Istanbul is a heaven for foodies. Experiencing a dessert with a cup of Turkish tea or coffee can be a great break during your journey. Here are the most famous Turkish desserts:
The Tip of the Iceberg: Baklava
Baklava is the most popular Turkish dessert, and can be found in many flavors and shapes. The most common ones are pistachio and walnut. Layers of phyllo dough are brushed with butter and sugar syrup then stuffed with walnuts, nuts or pistachios which are cut into rectangles or diamonds after being baked in a circle tray. You can also find the other variations including ‘’Havuç Dilim’’, big triangle baklava stuffed with sweet cream.
The most popular place to enjoy all the variations of baklava is Karaköy Güllüoğlu. They are regarded as masters of baklava as well as providing other selection of sweets. You can grab a tea, prepare yourself a plate and enjoy your time in their garden. If you are curious about how they prepare all the delicious sweets, there are monitors all around showing them bake. If you miss this spot, don’t worry, they export their baklava to over 100 hundred countries…
Chocolate fans beware! Profiterols are pastry puff stuffed with cream and fully coated with bitter chocolate. A portion in Turkey usually includes 4-5 cream puffs and is accompanied with lemonade or a Turkish tea.
The best place to have this delicacy is, ‘’İnci Pastanesi’. The atmosphere is very cozy with some traditional Turkish motifs. İnci is located in the heart of the Istanbul District, where you can go shopping, bars/clubs and try the other Turkish food.
Sütlaç (Rice Pudding)
Sütlaç is similar to a rice pudding. As a final step, it is baked in the oven so the top layer gets crispy like a crème brulée. It is served both hot and cold.
Sütlaç can be found in some Kebab Restaurants as well as, ‘’Esnaf Lokantası’’ where you can find homemade food. Well-known brands for selling these desserts,‘’Murat Muhallebicisi’’ which can be a great choice to try Sütlaç.
Künefe is a favorite dessert of many Turkish foodies. It consists of two layers of shredded phyllo dough including lots of sugar syrup and cheese between them.
‘’Lezzet-i Şark Antep Sofrası’’ is one of the best restaurants to experience Künefe. It is a kebab restaurant located in Eminönü, 20 minutes away from Old Town on foot. After you wander around the old town you can end your journey with a kebab and Künefe.
Tavuk Göğsü (Chicken Breast Pudding)
So far you witnessed the rice pudding and baked phyllo dough with cheese. What about Pudding with chicken breast? Sounds strange. Tavuk Göğsü, chicken breast in Turkish, is one of the most demanded desserts by the locals. Thin chicken breast pieces are boiled with milk, butter and flour to obtain an elastic shape. “Savoy Pastanesi’’ is a 70 year old well-known pastry shop in Cihangir, where you can enjoy Chicken Breast Pudding out of their wide selection of sweets.
Kadayıf is made with a phyllo then shredded and soaked with sugar syrup. It is stuffed with either nuts or pistachios and baked with butter. If you like baklava or künefe, kadayıf can fit to your palatal delight. Kadayıf is sold alongside baklava in many shops and you can also try that one in addition to baklava in ‘’Karaköy Güllüoğlu’’, the most famous baklava brand in Istanbul.
İrmik Helvası (Semolina Helva)
İrmik Helvası is a mixture of milk, semolina, butter, and peanuts. It can be eaten as warm in winter or accompanied with ice cream in summer. Some of the restaurants also serve the ice cream inside of the İrmik Helvası. ‘’Zamane Kahvesi’’ is located in Nişantaşı area where you can also have shopping from local boutiques and well-known luxury brands.