Navigating the World by Bakery – No. 18

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.

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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.

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My favourite is still baklava. I just can’t get enough of the flaky pastry soaked in honey and filled with pistachio nuts.

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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.

Look how happy I am - we've just ordered.

Look how happy I am – we’ve just ordered.

We were forced to go back again for takeaway before heading to the airport.

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