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Home > 16 Food Tours In Istanbul: Turkish Cuisine Tour Of Istanbul

16 Food Tours In Istanbul: Turkish Cuisine Tour Of Istanbul

Post author Enes

Written by our local expert Enes

Originally from North Macedonia, Enes is a well-traveled enthusiast residing in Türkiye. He combines his extensive knowledge and avid wanderlust to bring you insightful narratives of his Turkish adventures.

Do you want to discover the city of Istanbul and its unique cuisine? I’m here to help you! In this article, you can find the best Istanbul food tours to discover the city’s local culture! This culinary tour guide is suited to both first-time visitors and those who have walked the narrow streets many times.

With these gorgeous Istanbul tours, you can learn more about the city’s history and explore the lesser-known areas of Istanbul and its culinary backstreets. Check out the tours we list and pick the best ones for your itinerary!

Turkey Travel Blog_Best Food Tours In Istanbul

Skip Ahead To My Advice Here!

Best Food Tour In Istanbul For Local Food – DayTime

Istanbul is a magnificent city with a rich history and culture. You can join various day trips to explore this extraordinary city, its culture, and local dishes. Here is your best guide to amazing food, food stalls, and home cooking.

1. Tates Of Istanbul Guided Food Tour of Street Food and Markets

Shopping in Istanbul - Spice bazaar

Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5 stars)

I would highly recommend this tour. It’s one of the best tours I did, the whole tour was amazing.

  • Food Type : Street food
  • Route : Itimat Fabrika Satis Magazasi (Meeting point) -> Local dairy market and café -> Ferry to Kadikoy region -> Fish market -> Local coffee house
  • Duration : 6 hours
  • Best for : Friend groups, couples, families, solo travelers
  • Book it here

If you like delicious Turkish foods and want to discover Istanbul’s street food scene, you shouldn’t miss this guided food tour! This cultural expedition will take you to Istanbul’s most characteristic regions and neighborhoods, serving you plates of delicious Turkish food.

Starting at the gates of the famous Spice Bazaar, the tour leads you to the iconic Kadıköy, where you’ll taste various local dishes. You’ll taste dishes from local cafés, markets, luxury restaurants, and street vendors along your route.

Of course, the tour isn’t all about eating. You’ll also bask in Istanbul’s majestic atmosphere and admire panoramic views around the city. So, if you seek an unforgettable culinary adventure, this tour is the way to go.

Book this tour or read reviews here.

2. istanbul: spice bazaar backstreets guided walking tour with tastings.

Best Shopping In Istanbul The Arasta Bazaar in Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey.

  • Food Type : Turkish
  • Route : Hamdi Restaurant, Eminönü (Meeting point) -> Spice Bazaar -> Galata Bridge -> Rooftop dining room -> Trendy district
  • Duration : 3.5 hours
  • Book it here.

Spice Bazaar, with its cultural significance and endless opportunities, is one of Istanbul’s most significant tourist attractions. If you like Turkish cuisine and are open to experiencing new dishes, this Istanbul food tour in Spice Bazaar might be what you need to make the most of your stay in Istanbul!

The tour stands out as one of Istanbul’s most popular culinary backstreet tours. In this tour, you’ll walk through the long and busy passages of the Bazaar while sampling local dishes. Besides eating delicious dishes, you can also purchase souvenirs and snap charming pictures to immortalize your journey.

3. Istanbul: Guided Food and Culture Tour

Closed shop exterior with metal door covered with colorful graff

  • Food Type : Kurdish, Turkish, Café (vegetarian and gluten-free options are available)
  • Route : Karaköy -> Bosporus Strait -> Kadıköy
  • Duration : 5 hours
  • Best for : Real foodies, couples, families, solo travelers

Istanbul is an extraordinary city with a unique culture and delicious cuisine. Every corner of this wonderland offers different experiences. So, if you want to discover Istanbul and its different foods, finding perfect Istanbul food tours is the key.

This Istanbul: Guided Food and Culture Tour is a perfect opportunity to discover Istanbul cuisine and its different colors. The tour takes you to Istanbul’s popular neighborhoods to try Eastern Anatolian and Kurdish dishes at the best restaurants in Kadıköy. Although Eastern Anatolian cuisine is famous for its meat-based dishes, the tour offers vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Join this food lovers tour now to have an unforgettable culinary adventure in Istanbul!

4. Istanbul Walking Food Tour with Secret Food Tours

What To Eat In Turkey - Turkish Food - Lahmacun

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5 stars)

  • Foods Included : Lahmacun, fresh salads, pickles, menemen, muhlama, brown bread, local cheese, tomatoes, olives, pide, beyran, soup, katmer, Turkish tea, wine, ayran, Turkish coffee , a delicious secret dish
  • Route : Doktor Esat Işık Street -> Moda Street -> Damacı Street -> Güneşli Bahçe Street -> Arayıcıbaşı Street
  • Duration : 4 hours
  • Best for : Urban explorers, couples, families, solo travelers

This tour offers a captivating adventure through the heart of Istanbul, Kadıköy. This neighborhood, where Turkish food and history intertwine, is the perfect spot to discover the city’s unique cuisine.

Starting your journey from Doktor Esat Işık Street, you’ll explore Kadıköy’s hidden gems . During this adventure, you’ll sample delicious lahmacun, menemen, muhlama, katmer, and other must-try dishes from Turkish cuisine. Plus, the tour also has a delicious secret dish that’ll enchant your taste buds.

If you are looking for an intimate and delicious experience, this tour is the way to go. The expedition lasts approximately four hours, and groups consist of ten people.

5. Taste Of Two Continents Food Tour: From European Side Of Istanbul to Asian Kadıköy

Turkish spice - Egyptian Bazaar and the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Turkey. Egyptian spice market

  • Route : Eminönü -> Bosphorus -> Kadıköy
  • Duration : 4.5 hours

Want to taste Turkish delicacies on two continents? Then this half-day tour might be what you are looking for! Starting from the local Hamdi Restaurant in Eminönü, eat your way into Istanbul’s Asian Side , sampling local delicacies and indulging yourself with delicious Turkish dishes.

Enjoy an authentic and delicious Turkish food tour with a professional guide who looks forward to providing you with insights into Turkish cuisine. Since the tour groups are capped at eight people, you will enjoy a truly personalized experience.

The tour offers you some of the most iconic Turkish dishes, including kebabs, meatballs, pide breads, and baklava desserts. It also includes various types of refreshments and snacks, such as Turkish coffee and local beverages.

6.  Making Turkish Coffee on Sand & Fortune Telling Workshop

A cup of Turkish coffee on a saucer, with its rich aroma and traditional brewing process, embodies the essence of Turkish traditions and customs.

  • Food Type : Turkish, Coffee
  • Route : Highlights in Istanbul Workshops
  • Duration : 2 hours
  • Best for : Couples, solo travelers

If you’re a coffee lover and want to discover the traditional Turkish coffee culture, this tour is the way to go!

Join this authentic tour to explore the local coffee culture and learn more about Turkish coffee. Participate in a fortune-telling workshop and learn how to read coffee.

This tour will teach you how to make Turkish coffee on the sand like a professional. Experienced coffee makers will guide you and provide you with all the necessary tools you need for making Turkish coffee on the sand.

The tour will allow you to choose from eight different coffee types blended for your own taste. It will also teach you the secret art of Turkish coffee reading, a classic Turkish tradition. Once you finish this course, you’ll be able to make and read Turkish coffee like an expert!

7.  Istanbul Food On Foot Tour

A fish market with a variety of fish on display.

  • Food Type : Turkish, Mouth-watering local
  • Route : Beşiktaş/Fatih/Karaköy/Eminönü (Pickup locations) -> Spice Bazaar -> Kadıköy -> Karaköy/Eminönü/Grand Bazaar/Beşiktaş/Fatih (Dropoff locations)
  • Duration : 4-5.5 hours
  • Best for : Urban explorers, couples, solo travelers

If you want to sample local Turkish dishes while exploring the city’s unique sights, this food tour on foot is perfect for you.

