Monday, January 28, 2013

Dean & Deluca Istanbul: A Quick Tour

Dear readers:

Update February 2014: This is to inform you that the branch of Dean & Deluca that opened in Kanyon closed at the end of 2013. Don't have any word on whether a new branch will open in any other parts of Istanbul yet...

Ever since Kanyon, my personal favorite indoor/outdoor shopping mall in Istanbul opened - Gloria Jeans Coffee was a fixture on the top level of the mall, which is home to a smorgasbord of restaurants, cafes, fastfood eateries and a multiplex movie theatre. That is... until mid-2012. Due to economic reasons, the chain closed I believe all of their branches in Istanbul.

Afterwards, on one of my frequent visits to Kanyon, I noticed a huge sign that read "Dean & Deluca coming soon" in Gloria Jeans old place! Talk about getting excited! As an ex-New Yorker I am very familiar with D&D from the time I lived in NYC (30 years!) and have always been a fan of their breads, cheeses, deli meats and pretty much everything else they carried! 

Then lo and behold... Dean & Deluca opened at the end of the first week in January! After I heard of the opening, I went to Kanyon on January 12th to see the place for myself...

Dean & Deluca @ Kanyon
BTW... January 12th was a Saturday and a fairly nice day for this time of year and the weekends are the  the most crowded time at Kanyon.Besides the shoppers and diners, the movie theatre is also a big attraction for visitors on the weekend. It is also my favorite movie theatre although don't ask me when I last had a chance to go to the movies!

As I made my way up to the top level, just as I had imagined... Dean & Deluca was packed!

To be quite frank, I was prepared for this and my intention on this particular day was to see the place and see what their concept in Istanbul was. This branch, their first in Europe, doubles as a take out market and a restaurant/cafe with indoor & outdoor dining areas.

Before I joined the "freelance" world in January 2011, I was in the media world as the General Manager and Editor-in-Chief of The Guide Magazines so I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people in the wining & dining scene in Istanbul as well as other parts of the country. So, I wasn't surprised at all when I approached the entrance to D&D and someone got up from their seat outside to greet me! Barış Molvali is someone I met when he was in the F&B Department at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sultanahmet... apparently he transferred to D&D and is the Operations Manager!

So,Barış accompanied me on my tour of Dean & Deluca's display of goodies! Also, upon entering D&D, ran into another "friendly face": Melike! Melike was a waitress at my favorite place Lucca and is now a manager at D&D! Moreover, during my conversation with Barış, I found out that Osman Tokat, another person I know and the owner of Mania Gurme is the Turkish partner of D&D! Talk about a small world!

Like I said, since Dean & Deluca doubles as an eatery, the entrance includes an area for diners. To the right is a counter with a wonderful selection of cookies, muffins, cakes... anything and everything you can imagine to expand your waistline!

Behind the dining area is where you will find display upon display of sauces, olive oils, seasonings, condiments, chocolate bars... pretty much anything and everything you can think of under the Dean & Deluca brand along with a few Turkish brands like Haremlique (coffee and tea) and Nar (olive oils, etc)

Then... I headed straight towards the bread display and the deli meats and cheese counter on display side by side and loved the selections, some which we are used to seeing in Istanbul, while others were newcomers!
Bread display @ Dean & Deluca

There is also a counter where different kinds of salads and appetizers are prepared daily - once again for take out or to eat on premises and they all looked very good! 

 Additionally, there is an open kitchen and a selection of international wines (mainly Italian) are available...

I honestly felt like a "kid in a candy store" as I toured Dean & Deluca! I decided to pick up some goodies after I finished my other errands at Kanyon and bid adieu to Barış and said I would return - which I did!

Like I mentioned earlier, I didn't want to have a meal on my first visit... Dean & Deluca had opened just a few days before my visit, and to be quite frank - I wanted it to "settle" a bit before I tried their dishes. But before I shopped to take home some delicacies, I did sit outside and had an Irish Coffee to pass the time while I perused the menu.

Irish Coffee @ Dean & Deluca
The Irish Coffee (22 TL) was quite good and they definitely don't skimp on the whisky that's for sure!

The menu at Dean & Deluca is quite extensive and the prices are medium to high...for example, what caught my eye and what I would like to try is New England Clam Chowder (19 TL); New England Crab Cakes (42 TL); Chicken Pot Pie (28 TL); Hot fudge brownie sundae (15 TL) and good old Apple Pie (15 TL)!

I will definitely try the food soon, but in the meantime, I did make a few purchases. I boughta tomato focaccio bread (18 TL), Manchego cheese (160 TL/kg), Aged Cheddar Cheese (150 TL/kg), and a French cheese (170 TL/kg)...

One of the things that is really bothersome is that imported products are very expensive in Turkey because the import taxes are very high! I purchased small quantities of the cheeses (between 100 g and 200 g), so I really didn't feel a major hit.

I enjoyed my visit to Dean & Deluca and look forward to going back to enjoy a meal... let me know what you think and your comments from your visit!

Dean & Deluca
Tel: (0212) 353 55 02

Stay well!



  1. Dear Vildan,

    Your article is a proof of -once more- how expensive to live in Istanbul is, if you want to dine and wine with good quality products. 42 liras for a crab cake is a stupid price and I wish they'd rather not have it on the menu. Of course, original D&D is a high end place and it is expensive with NY standarts as well, but then, the average income is higher in that city. If the owners of Istanbul D&D aim to have more steady customers other than 'buys the most pricy of anything, anyway' type of people, they have to consider it.

    Hulya Eksigil

  2. Hi Hülya,
    You are absolutely right - based on the cost of living, Istanbul is expensive :) and the cost of food based on earnings is expensive although cheaper than some cities in Europe... I think we've pretty much gotten used to eating salads that cost 25 TL and more and pizza and pasta that can run to more than 40 TL, so crab cakes for 42 TL started not sounding so high a price to pay:) Dani