Best Turkish Delight in Istanbul

Turkish Delight Illustration

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Turkish delight (Lokum in Turkish) is a traditional dessert that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a gel-like confectionery that comes in various flavors and is often served as a treat or gift.

In Istanbul, the birthplace of Turkish delight, there are numerous shops and restaurants where you can find the best Turkish delight. In this article, we will guide you to the best Turkish delight in Istanbul.

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Turkish Delight Store
Turkish Delight Store

Istanbul is famous for its rich culture, history, and delicious cuisine. Turkish delight, also known as Lokum, is one of the most popular desserts in the city. The origins of Turkish delight can be traced back to the Ottoman Empire, where it was created and enjoyed by royalty. Today, it is a widely popular dessert enjoyed by locals and tourists.

Turkish delight is not only a sweet delicacy that is beloved by many, but it also holds cultural significance for Turkish people. They often serve it to their guests during special occasions such as Aid or other festivities as a gesture of hospitality.

Additionally, Turkish delight makes for a perfect companion to Turkish coffee, offering a sweet and flavorful contrast to the rich and robust flavor of the coffee.

History of Turkish Delight

Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir Shop in Istanbul
Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir Shop

Before delving into the best places to find Turkish delight in Istanbul, it is essential to know its history. Turkish delight has been around for centuries and was first created in the 15th century. It was initially used as a medicine to cure sore throats and was made from honey and herbs.

Over time, the recipe evolved, and sugar was added, making it a sweet and delicious dessert.

The Best Turkish Delight Shops in Istanbul

Istanbul is famous for having many excellent Turkish Delight shops. Turkish Delight, or “lokum” in Turkish, is a popular traditional sweet treat that has been enjoyed in Turkey for centuries.

In my opinion, Turkish delight makes for an excellent souvenir to bring back home for your family and friends. While you’re in Turkey, I suggest purchasing some for yourself to try and experience the authentic flavors of this sweet treat. It’s also worth noting that many coffee shops will serve a complimentary piece of Turkish delight with their Turkish coffee, so be sure to try it out.

However, as Turkish delight is a rich and sweet delicacy, it’s best to keep in mind that it’s not something you can consume in large quantities in a day. I recommend not buying too much of it and carrying it with you all day.

Hafiz Mustafa 1864

Location: Multiple Locations, Taksim Website:

Hafiz Mustafa Store in Istanbul
Hafiz Mustafa has Colorful Stores

Hafiz Mustafa is one of the oldest and most popular Turkish delight shops in Istanbul. It has been around since 1864 and is located in the heart of the city. They offer a wide range of flavors, including rose, pistachio, and cinnamon. Their Turkish delight is made with all-natural ingredients and is handcrafted to perfection.

Hafiz Mustafa Turkish Delight Packaging
Hafiz Mustafa has a nice packaging design

Hafiz Mustafa is known for their delicious baklava and their shops are frequently crowded with tourists, especially those located on Istiklal Street and Taksim Square. Their shops are lively and colorful, and people enjoy indulging in baklava and Turkish delight while also browsing for souvenirs.

The packaging design of their products is also noteworthy, making them a great choice as souvenirs for family and friends.

Cemilzade 1883

Location: Kadiköy, Nisantasi, Etiler Website:

First Cemilzade Shop in Istanbul
First Cemilzade Shop

Cemilzade was a historic confectionery founded in Istanbul in 1883. It was famous for producing high-quality traditional Turkish sweets and candies, such as Turkish Delight, baklava, and lokma. The confectionery was founded by Mehmet Cemil Bey, who was a skilled confectioner with a passion for creating delicious and innovative sweets.

Cemilzade quickly gained a reputation for producing some of the best sweets in Istanbul, and it became a popular destination for locals and tourists.

Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir

Location: Eminönü (Flagship-store) Website:

Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir Shop in Istanbul eminönü

Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir is the oldest Turkish delight shop in Istanbul, established in 1777. Their Turkish delight is made using the original recipe and is handcrafted to perfection.

Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir was a legendary Turkish confectioner who founded the Hacı Bekir confectionery in Istanbul in 1777. Hacı Bekir is famous for creating the first Turkish Delight, or “Lokum” in Turkish. Lokum has since become a beloved traditional sweet treat in Turkey and around the world. Hacı Bekir’s original recipe for Turkish Delight used natural ingredients like sugar, cornstarch, and rosewater, which gave the candy its distinctive texture and flavor.

Today, the Hacı Bekir confectionery is still in operation in Istanbul. It is famous for producing some of the highest quality and most delicious Turkish Delights in the city.

In addition to Turkish Delight, Hacı Bekir’s confectionery also offers a wide range of other traditional Turkish sweets and candies, such as baklava, halva, and marzipan.

The legacy of Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir continues to live on in the delicious treats that are produced at his confectionery to this day.