There are four pickup locations: Eminönü, Karaköy, Beşiktaş, and Fatih. The journey will start at the famous Spice Bazaar, where you will visit the local food market. Then, you’ll visit Karaköy for street food and have a guided tour of food tasting.

The tour follows a local route that can be considered off the beaten track and lets you enjoy 14 different food tastings. It also allows you to taste the most authentic street foods associated with Istanbul’s culinary scene.

Joining this tour might allow you to enjoy Istanbul’s lesser-known parts and help you explore the city’s unique culture.

8.  Three-Hour Ottoman Dinner Cruise In Istanbul

Experience the enchanting beauty of Istanbul as the sun sets over the Bosphorus River, glistening against a backdrop of charming boats. Discover the mesmerizing sights and sounds on a memorable

  • Food Type : Turkish, Ottoman
  • Route : Bosphorus
  • Duration : 3 hours
  • Best for : Friend groups, couples, solo travelers

One of the most generous food tours in Istanbul, this 3-hour Ottoman dinner cruise will offer you all you need to discover Istanbul’s unique food scene and authentic atmosphere.

You will go on a three-hour-long journey over the Bosphorus and enjoy an unforgettable experience with special shows and food offerings. You will not only sample traditional Turkish dishes but also have a taste of a genuine Ottoman experience.

Of course, the tour isn’t all about culture and eating. The live DJ performance, traditional and Latin dances, and various animations will provide you with an entertaining experience. The tour starts around 08:30 pm and finalizes around 11:30 pm.

9.  Afternoon Foodie Trail in Istanbul

Galata Bridge Istanbul -1

  • Route : Spice Bazaar -> Galata Bridge -> Karaköy Pier -> Mandabatmaz -> Istiklal Street
  • Best for  Families, urban explorers, friend groups, couples, solo travelers

This tour will take you to Istanbul’s lesser-known parts to discover the city’s gems. With your professional guide, you can eat your way to the hidden places on the streets of Istanbul.

Your journey will start at the Spice Bazaar; then, you will pass to Galata Bridge and watch the fishermen. It’s also the perfect spot to snap stunning pictures of Golden Horn.

Your next step will be in the Karaköy neighborhood, where you’ll sample çiğ köfte, çay, börek, and other local delicacies. Afterward, you’ll head to Beyoğlu district , where the famous coffeehouse Mandabatmaz and its very special Mandabatmaz Kahvesi are located.

You will eat Turkish delight, kokoreç (grilled intestines), stuffed mussels, içli köfte (stuffed meatballs), and a wet burger before finishing the tour at Taksim Square .

Brands We Use And Trust

Evening food tour in istanbul, 10. istanbul: bosphorus dinner cruise with turkish night show.

Where To Party In Istanbul - Uskudar

  • Route : Bosphorus (cruise)

Did someone say the perfect Istanbul food tour? This excellent dinner cruise lets you sample local Turkish dishes while enjoying an authentic show. The panoramic views of the Bosphorus and the festive atmosphere are the icing on the cake!

If you seek an authentic experience in Istanbul, consider joining this entertaining Bosphorus tour. The whole experience takes around three to four hours and leaves a big smile on your face as the night finishes.

The Bosphorus cruise will provide you with a romantic atmosphere, a delicious dinner, a wide variety of Turkish dishes, tasty cocktails, and scrumptious Turkish desserts. During your dinner, you can enjoy folk dances and catchy music.

11. Istanbul Culinary Walks: Pera by Night

Istiklal Caddesi - Taksim Istanbul

  • Food Type : Middle Eastern, Turkish
  • Route : Taksim Square (Meeting point) -> Nevizade -> Pera side streets -> Hazzapoulo Passage -> Megusta (Nevizade)
  • Best for : Couples, families, friend groups, solo travelers

Do you want to have a different experience exploring Istanbul at night? Then, this culinary walk tour is the perfect match for you!

The tour will take you on an expedition through Pera’s bustling streets and bask in Istanbul’s culture. The 3-hour culinary walk will give you the opportunity to sample the most delicious Turkish dishes and discover Istanbul’s cultural center.

You’ll have the opportunity to try the local Turkish cuisine during your trip through Pera. The guide will take you to one of the best restaurants that serve Middle Eastern dishes, where you can try new cuisines. Towards the end of the night, you’ll visit a local coffee house to drink delicious Turkish coffee . You’ll call it a day after a peaceful session of raki, a Turkish alcoholic beverage , and mezze.

12.  Evening Culture & Food Tour Of Istanbul – Dinner in Asia Dessert in Europe

Asian side of Istanbul and popular Bagdat avenue at Valentine's Day

  • Food Type : Turkish traditional & mezze
  • Route : Karaköy -> Bosphorus Strait -> Kadıköy Bazaar

Istanbul is a majestic city with two main sides on two different continents. If you want to discover this city’s foods and culture, you should take an unforgettable tour through its streets.

Starting near the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, this tour takes you to Kadıköy Çarşısı for tastings of local delicacies. Then, you’ll visit a popular restaurant in the area to enjoy a tasty meal with Turkish specialties.

After having a meal, you’ll visit other eateries to indulge yourself with Turkish desserts, such as baklava, kadayıf, and coffee. Those who smoke can also enjoy an authentic Turkish hookah experience .

Private Food Tours

13. bosphorus villages private istanbul food tour.

A display of Turkish spices at the Izmir Spice Market

  • Food Type : Turkish, Local
  • Route : Spice Market -> Üsküdar Pier -> Üsküdar Grand Bazaar -> Kuzguncuk -> Çengelköy
  • Best for : Urban explorers, friend groups, couples, solo travelers

Finally, if you are looking for a unique experience discovering Istanbul’s lesser-known parts, this Bosphorus Village private food tour is the perfect option to explore this extraordinary place.

The tour starts in Spice Bazaar and takes you to Üsküdar Pier, where you will have the opportunity to take lots of great pictures of Istanbul and admire the stunning Istanbul scenery.

The journey will take you to Kuzguncuk after a short trip to Üsküdar Grand Bazaar. In Kuzguncuk, you will enjoy delicious Turkish coffee made in a local style. The neighborhood has a rich and colorful culture, which might help you immerse yourself better in Istanbul’s lifestyle and understand the local way of life.

After Kuzguncuk, you will pass to Çengelköy, a wonderland on the city’s Asian-side with picturesque scenery and extraordinary views. In this village, you will try local foods while watching the stunning views of Istanbul’s gorgeous Bosphorus.

Day Trip Food Tours From Istanbul

Once you sample all the delicacies Istanbul has to offer, you can join various day trips from Istanbul to enjoy different local Turkish cuisines.

14. From Istanbul: Ephesus & Şirince Day Trip With Wine Tasting

Ephesus - SJ & Celsius Library Turkiye

  • Food Type : Turkish, Wine
  • Route : Hotel (Pickup location) -> Izmir -> Ephesus
  • Duration : 14 hours
  • Best for : Wine lovers, learning about the history of Turkey, couples, solo travelers

Ephesus is a true wonderland every traveler should explore. This unique ancient city in İzmir was once home to one of the most advanced civilizations of its time. Today, this marvelous land is in ruins, visited only by travelers who want to have a glimpse of the past.

Near Ephesus lies Şirince, a mountainous village known for its local wines and stunning scenery. Since it has a secluded location, far from the city center, Şirince preserved its unique culture pretty well. So, it’s the perfect spot for having a different experience and discovering lesser-known places in Turkey .

This food tour to Şirince from Istanbul offers you all you need for an unforgettable experience. You can explore the pretty town of Şirince and see historical ruins nearby. The House of the Virgin Mary, Hellenic temples, and ancient churches are among the other highlights of the area.

After discovering the cultural and historical side of Şirince, you will sample delicious local wines as part of the tour.

So, if you are looking for the perfect Turkey experience, this delicious Istanbul to İzmir tour is the way to go!

15. Full Day Wine Tour From Istanbul

A glass of white wine sitting on a table in front of a sunset in Istria.

