Istanbul, a city steeped in history and culture, is also home to a treasure trove of mouthwatering desserts. With a diverse array of Turkish sweets, famous sweet shops in Turkey are waiting to tantalize your taste buds. In this extensive guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the top turkish sweet shops in Istanbul and introduce you to the most delectable treats they offer.

A History of Turkish Sweets: From Delight to Decadence

Sweets hold a special place in Turkish culture, as they are often used to celebrate special occasions, express hospitality, and bring people together. Turkish desserts are a blend of flavors from the Ottoman Empire, Central Asia, and the Middle East, reflecting the country’s diverse history and culinary influences.

The Unique Flavors of Turkish Sweets

Turkish sweets are known for their rich and complex flavors, combining sweet and savory elements. From the iconic Turkish Delight (lokum) to the flaky layers of baklava, the variety of sweets available in Turkey is vast and diverse, offering something for every palate.

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Hafiz Mustafa: A Time-Honored Tradition

Established in 1864, Hafiz Mustafa is one of the oldest and most famous sweet shops in Istanbul. This family-owned business has been serving up traditional Turkish sweets and confections for over 150 years, making it an essential stop for anyone looking to indulge in authentic Turkish desserts.

Must-Try Delicacies at Hafiz Mustafa

While Hafiz Mustafa is best known for its exquisite Turkish Delight, there’s more to explore in their delightful assortment of sweets. Sample the melt-in-your-mouth baklava, enjoy a warm and comforting künefe, or savor the unique flavors of their creamy puddings.

Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir: A Tale of Turkish Delight

Founded in 1777, Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir is the oldest Turkish sweet shop in Istanbul, and the birthplace of Turkish Delight. The store has been handcrafting these beloved confections for over two centuries, using traditional methods and recipes passed down through generations.

What to Buy: Turkish Delight Selection

The Turkish Delight at Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir is a must-try experience, with a dizzying array of flavors and textures to choose from. Whether you prefer the classic rose and lemon or more adventurous flavors like pomegranate and walnut, you’re sure to find a Turkish Delight to satisfy your cravings.

Other Sweet Offerings Worth Indulging In

In addition to their famous Turkish Delight, Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir also offers a selection of traditional sweets, such as marzipan, halva, and akide şeker (rock candy). Don’t miss the chance to sample these exquisite treats during your visit.

Dilseker Turkish Delight-Baklava-Coffe-Nuts: A Triple Treat

Located in the bustling neighborhood of Beyoğlu, Dilseker is a charming little shop that packs a punch when it comes to Turkish sweets. With a welcoming atmosphere and a vast array of treats, this small but delightful shop is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

Heavenly Baklava Collection and Coffee Pairings

Dilseker offers a selection of heavenly baklava, expertly crafted using the finest ingredients. Pair your baklava with a cup of traditional Turkish coffee for a truly authentic experience that will leave your taste buds singing.

What to Buy: Turkish Delight and Nut Specialties

Besides baklava, Dilseker also offers an assortment of Turkish Delight flavors and nut specialties, including pistachio, hazelnut, and almond-based treats. Be sure to explore their unique offerings and take home some delicious souvenirs.

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Zaitoune Sweets: A Fusion of Flavors

Zaitoune Sweets is a one-of-a-kind sweet shop that brings together the best of Turkish and Middle Eastern confections. With a diverse menu featuring both traditional and innovative creations, Zaitoune is a must-visit destination for dessert lovers.

What to Buy: Kunefe, Baklava and Lokum

Some of Zaitoune’s standout treats include their aromatic kunefe, a cheese-based dessert that’s crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside, and their succulent, honey-soaked semolina cake, known as basbousa. Don’t forget to try their pistachio-filled baklava and rose-flavored Turkish Delight.

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Duranoğlu Baklava: Layers of Sweet Perfection

Duranoğlu Baklava is a family-owned sweet shop that specializes in crafting delectable baklava. Using only the finest ingredients and traditional techniques, Duranoğlu has become a go-to destination for those seeking the best baklava in Istanbul.

Must-Try Delicacies: the Wide Assortment of Baklava Flavors

With a wide assortment of baklava flavors, including classic pistachio and walnut, as well as more adventurous options like chocolate and hazelnut, Duranoğlu offers a baklava experience unlike any other.

Bolulu Hasan Usta: A Sweet Symphony

Bolulu Hasan Usta began as a small, humble sweet shop and has since grown into a renowned destination for dessert enthusiasts in Istanbul. Bolulu Hasan Usta’s dedication to quality and consistency has earned them a loyal following and a reputation for excellence.

The Must-Try Confections at Bolulu Hasan Usta

Bolulu Hasan Usta offers a variety of must-try confections, including their signature baklava, rich and creamy şekerpare, and the indulgent, syrup-soaked tulumba. Be sure to try their künefe, a delightful cheese dessert that’s crispy on the outside and oozing with sweetness on the inside.

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Saray Muhallebicisi: A Pudding Paradise

Established in 1935, Saray Muhallebicisi has been delighting customers with their exquisite puddings and traditional Turkish desserts for decades. With a rich history and a commitment to quality, Saray Muhallebicisi has become a beloved institution in Istanbul.

The Extensive Range of Turkish Puddings and Desserts

Saray Muhallebicisi offers an impressive array of Turkish puddings, from the classic rice pudding (sütlaç) to the silky-smooth kazandibi. Don’t miss their tavuk göğsü, a unique dessert made with shredded chicken breast and sweet, milky pudding.

Baklavaci Ali Usta: A Master of the Craft

With years of experience and a passion for his craft, Baklavaci Ali Usta has earned a reputation as one of the best baklava makers in Istanbul. His dedication to quality and authenticity ensures that every bite of baklava is a true masterpiece.

The Mouthwatering Baklava Creations

Baklavaci Ali Usta’s baklava is a work of art, featuring delicate layers of filo pastry and a rich, nutty filling. With a variety of flavors, from classic pistachio to decadent chocolate, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Cigdem Pastanesi: A Modern Twist on Classic Sweets

Cigdem Pastanesi is a chic and contemporary sweet shop that offers a fresh take on classic Turkish desserts. With a focus on creativity and presentation, Cigdem Pastanesi is reinventing Turkish sweets for a new generation of dessert lovers.

The Delightful Assortment of Sweets and Pastries

From their elegant éclairs and tarts to their modern interpretations of Turkish classics like baklava and lokum, Cigdem Pastanesi offers a delightful assortment of sweets and pastries that are as beautiful as they are delicious. Be sure to try their unique creations, such as rose-infused macarons and chocolate-covered Turkish Delight.

Altan Şekerleme: A Candy Wonderland

Established in 1865, Altan Şekerleme is a historic candy shop that has been delighting Istanbul’s sweet lovers for generations. With a commitment to quality and tradition, Altan Şekerleme has become a cherished institution in the city.

The Incredible Variety of Candies and Confections

Altan Şekerleme offers an incredible variety of candies and confections, from nostalgic favorites like akide şekeri (sugar candy) and helva (a sesame-based sweet) to more contemporary treats like colorful lollipops and gourmet chocolates. With such an extensive selection, there’s something to satisfy every sweet tooth.


In conclusion, Istanbul is a treasure trove of delectable sweets and pastries just waiting to be discovered. From historic establishments like Hafiz Mustafa to modern innovators like Cigdem Pastanesi, these Turkish sweet shops offer an unforgettable journey through the city’s rich culinary heritage. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, exploring the best baklava in Istanbul and other Turkish delights is an experience you won’t want to miss.

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