Spice Bazaar in Istanbul
Spice Bazaar in Istanbul is one of Turkey’s largest bazaars. It is located in Eminonu and it is the most famous shopping center after the grand bazaar.
Spice Bazaar was first named “New Bazaar”, then it got its name changed as “Egyptian Bazaar.” People in Turkey still call it the Egyptian bazaar In Istanbul. The bazaar was the trade center for spice in Istanbul. However, in the recent years, the bazaar started selling different kind of goods too.
The building is part of the New Mosque. The shops in the bazaar were built to upkeep the mosque. So when you visit Istanbul, you can visit both the bazaar and the New Mosque together!
Which Spices to Buy in Istanbul?
In Spice Bazaar, you can find almost any spice you can imagine. Yet, there is no reason to buy spices you can find anywhere, so it is best to look for the Turkish spices that you can only find the best of its kind in Turkey. Down below, I have recommended some of the best spices in Istanbul.
Sumac is a widely used spice in the Mediterranean cousine and in the Middle East. When it is grounded into powder form, it gives a burgundy hue and a slightly tangly, lemony flavor to food. In Turkish cousine, sumac powder is mainly a garnish. You can sprinkle Sumac powder on grilled meats, yogurt, or mix it with onions.
Red Pepper Flakes
Red Pepper Flakes is one of the most popular spices you can find during your travel in Istanbul. They are made of drying hot and sweet peppers in the sun, and then crushed up. The method can change from region to region, but the importance is the same. When you go to cafes and restaurants in Istanbul, you will definitely order at least one meal that has red pepper flakes sprinkled on it. It is not only the flavor that gives it an important part in Turkish cousine, but it is also enriched with vitamin C, so it will strenghten your immune system on the way.
Cumin is an intense aromatic flavour that is indispensable in Turkish cousine. It is mostly used in köfte (meatballs) and other meat dishes. Turkish people process cumin to its powder form, so it is hardly used in its seed form. The main purpose of this Anatolian spice is to suppress the smell of meat. You can also find cumin in spicy sausages like sucuk and pastirma (bacon). Health wise, cumin is a good spice for people with asthma. It also increases immunity and fastens digestion. During your Istanbul travel, you should definitely eat sucuk and pastirma in Cuma Cafe to taste the miracles of cumin.
The best food in Istanbul, or in Turkey, definitely contains black pepper. Black pepper is one of the best selling spices in Turkey. Even though it is widely used in very cousine in the world, you can find the freshest black pepper in Spice Bazaar. The bitter and flavoured taste of black pepper can find a place for itself in every meal. It facilitates digestion and burns fat through its antioxidants.
Spice Bazaar Opening Hours
Even though it can change during the religious and public holidays, Spice Bazaar is open between 9am and 7pm everyday.
How to get to the Spice Bazaar?
You can take the bus or subway to Eminonu which is in Fatih district, and walk across the square. Head down the narrow street full of cheese and dried meat shops. After that, turn left into the bazaar. On the other hand, you can take a cab and say you are going to the Spice Bazaar, since every taxi driver in Istanbul knows where the famous bazaar is.