Unlike the boxes of gummy lokum seen in every souvenir store in Istanbul, baklava is the real Turkish delight. You may sample many versions of the layered, nutty pastry, but there’s only one Karaköy Güllüoğlu, which makes its baklava in the style of Gaziantep, the town in southeastern Turkey that is known for its pristine version. The shop near the Karaköy docks now even boasts a gluten-free variety and pastry portraits of Atatürk and Barack(lava) Obama, and is busy until its late-night closing time.
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Ask locals where the best baklava in town is and you’re likely to be directed to Karaköy Güllüoğlu near Karaköy port. Busy day and night, this iconic store has been creating and selling a variety of baklava recipes and other sweet treats since 1949. The pistachio baklava is especially good.