I’m the first one to spot a bakery when we arrive in a new town. We might be walking down a street, long after the shops have closed, looking for an ATM but a sign for fresh bread and cakes will leap out at me, telling me where to find breakfast or lunch the next day. Barry teases me that I could navigate the world by bakery.
So, when I came across this list of 25 bakeries to visit before you die, I promptly added it to my Pinterest list.
I was very pleased to find that number 18 is in Istanbul, Hafiz Mustafa 1864. With Istanbul being so big I was prepared to spend an entire day hunting down this palace of baklava. Imagine my (Turkish) delight when I discovered that it was a mere 15 minute walk from our hotel, the Witt Istanbul, by Taksim Square.
Barry and I made a couple of trips. One evening we arrived to find all the tables full and the takeaway queue out the door. While this was a sure sign that the treats deserved to be sampled by me, we didn’t have the patience.
Going for afternoon tea was more successful. Although a little more expensive than other bakeries, it was worth it. The Turkish delight was the best I have ever eaten, with so many varieties.
My favourite is still baklava. I just can’t get enough of the flaky pastry soaked in honey and filled with pistachio nuts.
It might have been the setting in the café as much as the skill of the chef, but I enjoyed this baklava more than any other I’ve eaten across my travels in Turkey.
We were forced to go back again for takeaway before heading to the airport.