Hg2 : The Hedonist

Istiklal Caddesi

Beyolu’s great pedestrianised artery,rnstiklal Caddesi, is a vast and very long, glaring parade of storefronts, neon signs and people. It’s also the shopping centre of choice for most Istanbullus. For offbeat labels and homegrown designers, head to the back streets that surround the Galata Tower, just a couple of minutes south of stiklal Caddesi. rnrnrnAtlas Pasaji (131) – covered arcade crowded with alternative clothing stalls, vintage finds and jewellery, tucked behind the entrance to Atlas Sinema. rnEmgen Optik (65) – fashionable sunglasses in case you left yours at home. rnHaci Bekir (83) – Haci Bekir, chief confectioner for the Ottoman sultans, was the inventor of lokum (Turkish Delight); the business, started in 1777, is still in the family and the produce should banish any lingering bad memories caused by trying Fry’s Turkish Delight (a horrible British chocolate bar with a sickly, gooey centre purportedly inspired by Turkish Delight) as a child. rnMahmut Kundura (35) – quality, bespoke gentleman’s shoes. rnMango Outlet (81) – deeply discounted women’s clothing from Mango’s previous season, on sale in the store’s basement. rnMavi Jeans (215/A) – top trendy Turkish denim brand, big in the US and comparatively inexpensive here. rnOxxo (146) – pretty, inexpensive clothing aimed at younger women. rnRobinson Crusoe (195/A) – excellent English-language bookstore, with plenty on Istanbul and Turkish history, plus a superb fiction selection.  rnTerkoz Çikmazi – an alley running off stiklal near glassware shop Pasabahçe (nr. 150), where you get high-street fashion factory seconds for next to nothing.  rnrnrnOff stiklal Caddesi  rnrnrnButik Katia (Danisman Geçidi 4/C, Galatasaray) – purveyors of the most famous hats in town and family-run since the 1940s; bespoke and ready-to-wear for fashionable women.rnHomer Kitabevi (Yeni Çari Caddesi 12/A, Galatasaray) – excellent English-language bookshop with particularly good academic and current affairs sections; the place to go for books on the politics of Turkey and the Middle-East. rnOttomania (Sofyali Sokak 30-32, Asmalimescit) – valuable antiquarian Ottoman items; essential for serious collectors. rnÜmit Ünal Butik (Ensiz Sokaka 1/B, Tünel) – unusual mens- and womenswear from one of the city’s top young designers.

Istikal Caddesi,
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