An aromatic, colourful and alluring showcase of the best fresh produce in the city, the Kadıköy Pazarı is foodie central for locals and is becoming an increasingly popular destination for tourists. Equally rewarding to explore independently or on a guided culinary walk, it’s small enough to retain a local feel yet large enough to support a variety of specialist traders.
Getting here involves crossing from Europe to Asia and is best achieved on a ferry – from the deck you’ll be able to admire the domes and minarets studding the skylines of both shores and watch seagulls swooping overhead. Once you've arrived, cross Rihtim Caddesi in front of the main iskele (ferry dock) and walk up Muvakkithane Caddesi or Yasa Caddesi to reach the centre of the action. The best produce shops are in Güneşlibahçe Sokak – you’ll see fish glistening on beds of crushed ice, displays of seasonal fruits and vegetables, combs of amber-hued honey, tubs of tangy pickles, bins of freshly roasted nuts and much, much more.
Eating and drinking opportunities in and around the bazaar are plentiful: creamy yoghurt and honey at Etabal, regional Anatolian specialities at Çiya Sofrası, crispy lahmacun (Arabic-style pizza) at Borsam Taş Fırın, the catch of the day at Kadı Nımet Balıkçılık, ice-cream sundaes at Baylan Pastanesi and the city’s best Turkish coffee at Fazıl Bey. For gifts to take home, consider lokum (Turkish delight) from Ali Muhıddın Hacı Bekir, coffee from Fazıl Bey or olive-oil soap from one of the herbalists in Güneşlibahçe Sokak.
For a serious immersion into the local food culture, sign up for a walk with Culinary Backstreets, Turkish Flavours or İstanbul on Food – all three companies pride themselves on knowing the best local places to eat and shop.