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Istanbul's best pastry shops

Cookies, cakes... The most delicious and the sweetest addresses of the town are here.

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Pastel

Restaurants Bebek

  Pastel’s location away from the bustle of the main street of Bebek is unassuming, but step inside and the smell of butter and sugar will transport you to a small French patisserie. One wall is lined with baking cookbooks and in the corner sits a pristine glass case displaying classic French pastries such as Mont Blanc and religieuse as well as newer treats like banana-chocolate muffins. The sight is enchanting, as is the space itself. The wide tables, fancy glasses and cloth napkins make you feel as if you are in Paris, and the sweets could compete with those of French pastry chefs.   The ‘opera cake’ (an almond sponge cake with coffee-chocolate filling and icing) in particular will have you coming back for more. Pastel also offers a variety of tarts (we especially like the pineapple dacquoise), cookies, granola bars and even gluten-free muffins, as well as coffee and a variety of soft drinks.   The cakes’ elegance is matched by the white linens, nice china and teacups, an attention to detail paired with impeccable service. Beyond all of this, Pastel brings something new to Istanbul: hand-painted chocolates. Owner Yasemin Aral, a graduate of the New York French Culinary Institute who has worked in London at Claridge’s and Harrods and at the Istanbul Four Seasons, makes the chocolates herself, then picks up a brush and paints them one by one. To get your hands on one of these delights, be sure to pre-order at least a day in advance.   Pastel also

Pim Kitchen & Patisserie

Restaurants Karaköy

Pim is the latest addition  to the lovely, if now plentiful,  little bistros that have  opened their doors in  Karaköy in recent months.  Already lying on the same  stretch of road as Balthazar,  Gakki and Komodor, Pims  was carved out of what used  to be a tool and motorbike  repair shop, before being  bought by two young  restauranteurs.     The restoration project  of the original buildings  Pim is clear success. Two  shops were bought out:  one was turned into a small  patisserie and the other one  is now the main restaurant.  Pim’s pitta bread wraps  are the main draw, served  with fries and a choice  of sauces. As for what  else is on display, there  are delicious hand-made  macaroni dishes (the work  of MSA-qualified cooks)  along with a fine choice of  breakfast buffets, all of  which can be enjoyed in  the clean, airy atmosphere  of the place. For those  of a more carnivorous  persuasion, they also have  sirloin and T-bone steaks  on their menu. The pita  bread and all the cakes are  cooked in their own furnace.  Those who crave for fattoush  salads and içli köfte will find  they are comparable in taste  to those found in Lebanon or  Antakya. In terms of prices  you can fill yourself up for  40-50 TL, on tracks with  the slight inflation Karaköy  suffers from.           Pim is the epitome of  the new Karaköy cool,  with modern furnishings,  industrial lamps, open  minimalism and chic  Selçuk Fergökçe murals on  the walls, along with t

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Dandin Bakery: Karaköy’s beloved patisserie

Restaurants Tarlabaşı

It’s been a few months since we started to hear the name Dandin just about everywhere and see it tagged regularly on social media. It seemed to have appeared overnight, but when we first went to visit, we came across a tiny note that informed us that Dandin Bakery was undergoing renovation. We thought too much attention might have exhausted the shop and started to await its reopening. Thankfully, Karaköy’s new sweet spot reopened with a slightly bigger space. Owners Esra Dandin and Egemen Senkardes wanted to ensure that the kitchen was spacious enough to embrace visitors as soon as they came in and offer them a show as the cakes, pastries and drinks are being prepared. The previously vacant top floor now accommodates five or six tables.     The breakfast menu offers teas, coffees and frappes as well as hard-to-find dishes such as avocado on toast with goat cheese and scrambled eggs (26 TL) or scones with blackberry or sour cream jam and blueberry cream. The bakery isn’t a stickler for rules, either, so there’s room for alterations to the breakfast menu. Yet Dandin’s tour de force is undoubtedly the cake and pastry buffet, where you’ll find tantalizing treats made fresh each day. Their reasonable prices (8-15 TL) make them a perfect option for indecisive carb-lovers. The refreshed and updated Dandin has once again become Karako¨y’s favorite. Give it a try. Erçag Akın

Grandma: A not so old-fashioned bakery/eatery

Restaurants Kağıthane

Grandma’s minimal and predominantly white de´cor might go against your idea of a rustic patisserie-bakery straight from the villages of Provence, but it certainly manages to draw the attention of passersby. Here you can take your pick from the pies, quiches and bo¨reks (5 TL for smaller ones, 15-20 TL for regular-sized) that would give our grandmothers a run for their money.     Don’t think of Grandma as only a bakery – you’ll also find healthy salads, light soups and a variety of herbal teas. The flavorful finds and airy de´cor aside, Grandma has one hurdle to jump before it becomes a neighborhood favorite, and that is service. The waiters, who take forever to show up, simply disappear when you’re midsentence or seem never to return even after you’ve managed to communicate your order, don’t do justice to the eatery. Gökçe Algan

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Patisserie de Pera

Restaurants Tepebaşı

We think Patisserie de Pera, with its lace curtains, silver sugar bowls, classy porcelain sets, will become the choice of those who want to take a nostalgic escape in the days to come. Patisserie de Pera has a Parisian menu that’ll excite those who want to wake up to the smell of fresh-baked croissants, to satisfy their sugar cravings with French cakes at noon, to spend the holidays with handmade chocolates.   There are macaroons, pies, cakes, handmade chocolates, plain and chocolate croissants, hot and cold beverages. It’s a good idea to stop by these days for the complimentary macaroons. The cake menu has eight varieties, including the Dessert of the Day. Napoleon is a millefeuille pastry with strawberries and crème filling, while Opera is a coffeeflavoured chocolate ganache. Tarte au Citron, or limonlu tart by its Turkish name, includes meringue. Other selections include profiterol, apple pie, Charlotte d’Orange (a Pera special with orange) and Gateau Financier (a pie with almonds and tropical fruits).   From the Menu Croissant 8 TL Macaroon (one portion) 10 TL Tarte au Citron 19 TL Gateau Financier 22 TL Cappucino 10 TL

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