is Asi Künefe on the left and another newly opened künefe place across from it. They are also good, but the first one is my favorite because it is cooked on a grill.
When you turn left from Asi Künefe, you will see Balkapanı Han a little further on the left. The Han opens into a wide and old-looking courtyard. As soon as you enter, right across from you, a clean and affordable stone-oven pide place, where you can eat the terrific Develi Cıvıklısı, awaits you 🙂 The tea from the han’s tea shop on the way out is also good.
Let’s move on to Rüstem Paşa Mosque. This is probably the first mosque built over a shop in Istanbul. Underneath it, one of the oldest shops is this little knife shop. The place for terrific Bursa knives 🙂 How about the signboard?:) “Knives Scissors Sharpened Sold”. Short, clear :)
Of course, since we’ve come to Rüstem Paşa Mosque, let’s not forget to take the trouble to go up to the upper floor, see the mosque’s magnificent tiles, and feast our eyes.
Other attractions: Stops for tasting
Just below here, slightly to the right, there is a courtyard. Sometimes pepper is ground in the mill there, and it smells delicious. Hemp cloths, ropes, sacks add a different flavor to the courtyard. Of course, the most enjoyable place in the courtyard for me is Köfteci Yaşar with its terrific meatballs. 1.5 meatballs, bean salad, and buttermilk are my menu 🙂
After the courtyard, we turn back again, take the mosque to our right, enter the street right across from our knife maker brother, and come to another meatball restaurant a little further on the right, Özkan Köfte. This is also one of my go-to places. The meatballs are very nice, as is the sesame in the bean salad.
On its opposite right, there is the Historic Kardeşler Börek & Pide Bakery. The ingredients run out in the afternoon. Catch it between 12 and 13:30.
The back of this street leads to Çamaşırcılar Street. Part of my childhood was spent in a wholesale nut shop on this street. I get the spices and in the winter the terrific Kastamonu sahlep from Güven Spice here.
Not to forget, the fried anchovies in corn flour on the side street opening to the avenue / fountain of Rüstem Pasha Mosque also go very well. I recommend it. I think the master who makes it has a talent for it.