Şekerci Cafer Erol

Location: Kadiköy (Flagship-store) Website:

Sekerci Cafer Erol Store in Kadiköy

Cafer Erol is a famous and well-established Turkish delight (Lokum) brand in Istanbul, Turkey. They have multiple stores in different locations in Istanbul. Including in the historic Grand Bazaar and in the modern shopping centers Istinye Park and Galataport.

Cafer Erol has been producing high-quality Turkish delight for over 200 years. They are also famous for using natural ingredients and traditional methods of production. They offer a wide variety of flavors, including classic ones such as rose, pistachio, and hazelnut, as well as more unique flavors such as pomegranate and bergamot.

Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar

Spice Bazaar in Istanbul

The Spice Bazaar in Istanbul is a well-known destination for tourists from around the world, and it’s not hard to see why. The bustling market is home to an array of shops that sell an impressive variety of spices, sweets, and other goods. Among the many vendors, some of the best Turkish delight shops are located here.

Two popular shops to check out are Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir and Koska. These shops offer an extensive selection of Turkish delights in various flavors and types. Including sugar-free and vegan options, catering to a range of dietary preferences.

Visitors to the Spice Bazaar can explore the different shops, sample the different flavors of Turkish delight, and find the perfect treats to bring back home. With so many options to choose from, the Spice Bazaar is a must-visit destination for anyone with a sweet tooth or an interest in Turkish culture.

How to Choose the Best Turkish Delight

Choosing the best Turkish delight can be a daunting task, given the numerous options available. Here are some tips to help you choose the best Turkish delight in Istanbul:

  • Look for shops that use natural ingredients
  • Choose shops that handcraft their Turkish delight
  • Go for shops with a wide range of flavors Check online reviews before visiting a shop

A Modern Touch To Turkish Delight

In an evolving world, customer expectations are shifting towards healthier choices. The demand for products that are vegan, gluten-free, and free from artificial food coloring is on the rise. This changing landscape presents a golden opportunity for startups in the Turkish Delight market.

While some traditional manufacturers are expanding their product lines to meet these expectations, innovative newcomers are introducing exciting flavors and ingredients that align perfectly with the evolving tastes of customers. There are also companies providing new packaging designs that align better with modern aesthetics and are Instagram-friendly.

Among the recent entrants in the market, “Marsel Delights” reached out to me recently, sharing insights about their unique products. If you’re in search of something novel and invigorating, featuring intriguing flavors, I recommend exploring their website. They present flavors that are new to me as well, such as sour cherry or sea-salted caramel.


Turkish delight is a delicious dessert that is a must-try when visiting Istanbul. The city is home to numerous shops that sell Turkish delight, but some stand out for their quality and variety. Hafiz Mustafa, Cemilzade, Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir, Şekerci Cafer Erol, and the Spice Bazaar are some of the best places to find Turkish delight in Istanbul.

When you visit Turkey, be sure to pick up some Turkish delight as a souvenir for your loved ones back home. With so many delicious flavors and varieties available, it’s worth taking the time to sample a few before deciding which ones to bring back.

One fun way to do this is to go out for a tasting adventure. You can visit different shops in the Spice Bazaar or other markets and try a couple of flavors at each one. This way, you can find your favorite flavors to take back home as a reminder of your trip to Turkey.

In addition to being a tasty treat, Turkish delight also holds cultural significance and is a symbol of hospitality in Turkish culture. So not only will you be sharing a delicious snack with your loved ones, but you’ll also be sharing a piece of Turkish culture and tradition with them.


What makes Turkish Delight special in Istanbul?

Istanbul’s Turkish Delight is special due to its rich history, authentic recipes, and unique blend of traditional and modern flavors.

Where can I find the best Turkish Delight in Istanbul?

Explore the Grand Bazaar and local family-owned shops for an authentic and diverse Turkish Delight experience.

Are there unique flavors of Turkish Delight in Istanbul?

Yes, beyond the conventional flavors, Istanbul offers exotic varieties like pomegranate and pistachio-infused delights.

How is Turkish Delight culturally significant?

Turkish Delight holds cultural significance in various celebrations, symbolizing hospitality and warm gestures.

Can I visit the kitchens of Turkish Delight artisans in Istanbul?

Some establishments offer behind-the-scenes tours, providing a glimpse into the meticulous craftsmanship.

What is the best way to pair Turkish Delight in Istanbul?

Explore expert-recommended pairings with local teas and Turkish coffee for a delightful and enhanced experience. Read more here about the Best Places to drink Turkish Coffee in Istanbul.

Is Turkish Delight Vegan?

Yes, Turkish Delight can be vegan. Traditional Turkish Delight, also known as Lokum, is typically made from sugar, water, and starch, with flavorings such as rosewater, lemon, or pomegranate. It doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients like gelatin.

However, it’s essential to check the ingredients, as some modern variations might include honey or other additives. Always verify the label or inquire with the manufacturer to ensure it aligns with your vegan preferences.


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