11 Best Food Tours In Istanbul, Turkey - Updated 2021

food tours in istanbul

With roots that date back to the Ottoman era, Turkish cuisine offers a wide spectrum of delicious culinary choices. Istanbul, being the epicenter of Turkish culture, a place where elements of signature dishes are blended into one another, is an outstanding destination to enjoy unforgettable food tours. The compact streets, hole-in-the-wall style restaurants, waterfront restaurants, rooftop views - Istanbul has all that one can imagine in regards to appetizing bites. The Asian side of the city presents a younger face of this metropolitan setting, whereas the European side, or what could be called the older side, has a more classical and historical character to it. Here’s a list of the best food tours in Istanbul, Turkey.

1. Take a peek at Istanbul's Asian side (from USD 34.0)

Take a food tour on Istanbul’s Asian side and enjoy a range of irresistible cuisines. You have the liberty to choose the type of food you want to eat, which makes this tour even more exciting. You will get the chance to go around the open market and pick out whatever you want. Walk around and experience the culture of the place to make the tour much more meaningful. The best part about this tour is that no matter what diet you follow, you will definitely find something good to eat.

Asian side Food Walk-Veg/Vegan/GF/Meat

Duration: 2 hours

104 reviews

2. Enjoy a unique culinary experience (from USD 128.0)

Instanbul is definitely a place with so much interesting history. Explore the elegant old streets of the Kadikoy neighborhood and enjoy a true culinary experience. A ferry ride is included in this tour, which makes it all the more exciting. Then, sample all the dishes at the 10 food stops on this tour. You will surely appreciate authentic Turkish cuisine and you will discover why tourists love the place so much. Immerse yourself in real Turkish culture.

Istanbul Foodie Walk with Ferry Ride

Duration: 6 hours

195 reviews

3. A private food tour of Istanbul (from USD 90.0)

An extended and personal food tour that takes the participant through ten exclusive dishes, as they feed their curiosity and taste buds. Chosen carefully by culinary experts, the tour will highlight the signature dishes and beverages which should not be missed upon a visit to Istanbul. There are a total of ten dishes that will be savored. While chowing down and gulping on cornerstone tastes of Turkish cuisine, guides will be there to entertain your culinary knowledge level, thus embedding information to reinforce the experience felt by the senses. Through this tour, you will form a specific, food-related bond with Istanbul - one that will not be broken and will last for a lifetime, leading you to visit and revisit Istanbul on a frequent basis.

★★★★★ Withlocals The 10 Tastings: Istanbul Private Street Food Tour

Duration: 3 hours

9 reviews

4. Get acquainted with the local taverns and street food offerings (from USD 82.0)

The tour focuses particularly on the charming Pera neighborhood, located in the European half of Istanbul’s landmass. Along with its numerous exemplary food establishments, its stunning architecture is also a gateway to forming a connection with the history of Istanbul. You’ll visit the meyhanes throughout the area. Meyhane are known as traditional drinkhouses, where individuals and groups gather for tasting small plates of mezes along with raki, which is the traditional drink of the country; plus, there’s music and dance performances, as well. Flower Passage, Hazzopulo, and Asmali Mescit will be visited throughout the time spent in the Pera district - by the end of this tour, you will be more than familiar with the area.

Istanbul Culinary Tour: Local Tavern and Gourmet Street Foods

Duration: 4 hours

8 reviews

5. A fusion of sights and remarkable taste (from USD 66.0)

There is a certain appeal that comes alive in the Taksim district of Istanbul once the sun sets and the night rises; a phenomena known to locals and tourists alike - something that has breached physical borders and gained international attention for quite some time. A night tour of the Taksim district introduces not only the highly desired restaurants that are spread out its beautiful streets, but also the thriving culture that swarms the neighborhood, as well. This tour is perfect for a group of more than 10 people, and includes transportation to and from the hotel.

Istanbul Evening Sightseeing and Food Tasting Tour

Duration: 4 hours

8 reviews

6. Have a taste of both worlds - European and Asian side (from USD 117.0)

There are numerous ways to go about getting ingrained in the culture of a metropolitan city. Doing so by means of food and beverage tours is a cherished and popular method. Throughout this tour, one will get involved with both the Asian and the European sides of Istanbul. Beginning with a hearty breakfast eaten on the European half, the journey progresses with a scenic ferry ride, transporting you to the newer side, also known as, the Asian side of Istanbul. The tour combines both savory and sweet alternatives that are representative of Turkish history, which have remained within its culture for many years.