  • Route : Hotel (Pickup location) -> Kırklareli
  • Duration : 12 hours
  • Best for : Wine lovers, couples, solo travelers

Kırklareli might not be the most famous place in Turkey. However, it’s definitely a perfect place for wine lovers. The city’s biggest plus is its close proximity to Istanbul, which shortens the journey’s duration and gives you plenty of time to rest after the tour.

As part of this tour, you will discover three boutique wineries in Kırklareli and sample four different wines at each shop. This unforgettable journey will help you discover various local flavors and tastes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Zinfandel varieties. With wines, you will enjoy the ideal food pairings of each wine.

Of course, the tour isn’t all about sampling wine. Your professional guide and employees from the wineries you visit will offer you interesting information regarding the region’s food history and winemaking techniques.

16. From Istanbul: Sapanca And Masukiye Day Trip With Lunch

people having breakfast at a restaurant in Masukiye,a popular destination for eating and spending time.Kocaeli.Turkey.22 October,2017

  • Route : Hotel (Pick-up location) -> Sakarya -> Sapanca -> Maşukiye -> Kartepe
  • Best for : Nature enthusiasts, friend groups, couples, solo travelers who want to experience the best tours we’ve ever done

Sakarya is a small town on the coast of the Black Sea . This green city is home to some of Turkey’s most beautiful sceneries. Its many waterfalls, lakes, and forests give Sakarya a cozy, mystic atmosphere, making it a truly unforgettable place.

This day trip from Istanbul to Sakarya might offer you the perfect opportunity to sample traditional dishes and explore the culture of a different Turkish city. Considering that almost every city in Turkey has its own unique culture, Sakarya will offer you an extraordinary journey.

The tour will take you to Sapanca Lake in Sakarya, where you can eat lunch at a restaurant near a waterfall. Then, you will discover a Turkish delight factory, the local Wildlife Park, and more. If you join the tour during winter, you will also have the opportunity to go skiing at Kartepe Ski Resort.

So, if you want to discover the rest of Turkey but don’t want to get too far away from Istanbul, this Sakarya day trip might be the perfect option for you!

Fun Facts About Turkish Food Culture

A glass of Turkisj raki on a table with meze - drinking age in Turkey.

Turkey has one of the wealthiest and most popular cuisines in the world. As a result, there is much to know about this unique food culture. That’s why we want to provide some fun facts about the rich food culture in Türkiye that might help you during your food tour of Istanbul.

Kahve Falı: Coffee Fortune Telling

Tasseomancy, also known as “Coffee fortune telling” or “Coffee reading,” is a significant part of Turkish coffee culture.

Once people finish drinking their coffee, they usually cover their cup with a saucer and turn it upside down. After waiting a while, they start “reading” the traces left by the coffee sediment.

Seasonal Delicacies

Turks have various seasonal dishes they eat during special times of the year – mainly during Ramadan. However, two of them, Ramazan pidesi and güllaç, particularly stand out due to their unique flavor.

Ramazan Pidesi: A Special Bread Eaten in Ramadan

Ramazan pidesi, or Ramadan pita, is a special type of bread made during the holy month of Ramadan. It is traditionally eaten during iftar and sahur meals.

This special bread has a round and flat form with a wave-like patterned crust. It’s made of wheat flour with yeast and topped with sesame seeds.

Although it might seem like regular bread, Ramazan pidesi is one of the most delicious foods you can try in Turkey, making it an excellent option for those looking for authentic dishes to try in Turkey.

Another popular Ramadan dish, Güllaç, is a must-try dessert – even for those who don’t have a sweet tooth! The dessert is made with milk, rose water, pomegranate, and a special pastry.

Istanbul Street Food

If you think Istanbul’s cuisine is all about kebab and baklava, you’re wrong! Istanbul has a very rich cuisine with delicious dishes, tasty desserts, and scrumptious street food.

Here are the most popular street foods in Istanbul you might want to sample:

  • Simit : similar to American bagels,  simit is one of the most popular foods in Turkey
  • Balık Ekmek : Balık ekmek , or fish sandwich, is a quick, delicious, and healthy street food
  • Lahmacun : Lahmacun is another popular dish in Turkey made by putting a minced meat-onion-red pepper mixture on a very thin dough. It’s sometimes called “Turkish pizza” by tourists – and even by locals
  • Dürüm : the moment you step into a Turkish street, you will see many restaurants selling wraps with various types of meat. This food is called  dürüm and is a very popular street dish in Istanbul. Its a classic Turkish food
  • Tantuni : originated in Mersin,  tantuni is the spicier cousin of dürüm and a popular street food in Istanbul
  • Midye dolma : the favorite snack of Turks,  midye dolma is literally mussels mixed with spicy rice and served with a squeeze of lemon juice

You can join Istanbul walking tours to enjoy street food and discover unique local delicacies.

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Food Tour Of Istanbul FAQs

1. how can i find top food tours in istanbul.

You can check Viator and Get Your Guide to find the best food tours in Istanbul.

2. Are there any highly recommended food tour companies in Istanbul?

My Local Guide Istanbul, Bosphorus Sunset, Highlights in Istanbul, and Senkron Day Tours are among the most popular food tour operators in Istanbul.

3. What types of food tours are available in Istanbul?

You can find day trips, cruises, museum visits, and walking tours in Istanbul. Since the city is huge and boasts a rich culture, you can join various tours for a true Istanbul experience.

4. Can I book Istanbul food tours online?

Yes, you can. In fact, booking Istanbul guided tours online is always better. Also, some websites that provide food tours only accept online payment.

5. How much do Istanbul food tours typically cost?

It really depends on the experience and the tour company. Most food tours are between €50 and €150. Yet you can find tours for higher or lower prices.

6. What neighborhoods in Istanbul are known for their food tours?

Every neighborhood in Istanbul has a remarkable cuisine and is worth a visit. However, if you are looking for a unique experience, Fener and Balat neighborhoods must be on your itinerary.

7. What is included in an Istanbul food tour package?

Food and drinks, transportation, pickup, and sometimes drop off included the price of most guided tours in Istanbul.

8. Are there vegetarian or vegan food tour options in Istanbul?

Yes, there are vegetarian and vegan food tour options in Istanbul . Also, most food tours of Istanbul offer non-meat dishes.

9. How long do Istanbul food tours usually last?

Depending on the experience, most tours last three to six hours – sometimes longer.

10. Do Istanbul food tours cater to specific dietary preferences or allergies?

If you have any allergies or dietary preferences, it’s best to contact the company or persons that organize the food tour you want to join and discuss your situation.

Sometimes, some food tours might alter the route or experience per your preferences or allergies. However, if the tour has a specific theme – for example, Turkish baklava sampling or Turkish meyhane experience – they might not be able to make changes.

11. Are private food tours available in Istanbul?

Yes, there are private food tours in Istanbul experiences.

12. What are some must-try foods and dishes on Istanbul food tours?

Here is a list of some foods you must try on guided tours of Istanbul:

  • Turkish coffee
  • Rakı and mezze

13. Are there evening or nighttime food tours in Istanbul?

Yes, nighttime walking tours of Istanbul or cruise experiences are perfect for those wishing to see what Istanbul looks like at night. Touring Istanbul at night is the best way to bask in the city’s atmosphere.

14. Do Istanbul food tours include visits to local markets or food markets?

Yes. Many Istanbul food tours start at the Grand Bazaar or the Spice Bazaar and take you to various local food markets for an authentic experience.

15. Are English-speaking guides available on Istanbul food tours?

Of course! The best Istanbul food tours provide English-speaking, knowledgeable guides.

16. How do I get to the meeting point for an Istanbul food tour?

Food tours usually set a meeting point or a pickup location. You can take public transportation or get a taxi to travel to that location.

17. Are there food tours in Istanbul focusing on a specific cuisine or region?

Yes, some food tours focus on a specific cuisine, such as Black Sea, Kurdish (Southeastern), or Middle Eastern.

18. Are Istanbul food tours suitable for families or children?

You can join most Istanbul food tours with your family and children. Especially Turkish breakfast and street food tours are the most popular family food tours.

