In the center of Baku, shops are open from 9:00 to late in the evening, on the outskirts – mostly until 19:00-20:00. The lowest prices are in markets and fairs. Local silk, ceramics and other handicrafts can be bought at Sharg Bazary (modern indoor market), as well as on the famous Torgovaya Street and in the Old City of Baku. Prices are negotiable, so you can and should bargain.
Some stores and restaurants accept credit cards, but it’s a good idea to bring cash with you. Many goods sold in Azerbaijani stores are of Turkish origin. According to populationmonster, Baku is one of the largest cities in Azerbaijan.
Luxury brand boutiques are concentrated on Neftchilar Avenue and other streets of the modern center. The largest shopping complexes are Ganjlik Mall near the metro station of the same name, Port Baku Mall on the coast, 28 Mall near the railway station, Deniz Mall on Primorsky Boulevard. Fresh vegetables and fruits can always be found on the shelves of the “Green” and “Nasiminsky” bazaars. In the vicinity of the capital there are outlets with solid discounts on goods of famous brands.
High-quality and inexpensive carpets are sold at the Carpet Weaving Center in the Baku suburb of Nardaran, and expensive masterpieces are sold in specialized stores in the capital. In addition, it is worth bringing backgammon from Azerbaijan (this is a national game in which both old and young are “cut” in the country) and the famous “airfield” caps. Of the dishes, armuds are good – traditional pear-shaped glasses that keep drinks hot for a long time. The decoration of any kitchen will be tablecloths embroidered with gold threads. Edible souvenirs include black caviar (which you can’t really buy in Russia now), Baku baklava, spices and aromatic herbs, and also original white cherry jam.
- What to buy in Baku stores
Cuisine and restaurants of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani cuisine is notable for the abundance of all kinds of meat, fish and vegetable dishes, complemented by fragrant herbs and a great variety of spices. Some national dishes replace both the “first” and the “second”. Another characteristic feature of Azerbaijani liquid dishes is the use of fat tail fat in their manufacture, which, as a rule, is put in food in finely chopped form. Flour first courses based on sour milk or katyk are widespread.
Second courses are prepared mainly from lamb, as well as from poultry meat, game, vegetables and rice. One of the most common dishes in Azerbaijan is plov, for which more than 40 recipes are known. Of the second courses, kebabs stand out, the famous kebab and dolma from grape leaves also belong there. It is also worth trying grilled lamb ribs, “gutaby” pies with herbs and cottage cheese or meat, and “saj” – pieces of lamb in assorted vegetables cooked in a flat frying pan over charcoal.
There are not so many sweet dishes in Azerbaijani cuisine. These are mainly baklava, badambura, kyata, mutaki, gozinaki, halva, Turkish delight (with various additives), jellied figs and sherbet (the most common dessert drink in the country).
The order of serving dishes is peculiar: at the beginning, according to tradition, there is tea, mostly black long leaf tea, then main courses. Often after dinner (especially after pilaf) they serve dovga – a soup made from sour milk and herbs.
The sign “teahouse” can be found in Azerbaijan on every corner. Tea is served in small, pear-shaped armuda glass cups. And to him – Baku baklava, jam from white cherries, figs, cherries and dogwoods, walnuts and watermelon.
The cheapest, but no less delicious Azerbaijani food is sold in street stalls, of which there are many. Famous donuts for 0.10 AZN, all kinds of buns from 0.20 AZN, the ubiquitous shawarma from 1.50 AZN – you definitely won’t be able to lose weight on such a diet. Fast food establishments, gelateria with ice cream, pastry shops and other places where you can have a bite to eat on the go are open on the embankments. Traditional treats are better to try in family restaurants with a warm atmosphere and a simple but hearty menu. Connoisseurs of the exotic will like establishments in Turkish, Japanese and Mediterranean styles, and those who miss their homeland will find eateries stylized as old Russian huts.
A business lunch in an inexpensive cafe will cost 6-8 AZN per person. For dinner in a restaurant, you will have to pay from 50 AZN for two.
During the Soviet era, Azerbaijan earned more from viticulture than from oil. This fact clearly shows how important the wine industry was for the republic. Which is not surprising – the country has always been famous for its excellent wine.
Archaeological excavations show that wine production began in Azerbaijan as early as the 3rd century BC. e. However, Muslims persecuted connoisseurs of this drink, and winemaking quickly fell into decay. Wild grapes helped local residents – they quickly adapted it to their needs. As a result, Azerbaijan received excellent grape varieties, which gave a rich harvest.
Another blow was the anti-alcohol campaign that unfolded in the USSR in the 80s. last century. Because of it, huge vineyards were cut down. It seemed that Azerbaijani wines would never return to their former glory. But it was not there.
Today, the country has relied on expensive grape varieties for the production of fine drinks. Surely, many of us have tried varieties such as Shemakha, Agdam, Kara-Chanakh, Kurdamir, Madrasa, Chinar, Baku Lights. Azerbaijani wines, even after decades, still remain piece goods. Previously, they were supplied mainly to the tables of the elite of the republic and the country, today they exclusively go abroad. But a rich assortment of Azerbaijani wines is easy to find on store shelves, this drink remains one of the most democratic in terms of its cost. And for this price you will definitely get world-class quality.