Local handicrafts and artisanal items to pick up on your trip
Haci Bekir is the 18th-century sweets maker credited with inventing Turkey’s signature confection—lokum (Turkish Delight)—sweet, gelatinous cubes. Today, Haci Bekir's “Bon Bon Turc” confections are available throughout the city in gift-ready packaging. Custom-packed boxes of coarse-ground almond paste or assorted Turkish Delight flavors include rose, cinnamon, mint, and chocolate-coated pistachio. Store locations in Eminönü or İstiklal Caddesi.
Try Turkish coffee from producer Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi. Freshly roasted, finely ground beans are available at a shop next to the Egyptian Bazaar or at franchises throughout the city. Don’t forget a long-handled copper cezve (coffee pot) for preparing the thick, dark brew.
Look for Anatolian archaeology-inspired Paşabahçe historic glassware collections. Vases are engraved with 11th-century Selçuk designs or Ottoman calligraphy. Byzantine mosaic work on decorative bowls. Outlets are located in major shopping areas.
Ottomania: miniature reproductions, illuminated paintings of Sultan’s caftans, whirling dervishes, calligraphy on dieffenbachia leaves. Available at the Anatolian Arts Club showroom in Büyükdere, Pera Museum shop in Tepebaşı, Artrium in Tünel, and at better shops in and around the Grand Bazaar, like Nick Merdenyan’s Calligraphy Corner (#24 İç Bedestan).
Authentic Turkish bath supplies, including handmade Turkish towels, olive oil soap, natural fiber kese scrub mitts, and embossed copper bathing bowls, are available at Abdulla or Derviş on Keseciler Caddesi, Grand Bazaar.
Subscribe to Nat Geo Traveler
Available in print and for iPad®! See destinations come alive with 360-degree photos, videos, and more!