19. Can I customize a food tour itinerary in Istanbul?

You should contact the tour guide beforehand to ask for a change in the route or an additional stop.

20. What are some tips for making the most of my Istanbul food tour experience?

  • Carefully pick the food tour; reading the description and checking out the route might give you a better idea of what you should expect from the experience.
  • Communicate with your expert guide in advance for inquiries or requests.
  • Turkey doesn’t have a tipping culture similar to the US, yet tipping is always appreciated.
  • You don’t need to know Turkish, but learning a few phrases might help you “earn the locals’ hearts.”
  • Be open-minded and try new dishes.
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Comments (2)

How hard it is to get from Asian side to european side?

Crossing from the Asian side to the European side of Istanbul is straightforwad with the ferry system. Tickets can be purchased on the spot and are cheap.

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Home » Middle East » Turkey » Most EPIC Food Tours in Istanbul | The Broke Backpacker 2024 Guide

Most EPIC Food Tours in Istanbul | The Broke Backpacker 2024 Guide

Istanbul is a magical city of many cultures. It’s where the East meets the West, and even spans over two continents, split by the Bosporus Strait. From the stunning mosques of the Sultanahmet district to the cozy cafes of the Jewish Quarter in Balat, contrasting cultures live together in harmony in Istanbul.

This makes for a great culinary scene. The food in Istanbul is a melting pot of spices, flavors, and cuisines from across two continents . The spice markets are a thrill for the senses, with every flavor hitting your nose all at once.

I’m thinking about those delicately constructed layers of filo pastry on a perfect baklava. Dinner is a hearty, meaty delight of of kebab varieties. Istanbul is a place FULL of flavor.

There is just too much amazing food to choose from, and some foods that are unique to the city such as stuffed mussels and sucluc, which is why doing a food tour in Istanbul is such a great idea.

If you want to explore the city and find the best food stops, then a foodie tour of Istanbul is how you’ll get acquainted. Indulge culinary delights with a side order of top-quality hospitality.

day food tour istanbul

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Food in Istanbul – Why is it Special? 

Istanbul foodie neighbourhood breakdown , best food tours in istanbul, final thoughts on food tours in istanbul.

Formerly known as Byzantium, then Constantinople, Istanbul has always been a thriving city and a meeting point between cultures. In fact, the Grand Bazaar is the oldest shopping mall in the world and has always been a hub of trade for centuries.

Every wanderer looking to trade came traveling through Istanbul on the trade routes of the Silk Road, including some recipes…

Even today, the flavors from the East and West combine to make some of the best fusion food on the planet . There are lots of must-try foods in Istanbul.

day food tour istanbul

Let’s start with Simit , a popular street food in Istanbul. This chewy, round bread is covered in sesame seeds and topped with honey or Nutella.

Another doughy favorite of mine is pide or “Turkish pizza”, just like the Italian equivalent but without the tomato sauce. There’s also lahmacun, made of a thin piece of dough, and topped with minced meat, spices, and vegetables.

Breakfast is a big event for locals, and no matter where you stay (particularly in Istanbul Airbnbs and homestays) more often than not given a complimentary Turkish breakfast of eggs, cheese, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and bread. Yum-o.

Menemen is eggs, tomatoes, green peppers, and spices, it’s a popular breakfast dish in Istanbul. The dish takes its name from the Menemen district of Izmir in the Aegean Region of Turkey.

One dish you’ve probably heard of is Köfte , usually made from lamb, beef, or both. You may know köfte from the takeaway. But in Istanbul, it’s obviously way better – it’s served with grilled peppers, spicy sauce, flatbread, and rice. 

Döner – you know her. Here it’s cooked on vertical rotisseries and is arguably Turkey’s most famous food. But wait a minute, what about baklava? 

Baklava was one of the most popular sweet pastries of Ottoman cuisine, made of flaky layers of pastry topped with honey and nuts. Borek is a savory version of baklava that can also be found in Istanbul. It’s usually filled with cheese, meat, or vegetables. 

And finally, you can’t come to Istanbul and not try the seafood. Grab a fresh Balik Ekmek (fish sandwich) from the fishing boats on the Bosphorus. The cafes along the river bank in Eminonu, near the famous Galata Bridge, serve up the freshest catches of the day and it’s one of the top attractions in Istanbul . 

A note on happy bellies – It’s generally safe to consume street food in Istanbul, but it’s best to avoid very cheap meat or seafood. If there’s a queue, it’s usually good to eat.

A Taste of Istanbul’s Street Food

A Taste of Istanbul’s Street Food

  • > Where: Kadikoy Market, Beyoglu district
  • > Includes: Professional guide, Tastings, Public transportation (Bus, ferry, subway etc.)
  • > Duration: 4.5 Hours
  • > Price: €63.02

Turkish and Ottoman Cuisine Workshop

Turkish and Ottoman Cuisine Workshop

  • > Where: Istiklal Street, Beyoglu
  • > Includes: All food, drinks, food history and cooking demonstration
  • > Duration: 3 Hours
  • > Price: €57

Dervish Experience & Traditional Dinner

Dervish Experience & Traditional Dinner

  • > Where: Fatih
  • > Includes: Food, drinks, transport & tickets to the show
  • > Duration: 3.5 Hours
  • > Price: €66

Before we introduce you to the top food tours in Istanbul, let’s quickly run through the best foodie neighborhoods so you can explore the culinary delights on your own.

Sultanahmet, also known as the old town, is Istanbul’s most touristed district and includes neighbourhoods such as Sirkeci and Eminonu. Visit the famous Spice Market Misir Carsisi, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, which is an explosion of color and flavor from every corner of the world. 

Beer Money

In Eminou try Turkish delight, also known as lokum, at the oldest confectionary shop in Istanbul, Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir Lokumlari. Stop by at the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia, as well as the underground Basilica Cisterns. Of course, no visit to Istanbul is complete without a trip to the Grand Bazaar, full of indoor souks and market stalls peddling everything from fine leather to fake brands. 

Karakoy is a harborside neighborhood in Istanbul on the opposite side of the river to the old town. Trendy cafes and cocktail bars line the streets while family-run shops and traditional neighborhood bakeries give the area a local vibe. 

Istiklal Street is Istanbul’s busiest thoroughfare, packed with color, culture and flavors from all over the world. Also known as “Independence Caddesi,” it’s a 1.5-kilometre-long pedestrian boulevard that runs through Beyoglu.

Just north of Taksim Square the area of Besiktas is famous throughout Turkey. Hundreds and thousands of Turkish residents visit here year-round to fill their bellies with the first meal of the day. Affectionately known as “Breakfast Street” , the area near to Dolmabahçe Palace is packed full of cafes and restaurants serving up menemen, kaymak, simit, and a whole selection of fresh fruits and vegetables. All washed down with a healthy amount of Turkish coffee of course.

To the north of Besiktas is the flamboyant restaurant Nusr-Et Steakhouse Etiler , made famous by the viral ‘Salt Bae’ videos on social media. I can say from experience it’s 100% worth the hype and is one of the top places to visit in Istanbul ! The ‘extra’ serving style, refined Turkish dishes, and over-the-top portions make this a meal not to be missed.

Kadiköy is a laid-back residential neighborhood on Istanbul’s Asian shore. It’s probably best known for its fresh seafood and local favorite Marmara Balik Market (fish market). Here you can find everything from Turkish pizza, to fresh olives, and perfectly steamed stuffed mussels. The area is pretty popular with the younger crowds too. You can visit indie boutiques, hipster cafes, and traditional Anatolian eateries. There’s also some of the best nightlife in the city along Barlar Sokak (Bar Street).

For some of the best views, visit the Moda Caddesi neighborhood’s shores that showcase Istanbul’s beautiful skyline. Get a dondurma (ice cream) from Meshur Dondurmaci Ali Usta and look out across the Sea of Marmara.

Now you know where to go looking for the best food in Istanbul, you need to know which… It’s time to take a look at the top food tours to add to your Istanbul itinerary .

