The Güllüoğlu family have been in the baklava business since 1820 so it is fair to say that they are well acquainted with the Turkish dessert. The family business opened a shop in Karakoy in 1949 and has since gained a reputation throughout the city for exceptional baklava – arguably the best in Istanbul, recommended by visitors and locals alike. The shop sells baklava alongside other the sweet treats, and the boxes it is packaged in make impressive souvenirs of Istanbul.
Karaköy Güllüoğlu, Rıhtım Caddesi, Karaköy, +90 (0)212 293 0910
After a day spent wandering around the Spice Bazaar, be sure to stop at Develi. The shop close to the market sells some of the best baklava in the city, and aficionados revelling in the many varieties available. The classic baklava with a choice of nut fillings is always a good choice. Those for something a little different should go for the bülbül yuvası, a pastry filled with kaymak (clotted cream) and pistachios.
Develi, Hasırcılar Caddesi 89, Eminönü, +90 (0)212 512 1261
Those who sometimes find baklava a little too sweet will appreciate Köşkeroğlu’s perfect balance of pastry, butter and honey. This must-visit store’s baklava is a strong contender for the best in Istanbul, with outstanding flavour combinations, both traditional and unique. The long queue of locals outside the restaurant is a testament to the quality of the baklava found here.
Köşkeroğlu, Mumhane Caddesi, Karaköy, +90 (0)212 243 1591
While Konyalı is slightly more expensive than other traditional cafés, its impressive views of the Bosphorus and standout baklava make it a popular choice with statesmen and other discerning client. The Konyalı bakery next door is famous for its pastries and baklava is always a top buy. Choose a selection with a glass of tea for a memorable Turkish afternoon pick-me-up.
Konyalı Pastanesi, Ankara Caddesi, Sirkeci, +90 (0)212 527 1235
Hafiz Mustafa in Taksim Square is one of the oldest baklava shops in Istanbul and a great spot for tea and cakes. It sells an assortment of traditional Turkish treats, from Turkish delight to candied fruits and, of course, baklava. The baklava alone comes in an impressive variety of flavours. Buy a single piece to nibble on the spot, or choose a selection box – an ideal Isbanbul souvenir.
Hafiz Mustafa, Hobyar Mahallesi, Hamidiye Caddesi 84, Eminönü, +90 (0)212 513 3610