The best way to describe baklava would be by saying it tastes like heaven – not too hard on your teeth because layers of flaky phyllo dough are mixed into the butter, so every bite melts beautifully onto your tongue. At least, this is how good baklava tastes and feels in Turkey.
We bet you have tried some form of baklava before in your life; however, if you have only tasted this dessert outside Turkey, then wait until you visit Istanbul and taste real Turkish-style baklavas.
If you are interested in learning more about baklava and where you can find the best baklava in Istanbul, then keep reading! Baklavas you will eat at these 11 places will make you crave them years after your trip to Istanbul.
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Which country is baklava from?
Baklava that we eat today has been around since the 15th century and was first created in Ottoman palace kitchens. At that time, Istanbul was one of the most multicultural cities globally, and this very much applied to the ethnicities of chefs working in palace kitchens. Various sources mention that these chefs were not only Turks but also from Syria, Greece, Africa, Lebanon, Persia, Armenia, Egypt, Russia, and parts of the Balkans. It is no surprise that most of the modern-day countries from these regions have a claim on baklava.
Consequently, the question “Where does baklava come from?” can’t be answered with either country of today’s map.
The most acceptable answer would be, the baklava was originated in Ottoman palace kitchens.
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Types of the baklava you can find in Istanbul
In Turkey, you will face a wide variety of baklavas to choose from and may worry you are missing the best and traditional types.
Read more about the list of the most traditional and popular baklavas you can find in Istanbul and see their photos here: List of most popular Baklava types
We highly recommend visiting at least two or three of the following baklava stores to enjoy many different types of this treat.
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Now let’s check out some of the most famous baklava masters in Istanbul.
Best Baklava in Istanbul:
1. Karaköy Güllüoğlu
The Güllüoğlu family has been a baklava producer in Turkey since 1843, and they offer their baklava all across the country through multiple branches.
Hacı Mehmet Güllü was the first baklava manufacturer in the family. He visited some other regions of the Ottoman Empire, famous for their baklavas, such as Aleppo and Damascus, to receive training. When he returned to Gaziantep, he started his business. After he passed away, his son Hacı Mahmud Güllü took over his father’s mission and raised all four sons as baklava masters. Today, the Güllüoğlu family is one of the world’s largest producers of baklava.
However, this Güllüoğlu located in Karaköy is independent and has no affiliation with the other branches in Turkey. Long story short, the 6th generation Güllüoğlu brothers couldn’t keep it together and started their own baklava businesses after their father died.
This centrally located baklava shop is always crowded, and you are guaranteed to taste one of the best baklavas in Istanbul.
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2. Hafız Mustafa 1864
Hafız Mustafa 1864 is another reputable baklava manufacturer in Turkey. Unlike some other baklava places on this list, they offer a more comprehensive range of Turkish sweets, including lokum, cakes, halva, milky puddings, and künefe.
As the name suggests, they have been making baklava for over 150 years. Currently, they have one main branch located in Sirkeci. If you are looking for authentic baklava or tasting some of the finest examples of traditional Ottoman and Turkish desserts, this should be your stop.
In addition to baklava, you can taste one of the best lokum at Hafız Mustafa 1864. Baklava typically has a short shelf life, but Turkish delight lasts longer and can be purchased for your loved ones back home.
Besides Sirkeci, you can find Hafız Mustafa 1864 branches in other suburbs of Istanbul, including Taksim Square.
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3. Emiroğlu Baklava
Located in Sahrayicedit, Emiroğlu Baklava is a hidden gem in Istanbul. This tiny but elegant family-run baklava place serves one of the most delicious but undetected baklavas in Istanbul.
They offer one of the lightest and well-balanced baklava we tried in Istanbul, a rarity where butter, nuts, pastry, and sugar are equally present.
They first opened up in 1972 as a bakery, but they wanted to specialize in one product and have been serving only baklava since 1986. Emiroğlu focuses on traditional Turkish baklavas rather than having dozens of varieties.
Emiroğlu Baklava does not offer franchising, and they run their branches as part of a family business.
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4. Köşkeroğlu Baklava
Köşkeroğlu Baklava is another family business that offers their baklava in four branches around Istanbul. Like Emiroğlu, they do not grant any franchising.
Producing a limited amount of baklava ensures an ample supply of top-quality ingredients (baby pistachios, butter, wood-fire ovens, etc.) for creating the sweet treat. When production levels are high, it leads to a shortage of these supplies and makes it challenging to keep up with demand, thus negatively impacting the baklava’s quality.
Every ingredient used in their baklavas is still locally sourced and prepared in Gaziantep. If you are looking for a traditional taste in baklava, this is the place to go.
