Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kanyon Shopping Mall: My Favorite Haunts!

Dear readers,

Just when I was thinking about writing this article, I started thinking about other major cities around the world like New York, London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona... and I realized that Istanbul is the ONLY major cosmopolitan city among them with tons (I know I'm exaggerating) of shopping malls right in the center of town and not just the outskirts!

I haven't checked the stats on this, but Istanbul is also probably the most populated city (over 13 million residents) among all of them, but this still doesn't explain how and why all of these shopping malls mushroomed up around the city! When it comes to per capita spending, we are probably at the bottom of the list among the cities I mentioned above.

So, apparently there is still a demand, otherwise all of these malls wouldn't have been able to open, let alone survive!

I don't know the exact number of malls there are in the city, but I know that new ones are constantly opening up.

Just to give you a little example... I live in Levent and in my neighborhood to which I'm going to include the surrounding neighborhoods Mecidiyeköy, Gayrettepe, Esentepe and Etiler which is probably about a 5-6 km radius, there are (1) Profilo (Mecidiyeköy); (2) Astoria (Gayrettepe); (3) Akmerkez (Etiler); (4) Metrocity (Levent); (5) Kanyon and (6) Sapphire (Levent) shopping malls! And... either by the end of this year or during the 1st quarter of 2013, a new posh mall will be opening with the opening of Zorlu Center in Levazım/Levent (residences, offices, hotel, etc.)! Incredible... that's all I can say! Each one of these malls are quite big with over hundreds of retailers and countless eateries!

I'm not really a "mall" person because I tend to get a little claustrophic in very large and enclosed places after a while... Of course, I visit some of the ones mentioned above when I need to purchase a particular item.

However... if I had to select my "favorite" mall it would have to be Kanyon... simply because I don't see or view it as "just a shopping mall"!

Kanyon Shopping Mall main entrance on Büyükdere Street
In my opinion, Kanyon's biggest selling point is the fact that it is not enclosed! Sure, it can get brutally cold and windy during the winter, but, if like me, you like to shop outdoors, then you won't mind so much! I particularly like to walk around Kanyon when it's snowing, but not so much when it's very windy!

Kanyon ( opened in May 2006 and while I worked at The Guide Magazines, our offices were in our company's own building one block away and parallel to Kanyon, so we were able to watch and see the progress of the construction from the very beginning. In fact, a couple of months before its opening, we did an article on the mall and visited the construction site to interview the General Manager (who has since changed). We had to use our imagination a little bit as we walked around, but I could see it was going to be a very nice architectural structure.

However, just when it opened, our offices temporarily moved to Balmumcu for a couple of years while our building was first demolished and its place a 23 story skyscraper was constructed. After we moved back to our "new" building, I can say that I visited Kanyon almost every day - for lunch or after work (and even on the weekends)! So, I have been pretty much a "regular" customer since 2006, albeit less frequently the first couple of years.

So, why do I go so often? I'm definitely not a shopaholic! I'm not one of those individuals that is lured to every retailer - even when there are sales. I shop for clothing, shoes, etc. very infrequently (but do have a fairly large wardrobe which takes up one room of my apartment) because I don't just buy for the season. I prefer more classical pieces which I can mix match and wear for years.

I go to Kanyon to purchase basic essentials, to have a meal or go to the movies. The following are some of my major haunts. To make it easy, I'm going to start from the top floor and work myself down...

The top floor or K1 level is our first stop. I always make sure to stop by D&R.

D&R Books and Records carries a vast selection of Turkish and foreign publications (books, magazines, newspapers), DVDs, music CDs, stationery and more. I always find something to buy!

The majority of the eateries at Kanyon are located on this floor - from the fast food to the fine dining. I have eaten at some of the places here, but can't say I go to them very often... but if I want to have a "special" or business lunch, I would prefer Gina.

Gina Ristorante
An Italian eatery, Gina is an elegantly decorated white tablecloth restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. It is expensive, the food is good and a nice place for a business or a special leisurely "ladies" lunch.

When I get a chance to go to the movies, I also prefer going to the Cinebonus Movie Theatre, also on the K1 Level. The 2-story movie theatre has 9 screening rooms and spacious lounges on both levels.

