Istanbul is the city of sweet delight. From traditional Turkish desserts to European favorites, she offers a wide variety of mouthwatering sweets. This post will explore some of the most popular and acclaimed Istanbul desserts and dessert shops in Istanbul.
Trying to decide which of these dessert shops in Istanbul has the best desserts is like trying to pick your favorite child. All these places are incredible, and each one would be an excellent choice for you!
Important note: To all those who love baklava, I am sorry to say that this blog post will not include this world-famous dessert. In fact, we have written a separate blog post about the baklava shops in Istanbul: The Best Baklava in Istanbul: TOP 11 Baklava Shops
List of best dessert shops in Istanbul:
1. Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir
Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir is one of the most famous sweets shops in Istanbul. First established in 1777 during the Ottoman Empire, the shop has been a benchmark for Turkish sweets ever since. You can find a plethora of Turkish desserts in this shop, from hard candies to halva and jams.
However, Hacı Bekir’s most popular product is lokum, also known as “Turkish delight.” Hacı Bekir’s Turkish delight is possibly the best in all of existence.
If you’re looking for a place to get some of the best Turkish sweets in Istanbul, Haci Bekir should be your first stop. Many people walk past this legendary sweet shop as it is centrally located but easy to miss; the unassuming exterior of Haci Bekir Bahçekapı is deceptive, as its interior houses the best Turkish sweets and Turkish delights in Istanbul. (Hacı Bekir branch in Bahçekapı, Istanbul has been declared as a living museum by Ministry Of Culture and Tourism)
Note: This is not a place to sit down, but rather a confectionery.
Related content: 44 Famous & Best Turkish Foods You Must Try Once in Your Life
2. Saray Muhallebicisi
At Saray Muhallebicisi, located on Istiklal Street since 1949, you can get some of the best puddings and cakes in Istanbul.
As their name suggests, (“Muhallebici” translates as “pudding maker” in Turkish) Saray Muhallebicisi specializes in milk-based Turkish desserts such as İncirli Muhallebi (fig pudding), Tavukgöğsü (chicken milky dessert), Sütlaç (rice pudding), and Keşkül (almond pudding).
A special mention should be given to Aşure, an ancient Turkish dessert that tastes as good as it looks. Saray Muhallebicisi makes one of the best Aşure in Istanbul, and it should be on your list of things you must eat while visiting Turkey. The Turkish coffee and tea at Saray Muhallebicisi are also worth a mention.
Related content: 20 Famous Turkish Kebabs You Can Taste in Istanbul
3. J’adore Chocolatier
When you enter J’adore Chocolatier, located on one of the back streets in Beyoğlu, it’s like walking into a chocolate-lovers paradise.
At J’adore Chocolatier, you can taste something different than traditional Turkish desserts in the city. This is a small vintage chocolate shop with French background music, good seasonal cakes, and desserts. Not to mention its delectable assortment of chocolates.
The “Oh là là Beatrice” cake is one of their most popular offerings, featuring warm chocolate poured over a delicate cake with bananas and strawberries.
Related content: 18 Best Restaurants in Taksim & Beyoğlu That You Must Try
4. Çiğdem Pastanesi Sultanahmet
Çiğdem Pastanesi is located on the main street of touristy Sultanahmet. Despite its location, this patisserie & sweet shop isn’t only for tourists—it’s an authentic Turkish sweet and pastry spot that locals love to visit as well.
From the moment you walk into Çiğdem Pastanesi, you are immersed in a world of warmth and friendliness. This tradition dates back to 1961 when founder Halil Ündar began hiring only those who were kind-hearted enough to greet guests with a smile on their face every day.
Their cakes are delicious, as are their ponçik and tartlets. They also sell breakfast sandwiches and bakery products that would impress even the most discerning of taste buds.
Related content: 14 Best Restaurants in Sultanahmet (Istanbul Old City)
5. Divan Brasserie Beyoğlu
You can enjoy Italian and Turkish food along with sublime desserts on the terrace of this relaxed restaurant with stupendous views.
If you’re looking for a delicious meal, Divan Brasserie is your go-to place. Their food and cocktails are simply excellent, but the desserts and chocolates they serve will leave you speechless.
Their patisserie has a fantastic selection of cakes, cheesecake, and desserts, from Turkish classic mastic gum flavored “Rice Pudding” to Cointreau-infused “Crêpes Suzette.” These are all decorated with colorful glazes and nut & fruit drizzles that made them look incredibly appetizing.
A perfectly brewed Turkish coffee or tea would be an excellent finale to these desserts and fruit cakes.
Related content: Best Istanbul Restaurants on Bosphorus: Top 9 Right Now
6. Baylan Kadıköy
From its opening in 1923, Baylan was loved by locals of Istanbul as a place to meet and socialize.
With two patisseries in Istanbul, they are the perfect place to stop for a sweet bite. Their menu offers cakes and chocolates inspired by French cuisine. Their serve parfaits, profiteroles a la glace, truffle cakes, tarts, chocolate mousse and mille feuilles.
The most famous dessert from Baylan is their creation, which they call the “Kup Griye.” It is a dessert invented by the founder of Baylan, Harry Lenas, in 1954, and is among the famous desserts in Istanbul.
Kup Griye is a delicious combination of vanilla and caramel ice cream with whipped cream, honey almond, and caramel sauce.
