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Istanbul Eats Walks


Photos by Rick Poon

Turkish cuisine, like Turkey itself, channels cultural currents coming in from every direction, resulting in the delicious culinary chaos that is Istanbul. Turks, Greeks, Arabs, Persians and countless others have passed through here, leaving an indelible stamp on the cuisine. Historians speak of the “layered” nature of the city; we like to think of Istanbul as a stew.

Our culinary walks program is designed to lead visitors on an eating binge through Istanbul’s lesser-seen historic side streets and the authentic markets of the city, taking in countless hard-to-find culinary gems and, in between meals, a couple of untouristed monuments.

We are currently happy to offer four walks (please note that we are now hosting this information on our new site, CulinaryBackstreets.com):

Cosmopolitan Beyoğlu

Culinary Secrets of the Old City

Two Markets, Two Continents

Culinary Backstreets of the Bazaar Quarter

The walks are designed for small groups and usually last half a day. Please click on the “Book” button on our walks description page to request a reservation for one of our culinary walks. If you have any questions, please contact us at walks@culinarybackstreets.com.

Istanbul Eats Walks in the Press:

The Washington Post

The Atlantic

PRI’s The World

Dinner Party Downloads

 

Below are some comments that we’ve received from visitors to Istanbul who have taken our walks:

“Our Istanbul Eats culinary walk was one of the highlights of our trip to Istanbul. We enjoyed every second of it. Angelis, our guide, was extremely knowledgeable and a perfect host. Not only did he introduce us to some unique food and interesting little restaurants, he also took us to a few historical sites that were off the beaten path. The only problem with our walk was I wish our appetites were larger so we could have had more! It was definitely a perfect combination of one-of-a-kind food in a one-of-a-kind setting and we would recommend it to anyone who is visiting Istanbul and wants a better understanding of the food and to visit some non-touristy places.”

Mindy and Brock
Toronto, Canada

“The Istanbul Eats walk was definitely one of the highlights on our recent trip to Turkey. We spent almost 5 hours exploring the places where locals shop and eat. Having never been to Istanbul, we would have gone to the usual touristy spots, and probably eaten well, but never have found the tasty delights that the walk introduced us to.  But it wasn’t just about the food. We saw parts of the city that we might never have seen… back streets and old buildings, traditional shops and family businesses that have been producing amazing foods generation after generation, the kind of places that are disappearing all too fast as the city modernizes.”

Liz and Teymoor
Qatar

“The Istanbul Eats walking tour was a great, non-touristy, experience — like going out with a local friend who knew all the off-the-beaten-path great authentic markets, shops and eateries we would never have found on our own. To cap it off, we were given restaurant suggestions were spot on, which made the rest of our week a pleasure.  What a way to sample the fabulous foods of Istanbul!”

Ken Kopelman, NYC

“If you want an authentic taste of the Old City area surrounding the spice market, put away your guidebooks and go on an insider’s tour that takes you through the “rarely seen” secret places and sites on the culinary walkprovided by Istanbul Eats. You will be welcomed into generations old tea rooms, food merchant’s kitchens and shops, working peoples’ restaurants, hidden mosques and the most intriguing landmarks and curious sights that you won’t find on those tours where the guide rallies a mob of people around an upheld umbrella.

At the end of this tour your stomach is full and your expectations have been fulfilled. Walk. Eat. Marvel!”
Lew Sherwood, USA

“El tour es espectacular, me llevaron a lugares que son muy dificiles de encontrar por tu cuenta. Terminamos comiendo sandia, queso y pan ( ¡! ) con unos parroquianos en un cafe inencontrable. La gente es muy amable en Turquia. Recomiendo hacer la caminata los primeros dias al llegar a Estambul, asi despues puede uno moverse con mas soltura dentro del alucinante mundo gastronomico que tiene Estambul.

No dejen de probar el Kokorec, una especie de choto Uruguayo superdimensionado.”
Estanislao, Spain


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