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 backstreets around the markets of the Spice Bazaar and Grand 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 kunefe 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  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. Explore!

  • 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 Hatay-style kunefe 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!

How much walking is involved?

Not more than you can handle! The pace is generally comfortable for everyone. The walking distance of our tours is around 2-3kms over flat terrain. ** Please note that there are some stairs and steep walking on our Flavours of the Old City tour. If climbing stairs is a problem for yourself or any of your guests, please do consider booking another of our tours.

If you have any other mobility concerns, please advise us during the booking process so we can consider options with you.

While at most of our food stops and restaurants we sit down at tables and chairs to enjoy our food, there are usually just 1-2 stops where we will eat standing up.

Why is the Istanbul on Food tour cheaper than most of the other food tours? Do you serve less food or lesser quality foods?

Not at all! On the contrary, we believe we serve the very best available dishes on all our tours! In the neighborhoods we visit, usually there are more than half a dozen different food shops serving the same food/dish. We have carefully evaluated them to make sure we visit and eat the best one possible. Our tours are more about quality than quantity. On our full day tours we also serve high end Turkish main courses and kebabs. For instance, on our Two Continents tour, we eat the best ice-cream and döner kebab not only in Istanbul, but in the whole of Turkey. If the price of a food matters, then there is no other more expensive alternatives than what we pay for those dishes.

So, how are our tours still quite reasonably priced compared to others? The answer is simple: We believe you would still book and enjoy our tours if the price tag was 30% higher; but, it is our philosophy to offer exceptional experiences at a reasonable price. This is our value.

Do the tours still run if it rains or snows?

Yes. All of our tours are held rain, snow or shine. In the event of inclement weather, we will be able to go inside many of the establishments on the tour. You should still dress appropriately for the day’s weather conditions.

For full list of Questions & Answers please click here.

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 24-hours before tour commencement for a full refund; otherwise deposit will be forfeited. Tours run rain or shine.

Meeting & Finishing Point

Our Flavours of the Old City tours depart daily at 09:30am and are approximately 6-7 hours in duration.

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

This tour finishes in “Kadinlar Pazari” in “Zeyrek”. Your guide will help you to find a taxi back to your hotel or direct you towards Grand Bazaar. ( 20 minutes walking distance)

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.

Istanbul Food Tours Quick Links