Flavours of the Old City

A tasty journey back in time through Istanbul’s historic Old City and  the back streets surrounding the iconic Spice Bazaar. Discover the area’s best eateries and dine where the locals do. Indulge in foods cooked by the masters, following recipes that have been handed down through generations. End your day with a traditional Anatolian lunch. Eat. Walk. Explore!

Our Flavours of the Old City Tour gives you the chance to savour some of the best local foods Istanbul has to offer, while wandering the back streets around the markets of the Spice Bazaar. Discover a side of Istanbul that only the locals know about. Discover how Turkish cuisine has developed over Istanbul’s long history as the capital of 3 different empires – right where it all began, in the heart of the Old City.

Sit down to a local market-style breakfast after sourcing our foods fresh from the market, and sip on tea the way that Turks enjoy it. Taste original Turkish baklava and katmer the way it should be – fresh from the traditional wood-fired ovens. Feast your tastebuds on local favourites like kokoreç (we’ll tell you what that is later) and cağ kebabı (the grandfather of the modern döner kebab) – from the best local hole-in-the-wall restaurants that the locals are enjoying. Stop in at a generations-old lokum (Turkish Delight) shop and see how the popular sweet is made. Experience over 15 different foods during your day.

Finally, finish your tour with a traditional Anatolian-style lunch – cooked just the way it has been in central Anatolia for generations. This is an opportunity to savour during your visit to Istanbul, and experiencing the true taste of Turkey is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip.

Join us for a day that is sure to surprise and delight your taste buds and unearth the charms of the real Old City. Eat. Walk. Enjoy!

  • Discover why Turkish cuisine is one of the world’s most famous – and learn about it’s long history across many empires, in the iconic Old City
  • Sample more than15 of the best authentic Turkish dishes, from restaurants only Istanbul locals know about
  • Learn about Turkish food culture, eat at local restaurants, and visit markets where locals are buying traditional foods to use in their kitchens
  • Discover Istanbul with a professionally licensed foodie guide – passionate about all things food and Istanbul – ready to share information about their culture, Turkish history and modern-day life
  • Enjoy the small, intimate groups with a maximum of 6 guests
  • Energise with a delicious outdoors breakfast by the Spice Market, after freshly sourcing the produce
  • Devour some of the most popular Turkish street foods, from hole-in-the-wall eateries best known to locals
  • Indulge in famous Gaziantep-style baklava and other pastry sweets cooked in wood-fired ovens
  • Visit a Turkish Delight shop and hear how the popular sweet is made
  • Finish the day with an unforgetable Anatolian-style lunch, prepared using traditional methods dating back generations and still being used today!

Inclusions

Your ticket entitles you to the following:

  • All food and drink along the tour, including water as you need
  • A friendly, knowledgable and energetic professionally-licensed English-speaking tour guide
  • Local public transport costs
  • Loads of culinary, cultural and historic anecdotes
  • A day filled with culinary, cultural, historic and personal anecdotes, with a local insider’s view of Istanbul
  • Maximum group size of 6 people
  • 6 hours of eating, walking and enjoying Istanbul

What To Bring & Wear

  • An empty stomach and a very big appetite!
  • Casual and comfortable shoes and clothing
  • Our tours depart rain or shine, but if rain is forecast you might like to bring an umbrella for the short walking distances between food stops

Cancellation Policy

50% deposit is required upon booking to secure your tour. Cancellations are to be advised at least 48-hours before tour commencement for a full refund; otherwise deposit will be forfeited. Tours run rain or shine.

Departures & Meeting Point

The Flavours of the Old City tours depart daily (except Sundays) at 09:30 am and are approximately 6.5 hours in duration.

This tour takes place around Istanbul’s Old City; therefore we meet to begin our tour in the heart of Eminönü. The exact meeting point and detailed directions will be provided upon booking.

Our small, standard tour group size is just 2-6 people. However, we are certainly happy to cater for your larger, private group. Please email us at: info@istanbulonfood.com to discuss.

**

“We decided to start our trip to Istanbul with an Istanbul on Food tour (rather than the typical ‘sites tour’) and it was a great decision. Not only was it delicious but it left us really well-informed for the rest of the trip (so we could impress our friends by finding fantastic baklava, street food, tea, etc.as we were touring the old city sites.) Korhan was a great guide and we got a great tour of the area around the New Mosque, Spice Bazaar and a lot of the backstreets of Istanbul’s old city. More importantly,we tried dozens of different Turkish specialties from the fairly well-known (stuffed grape leaves) to the quite exotic (prompting at least one ‘really? I have to eat that? …. Oh, that’s delicious!’ exclamation.) The highlight of the trip was the end, when we had lunch at the home of a lovely Turkish grandmother, where we got to learn how to make Turkish coffee, had a lovely meal and never wanted to leave. I highly recommend the tour; it was fantastic.” Peter, USA

“I have just been reviewing my pictures from the trip and in every photo from this tour I look SO HAPPY. We had such fun. We ate non-stop from 9:15 to 3:15 and tried all kinds of food – some were familiar, some were not. Our guide was very friendly and charming, answered all of our questions. He helpfully explained when and how foods are typically eaten in Istanbul. He always told us what was in the food before we ate it, and repeatedly said we didn’t have to finish (or even try it) if we didn’t want to. In fact, he encouraged us to just taste, because there was more, more, more to try. (yes, there are a few places where you can use a bathroom). The highlight was lunch in the home of a real Turkish woman – a friend of the family, not a professional chef or restaurant owner. She is originally from the country and still has a house where she grows her own vegetables, but she lives in the city in the winter. By any standard she is an excellent cook and a gracious hostess. It was a great intro to the city and on the last day we returned to the spice market and bought nuts and dried fruits to take home with confidence. One of the best tours I have ever been on and made me fall in love with Istanbul.” Rachel, UK

” My wife and I had the good fortune to book a trip with Istanbul on Food tour where we spent 6.5 hours touring 9 restaurants and ate 42 dishes from all different meals, types of food and regions of Istanbul. It was truly one of the most memorable aspects of our trip. Our guide Korhan was amazing in the depth of knowledge of all things Istanbul and he took real care to ensure that we loved our experience. The group size was small (4 people in our case) and Korhan spent time with each person and got to know our preferences and dislikes and tailored our food experience to that. From foods we would never try at home like sheep intestine to more traditional Kebabs we tried and loved it all. If you want to see Istanbul, this is a great way!” Carey, Canada