Right next to their Karaköy baklava shop, they have a fantastic kebab restaurant too. You can enjoy an excellent kebab here before ordering some baklava.
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5. Seç Baklava
Seç Baklava, which also goes by Gaziantep Seç Baklava, can be your other stop to taste one of the best baklavas in Istanbul. Seç Baklava is a relatively new company. They opened their first shop in 1981. However, this does not imply the quality of their baklavas is unimpressive. Besides classic baklava, they also offer some other famous Turkish desserts such as şöbiyet, dolama, or bülbül yuvası.
Just like Köşkeroğlu Baklava, all their baklava ingredients are sourced, prepared, and shipped from Gaziantep.
At Seç Baklava, you can also enjoy another traditional Turkish pastry called “su böreği.” Su Böreği is a savory pastry with feta cheese filling and generally served cold. It can be a tasty light lunch before you dive into many dessert options at this place.
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6. Bilgeoğlu Baklava
Here is another Gaziantep origin Istanbul baklava store you can visit. Unlike all other stores we have listed on this blog post, Bilgeoğlu Baklava has only one branch. It was founded in 1956 in Kadikoy, and since then, they offer some of the most delicious baklava on the Anatolian side of Istanbul. It is one of the oldest baklava shops on the Asian side of Istanbul.
Their specialty is şöbiyet which is a clotted cream-filled pistachio baklava. If you want to taste şöbiyet, it is best to visit Bilgeoğlu before noon. They also serve Turkish coffee, black tea, and homemade lemonade.
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7. Gaziantep Baklavacısı
Gaziantep Baklavacısı, which is also known as Gaziantep Baklavacısı Mehmet Usta, is another baklava place you can visit on the Asian side. They offer delicious and a wide range of fresh baklavas for baklava lovers.
The only downside is that their two branches are in the Maltepe and Ataşehir districts. Neither of these districts is an ideal destination for first-time tourists, so you probably won’t find a good reason to visit them – unless you want to taste one of the best baklavas in Istanbul.
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Kaşıbeyaz offers a fantastic dining experience of Turkish cuisine with main courses and great baklava. They have five restaurants in Istanbul where you can try an excellent selection of kebabs and grills. If you want to experience some of the best Turkish kebabs and grills, you can visit one of their restaurants for dinner and finish it off with the best baklava Istanbul has to offer. Fantastic kebabs and baklava are rarely found together in Istanbul and should not be missed.
If you are only after baklava, they also have a new place specializing in baklava, located in Beyazıt. Beyazıt is only a short walking distance away from most Sultanahmet hotels. Therefore, you can quickly stop by Kaşıbeyaz and enjoy their traditional baklava.
Related content: 14 Best Restaurants in Sultanahmet
Taste of Two Continents Tour
-Secret local restaurants & one-of-a-kind boutique markets
-Visit locals favourite Kadikoy market
-Taste the world famous Turkish ice-cream & baklava
-It is not just food, it's Turkish culture with an expert's insider view
9. Hacı Bozan Oğulları 1948
Hacı Bozan Oğulları is one of the most reputable baklava and cake shops in Turkey. Their history dates back to 1948, and they launched their first restaurant in 1958 in Istanbul. Similar to Kaşıbeyaz, their Incirli branch offers one of the best baklavas in Istanbul along with delicious kebabs.
Today, they have ten branches in Istanbul. All these restaurants are run by family members and offer some of the best traditional Turkish dessert that you will love.
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10. Develi 1912 Samatya
If you are searching for a restaurant to enjoy your kebab, after which finish it with a mouth-watering slice of Turkish baklava, look no further than this one.
For those who prefer enjoying their meal in a simple yet elegant place, Develi 1912 Samatya can be the best choice. This restaurant is a world-renowned representative of Antep and Turkish cuisine, welcomes its guests on its two newly decorated terraces with majestic sea views. You can make a reservation here.
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11. Dedeoğlu Baklava
Dedeoğlu is located in Beşiktaş and is one of the most favorite baklava places among Istanbul locals.
They offer a diverse range of baklavas and other desserts with intense flavors. You can buy baklava tray, baklava selection box, walnut baklava, pistachio baklava, and pistachio nuts.
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Istanbul is a great city for people from all walks of life, and it should be on your bucket list. You can enjoy the best baklava in town while visiting any of the many historical sites scattered throughout this vibrant metropolis. Whether you’re traveling alone or with family members, delicious food or an adventure is waiting to happen in every corner of this ancient city. We hope our blog post has given you some ideas about finding the best baklava in Istanbul.
If you want to experience Istanbul’s rich culinary culture further, sign up for one of our food tours. We’ll take you on a journey through the city and introduce your taste buds to its most mouth-watering delights!
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