One of the most important signs of a vital city is that it clings to its roots and sustains it. Locals make this possible. When you go to a new city, sometimes you see some places known well by the locals, existing since old times. When you go to such places, you feel closer to that city and even like a local.
Vefa Bozacisi is a place with historical and sentimental value for Istanbul. This place is visited by tourists from time to time and has been loved and adopted by the residents of Istanbul for years.
Boza is a healthy and living drink prepared with millet, water, and sugar. Just like cheese or yogurt, there are live and useful microorganisms in it. This drink has been consumed in Istanbul for centuries and has a positive effect on many diseases. Towards the end of the 1800s, Hacı Sadık Bey reinterpreted boza with his own view, producing a less fluid and lighter-colored drink. This new version became so popular that Hacı Sadık Bey opened a shop for this beverage that he sells. This shop is still at the same place in Vefa district of Istanbul. You can see Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s (founder of the Republic of Turkey) boza glass inside of this shop.
In this shop, there are also other beverages that you can drink in hot summer days, as well as boza usually consumed with cinnamon. ‘Lemonade’ prepared from freshly squeezed lemons, ‘grape cider’ which has an important place in Turkish cuisine, ‘Osmanlı Serbeti’ which is a flavor from the Ottoman Palace cuisine made with grape juice flavored with various spices, and ‘demir hindi’ made with taramindo tree’s fruits. All these juices are produced daily, just like boza. If you want, you can buy vinegar as an interesting souvenir.
Worldwide Local Tip: Buy some freshly roasted, warm chickpeas from the neighboring shop and put it on boza. Most locals love to drink it like this.
Of course, it is a wonderful experience to visit the city’s most known places and taste the most famous delicacies. But witnessing the centuries-old tradition of the city and experiencing tastes from the past not only makes you feel like a resident of this place, but it also allows you to time travel and experience the history of the city.