I've often said, if you cannot find it in Eminönü, then you don't need it.
This bustling neighborhood in Istanbul, near the Galata Bridge, is one of my favorite places to wander. I've spent countless hours strolling through the backstreets looking for fabric, rugs, sunglasses, toys, beads, various spices, kitchen supplies and things I didn't even know I needed.
Eminönü also is where I buy the majority of my baking supplies and ingredients. From time to time, blog readers have asked me where I find certain ingredients, cookie cutters and baking pans. Well, now I'm putting all this information into one nice blog post for you.
As you approach the Mısır Çarşısı (Spice Bazaar) in Istanbul, stay to the right outside the building and walk down the small street of Tahmis Sokak. You will pass about 15 or so vendors selling dried fruits, nuts, cheese, fish and fresh produce.
|On Tahmis Sokak in Eminönü, you will find cheese shops like this one.|
The guys will happily give you samples to try.
Toward the end of the street, you will see the famous Turkish coffee shop, Kurukahveci MehmetEfendi, on your right-hand side on the corner. Turn right down this street, Hasırcılar Caddesi. This is my stomping grounds in Istanbul and where you will find everything you ever wanted (almost) for baking.
|I have never not seen a line outside of this Turkish coffee shop in Eminönü.|
So here are my 3 Favorite Baking Supply Stores in Eminönü in Istanbul:
1. Sancar - First, you will pass by Sancar. In front of the store are bins filled with nuts, boxes of plastic wrap, plastic gloves, paper plates and cups. Look for the helpful guys wearing red shirts. I think I'm considered a regular customer by now.
I doubt any other yabancı buy as many kilos as I do of chocolate chips (10 tl), chopped walnuts (24 tl), hazelnuts (22 tl), powdered sugar (4 tl) and 2.5 kilo bricks of dark chocolate. Sancar also has a great selection of plastic take-away containers that I buy in bulk to transport my pastries.
|A 1-kilo bag of Elit bitter chocolate chips costs 10 tl.|
2. Besan - About 10 stores down from Sancar, you will notice this pastry shop by its hundreds of colorful baking cups stacked outside in a bin.
|Colorful baking cups at Besan.|
Inside Besan, you will find one of the best selection of cookie cutters (2-10 tl each). But beware, cookie cutters are much more expensive here than the U.S. Actually, all of the imported pastry items such as pastry bags, piping tips and fancy baking pans are more expensive in Turkey.
However, I have bought a fair number of cookie cutters, mini metal tart pans and my foil cardboard cake circles here (.50 tl each). Besan also has a colorful selection of fondant, which I've used with great success.
|I've bought many cookie cutters here at Besan.|
3. Nüans - Continue a few more meters down Hasırcılar Caddesi and you will see a duplex-like pastry shop on the left-hand side of the street.
|Nüans always has bins outside filled with baskets, bowls and |
other kitchen supplies.
Nüans is the largest pastry supply store in Eminönü (that I know of), but it also tends to be slightly higher priced than the other ones I frequent. Still, I pop in every now and then to compare goods and prices. The store does have a large selection of baking pans, silpats, pastry tips, cookie cutters, kitchen knives, cupcake decorating sprinkles, birthday candles, fondant and sugar paste supplies.
So there you have it! Now, you know where a busy baker like me likes to shop in Istanbul.
Happy baking everyone!
Address: Hasırcılar Caddesi No. 24, Eminönü-Fatih
Address: Hasırcılar Caddesi No. 38, Eminönü-Fatih
Address: Hasırcılar Caddesi No. 65-67, Eminönü-Fatih