Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Hafiz Mustafa: the best Turkish delight
While in Istanbul last September, we discovered the quaintest little coffee-shop, Hafiz Mustafa. It is a family-owned confectionary that exists since 1864, founded during the first years of Sultan Abdulaziz’s reign in the Ottoman Empire. They had the best Turkish delights that I have ever tried: fresh, crunchy, fruity and full of flavour. I do not even like Turkish delight so much, at least not the cheap commercial stuff that I had tasted until then. This stuff is hand-crafted with the best ingredients and you can tell how it's the real deal from the first bite.
They are in front of the Sirkeci metro/tram station, in the Eminönu neighborhood. You could stay for hours and hours in their café on the second floor, covered in the typical, pretty Turkish tiles, and watch people coming and going or get lost in a book.
We had Turkish tea and coffee and a few of their desserts, from cakes, to jellies, to rice-pudding and local specialties (yup, once we find a place like this, we make sure we come back to try the whole menu!). Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.
This is where we got our stash of candy to bring back home. The staff is very kind and attentive. Being there transports you to other times, and you can tell it's good as the place is loved among locals of all ages: from grandmas, to business people, to families with children and young couples. If you ever find yourself in Istanbul you should totally visit Hafiz Mustafa (they will even let you try a few of their delicious concoctions).
You will find them at:
Hocapasa Mahallesi Muradiye Caddesi
No: 51, Sirkeci - Fatih - Istanbul,
34080 Sirkeci Eminönü / Istanbul
(very very near to the Sirkeci train / tram station).