Markets In Turkey
Supermarkets in Turkey
Although many other smaller markets are mentioned, the following supermarkets can be found in most towns or cities.
Migros and Carrefour are great for your everyday needs, including baked goods, fish, cleaning items, school supplies, fruit, and vegetables.
If you want to shop for continental meats and cheeses and a more upscale supermarket, check out Macro Center. However, there are only 27 stores in this supermarket in Turkey, so you may not have one in your city.
For more budget-friendly or bargain shopping, the equivalent of Aldi and Lidl, Şok, A101, and Bim are fantastic markets and are available in almost every district.
For cash and carry wholesale, look for the nearest Metro market.
Things You Need to Know About Turkish Supermarkets
Supermarkets are open Monday through Sunday. They are often available from 10 in the morning to 10 o’clock at night. Depending on the time of year and city you live in, they may close earlier or later. In summer, it is not uncommon for markets to stay open until midnight. In bigger cities markets can also open around 8 or 9 o’clock in the morning.
Supermarkets accept cash or cards, but Google Pay or Apple Pay is not accepted.
Self-checkout is not very common, though big cities and significant supermarkets do have dedicated lanes/areas.
Plastic bags are not free anymore, and each one costs 25 kuruş to encourage more people to use reusable bags.
Most Turks prefer doing their weekly grocery shopping at local bazaars, as they offer the freshest and most comprehensive range of produce — fish, yufka, cheese, olives, spices, and more.
However, this may be hard for working couples and households or those who do not have a close bazaar to their home. Instead, many people go to supermarkets in shopping malls for a one-stop shop.
Shopping for food in Turkish supermarkets is like shopping at any other store in Europe or the U.S.A. Perhaps the most significant difference with the U.S. is that fruit and vegetables are always sold in the front of the market, primarily loose (meaning not packaged) and out in the open to freely pick and choose.
If you are looking for convenience stores, they will be called “bakkals” in Turkey, which sell bread, cigarettes, and a limited range of produce, dried goods, and household products.
These are called bazaars (pazar) in Turkey, where local farmers from the town or other nearby regions sell their fresh produce. Every city or district has its own, set up on different days of the week. They can be open-air markets or be in semi-enclosed spaces.
Some markets also specifically sell organic products, such as the Feriköy Organic Market in Istanbul.
Ethnic Grocery Stores
The best way to discover ethnic food stores is to connect with fellow expats who can share with you their go-to’s for a taste of home. Or, if you want to try a specific country’s cuisine, bazaars or food stalls could be a better option.
For example, in Istanbul’s Bağcılar neighborhood, you can find Japanese food at the Japon Pazarı (Japanese Bazaar) or Asian foods at the Thai Asia Market, or Pakistani delicacies at the Mk Sultan Pakistani Grocery Store. Itsumi Market also sells ingredients for Japanese dishes. If you want Italian-inspired plates, make sure to visit the Eataly market.
If you want to try different spices, dried fruits and nuts or sweets and you are in Istanbul; you should visit the Mısır Çarşısı (Egyptian Spice Bazaar).
Macro Center is also a good place for ethnic foods.
When it comes to food shopping, the apps or websites of the supermarkets in Turkey will give you enough information about the range of products, delivery costs, etc.
Municipality websites are great to check to learn when the village bazaars are set up.
And when you want insider information, expat groups on Facebook, such as Expats in Turkey, are good places to ask questions and spark discussions.