Related content: 10 Best Kadıköy Restaurants: A Complete Guide w/ Maps
7. Şekerci Cafer Erol
Şekerci Cafer Erol is located on one of the main streets in Kadıköy. It has a rich history, with its founder Cafer Erol starting it up in 1935. This little gem did not lose any of its charms over the years, and instead, it only grew more popular.
Following the footsteps of his great grandfather, who had a candy shop in Ottoman Istanbul in 1807, Şekerci Cafer Erol still produces some of the classic Ottoman sweets and candies such as jams, hard candies, lokum, and almond pastes. They have also started serving ice cream recently and it is really delightful.
This stunning dessert shop will have you admiring the treats before choosing one. You’ll be glancing at all of them, amazed by their beauty and deliciousness for minutes on end before finally deciding which to buy.
Without a doubt, Şekerci Cafer Erol serves some of the best Turkish desserts in Istanbul.
Related content: Istanbul’s Top 8 Doner Kebab Places: A Complete Guide w/ Maps
8. Savoy Patisserie
Located in the up-and-coming Cihangir neighborhood, Savoy serves a variety of delicious pastries and cakes.
On weekends it is great for a fantastic breakfast or brunch meal with friends and has many quick snacks available to grab on your way out exploring laidback Cihangir’s colorful streets filled with trendy cafes and antique shops.
At Savoy, every dessert is a masterpiece. There are puddings, millefeuille, cookies in all shapes and sizes; there are even handmade wafers. The menu includes cakes of many kinds and fresh sandwiches that will be a quick & energy-filling lunch, allowing you extra time to explore more of this beautiful Istanbul suburb.
Related content: The Best Breakfast in Istanbul: 10 Excellent Breakfast Places
9. Helvacı Ali 1900
Helvacı Ali is the right place to visit if you are tired of baklavas, cakes, and milk-based desserts in Istanbul.
This century-old establishment offers varieties of helva, including semolina, chocolate, and tahini helva. However, one of the desserts on the menu has an extraordinary name that makes you start craving it when you hear the name: The Heaven Mud. Well, yes, it’s mud, but it’s from heaven!
Heaven mud is made with shredded wheat (kadayif), crushed pistachio, and a special sheep milk clotted cream.
Helvacı Ali is a treasure in Istanbul. If you find yourself there, make sure to try their specialty, the Heaven mud. This dessert is usually confused with kunefe.
Related content: 12 Absolute Best Seafood Restaurants in Istanbul
10. Bolulu Hasan Usta Eminönü
As one of Turkey’s most well-known dessert brands, Bolulu Hasan Usta specializes in Turkish milky puddings. At this famous chain dessert shop, in addition to cake, you can find every single pudding available from all across Turkey.
The pudding flavors include traditional rose water, mastic gum (made from a resin extracted from Agean gum trees), and almond. You may even get ice cream on top of your pudding at this eatery on a hot summer day, despite it being not traditional to do so in Turkey.
At Bolulu Hasan Usta, you can enjoy a famous Turkish dessert called Tavuk Göğsü. This sweet treat has actual chicken pieces in it and is made with milk, sugar, and starch.
Related content: Turkish Drinks: 10 Popular Beverages Turkey Can’t Live Without
11. Altan Şekerleme
Sugar-craving Istanbullus of every age have been coming to this shop in the backstreets of Eminönü since 1865, lured by its reasonably priced and delectable lokum (Turkish delight), halva, and akide şekeri (hard candy).
The wide variety of homemade Turkish delights on offer at this family business has made it an institution in Istanbul. Their family recipes have been passed down for generations starting from their great grandparents. Altan family held onto them tightly and made everything upstairs in the same building, following these well-known secrets to their success.
Altan Şekerleme is a little different than the other places on this list of best Turkish desserts in Istanbul; there is nowhere to sit down, but you can buy small boxes of Turkish delight and nibble during your Istanbul stay or bring home as a gift for loved ones.
Related content: The 10 Oldest Restaurants in Istanbul for a Taste of History
12. Asuman Moda
Asuman Patisserie is one of the most well-known pastry shops in Istanbul. The queue for this small dessert shop can be long all day, but the chocolate desserts served here are so delicious and beautiful that it’s worth visiting.
The dessert menu at this place is quite unusual; the desserts are all their own creation and are named after ancient Arabic, Persian, and Turkish female names.
“Asuman” (the dessert) is made with strawberry, chocolate, and biscuit pieces in a jar; “Feride” is made with pistachio and mascarpone ice cream on a freshly baked chocolate cake; “Feraye” is a waffle with strawberries and melted chocolate; “Müjgan” is made with mascarpone ice cream and hot espresso on Langues de Chat; “Oya” is served in a wine glass with fresh strawberry, white chocolate cream, and caramelized almonds.
It sounds like you will have to visit Asuman more than once if you want to try all these delicious desserts they offer.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best dessert shops in Istanbul. As you can see, there is more to Turkish desserts than just baklava, and this blog post should give you a new appreciation for the diverse cuisine that Turkey has to offer.
If you are looking for an authentic culinary experience while visiting Istanbul, consider joining one of our food tours, where we will introduce all your senses to traditional Turkish dishes. Get ready to try some delicious desserts like fresh baklava, tavuk göğsü, or Turkish ice cream served on plates (dondurma) while exploring the history behind these sweet treats!
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