Istanbul Food Tour
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.
Our favorite Istanbul experiences include exploring the eateries in local markets and crossing the Bosphorus on the public ferry. The route for this Istanbul market tour draws from the Culinary Backstreets best-of lists in the European side’s Karaköy neighborhood and the Asian side’s Kadıköy, tied together by a Bosphorus crossing.
We’ll eat our way across the continental divide, dropping into local eateries and meeting vendors that give the city’s cuisine a greater meaning.
The historic Perşembe Pazarı of Karaköy, where this walk begins, might look like a place to buy springs, ship anchors, hardware and paint supplies, but we’ll go there for an unforgettable, seasonal breakfast experience, followed by a stroll through the atmospheric mariner market streets, where we’ll stop into an Ottoman-era caravanserai for tea. Then we’ll hop the boat to Kadıköy on the Asian side and eat our way through that neighborhood’s market, which holds the highest concentration of traditional food shops and eateries in the city. There, we will perk up with one of the best cups of Turkish coffee in town before sampling regional specialties such as Mersin’s famous tantuni, the flatbread, lahmacun, of Southeastern Turkey and Aegean-style meze. We’ll continue on toward the lesser-explored culinary hotspots around the Moda area at the market’s edge, where an infectious neighborhood vibe and a sweet finish await us to conclude our Istanbul market tour.
This award winning food tour is our most popular tour in Istanbul and is a full day of eating, drinking and walking across two markets two continents, visiting a dozen or more small eateries and meeting many of the faces in the kitchens.
Fee includes everything consumed on the walk. Some special features:
|Includes ferry ride across the Bosphorus||Children welcome|
|No pork served on the walk||Includes market visits|
|Many, but not all, stops can be altered for vegetarians||Terrain fairly flat/ Stroller – friendly|
|Cannot accommodate a vegan diet||Only some gluten free options available|
How are you dealing with COVID-19 risk on your walks?
We have reinforced our commitment to safety with new guidelines to assure maximum safety of our guests on our walks in terms of social distancing and hygiene while maintaining the quality of the experience. For more details on our precautions, read here.
Our routes have been altered during this period of time to ensure the safety of our guests, guides and community. Our cancellation policy is extremely flexible to deal with changes in travel plans.
What is included in the fee? In addition to your Culinary Backstreets® guide, all food consumed on the walk – almost a dozen different edible specialties – are included in the price.
Why are your tours more expensive than some other companies’ walking tours? The approach of Culinary Backstreets® and Istanbul Eats® is different than most tour companies. Each of our culinary walks is the outcome of considerable research. Culinary Backstreets® and Istanbul Eats® work with academics in the field and our own team of experienced professionals – both guides and local journalists. Our ongoing publishing of articles, from restaurant reviews to features about the intersection of food and culture, constantly feeds new material into the culinary walks, so they evolve and constantly improve. Though costly, we believe that this is how to create the quality experiences we strive for. Culinary Backstreets® and Istanbul Eats® practice honest tourism and would never accept a free lunch or any sort of commission. On the contrary, we are proud to know that the money spent during the culinary walk goes to support businesses that we believe in, helping to preserve the social and cultural fabric of the cities we love so dearly.
What is the payment process? Culinary Backstreets® and Istanbul Eats® require a $50 per person deposit to complete the online booking. Then, we accept the remaining $75 per person in cash (USD, Euro, or Turkish lira) on the day of the walk. If at any time you want to pay for your balance electronically, please just click ‘view booking’ on your confirmation email and there is an option to ‘pay balance’.
What is your cancellation policy? 100% will be refunded if given 1 week notice prior to walk and 50% will be refunded if given 72 hours notice or more.
Are your walks public or private? How many people are on them? Culinary Backstreets® and Istanbul Eats® walks are for 2-7 people and are open to the public. If you would like to do a private walk, we may be able to arrange one for an additional fee. Please contact us at email@example.com for more information.
Can I get a discount if I join more than one walk? Yes, Culinary Backstreets® and Istanbul Eats® offer a 10% discount to those who join more than one walk. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join multiple walks.
Are your walks suitable for people with food allergies? This can vary based on a number of factors, including the food item in question. Please email us at email@example.com to discuss your situation before booking.
Are your walks suitable for vegetarians and pescetarians? This walk can be enjoyed by vegetarians,however there are some stops that may need to opt out of.
Are your walks suitable for a gluten free diet? Gluten free is difficult in Turkey as so much of the dishes are wheat based. Culinary Backstreets® and Istanbul Eats® can accommodate a gluten free diet on this walk but there are some stops that may need to opt out of.
Is alcohol served on the walks? No. Is the food offered on the walks halal? This is difficult to answer. In Turkey the halal certification process is relatively new, so though many butchers are halal they may not be certified and though many restaurants use halal products they may not advertise or even recognize it. Because of this, we cannot confidently say that all of the food is halal.
How physically demanding are the walks? The walks are all about 2KM (1.25 miles) of fairly flat terrain. The streets and sidewalks of Istanbul can be a bit unpredictable so we recommend good walking shoes. All Culinary Backstreets® and Istanbul Eats® walks include numerous breaks along the way.
Can children join the walks? Of course! But please note that Istanbul’s streets – narrow, uneven and often lacking a sidewalk – can be challenging with a stroller. We offer a 50% discount to children 12 years old and younger. We do not charge for children 6 and under.
Do you offer walks during Ramazan? Culinary Backstreets® and Istanbul Eats® do offer this walk during the month of Ramazan and some local holidays, although our schedule is more limited during that time.
Can you pick me up from my hotel? How will I return, once the tour is over? Culinary Backstreets® and Istanbul Eats® tour prices don’t include transportation. If you book a tour, you’re responsible for arriving to the pre-arranged meeting spot on your own. Once the tour is over, we will help you get an authorized, safe taxi to your hotel, or provide directions on public transportation, if you’re interested in that.
How much food will I get to try? This is really up to you. Culinary Backstreets® and Istanbul Eats® tours generally make between 9 and 12 eating stops on our walk and try to include some breaks from eating along the way. The price includes as much food as you’re open to trying. We offer a suggested portion size at each stop and you can take our recommendation if you’d like. Culinary Backstreets® and Istanbul Eats® walks often involve street food and sharing food.
Still have questions? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.