Are you looking for a place to find those groceries you miss so much from your homeland? Below are some locations and helpful substitutes. Please check the comments below for more useful information!
Click here for a Calender of Pazarlar (bazaars) in Cankaya by neighborhood and days – mostly fruit and vegetable, one antique pazar
|Product||Turkish Name or Substitute||Where to Find||Notes|
|Asparagus||Kuşkonmaz||White is available in jars at most markets. Fresh is available at specialty markets listed below, sometimes, and at a high price.|
|Basil||Fesleğen, reyhan||Pazar is the best bet, but Real will carry them! Reyhan is purple and Feslegen is small leaves, but both work as a substitute! The markets named below will often carry the green basil we know and love.|
|Black bean paste||Metro|
|Blue cheese/Roquefort||Metro, Real, cheese store at the fish market in Ulus, Peynirci, Cagdas|
|Butternut Squash||Not available. Pumpkin (kabak)||Most markets sell a variety of pumpkin when in season. Possible to find at specialty stores for a high price once in a while.|
|Coriander (fresh)||Besi Market on Filistin Sok.|
|Cranberries||Meteksan, kizilcik, yaban mersini||Real, Altinbilek, Peynirci (sometimes). Dried available at some markets and Pazar.|
|Cream Cheese||Not available. Labne has been used as a substitute in cheese cakes. Or try ‘Yorsan’ White, beyaz krem peynir, Pinar Beyaz.||Most markets.||See note below, I found it at 19TL!|
|Curry Paste (red and green)||Migros||Not always available|
|Duck||Metro, Real||Freezer section|
|Hot Sauce||Most markets||American and Turkish brands available.|
|Jicama||Not available. Try yer elmasi.||Pazar and most markets when in season.||Yer elmasi is techinically Jerusalem Artichoke. But it’s been successfully used as a substitute for jicama, but less sweet.|
|Lemon Grass||Metro||Can be frozen|
|Lime||Generally not available||Specialty stores below||Expect to pay 3-5 TL each. Do not be fooled by the “yesil limon” – it is a green lemon, not a lime. Read more about that here.|
|Marshmallow||Makro Market, Real, Bim|
|Oregano||Kekik||Most markets||Be careful, the name kekik is also used for thyme. Read more on that here.|
|Peanut Butter||Kremfistik||Makro market||As smooth and creamy as Skippy|
|Sesame Oil||Migros, Cagdas|
|Shallots||Arpacik||Pazar, Metro, Real, some small markets||There is disagreement as to whether this is a true shallot or just a small onion. One friend’s suggests using it and rubbing the pan with garlic first.|
|Sour Cream||Not available. Try suzme yogurt.||Suzme is a bit tart. Try mixing with kaymak.|
|Sweet potato, yam||Generally not available||Sightings at Besi’s market that is in Filistin Cad and Reşit Galip. Also found around the holidays at Orhan Firinci and the store off of Tunali listed below.||Read this post for more info – there is a potato from Hatay that is very similar and can be found.|
|Tabasco sauce||Most markets, Metro|
|Thyme||Kekik||Many grocery stores, depending on your area, Be careful that you are not buying Oregano.||Availability of dried depends on the city. In Ankara, kekik is usually oregano. Fresh is available at the specialty stores below. Dried thyme is more common in Istanbul and Izmir. Read more on it here.|
|Turkey||Hindi||Metro, Real||Usually in stores around Christmas & New Years. Limited supply for Thanksgiving. Check with your butcher or local market to order one for you.|
|Wasabi||Migros on Ugur Mumcu|
WHERE TO SHOP FOR GROCERIES IN ANKARA?
REAL at Bilkent Center is always a good start when it comes to grocery shopping. They carry a large variety of international goodies. Metro is also good, but is operated like a club.
There is a wonderful small fruit and veggie store between Tunus Cd. and Tunali Cd, where Bulten Sok. meets Besketar Sok. They always have a variety of fresh herbs including Cilantro. They carry avocado, bluberries, raspberries, sweet potatoes and more specialty items from time to time. The connecting cheese store sells international cheeses including Cheddar and Philadelphia Cream Chesse. They also sell Carr’s wafer crackers.
Besi’s Market on Filistin Cad in GOP is another good option for specialty items, as is Orhan Firinci in Cukarambar. Both cater to foreigners.
Metro Gros Markt is another great option. They have several stores, the easiest to find is across from Ikea.
MacroCenter Supermarket at Next Level Mall has (Dec. 5, 2014):
Real Thai Fish Sauce
Real Thai Red and Green Curry Paste
Linseed, wheat germ, rye flour and other things you could use to make German bread.
Five different kinds of pork salami including Parmesan rimmed Salami
Real good Italian Prosciutto
Very good looking baked ham
Tȇte de Moine Cheese
Camembert in large wheels
‘’Rani’’ Mozarella in salt brine (closest thing to the real stuff from Napoli I’ve had up to date in Turkey, Turkish made, so bearably priced).
The whole range of Heinz products.
Candy canes as Christmas decoration.
Updated: December 5, 2014