A Taste of Istanbul’s Street Food – The Overall Best Istanbul Food Tour

A Taste of Istanbul’s Street Food

  • Where: Kadikoy Market, Beyoglu district
  • Duration: 4.5 Hours
  • Includes: Professional guide, Tastings, Public transportation (Bus, ferry, subway etc.)
  • Price: €63.02

This small group tour gives you a taste of some of the best food in Istanbul. It’s a comprehensive five-hour tour of Istanbul’s street food scene covering everything from pide to simit.

You will travel by foot as well as tram, and take a ferry over the Bosphorus to seek out the best dishes on the Asian side of Istanbul. 

Start by browsing the vibrant Kadikoy Market on Istanbul’s Asian side. Later, take a stroll along the iconic Galata Bridge to sample the seafood sandwiches of Galata.

There’s a bit of everything on this tour, all finished off with baklava at the famous pastry shop ‘Karakoy Gulluoglu’ in the Beyoglu district.

Your local guide will give you loads of facts about the surrounding area as well as some great tips for getting around. Do this tour at the start of your visit, even if you’re only visiting for a weekend , and save yourself a load of money on taxis and bland food.

No Diet Club Istanbul Food Journey – For Those Who Don’t Care About Calories

No Diet Club Istanbul Food Journey

  • Where:  Karakoy & Kadikoy
  • Duration: 3 Hours
  • Includes: Food, drinks, ferry, local guide

This offbeat 3-hour tour is perfect for those that aren’t watching their weight. Packed with tasty delights from favorite local spots and food markets, this tour takes in the highlights of Istanbul’s treats.

Try fresh mussels at the Karakoy Pier, a local favorite, wander the backstreets of Kadikoy on the Asian side, and try some of the best Turkish mezes. Then uncover the secrets to Turkish cheese and try Künefe, a cheesy dessert adored by locals.

Local guide, Yunus Emre, has been an official tour guide in Istanbul for over 12 years. He’s done all of the sights and knows the facts, but this tour isn’t for sightseeing. 

It’s a deep dive into the flavorsome food that keeps this city running.

Half-Day Turkish Coffee Tasting and Tour – The Caffeine Addicts Food Tour in Istanbul

Half-Day Turkish Coffee Tasting and Tour

  • Where: Fatih / Old Town
  • Includes: Hotel pick-up and drop-off from centrally located hotels, local guide, coffee and Turkish delight tasting, all entrance fees

Turkish coffee is world-famous and making the perfect cup is a fine art. Visit a unique museum and get the chance to drink at some of the most historic coffee venues in Istanbul on this three-hour guided tour.

You will learn everything there is to know about the national drink during this tour for caffeine lovers. Make the perfect Turkish coffee in a historic coffee shop, visit the coffee storage of the Ottomans, and try authentic Turkish delights at the Kurukahvedji Inn.

Coffee is a huge part of Turkish culture, and this tour gives you all of the facts. Learn the how, the why, and the where to drink coffee along the beautiful “Coffee Route” of Istanbul.

Dervish Experience & Traditional Dinner – The Best Traditional Food Tour

Dervish Experience & Traditional Dinner

  • Where: Fatih
  • Duration: 3.5 Hours
  • Includes: Food, drinks, transport & tickets to the show

Join the locals at a very traditional Sufism Dervish show, then get spoiled with a feast on the rooftop of a 150-year-old restaurant. 

Spend an hour experiencing the hypnotic ‘Whirling Dervish’ of Turkey. Learn all about the dance and the history of the authentic surroundings from your local guide.

Hosts Kubilay and Zeynep are passionate about their culture and want to share it with visitors. You will get to know them and learn about the spiritual ways of Sufism .

This tour is a great way to get a sense of the Rumi spirit, a word borrowed from Arabic literally meaning ‘Roman’. The community comes together for these impressive shows, a far more authentic Istanbul experience than belly dancing.

After the show, you will be whisked away to a local kebab restaurant. It’s housed in a historic building with beautiful views out over the city from the rooftop.

You will get an unlimited amount of quality Turkish cuisine. Try traditional soups, a great choice of kebabs, and of course lots of mezes. Finish the night off with tea or Turkish coffee and a local dessert.

There are vegetarian and vegan options available too! Just let them know your dietary requirements when you book.

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Breakfast in Istanbul – The Breakfast Tour in Istanbul

A Once in a Lifetime Breakfast in Istanbul

  • Where: Besiktas 
  • Duration: 2 Hours
  • Includes: Traditional Turkish Breakfast and Turkish tea
  • Price: € 37

Hundreds of people flock to ‘Breakfast Street’ in Istanbul every morning, but it remains largely unheard of to tourist visitors. The first meal of the day is an important part of Turkish culture, experience it like a local with one of the best Istanbul foodie tours. 

Just across from the Dolmabahce Palace, this trendy neighborhood in Besiktas is the best place to get breakfast in Istanbul. People from all over Turkey head here but many foreign visitors miss it completely.

Local guide Utku will order you a feast including menemen, kaymak & honey, and muhlama. Don’t worry about trying to translate menus, he’ll take care of everything.

Utku has traveled all over the world. He brought the very first Airbnb Experiences to Istanbul while he was working as Airbnb Brand Ambassador. His aim is to give you an unforgettable local experience in Istanbul.

If you’re not too full, chat about the best things to do in Istanbul over Turkish tea or coffee before heading back into the city center.

Turkish and Ottoman Cuisine Workshop – The Best Istanbul Cookery Class

Turkish and Ottoman Cuisine Workshop

  • Where: Istiklal Street, Beyoglu
  • Includes: All food, drinks, food history and cooking demonstration

Tucked away in a cozy house on Istiklal Street, between the Galata tower and Taksim square, you will find a fun-packed cooking experience with locals.

Kaan and Arda will immerse you into the world of Ottoman gastronomy, but this is no history lesson. They have been doing this sort of thing for a while, and know the key to great food is having fun!

Compete with your fellow cooks for ‘best chef’, learn some new dance moves while listening to traditional Turkish music, and eat your heart out during this action-packed cooking lesson in Istanbul.

Learn the art of making Turkish lasagna called ‘Yalama‘, and try Salgam (fermented black carrot juice), yum! There are plenty of options for vegetarians too with humus, Çig Köfte, and lots of other tasty treats. 

This is a great way to get a real appreciation for the food in Istanbul. Learn what goes into the food you are eating as well as try some of the best things to eat in Istanbul.

Local Food, History, and Hidden Places – The Do It All Food Tour in Istanbul

Local Food, History, and Hidden Places

  • Where: Sultanahmet and Eminou 
  • Includes: Food, drinks, vegan/gluten-free options (advanced notice required)

Wander the hidden streets of the old town and visit the most historic and authentic local eateries in the heart of Istanbul. 

This tour takes in all of the essentials. If you want someone else to do all of the hard work for you and try the very best food in Istanbul, this is the one for you.

Starting at the iconic Spice Bazaar you will try pide, followed by Turkish delights from a 245-year-old shop, then to a local stall for the “best döner in town”. 

Find hidden kebab stalls in the Grand Bazaar and wash it all down with Turkish coffee. Finally, demolish some baklava as you take in the sights of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.

Ozcan, the founder of Taste Of Istanbul, along with a small team (Didem and Elif) runs highly-rated food tours in Istanbul. As a local foodie, he has hand-picked some of the very best spots to try the most delicious and iconic food in the city.

This tour is perfect if you don’t have much time in Istanbul, or if you just want to learn about all of the best spots in the old town to return to during your stay. Taste of Istanbul also runs a nighttime tour of Beyoglu and a transcontinental foodie walk.

So there you have it, the best Istanbul food tours you just have to try. They are packed with history, culture, flavor, and a little pinch of heaven.

Not only will you ignite your taste palet, but these tours will help you learn all about the cultures of the many empires that have ruled and traveled through Istanbul. It helps you understand the people around you better. You’ll also find yourself greeted with open arms. 