Taste of Two Continents Food Tour

Duration: 6 to 7 hours

10 reviews

7. Savor the mezes in Beyoglu's amazing restaurants (from USD 122.0)

An opportunity to familiarize yourself with the highly anticipated Beyoglu district of Istanbul by night, along with the expert knowledge of your tour guide will lead the way in strolling through some of the most authentic streets of Istanbul. There will plenty to ponder on throughout this three-and-a-half hour walking tour, which includes street food options that have become rather classic to the locals. In addition to snacks, you’ll get to taste mezes, which are small plates of hot and cold dishes. To top off all the delicious aromas, tour participants will get to drink raki, the national drink of Turkey. It is an anise flavored liquor that takes a cloudy appearance once mixed with water.

Istanbul Beyoglu Food Night Walking Tour with Meze Sampling

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

4 reviews

8. An intimate and personal culinary adventure (from USD 107.0)

This is a tour that is sure to turn anyone into a food enthusiast by the end of its thrilling journey! The guide will accustom the group with unforgettable specialties like raki and borek. It is known that borek comes in a variety of ingredient choices, including flavors like feta cheese, squash, and spinach. During this three-hour walking food tour, you will jump directly into the pages of history and gain essential background information about Turkey, as well as its widely recognized cuisine. This exploration is a splendid way to familiarize yourself with some of the small plates and snacks consumed by locals on a regular basis - it is sure to bring pleasure and joy to your senses.

Istanbul Food Evening Small-Group Walking Tour with Dinner

Duration: 3 hours

10 reviews

9. Sample the traditional foods of Istanbul (from USD 122.0)

Walking throughout the Asian side of Istanbul is sure to expand one’s overview on the overall depth of Turkish cuisine. The tour begins with an outstanding Turkish breakfast on the European side and progresses with a ferry ride which presents fascinating scenes from both sides of the city - both the European and Asian ends. Moreover, a stop along the Kadikoy’s fish market will add new flavors to your palette and allow you to gain exposure to the daily bustle that defines it. After filling yourself with sweet and savory plates from the restaurants and cafes that are particular to Kadikoy, the tour is completed with enjoying a Turkish coffee and a ferry ride back to the European side. Explore the best of Istanbul’s food on this comprehensive tour.

Istanbul Food Small-Group Walking Tour of Kadikoy, Asian Side

Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes

5 reviews

10. Get acquainted with Istanbul over fantastic dishes (from USD 98.0)

Focusing on the hidden treasures of Istanbul’s many culinary choices, the night tour introduces locally praised bakery and meyhane. Where the meyhane achieves this with one-of-a kind alcoholic beverages and mezes, the bakery does so with an array of baked good choices that will captivate the entirety of one’s senses. The tour is particularly formed around the notion of going beyond the highly exposed choices and instead, focus on options that may be overlooked without the expertise of a local guide. Both places embody a cozy feeling that settles over heartwarming conversation and atmosphere, an experience that you will not depart from easily, even after the tour has been completed. More profound memoirs will be created, as the tour caps off at only 12 people.

Istanbul by Night: Local Food Tasting - Dining out in Turkish way as locals

Duration: 4 hours

10 reviews

11. Savor some Turkish coffee and desserts (from USD 57.0)

An exclusive way to uncover the layers of tastes that lay within the amazing sweets of Istanbul brings a personalized approach. The tour lasts between three to five hours and covers the Fatih and Galata districts, giving yourself and the group plenty of time to nibble on deserts in a comfortable manner. Along with desert, the tour also takes Turkish coffee into its lens, which is known to be a quintessential drink. This tour will broaden one’s view of what sweets in this part of the world could taste like, revealing a whole new horizon with distant, yet not so distant worlds of deserts that are representative of Turkish culture.

Turkish sweets tour - beyond baklava & Turkish delight

Duration: 3 to 5 hours

1 review

Discover Istanbul's culinary classics

Turkish food
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Garry Knight used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

The food tours of Istanbul combine choices that bridge destinations around the Asian and European sides, with culinary suggestions from expert guides. Viewing Istanbul through a culinary lens exhibits a nostalgic feeling to this journey that one will want to return to with a passion and desire. Along with the food tours, one will get the chance to make new connections with locals and other food enthusiasts. In Istanbul, Turkish cuisine is delicious and worth trying, so be sure to sign up!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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My name is Edip Efe Ulucay - I am a designer and writer currently based out of Istanbul, TR with an academic background in architectural design. Through sharing articles, I hope to inspire others...Read more

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