Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cevahir Shopping Center: A "Quick" visit...

Dear readers,

"Officially" called the Istanbul Cevahir Shopping Center (but when you call their number the pre-recording says Istanbul Cevahir Shopping & Entertainment Center) is located right on Büyükdere Caddesi in Şişli.

Istanbul Cevahir Shopping Center
As I mentioned in past posts, I'm not really a "shopping center/mall" person for many reasons, but I do go to them from time to time like everyone else! My favorite is Kanyon because it is an "open-air" mall... and you can read about Kanyon if you click on my post re: the subject.

Istanbul Cevahir opened about 7 years ago and the 6 story shopping center has 280 shops and eateries, a 58,000 square meter entertainment center and car park for 2,500 vehicles.

Frankly, I've only visited Cevahir about three times and I find it difficult to really called it a "visit" because I've never made it past portions of the first floor!

Istanbul Cevahir Shopping Center (first floor)
I only go to shopping malls with a "purpose"... I'm not one of those people that goes to pass the time and just walk around.

My purpose for going yesterday was to go to Koçtaş - a home improvement store - similar to Home Depot (in the USA) and Bauhaus.

Koçtaş (at Cevahir Shopping Center)
 Actually, I had wanted to go to Ikea... but it is really far from my house and I couldn't get a ride. Also, the weather was bad yesterday with winds, rain, sleet and snow, so I didn't want to take the chance of going somewhere far with a taxi and getting stuck on the roads... so, I did the next best thing.

JUST A LITTLE SIDE BAR BEFORE I CONTINUE (my readers know I love to add little tidbits here and there...) After..the rain and sleet of yesterday, woke up to a snow covered Istanbul this am!!! And.. it is still snowing heavily and will continue until about noon tomorrow. Besides Istanbul, all of Turkey, the Balkans and Europe have been hit with the worst winter in years in the past month... let's hope it clears up soon)! Here are some photos to give you an idea!

Me and Luka during our morning walk

view from my apartment
I took a taxi from my home in Levent to the Gayrettepe metro station (only five minutes away)...

Gayrettepe Metro Station
And... a 2 TL fare and one stop ride later (get off at Şişli stop), I was at Cevahir! In fact, I didn't even have to leave the metro station: there is an entrance to the first level of the shopping center from the metro station!

Although I am a "novice" to this mall, I noticed that the first floor is mainly allocated to shops specializing in products for the home... from bedding to furniture to household accessories and more.

Cevahir Shopping Center (first floor)
There is also a cafe (Değirmen), juice bar, supermarket (Migros) and a few concessions stands along with some other shops off the main strip...

I quickly did my shopping at Koçtaş (a couple of small throw rugs for Luka, my 16 month old Maltese at only 8 TL each; a door mat, candles, towels, etc.) and then headed straight to Malatya Pazarı ... (parallel to Koçtaş)

Malatya Pazarı
Malatya Pazarı has been around since 1870 ( and is a well known name in the world of "dried nuts, dried fruits, spices, etc." with numerous branches all over town. I just visited their website which is available in English too and noticed that you can now also shop online.

I was only planning on just "looking" and not buying anything, but it didn't turn out that way!

I purchased three items, which I normally do not buy at all, which included two types of "pişmaniye" and "Beypazarı Cevizli Sucuk"

Pişmaniye - called "floss halvah" in English (well, at least according to what it said on the box, but not so sure if this is a good translation) is prepared with wheat flour, sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla aroma and citric acid. It is stringy and has an interesting taste and kind of sticks to your mouth... The reason I purchased pişmaniye is because I want to use it to dress up a pear compote dish which I plan on making. I had visited my good friend Zeyno's house (Zeyno Gürses Dolay - a foodie, gourmet, wine expert, journalist, etc.) for dinner a while back and I plan on stealing her recipe! She placed a couple of spoonfuls of pişmaniye to the dish and it was excellent (see below!)

Zeyno's pear compote with pişmaniye
I purchased the chocolate covered pişmaniye because I had never tried it before and was curious as to how it tasted... and, I justed tasted it and it's very good although very sweet - you definitely need some liquid to wash it down!

Chocolate covered pişmaniye
The traditional pişmaniye was 5 TL and the chocolate covered one 6 TL, so they were a bargain!

The last thing I got at Malatya Pazarı was the Beypazarı Cevizli Sucuk... which means a sausage (sucuk) shaped treat prepared with grape juice and walnuts and a specialty from an area called Beypazarı, which is about 350 km from Istanbul and 100 km from Ankara.

Beypazarı Cevizli sucuk
The texture of this treat is similar to licorice, not very sweet and the walnuts make it heavenly. I purchased the pre-packaged sausage for 11 TL, but you can get more or less if you'd like.

My next stop was a stand with all sorts of organic products called EKO Naturel Organik...

EKO at Cevahir Shopping Center
They had a very good selection of items (from foodstuffs to creams, shampoos, etc.) and I was particularly happy to see that they had organic wheat germ (very difficult to find even if not organic) and oat bran, but didn't purchase them because I already had too many packages in my hand. EKO doesn't have a branch anywhere else, so I have to head back to Cevahir at some point and pick them up!

My last stop before heading home was Esse ( .. a Turkish brand that carries all sorts of housewares under their own name and others (domestic and international)...

Esse at Cevahir Shopping Center
Esse has lots of branches all over town, but I think this shop is one of their largest ones... and there was a sale, so I couldn't help myself and made a couple of purchases (water pitcher and cheese slicer).

Bogged down with packages, I headed to the metro and was home in no time... as always I spent a little more money than I had planned!


I would like to add a few more notes on Cevahir to give you a general feel of the place although I personally didn't get a chance to tour the whole place...

Cevahir is open daily from 10:00am to 10:00pm and the very spacious shopping center has numerous eateries (cafes, fastfood, etc.) and some of the larger brands under their roof include Tepe Home, Marks&Spencer, YKM and Debenhams. Other major brands include everything from Zara to C&A to Dockers and L'Occitane. There is also a movie complex.

One of the things that makes Cevahir different from other shopping centers is the 58,000 square meter entertainment center called Atlantis and a real treat for kids of all age groups. The following are some photos of the amusement areas (downloaded from Cevahir's website)...but, there's so much more!

Atlantis - Cevahir

Atlantis - Cevahir

Atlantis - Cevahir
There is an admission fee and prices vary according to the activities selected.Due to construction on some of the floors, Atlantis is currently open Tuesday-Sunday from 11:00am to 10:00pm.

Unfortunately Cevahir's website is only available in Turkish.

Büyükdere Caddesi No. 22 Şişli

Have fun!



  1. There is a place that opened up that serves frozen yogurt with fruit toppings and other treats... I had it while I was in was really good there... Should try it sometime... :))

  2. thank you for your comment... but I'm a little confused ... is the frozen yogurt place you mention at Cevahir with a branch in Dubai?