The other eateries I like on the K1 level are Mezzaluna Express for their pizza and Sushico/Chinese in Town for their sushi.


The floor right below K1 or the "main" entrance level is the G Level. I usually stop by Le Pain Quotidien for a quick bite or from time to time to take out.

Le Pain Quotidien

Everything at Le Pain Quotidien is organic and natural. They also have many other products for takeout too - from sea salt (see above) to sauces, condiments and heavenly breads, muffins, croissant and tarts.

Another one of my haunts on the G Level is L'Occitane en Provence. I like the company's hand and feet creams and their shower jells. Although, more expensive than some other products, they are worth it!

Another place I stop by from time to time is Habitat which has a vast variety of selections for the home and opened at Kanyon last year.

Habitat on G Level

The B1 level is probably the floor I visit the least! Since this floor mainly has retailers, shoes/bags and accessories stores, it doesn't fall into my category of shopping needs as I mentioned above in my intro. However, if I was looking for clothing for myself, I would stop by Banana Republic and if I wanted to pick up some clothing for my nephew, I would stop by Gap.

The B2 or ground level of the 4-story Kanyon is the floor I probably spend the most time!

Almost every or every other trip I make to Kanyon, I stop by Kitchenette for lunch, snacks or beverages  - I guess you can say this is my favorite eatery at the mall!


Decorated to resemble a typical French brasserie, at Kitchenette you can order everything from breakfast treats, eggs and pancakes to appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches and main courses to "light" meals to delectable desserts - all modestly priced!  

A trip to Kanyon would be incomplete without a stop at Macrocenter. A couple of months ago, the gourmet supermarket was totally redesigned. I actually liked the old floor plan better and I believe the new space is smaller, but don't know for sure. Prices are usually a little higher, but the quality of their fruits, vegetables and meats along with the selections offered are better!

With its new revampled look, Macrocenter also added a "snack bar"...

Macrocenter Snack Bar
At Macro's Snack Bar, you can pick up pre-packaged soups (just need to heat up), sandwiches, salads, sushi... to take home (which I did) or back to the office. The quality is very good and the prices modest.

When I need to pick up "every day" glassware, etc. for the kitchen, I head to Paşabahçe...

Besides carrying a wide selection of modestly prices wine, tea and water glasses, vases, bowls, mugs, trays, candles, etc., more expensive and top quality designer products are also available. The other day I picked up a simple ashtray which only cost 3 TL!

One of my fetishes is scarves! I love to wear them year round and have quite a selection, but I can never get enough!

As far as I'm concerned Yargıcı Accessories has the widest selection of scarves - in all sizes, shapes and fabrics!

Last week when I went to Kanyon, there was a sale at Yargıcı Accessories, so I picked up two more scarves to add to my already very big collection! At 30% off their regular prices, I couldn't say no! Yargıcı also sells a nice selection of casual wear, accessories, shoes and bags.

Besides D&R, I also go to Remzi Kitabevi - especially if I am looking to buy English language books... they display the foreign language books much better than at D&R, so they are much more accessible and easy to find.

A new addition to my list of haunts at Kanyon and also on the B2 level is Chakra.

I "discovered" Chakra last summer and purchased a lovely cotton bathrobe from them. I visited the shop recently and all of their linens, soaps, towels, house fragances, etc. were on sale. I suggest you take at look at their products too!

Besides the 4 main levels of Kanyon, there are several shops scattered on two floors of the parking levels too.

The shops I visit on this floor include Notebook on B3 for all sorts of stationery; Pet Box on B4 to buy goodies and clothings for Luka, my 15 month old Maltese and the Tailor also on B4 to have alterations done.


Open daily from 10:00am to 10:00pm, Kanyon shopping mall has a total of 160 shops and eateries with a 9 screen movie theatre and state of the art Fitness Center. It is also home to Harvey Nichols, Max Mara, Vakko, Mango, Bally among the major retailers to so much more. It also has a car park with a capacity for 2,300 vehicles. You can visit their website for more detailed information:

Happy shopping!


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