In front of the New Mosque is a pigeon-plagued plaza busy with itinerant street sellers and dominated on its south side by the high brick arch leading into the Egyptian Bazaar, otherwise known as the Spice Bazaar. The market was constructed as part of the mosque complex, and its revenues helped support philanthropic institutions. The name derives from its past association with the arrival of the annual 'Cairo caravan', a flotilla of ships bearing rice, coffee and incense from Egypt.
While the bazaar's L-shaped vaulted hall is undeniably pretty, at first glance its 90 shops seem to be hustling nothing more than an assortment of oily perfumes, cheap gold and sachets of 'Turkish Viagra'. It's a tourist trap, to be sure, but to dismiss it out of hand is to miss one of the world's finest delis: make a beeline for Erzincanlılar (shop No.2) for delicious honeycomb and the mature hard Turkish cheese known as eski kaşar. Other food shops worth checking out are Pinar (No.14) for excellent lokum (Turkish delight); Antep Pazarı (No.50) for pistachios, nuts, honey-covered mulberries and dried figs stuffed with walnuts; and Güllüoĸlu Baklavacısı (No.88) for pastries. Showing where the spice bazaar is probably headed, Özel (No. 82) has pretty, cheap scarves. One other reason to visit the market is to lunch at Pandeli's, a famous Greek-run restaurant up a steep flight of steps just inside the main entrance.
Running west from the market, Hasırcılar Caddesi is one of the city's most vibrant and aromatic streets thanks to a clutch of delis including Namlı Pastırmacı, spice merchants and coffee sellers, among them Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi, where caffeine addicts queue at the serving hatch to purchase the own-brand bags of beans.
Further along the street, look out for the arched doorways where flights of stairs lead up to the Rüstem Paşa Mosque, built in 1561 for a grand vizier of Süleyman the Great.