Taste some of the very best fusion cuisines that have come from centuries of trade and shared cultures. Try and use a couple of Turkish words too and watch their faces light up.

Istanbul is a complete paradise for foodies, so make sure you make the most of your stay. These awesome food experiences really set your world on fire.

Sultanahmet ttd Ibiza

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

Nina Az

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Culinary Backstreets covers the world’s best eating destinations, with city guides, food tours, multi-day trips and daily dispatches.

Food tour in the Kurtulus neighborhood of Istanbul

Cosmopolitan Kurtuluş: Istanbul’s Neighborhood of Taste

day food tour istanbul

Quick bite: Far from the tourist trail, get a taste of one of the last bastions of classic Istanbul flavors, including bread fresh from the tandir oven, a mind-boggling assortment of meze, sizzling kebab, old school ice cream and much more. On this full-day food tour, we will dig deep into the culinary traditions of one of Istanbul’s most culturally diverse and food-centric neighborhoods.

US$135 / adult

day food tour istanbul

Two Markets Two Continents

Quick Bite: This full-day Istanbul market tour draws from our best-of list in the European side’s Karaköy neighborhood and the Asian Kadıköy, tied together by a Bosphorus crossing, visiting two markets on two continents.

US$135/ adult

grand bazaar food tour

Culinary Backstreets of the Bazaar Quarter

Quick bite: Istanbul’s Bazaar Quarter is one of the world’s biggest open-air commercial centers and a historic hub of small craftsmen who still carry on their tradition in the atmospheric caravanserais. On this 6-hour Grand Bazaar food tour, we will meet and eat with these craftsmen. 

Istanbul food tour

Born on the Bosphorus: Exploring Three Distinct Waterside Neighborhoods

Quick bite: From a workingman’s breakfast in the frenetic market to a leisurely fish lunch in the Bosphorus neighborhood, this full-day Istanbul food tour brings together the high points of life in the city, in all their rich contrast.

US $135/adult

Istanbul Old City Food Tour

Culinary Secrets of the Old City

Quick Bite: In Istanbul’s Old City, two culinary worlds exist side by side – one for tourists and one for locals. On this Istanbul Old City food tour, we go beyond the major monuments to time-honored spots where all of the serious eating is done.

food tour Istanbul

Hidden Beyoğlu

Quick bite: With Beyoğlu’s cosmopolitan history as a backdrop, on this food tour in Istanbul we will eat our way through the classic and unknown eateries of the neighborhood, the old and the new, tasting specialties from all over Turkey. 

day food tour istanbul

Shop, Cook, Feast: A Hands-On Culinary Adventure

Quick Bite: After shopping for ingredients in one of Istanbul’s most food-centric neighborhoods, we’ll teach you how to cook six of our favorite Turkish recipes from all over Turkey in this Istanbul cooking class – dishes like Circassian chicken, stuffed eggplant from southeastern Turkey, Aegean-style mincemeat pastries and more. 

US $120/adult

day food tour istanbul

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Drifter Planet

I did a Food Tour in Istanbul (Here’s What I ate)

by Drifter Planet | Jan 17, 2024 | Turkey

Food Tour in Istanbul, Turkey

What’s the best way to enjoy a new destination’s culture for you? For me, it is by walking, visiting street markets, and tasting different foods.

Food is how you can experience how the culture of a specific destination or region has evolved over the years. Not only does one taste the herbs, spices, or ingredients that are unique to that place, but also the traditions.

Confession time – I didn’t enjoy the local food in Istanbul in 2016, so I decided to go for a food tour when I revisited in 2023. I wanted to learn about Turkish cuisine and eat what the locals love to eat. Of course, I loved every bit of it, and that’s why I decided to write this post.

Hoca Paşa in Faith, Istanbul

If you are flying to Turkey, then most likely you have included at least a few days in Istanbul. Even though it is a bus city, it offers enough to hold a prime spot in any Turkey itinerary . If so, then consider doing a food tour in Istanbul.

My food tour in Istanbul was a slightly shorter version because we also already did a treasure hunt that day and were short on time. We didn’t end up crossing the Bosphorus strait to go to the east side of Istanbul like all the other food tours. It was a private culinary tour that was curated by a professor.

For the full experience, I highly suggest you book a tour for yourself . I have handpicked three tours for you that also go to the Eastern side of Istanbul and not just the European side. They all are highly rated with knowledgeable guides.

  • Taste of Two Continents food tour : A 6-hour food tour that starts at 9:30 am and has 9 stops. It goes to the Kadikoy market in the Asian side of Istanbul. It starts at Hobyar Mahallesi. It also includes a ferry ride from Europe to Asia and back.
  • Guided Food Tour of Street Food and Markets : This 6-hour tour starts at Rüstem Paşa which is at one end of the Galata Bridge. You will cover both the Asian and European sides and visit Kadikoy. You can pick a start time of 10:30 am or 11 am.
  • Guided Food and Culture Tour : This is a 5-hour evening food tour that starts at 6 pm. It also covers both Asian and European sides with a visit to Kardikoy. It makes sense to book this one if you aren’t a morning person to experience Istanbul from a unique perspective.

Pick a tour carefully after checking the meeting point. Istanbul isn’t tiny so it makes sense to pick a tour that starts not so far away from your hotel.

Tip: if you are staying in a nice hotel with a traditional Turkish breakfast buffet, then you don’t need to pick the morning tour , pick the evening tour instead.

If you’d like to know what I ate, here’s a list of exactly what I ate and drank during my food tour of Istanbul.

You can start your day by crossing the Galata Bridge and reaching Eminönü. Alternatively, if you’d like to walk less then arrive at Hoca Paşa and skip the first spot.

1) Turşu suyu (Pickle Juice) – Eminönü

Us drinking Pickle Juice in Eminönü, Istanbul

Eminönü is on one side of the Galata Bridge and you will see many roadside pickle stores with pink juice – that’s the famous Turkish pickle juice and you should try it.

Although this wasn’t officially a part of our food tour, I highly recommend you make your first stop in Eminönü to drink a glass of pickle juice. Our group had two variants – a spicy and a non-spicy one. I obviously went for the spicy one.

Pickle Shops in Eminönü, Istanbul

Pickle juice is an excellent appetizer and is proven to boost your gut health and help in fat loss (like apple cider vinegar). Even if you drink half a glass of this pickle juice, you are all set for your intense culinary experience in Istanbul.

Both Eminönü and Galata Bridge are on my list of Instagram spots in Istanbul .

2) Kebab – Kasap Osman

Kasap Osman Kebab Shop in Istanbul

From Eminönü, make your way to Istanbul’s Hoca Paşa, which is in Fatih. If you are walking then this is just 1.3 KM and you will cross Istanbul’s spice market (or Egyptian spice bazaar) on your way.

You don’t need to make a stop in the spice market because that’s where we will end our food trip today. Alternatively, you can also take public transportation to arrive here if you have an Istanbul card. I have mentioned more details about this in my Istanbul itinerary post.

Kebab rolls at Kasap Osman, Istanbul

Hoca Paşa is a famous street for traditional restaurants on the European side of Istanbul. Most of the travelers visit Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square and just see Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque but miss places like Hoca Paşa which aren’t even that far away.

This and the next few places are near each other so if you do a self-guided food tour, you won’t have to walk so much.

Yes, Turkish Doner kebabs are famous but do you know that the term “döner” was invented in Berlin? Of course, the concept didn’t originate in Berlin but in Turkey, and Kesap Osman is Istanbul’s OLDEST döner kebab shop.

Kasap Osman - the Man Who Created This

If you don’t know, a döner kebab is a roll made out of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie and includes salad, pickles, and sauces. The kebab meat in Turkey is usually a mix of lamb meat and beef. All the kebab shops have somewhat different ratios of lamb and meat, that’s what makes them unique.

Kasap Osman’s kebab shop has outdoor seating, so we sat outside to eat kebabs and drink Ayran with it. Ayran is a Turkish yogurt drink that is salty and helps you digest your food better.

