Those visiting Istanbul tend to stay on the European side of the city. But there are plenty of reasons to hop a ferry to the other shore. Among them: Dondurmacci a tiny, sliver of an ice creamery, near the Anatolian high street of Baghdad Avenue (Bağdat Caddesi in Turkish).
What makes this icecream parlor—recently named one of Turkey’s top ten—different from the rest is its commitment to simple, good ingredients. Among the flavors offered: lavender, lemon-rose, and itir (that’s Turkish for Geranium).
“We even make ice cream from the flowers of the Acadia tree,” says Ercüment Tangöz, store manager. “Whatever’s fresh, we’ll use. What’s in season now? Sour cherries. So we offer that. But in the winter, it’ll be blood orange. That’s what separates us from the rest. Our ice cream is made in small batches. We use real sugar, and the flavors are rich and subtle.
The milk it uses is sourced from a farm just outside the city. “Our buffalo milk-ice creams are popular,” says Tangöz. “We’re also very careful about the produce we use. For instance, we buy mandarins from this one, special farm in Bodrum, and nowhere else.”
Dondurmacci, open since 2010, has one other location in the city (Mecidiyeköy), and will open a third, in Gökturk, on August 25.