Egyptian Bazaar (Misir Çarşisi), Istanbul
Tel: 90 212 513 6597
Concierge.com's insider take:
The "Grand Bazaar Lite," this is the place to come if size and commotion of the Kapalı Çarşı has given you a headache. Smaller, more manageable, but equally striking, this market in Eminönü down by the Galata bridge has much of what its larger cousin has to offer, barring mainly carpets and leatherwear. So called because of its latter-day involvement with imported goods from Egypt, the market is also known as the Spice Bazaar—there's a profusion of seasonings piled colorfully high underneath garlands of dried eggplants and zucchini and next to boxes of saffron and bottles of essential oils. The Arifoğlu Spice Center is a no-hassle spice and herb trader with a pharmaceutical edge and, in keeping with many other merchants in this bazaar, fixed prices. More discerning shoppers should head to silk, textile, and cashmere specialist Özer at stall 82, whose gorgeous fabrics are a cut above the usual fare (www.ozer.org). And if you're there around lunchtime and fancy something more substantial than a kebab, make your way to Pandeli Lokantasi, an old-school restaurant up a flight of stairs by the north entrance of the bazaar. The food here is not spectacular, but the traditional tiles and domed ceilings certainly are (1 Mısır Çarşısı, Eminönü; 90-212-527-3909; lunch only).