3) Pide (Turkish Pizza) – Güvenç Konyalı

Güvenç Konyalı Restaurant in Istanbul

Ever heard of Pide? Some call it a Turkish pizza, but is so much more than that. It is a long rectangular flatbread with tomato paste, toppings, and cheese. If you live in Europe, chances are that you have tried a pide already in one of the kebab shops.

Pide at Güvenç Konyalı Restaurant in Istanbul

Güvenç Konyalı is a famous Turkish chef and his restaurant also has the same name. We tried different kinds of Pide here, and some of them also had green pepper on top. If you are into meat then try the lamb Mandi smoked ribs.

The seating here was a little more comfortable than the others because we went to the top floor and got a table next to the little window.

4) Köfte (Meatballs) – Meşhur Filibe Köftecisi

Kofte - food tour in Istanbul

Our next stop was for my favorite Turkish food, köfte (Turkish meatballs), so I was very happy when we stopped at Istanbul’s most famous köfte restaurant. It was actually the first time that I was getting to try köfte in Turkey because I had eaten them just in Germany.

Meşhur Filibe Köftecisi is legendary and is130 years old! It is here since 1893 – whoa! And boy the food here truly didn’t disappoint.

I loved the fact that our plate of köfte came with raw white onions and a red sauce which looked like tomato sauce but was super spicy. I loved that spicy sauce by the way and you will too. We also had yogurt so it went well with the köfte.

Drinking Turkish Coffee in Hoca Paşa, Istanbul

For me, this was the best thing I ate with meat during my time in Istanbul topped most of the traditional Turkish dishes.

I did drink a cup of Turkish coffee here and my friend had Turkish tea. We wanted to wash the food down to enjoy the last 3 items on our food tour.

5) Cağ Kebap (Meat on Skewer) – Şehzade Cağ Kebap

Food tour in Istanbul - meat on skewers

Şehzade Cağ Kebap is an award-winning restaurant where we tried Cağ Kebap, which is meat on skewers with lavash (flat bread). This meal reminded me of what I would normally eat back home in India.

If you are an Indian then you probably have eaten Rumali Roti on multiple occasions. Lavash is a bit like that – a super thin flat bread.

Şehzade Cağ Kebap in Istanbul

Şehzade Cağ Kebap was one of those restaurants that I personally didn’t enjoy so much maybe because I was full but the boys in our group loved it. I think it is a matter of personal taste.

6) Cig Kebap (Vegan Kebabs) – Çiğköfteci Ali Usta

Chee kofte kebab in Istanbul

This right here was my favorite food experience in Istanbul in terms of taste and overall feel. Believe it or not, this is a vegan kebab and it tasted amazing. This kebab and kofte shop isn’t located on the same Hoca Paşa street but just 80 meters away.

Cig kebab or “Çiğköfteci” was originally made with raw meat mixed with spiced bulger, but over the years it has transitioned to just bulger. This happened because raw meat was banned and thank god for that.

Bulger is a variant of couscous with a bigger grain and is heavily spiced and coated with a tomato paste to make cig köfte. These are then wrapped in lavash bread with salad, raw onions, and loads of lemon. The overall result is mind-blowing.

Also, this particular kebab shop is famous because some of the street food videos that were made here went viral on Instagram. After all, the main chef prepares the food very fast and looks angry. Actually in reality he isn’t angry but that’s just his persona. Overall, this was my best street food experience in Istanbul.

I did have cig köfte in a high-end restaurant called Oligark with views of the Bosphorus Strait. The experience was obviously different here and I recommend them both.

7) Midye Dolma (Mussel with rice) – Kral Kokorec

Mussels stuffed with rice - istanbul food tour

By the time we reached Kral Kokorec, I was very full but I decided to eat a little more. You see, I have a thing for seafood and I wanted to experience traditional Turkish mussels preparation.

Kral Kokorec Streetfood In Istanbul

The specialty of this place is Kokorec, which is a Balkan dish that’s made with lamb or goat intestines. By that time we couldn’t handle more meat, so eating Midye Dolma (salted mussel stuffed with rice) was pretty nice (and different).

8) Lokum (Turkish Delight) – Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir

Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir Sweet Shop in Istanbul

If you have spent any time in Istanbul, especially in the spice market and the grand bazaar, most likely you have seen shops selling Turkish delights. So let’s go to the shop where it all began!

Hacı Bekir Effendi invented “Lokum”, which is what we know as Turkish delight. Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir has been in the Turkish delight and confectionary business for centuries.

Not just Turkish delight but we also drank three different kinds of sherbets and each was mindblowing. The flavors were tamarind, mint with lemon, and raspberry. For me, the tamarind sherbet was the perfect drink at the end of the tour because it was a bit sour and sweet.

Sherbet and Lokum at Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir Istanbul

As for me, Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir was the only place in Istanbul where I enjoyed dessert because it wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet. Out of all the different flavors of Turkish Delight that we tried, the best one for me was made with just almonds. I also tried one with walnuts and it was really good too.

I am not much of a sweet eater but if you are, then I’d like to tell you that this place also has halva, which is a popular Middle Eastern dessert that’s made with tahini and sugar. Halva originated in Iran but is popular all over the world. We also have an Indian version that’s made with dark flour.

9) Turkish Coffee at Spice Market

Beta Yeni Han Coffee House in Spice Bazaar Istanbul

One of the best things that you can drink after eating loads of food is coffee (or tea). Head to Spice Market, and walk around here to get that much-needed cardio to burn some calories.

Make your way to Beta Yeni Han Cafe, which is one of the best coffee houses. This place is relaxing, and stunning and will give you that much-needed break after walking on bustling streets and experiencing delicious Turkish foods.

Inside Beta Yeni Han Coffee House in Istanbul

Yes, you will find traditional Turkish Coffee, Turkish Tea, and also international coffee. So drink what you want and get caffeinated.

This brings us to the end of the food tour in Istanbul. This entire process of eating so many delicious things and trying new drinks lasted around 5 hours.

If you are in Istanbul for a solo trip, then I highly suggest that you book a food tour because that will also be a bit like a city tour since that will take you from the European side of Istanbul to the Asian side, with a boat ride included. Of course, you will experience the yummy food but also the culture of this amazing historic city.

My food tour was just on the European side but you shouldn’t miss the fish market area of the Asian side of Istanbul. But still, I was so impressed with it and I have now decided to do food tours in many other destinations that I visit solo.

Taksim Square and Istiklal Street

If you are doing a self-guided tour, then I also suggest you add Taksim Square because this area is super lively at night. I did mention in my Istanbul itinerary post that you can experience the city’s amazing street food on Istiklal Street, which is right next to Taksim Square.

If you do end up going there, then try kebab, Baklava, Turkish ice cream, and more. Just experiment with new foods while you are here. Just don’t buy apple tea because it isn’t traditional but is something that’s just made for tourists.

Another memorable food experience that you shouldn’t miss out on while in Istanbul is a traditional Turkish breakfast, which is super lavish because it contains different kinds of cheeses, honey, yogurts, olives, herbs, tomatoes, eggs, bread, and meats. If you stay in a hotel, most likely you will end up eating a traditional breakfast buffet which is worth it.

Where to Stay in Istanbul?

Sunset view from my bed in CVK Park Bosphorous, Istanbul

I highly recommend CVK Park H otel, it is along the Bosphorus Strait and is fantastic. My room had a view of the bosphorous and I didn’t even have to get out of bed to enjoy the sunrise every single morning.

For around EUR 200-300 per night, my room also had luxurious Roberto Cavalli toiletries, a bathtub with a view, and the most comfortable bed.

Moreover, the service and the buffet breakfast spread in CVK Park Bosphorus Hotel were excellent. I will stay here when I visit Istanbul again.

Other Travel Blog Posts for Turkey

Istanbul Instagram Spots

Disclosure: My trip to Istanbul was sponsored as a part of the Istanbul Travel Influencer Summit 2023. However, all the opinions expressed in this article are my own.

PS: Drifter Planet  contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you.  We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

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Sonal of Drifter Planet

Namaste, Guten Tag! I'm Sonal from India, living in Germany and exploring Europe. I've been writing about my travels since 2015. I often travel alone (and sometimes with family of 3).

