Known among trivia-loving Turkish people as the pickle shop in the ’70s cult family comedy movie Neşeli Günler, Asri Turşucu has been in business since 1938. This little colorful shop on a Cihangir corner produces superb pickles, grown in their own fields in Bursa and pickled in spring water coming from Bursa’s proud Uludağ. Asri Turşucu only uses lemon juice and salt when pickling, and closes shop from June to mid-September to ensure high quality pickles.
You can find anything in its pickled form here, from delicious beets or cabbage to more unusual tastes like broccoli or green plum; stay reassured that you’ll be very happy with your choice. For a more nostalgic adventure, you can have a seat in the shop and have some turşu suyu, pickle juice – this sour and salty juice is surely an acquired taste, but a nice thing to try nevertheless.
Look out for my favorite kinds of pickles: okra and green beans. I know it might sound bizarre, but try these alongside your next gin & tonic and you will thank me!
Asri Turşucu also sells olives, tomato pastes, cheese-filled mezes and vine leaves. Even if you don’t feel like buying pickles, wander in the nice friendly shop and explore the pickle-jar ‘museum’. Asri’s Ağahamam Street is also a very interesting walk: with its antique dealers, old barbershops, booksellers and modern cafés, it’s a perfect example of Istanbul’s cosmopolitan soul.