Istanbul is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with a rich culinary tradition. Whether you're looking for fresh produce, local delicacies, or international brands, you're sure to find it at one of the city's many supermarkets and grocery stores.
For visitors to Istanbul, it's helpful to have a basic overview of the different types of supermarkets and grocery stores available, and that’s why we are here to give you all the information you need to know! From the largest and most well-known supermarkets to more budget-friendly options, Istanbul offers you a great variety. Especially if you love to visit supermarkets when you are visiting foreign countries like the author of this article, you will definitely love this post! But before we dig into the market world, let’s have a look at the best thing you can have for a dreamy Istanbul journey: Istanbul Tourist Pass®.
Istanbul Tourist Pass® is a valuable tool for visitors exploring Istanbul's vibrant city life. While supermarkets are an essential part of daily life in the city, this unique digital pass opens doors to a wealth of cultural and historical experiences. With access to over 100 attractions and services, Istanbul Tourist Pass® allows travelers to enjoy guided tours, skip-the-line entrance tickets, and discounted transportation options, among many other benefits. It's the first tourist city pass in Istanbul, designed by a reputable 30+ experienced tourist agency. So, while shopping for groceries in Istanbul, don't forget to complement your daily routine with the Istanbul Tourist Pass® to make the most of your stay in this mesmerizing city. Now let’s have a more detailed overview of the supermarkets and grocery stores available in the city.
Istanbul has a wide variety of grocery shopping establishments, ranging from large supermarkets to small local markets. Here is a brief overview of the different types of grocery stores and markets available in the city:
Supermarkets are the most common type of grocery store in Istanbul. They offer a wide variety of products, including fresh produce, meat, seafood, dairy, baked goods, and groceries. Supermarkets also have a good selection of international brands. In the next section, we will have a look at the specific brands.
Discount supermarkets offer a limited selection of products but at lower prices than traditional supermarkets. Discount supermarkets are a good option for budget-minded shoppers or those who are looking for specific items, such as fresh produce or dairy products. In the next section, we will have a look at the discount market brands as well as other popular market brands.
Local markets are a great place to find fresh produce, meat, seafood, and other local delicacies. Local markets were also good places to bargain with vendors but in recent years bargain is not a popular way and generally not accepted. Local markets are generally open-air and daily. For example, you can see a very popular one, Besiktas Bazaar on a Saturday. You can find fresh fruits and vegetables as well as carpets, clothes, and kitchen appliances.
These are the newest ones in the city! While clean food is becoming the trend, people are starting to look for more organic foods. Organic grocery stores offer a wide variety of organic products, including fresh produce, meat, dairy, and groceries. Organic products are typically more expensive than conventional products, but they are often seen as being healthier and more sustainable. You can find organic stores in some high-end malls like Istinye Park or Kanyon.
Specialty grocery stores offer a wide variety of products in a specific category, such as cheese, wine, or chocolate. They are a good place to find unique and high-quality products. These stores mostly carry international brands which are not imported to Turkey directly. You can find these stores in Nişantaşı, Moda or Beşiktaş mostly. Especially if you are into different sauces like Sriracha or sweet & sour sauces, you will love these markets!
Ethnic grocery stores offer a wide variety of products from specific countries or regions. They are a good place to find ingredients for international cuisine. For one of the most famous examples of these stores, check the Chinese Market right next to Taksim Square on Gümüşsuyu Street. You can find various Chinese and even Japanese products at great prices. Also in Aksaray in the Fatih Neighbourhood, you can find many Syrian, Iranian, or Arabic grocery stores and see various ethnic products. By the way, don't forget to visit Eatly in Zorlu Center for a great Italian market. In Eatly, you can find anything Italian from amazing cheese to ham and even great wines. Eatly also bake Italian bread in the shop so beware yourself some delicious smells!
There were online grocery stores in Turkey before but just after the Pandemic, online grocery shopping became one of the main ways of grocery shopping for people. Online grocery stores allow you to order your groceries online and have them delivered to your door. This is a convenient option for people who are busy or have difficulty getting to a grocery store. You can have an App and easily order your needs through Getir, Migros Hemen, Carrefour, Trendyol Go, Cepte Şok, or some other App of your choice.
When it comes to supermarket chains in Istanbul, the city offers a diverse selection to meet various preferences and needs. Here's an in-depth look at the top supermarket chains:
As the largest and most popular supermarket chain in Turkey, Migros is a go-to choice for those seeking a wide range of products, including fresh produce, meat, seafood, dairy, baked goods, and groceries. Migros is renowned for its high-quality items, outstanding customer service, and easily accessible locations throughout Istanbul. It's a great option for those who value product variety and convenience. You can find alcoholic beverages in most of the Migros Markets.
Migros as a chain also has a smaller market group called Macrocenter for its high-end products like organic foods and quality brands. Macrocenter is a smaller, more upscale brand of Migros that offers a wider selection of international brands and high-quality organic foods. Macrocenter stores are generally smaller and more expensive than traditional Migros stores, but they offer a more unique and specialized shopping experience.
Offering a selection similar to Migros, CarrefourSA stands out for its competitive prices and frequent sales. If you're on the hunt for the best deals on groceries, CarrefourSA is an excellent choice. The convenience of its numerous locations across Istanbul adds to its appeal. Carrefour is also great for alcoholic beverage options, especially for wines and beers.