Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I have 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!

Sancar Merkez
Address: Hasırcılar Caddesi No. 24, Eminönü-Fatih
Tel: 0212-528-6836

Besan LTD.
Address: Hasırcılar Caddesi No. 38, Eminönü-Fatih
Tel: 0212-514-1516

Address: Hasırcılar Caddesi No. 65-67, Eminönü-Fatih
Tel: 0212-513-4242

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Sue Narayan said...

So helpful, Joy! This one is going to get printed and carried with me to Eminonu!

Anne Mackle said...

What lovely shops it must be hard for you to leave them with your purchases. I've never seen shops like this in the UK ours are too pristine and clinical.

Joy said...

@Sue, you are welcome! Enjoy some shopping.

@Anne, I like to think of the shops as an organized chaos. ;-) It's always busy, and sometimes I can even bargain for a better price since I'm a regular customer or when I buy in bulk.

Manya said...

My favorite street in the Spice Market -but I never thought to look for baking supplies there. Thanks!

Ozlem's Turkish Table said...

What a neat shoppers/bakers guide in Eminonu :) Love it there too, has such a wonderful buzz! Many thanks for sharing this:)

Joy said...

@Manya, glad to hear I'm not the only one. Truly some neat finds if you look around.

Joy said...

@Ozlem, you are welcome! I've learned it's best to shop before 2 pm if at all possible to avoid some of the crowds. :-)

BacktoBodrum said...

A question Joy - With Xmas cakes not too far in the future, where do you buy ground almonds? A kilo in Bodrum is seriously expensive.

Joy said...

@BacktoBodrum, badem toz I usually buy from my spice girl at the Spice Bazaar, Ucuzcular, No. 51. Cost is around 24 tl per kilo.

Unknown said...

Thanks for taking time for sharing this article, it was excellent and very informative. Its really very useful of all of users. I found a lot of informative stuff in your article. Keep it up.
RC Toys UK

Joy said...

@John, you're welcome! Glad to provide some helpful advice!

Alicia said...

The powdered sugar you are purchasing, is it similar to American powdered sugar, fine and smooth or is it like the Turkish poudre seker, a bit grainy? I bring my own powdered sugar from the US and use it when I want to bake something really special but sugar is heavy!

Joy said...

@Alicia, I've never found American-style powdered sugar here...unfortunately. The kilos I buy from Sancar are a bit better though. That's why I always make an Italian buttercream with a cooked sugar syrup instead of any icing with powdered sugar. I stopped bringing back powdered sugar from the US b/c the last time it was confiscated at JFK! Boy, those TSA officials were disappointed. :-)

Leen said...

thanks so much for this! i've moved to istanbul recently and was looking for a place to get chocolate. i popped by sancar yesterday and got a bag of elit compound chocolate; do you know where i might be able to get couverture chocolate?

Joy said...

@Leen, you're welcome! Glad to be helpful. Sancar has "konfiserie" chocolate which is good for dipping and making candies. FYI, I've only seen this kind of chocolate sold as a 2.5 kilo brick though.

Unknown said...

Thank you! This was so easy to follow and I got everything I needed, including Cream of Tartar... thank you!!

Joy said...

@Claire, Super! That's great to hear! Hope you found lots of goodies! :-)

Joyce said...

Hi - can you also please tell me if I can find cake boxes at these stores? I'm especially looking for strong cupcake boxes (that hold 24 cupcakes). I don't live in Istanbul but I will be visiting at the beginning of April. Any tips much appreciated, thank you!

Unknown said...

This is such a wonderful article, extremely helpful.

Do you have any advıce on the different flours that you get in turkey.

Love to bake but am battling to get proper translations of the different kind of flours.

Anonymous said...

Where can i find fake cake or cake dummie ?

Joy said...

The variety at these stores is always changing. Sometimes I could find cupcakes boxes for 12-cupcakes, but not always. Unfortunately.

I don't recall ever seeing cake dummies in Istanbul.

Flour is un in Turkish.
Wheat flour is buğday unu.
Chestnut flour is kestane unu.
Almond flour is badem toz.

Unknown said...

does anyone know where in istanbul can i buy food coloring gel for cake making.
this blog is very helpful as we are getting ready to fly to istanbul mid-june 2015.

Joy said...

@Kiefer, One of these stores I recommended usually carry the food coloring gel paste in small containers. Good luck!

Unknown said...

Hello, I'm in search of a cooking thermonitor for making fudge and other sweets. Do you have any idea where I can purchase this item in istanbul or an online turkish Store? Thank you in advance fır your help :-)

Unknown said...

Merhaba, I'm leaving in istanbul for few months now, I wanna bake a cake but don't know where I can buy cake supply store in ista, so I Google n find ur blog, horee, I'm so happy, ur blog very helpful n full of information that I need, thank you so much for sharing with us :)

Unknown said...

Merhaba, I'm leaving in istanbul for few months now, I wanna bake a cake but don't know where I can buy cake supply store in ista, so I Google n find ur blog, horee, I'm so happy, ur blog very helpful n full of information that I need, thank you so much for sharing with us :)

Unknown said...

That is a very informative post, recently i am searching for baking store.

Baking Tools And Equipment

Joy said...

Merhaba! Glad İ could help. Happy baking!

Unknown said...

Am in analya now does any one knows cake decoration shops in analya. Please let me know

lintang said...

Joy. Thank you so much. I have been looking for this information in 2021. Hopefully you can family are doing okay in this covid time.