Nar suyu was everywhere during my recent trip to Istanbul! Young men pushed carts, overflowing with pomegranates and a juice press, around the tourist attractions. They were selling the freshest version of pomegranate juice that I have ever drank. (Drunk? Grammar police, comment with correction.)
The tourist attractions sometimes offered nar suyu as well, which was the case at the Basilica Cistern. This is a must-see historical landmark, and admission is fairly priced for the experience. Don’t let a long line put you off, either, the line moves quickly.
In the cafe near Basilica Cistern’s exit staircase, nar suyu was going for 6TL (Turkish Lira), roughly $3. Or so I remember. For a large glass.
I almost caved at that moment, but decided to hold out for one of the street vendors.
After strolling past the Hippodrome, and wandering past carpet alley (“Where are you from? Wisconsin? Oh! We have an employee who married a woman from Wisconsin.” Yea, SURE you do…), I found myself at the mouth of the Astra Bazaar.
The Astra Bazaar is sort of a sedative to the mayhem of the Grand Bazaar. You can spend bundles of money and get high quality wares in both places, but the experiences are vastly different. The Astra is calm and quiet, the Grand is hyperactive and noisy. “Teamen” (future post, but no surprises lurking here) can be found at both places, but I was looking for pomegranate juice, nar suyu.
Happily, this young man served me.
I would have shown his face, but it would have cost me more TL and he was already taking me on the juice – 10TL a glass! I happily paid it however, tourist season was just beginning and I like to overpay young entrepreneurial kids. Plus, maybe he didn’t want his face on someone’s travel blog even for a couple TL.
The juice was thick and rich. I sipped it for a solid half hour and enjoyed each sweet-tart moment. Tesekkür Ederiz (Thank You) nar suyu entrepreneur!