I love European city breaks, nature, adventure, hiking to viewpoints, Yoga, and road trips. I have a knack for creating the most amazing travel itineraries and in-depth destination guides which will help you make the most of your trip.

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Last Updated on January 26, 2024 by Drifter Planet


Taksim Evening Food Tour

day food tour istanbul

  • Max 10 people
  • All-inclusive of food and drinks

What's included

  • -All food and drink along the tour, including water.
  • -Exciting and local drinks

8 reasons to book this experience

  • Visit locals favourite Istiklal street
  • Taste the best of the Turkish street food
  • Try classic Turkish kebabs and stuffed mussels
  • Visit Taksim & Beyoğlu districts by nightfall – the heart and soul of the city for locals
  • It is not just food, it's Turkish culture with an expert's insider view
  • Explore Istanbul's evening life
  • 10+ local tastings
  • Taste unique dishes hailing from Turkey’s Black Sea region

What you can expect


From here, you’ll make your way through the maze of narrow backstreets surrounding the bustling İstiklâl Street, stopping in for local street foods, like tantuni. You’ll experience the delicious flavours that have been carrying Turkish cuisine through the ages with pilav and kuru fasulye following a 300-year-old recipe passed down through generations by the very same family who served it inside the Ottoman palace kitchens.

You will spend most of your time exploring the backstreets; however, as you zigzag your way back and forth across the famous İstiklâl Street, you will have time to appreciate the incredible architecture of its historic buildings and churches.

Along the way you’ll journey down lively Nevizade, alive with cheers of revelling locals enjoying their drinks with friends. Finally, you’ll indulge in the best baklava in Istanbul from its traditional and most famous creators.

You’ll enjoy more than 8 different specialties during your tour. You’ll get a first-hand glimpse into why Taksim and Beyoğlu are favourite areas for locals to eat out, socialise and enjoy life. We’ll take you to explore the best local eateries in the neighbourhood, and the evening light allows you to experience the city like a genuine Istanbul local.

Join us for an evening of great food, good drink, and plenty of fun. Taksim Evening Food Tour is an Istanbul evening you’ll remember!

Things to know

Cancelation policy, vegetarian alternatives, booking details, tour details, what to bring & wear, meeting & finishing point, choose from available dates, other food tours in istanbul, taste of two continents, kadiköy street food tour, flavours of the old city tour, whats's included.

  • Uniquely different eateries and restaurants, multiple tastings at each.
  • Friendly, knowledgeable and passionate English-speaking tour guide.
  • A day filled with culinary, cultural, historic and personal anecdotes, with a local’s insider view of Istanbul.
  • Exciting and local drinks

$75 / adult

day food tour istanbul

Buc Days 2024: Your guide to the rodeo, carnival, concerts and more

Buc Days starts in a few days, arrrr you ready?

The annual festivities will take place Thursday, May 2 through Sunday, May 12, featuring a rodeo, live music, a carnival, parades, food and more.

Tickets may be purchased online at  or at the festival.

Here's a guide to make sure you capture the full experience of the event. For the full schedule, visit .

Dunking of Mayor Paulette Guajardo

Since at least 1955, Corpus Christi mayors have had to "walk the plank" to kick start Buc Days.

Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette M. Guajardo has the honor of jumping into the Corpus Christi Bay once again this year.

The annual Dunking of the Mayor will start at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 2, where you can watch from the seawall on Shoreline Boulevard.

For its second year, the Buc Days 5K returns with runners jogging along Shoreline Boulevard Saturday, May 11.

The 3.1-mile course starts at 8 a.m. and will start and end on Buc Days Festival Grounds at the American Bank Center.

Register at by Tuesday, April 30 to secure a finisher medal and T-shirt.

Parades and Stadium Show

After 14 years, the Stadium Show at Buc Stadium returns as a tradition to Buc Days.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4, attendees will be able to enjoy a panoramic view of the parade from seats in the stands. Tickets are $10 per person, with children 3 and under free but they must sit on a lap. Reserved seating will require all ages a ticket and tickets are $15 per person.

As well, the Buc Days Rally Night Parade is set to return to the Leopard Street route this year immediately after the Stadium Show around 8 p.m.

The Driscoll Children's Parade will take place down Shoreline Boulevard and will feature local schools and youth organizations. It will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 11.

Carnival and Treasure Island

During the entire length of Buc Days, the Stripes Carnival will be open.

Attendees must be at least 36 inches tall to ride most of the rides. Carnival rides accept tickets or the $25 presale All-You-Can-Ride wristband.

Along with the carnival, Buc Days will have Treasure Island — an attraction filled with local vendors, racing pigs, a petting zoo, pony rides, concession areas and more.

Rodeo Corpus Christi

Rodeo Corpus Christi, presented by Miller Lite, will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, through Sunday, May 11, at the American Bank Center Arena.

The rodeo will include saddle bronc riding, barrel racing and more.

Tickets range from $22.50 to $77.50 and can be purchased at  or at the American Bank Center Box Office. Tickets also include the scheduled Rodeo Concert after the dust settles.

Rodeo Concert Series and other live music

The five entertainers taking the stage are musician William Beckmann, rock star Bret Michaels, musical group La Mafia, country singer Aaron Watson and artist Josh Turner.

The musicians will come on after Rodeo Corpus Christi is over and the stage is set, so roughly about 30 minutes to an hour.

As well, local artists will serenade crowds at the Buckin' Marlin Stage in the Stripes Carnival and Beer and Wine Garden Stage at the American Bank Center Plaza.

PBR Pendelton Whisky Velocity Tour

The Professional Bull Riders Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour is the top expansion series of the PBR.

The tour will feature some of the best athletes of the sport going head-to-head with the fiercest bulls in the country. It will bring all the high-energy sound, lighting, special effects and edge-of-your-seat action that fans have come to expect from the sport of bull riding.

The PBR Pendleton Whisky Velocity Tour will hold its finals at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4. Tickets start at $17.50 and can be purchased online at  or at the American Bank Center Arena Box Office.

You can pay $15 at any of the multiple parking lots near the American Bank Center or pay the same amount at Whataburger Field, then hop on one of the free Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority shuttles to be dropped off at the festival grounds.

The shuttle's schedule is 5 p.m. to midnight May 2, May 3 and May 8 through May 10; and noon to midnight May 4, May 5, May 11 and May 12.

All bags will be checked at public gates into the festival grounds and inside the American Bank Center.

Bags, briefcases, strollers and backpacks are subject to search and seizure at festival gates.

Any bags larger than a clutch bag will need to be cleared at the arena. Bags no larger than 12 by 12 by 6 inches will be permitted inside. The American Bank Center allows each member of the party, including children, to bring in a large clear Ziploc bag of their belongings. Guests who have bags larger than this size will be asked to return them to their vehicles.

Prohibited items

  • Alcohol, drugs, illegal substances or any paraphernalia associated with drug use
  • Audio/video recorders, professional cameras or tripods
  • Selfie sticks
  • Cans, bottles, coolers or other similar containers
  • Flags/signs with poles
  • iPads/tablets of any size
  • Laser pens/pointers of any type
  • Noisemakers such as air horns
  • Outside food or drinks
  • Oversized bags, backpacks, duffel bags or diaper bags
  • Pepper spray/mace
  • Weapons of any type including chains, knives, firearms and spiked jewelry
  • Any other item deemed unacceptable by event/building management


More: 'Year of Youth' at Buc Days 2024, new events aimed for younger generation

More: Beach to Bay 2024: What you need to know about the 47th event

John Oliva covers entertainment and community news in South Texas. Contact him at [email protected] or Twitter  @johnpoliva .

Consider supporting local journalism with a subscription to the Caller-Times .

This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: Buc Days 2024: Your guide to the rodeo, carnival, concerts and more

Yolanda Escobar, 2, and Isaiah Clark, 4, give a thumbs-up to their family at the Stripes Carnival at Buc Days on Friday, May 12, 2023.


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