I can buy a huge bunch of parsley for 50 kuruş (28 cents) or a kilo of super ripe, cherry red tomatoes for only 1 TL as well as 3 “Lacoste” polos for 10 TL each. The price, selection and quality of produce here is far superior than anything you’ll find at the supermarkets. Often, you even can buy kitchen utensils, tools, toys and things you didn't even know you needed.
Many neighborhoods in Istanbul boast a weekly pazar on a particular day of the week. On Saturdays, we frequent the large pazar in Beşiktaş on Nüzhetiye Cad. On Tuesdays, I generally go to the Salı Pazarı in 4Levent.
But last week, I discovered the Tuesday pazar in Arnavutköy. This is an area I don’t usually go because it seems so far away, but it only took me 20 minutes (no trafffic) to reach by bus along the shore road from Beşiktaş. The pazar is located near the Oğul Sokak.
The Arnavutköy pazar is a bit smaller than some of the others I’ve been to in the city, but still worth the effort to search out. I still managed to find a few items I haven’t seen elsewhere as well as the first crop of nar (pomegranate).
|These don't look quite ripe to me as the outer skins are usually more reddish.|
|A typical pazar stand - full of beans, cucumbers, peppers and eggplant.|
|A strange kind of pickling cucumbers I've never seen before.|
|Typical pickling cucumbers.|
|Fried green tomatoes anyone?|
One stall also had a wide variety of dried herbs for teas, such as this sarı papatya (chamomile).
|In the Midwest, we call these ground cherries. My mom used to grow tons of these in|
her garden where I would just pick them fresh off the plant and eat them.
|A table full of melons and artichokes.|
|Visit Kemal for some of the best and reddest tomatoes!|
Other Istanbul pazars to check out:
- Monday - Göztepe, Uskudar/Bağlarbaşı area near Selami Ali Mah.
- Tuesday - Arnavutköy, Kadıköy, 4Levent, Bahçeşehir
- Wednesday - Fatih and Yeşilköy, Özgürlük Park
- Thursday - Ulus, Erenkoy - near the railroad tracks
- Friday - Uskudar - near Uskudar High Street
- Saturday - Beşiktaş and Bakırköy, Bahçeşehir
- Also on Saturdays - an organic pazar called Feriköy Halk Pazarı in the Feriköy district of Şişli, (Bomonti Caddesi, Lala Şahin Sokak), from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Sunday - There is supposed to be a massive, incredible street market in Tarlabaşı, but I haven’t been to it yet.
You may even find one of these handy Istanbul Eats Bazaar tote bags for sale.
If I missed a particular pazar, please let me know.