How do you know it’s spring time in Istanbul? 1- Fava beans, artichokes and green plums invade grocers’ stalls. 2- Judas trees (erguvan) are in bloom. 3- Mini is open!
There’s nothing better than some ice-cream on a sunny afternoon, perhaps after a stroll along the Bosphorus. If you’re near Bebek, make sure you don’t miss Mini Dondurma – literally, don’t miss it, this is a very tiny shop along the main street. Although the shop’s tiny (4 square meter to be exact!) the selection of flavors is wide and delicious. Mini is open from March until November, and their ice-cream is always natural and seasonal. Try the classic combo, karadut-sakız (black mulberry and mastic), or go for my favorite, güllü lokumlu-limonlu (rose and lemon). Don’t skip the finishing touch – the ice-cream gets dipped in chocolate and crushed hazelnuts to put an extra smile on your face.
While we love creative gelaterias like Girandola (check the Girandola article), old favorites like Mini Dondurma or Ali Usta in Moda never fade in our hearts. Grab your cones from this old school, no-nonsense place and head to Bebek Park to watch the ships, the cats or try to spot celebrity moms with strollers.