The Spice Bazaar Istanbul , known also as Egyptian Bazaar is situated behind the New Mosque and adjacent to the Flower Market in Eminönü, Istanbul. It stands as one of the city’s most ancient covered markets. This bazaar is renowned for its herbalists and offers many items in line with traditional practices. You can find natural medicines, spices, flower seeds, rare plant roots, and shells here. Additionally, the Spice Bazaar features dried nuts, delicatessen products, and various food items. It’s worth noting that the Spice Bazaar is open on Sundays as well.
The Spice Bazaar Istanbul, among the world’s oldest shopping destinations, boasts a truly captivating atmosphere in Istanbul.
We ventured into the Spice Bazaar Istanbul, one of the city’s most ancient marketplaces, and compiled a list of must-do activities for your visit to this historic market.
Table of Contents
1. Taste the Freshest Turkish Delights
When it comes to Turkish delight, freshness is key. Finding the best quality ingredients, using the right techniques, and getting the right flavors, especially the freshest Turkish delight, can be a challenge. However, the Spice Bazaar is the perfect place to solve this problem. If you’re looking for the most exquisite Turkish delight, whether it’s plain, double roasted, with cream, pistachio, or coconut, made following the original centuries-old recipe, there’s no better place than the Spice Bazaar to find it.
2. Discover Different Spices
Even before you enter the Spice Bazaar, the delightful aroma of various spices greets you at the door. Here, you can purchase a wide variety of spices, much fresher than what you typically find on supermarket shelves. Besides the spices you’re accustomed to, the Spice Bazaar offers spices you might have never even heard of. Additionally, you’ll discover spice blends crafted to complement various dishes, be it white meat, red meat, fish, or vegetables. These spices are a must-have for your kitchen from the Spice Bazaar Istanbul.
3. Check Out the Different Flavors on the Counter
The Spice Bazaar attracts over 90 million visitors each year, both locals and foreigners and one of the reasons for this is the unique varieties it offers. Alongside the classic offerings like Turkish delight, nuts, and spices, you’ll also find fascinating and somewhat mystical foods that deserve a closer look. Strings of dried eggplants, tomatoes, zucchinis, and okra, zucchini fibers that have recently gained modern popularity but were used in ancient times, and real sea sponges are some of the intriguing items you’ll come across.
When you explore the Spice Bazaar’s stalls in detail, you’ll encounter teas and tea blends that are hard to resist and definitely worth trying. Delicate rose tea, jasmine tea with visible flower buds, pomegranate tea, and apple tea are some of the standout options. You can savor unique flavors with tea blends enriched with various spices, herbs, and fruits that you won’t find anywhere else.
If you have a sweet tooth, the Spice Bazaar is a paradise not only for Turkish delight but also for fruit pulp and dried fruits. You’ll discover varieties like fruit pulp, köme, and walnut sausage, made by folding with various fillings while they are fresh. Dates filled with hazelnuts or walnuts, along with dried apricots and figs, are also beloved for their delicious taste and appealing appearance.
4. Choose Oriental Gifts
When talking about the Spice Bazaar, it’s essential to mention its enchanting Oriental ambiance that evokes memories of the Ottoman Empire. As you explore this historic bazaar, you’ll encounter numerous handmade accessories crafted using traditional methods. These include glass mosaic lamps, handcrafted copper teapots, and coffee pots, silk shawls made using ancient printing techniques, chess sets adorned with mother-of-pearl inlays, and hand-painted tiles, among others. The Spice Bazaar offers a wide array of gifts, both for yourself and as souvenirs to bring back home.
5. Buy Breakfast Foods from Various Regions in Turkey
For those who believe that breakfast is synonymous with happiness, this place is a must-visit. You can discover a wide variety of breakfast options from different regions of Turkey at the Spice Bazaar, with a view of Eminönü Square. From Ezine to Urfa, you can explore countless types of cheese, savor Ayvalık and Antakya olives, and select from Kayseri and Kastamonu pastrami or find region-specific butter, which is crucial for enhancing the flavors.
6. Dine at Pandeli Restaurant
Pandeli, a renowned Istanbul restaurant, has recently reopened its doors. You can access this restaurant by ascending the stairs to the upper floor once you enter the Spice Bazaar through the entrance overlooking the waterfront. Pandeli is not only famous for its Turkish cuisine but also for the notable figures it has hosted.
If you have the chance to dine at Pandeli, I highly recommend choosing a table by the window. It’s a delightful experience to savor delicious food while observing the vibrant atmosphere of Eminönü Square. This can be a perfect way to conclude your visit to the Spice Bazaar by dining in one of Istanbul’s most historic restaurants.