The Egyptian Bazaar is where tourists head to buy spices and dried fruits. If your are unable to go to the Asian side, then this is where you could buy your dry fruits and spices. However go to a few shops, taste and then buy. Our guide took us to the first shop on the right side and many in our group bought there, however, when we went to a few other shops inside the prices were quite low.
What to buy: You can buy saffron, turmeric, cinnamon, almonds, dates, pistachios, walnuts, goji berries, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, apricots and much more...
What to pay: Check, bargain and go around the rows of shops in the bazaars to compare the prices.
There are many shops in the Kadikoy area that sell dried fruits, nuts and spices. You could also go to Migros or Carrefour. These are better places to buy than the Egyptian spice market in the old city area.
What to buy: Walnuts, Apricots, Pine nuts, Pistachios, melon seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashewnuts, roasted corn, haselnuts, almonds....saffron, chillies, so much more...
What to pay: There is no bargaining in reputed stores, but in the Egyptian market one needs to bargain a bit.
What we know as spices are the roots, buds, bark, berries and some aromatic seeds used in flavouring cooking. Turkish cuisine uses them widely which gives it a special flavour and smell.
Typical examples of spices are cloves (buds), cinnamon (bark), turmeric (root), peppercorns (berries), vanilla (the bean from a tropical orchid vine) and cumin, coriander, dill and fennel…
At the Egyptian Bazaar you will find an wide selection of spices: saffron, oreganon, mint, cinnamon, henna for the hair, special Turkish spices for meat, different kind of pepper....
The Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar is the second largest covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar. There are several documents suggesting the name of the bazaar was first called the "New Bazaar". However, due to the fact that many spices were imported via Egypt in the Ottoman period it then acquired its current name. It was built by architect Mustafa in 1660 and consists of 88 vaulted rooms. For me, I preferred it over its bigger cousin, the Grand Bazaar, as it’s smaller and has a more personal feel. It's full of shops selling spices (naturally!), dried fruits, perfume oils, nougat, Turkish Delight, and honey.
The Spice Bazaar is often called the Egyptian Bazaar, since so many goods came from Egypt. The shops offer all kinds of spices, some hard to find elsewhere. It's called the Yeni Cami in Turkish.
Outside the Spice Bazaar is a huge street market. Strolling through the labyrinth of narrow streets lined with shops, you can find nearly anything.
What to buy: I purchased some saffron, at a cut-rate price. It would have cost ten times more in the US. This spice is used in many rice dishes, and it only takes a pinch. Some of it is still in my kitchen.
What to pay: Generally, spices cost less here than in the US.
My Istanbul based American friend took me to this, her favorite shop in Misir Carsisi (Spice Market) this summer. They had an array of wonderful spices, herbs, dried eggplant and dried okra strung like leis that were hanging over us. My senses were engaged as I was surrounded by these wonderful aromas and the sight of deeply hued spices. We had tea and water too which were readily offered to us.
What to buy: Despite the name which means 'corn', you should buy all kids of spices plus dried okra, pre-mixed garam masala, Turkish saffron (safran), and the item I was hunting down, cocoa butter!
What to pay: 3 YTL for a good sized container of Turkish saffron, best prices in all of the bazaar.
When you visit the Spice Bazaar, take a short detour and check out the little shops behind it - this part is non-touristy and you'll see locals buying and selling lots of different things. I liked it as much as the Spice Bazaar itself.
The Spice Bazaar is L-shaped and to get to this area I'm talking about, when you get to the intersection of the two arms of the L, go out the door and you'll immediately be in this area. You can also get here by walking down from the Grand Bazaar but it is sort of a chaotic walk.
Also known as the Egyptian Market, this is another must see when in Istanbul. The building was constructed in the mid-17th century as part of the nearby Yeni Camii complex. A portion of the revenue generated at the bazaar went to support the operations of the mosque. While you can find bulk spices of all kinds (the variety of colors are a photographer's dream subject!), there are also vendors selling a variety of other goods, chief among them being lokum or Turkish Delight, a local confection which must be tried in one form or another (there are seemingly an endless array of varieties). Silks, scarves, chotchke, lamps, carpets...it's all here. As are the crowds as we experienced on a Saturday afternoon. And surprisingly tourists were not in the majority.
What to buy: Spices, lokum, tourist trinkets
What to pay: Varies
This is the spice market.Outside there are nuts,spices,lokum(Turkish delight),tea,etc
Inside there are jewelary shops,souveniers and food too
What to buy: Definitely you should buy lokum.It is so so delicios....
What to pay: The kilo of the regular is between 4-6 YTL and these one with nuts is 7-10 YTL per kilo
The Egyptian Bazaar or Spice Market is busy and bustling and the atmosphere is great. As soon as you approach the Market, you can smell the aromas of cardamon, ginger, paprika, saffron and pepper.
It was nice to stroll around the stalls, sampling different types of Turkish Delight sweets and looking at the display of pretty coloured spices.
Note: The Egyptian Bazaar/Spice Market is closed on Sundays.
What to buy: Spices. Turkish Delights. Herbal teas.
What to pay: There's isn't much variation in price, but I always find it's a good idea to go around the Bazaar once and then come back to the stall where you're happy with the price of what you want to buy - that's if you can find it! Don't forget to haggle too.
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