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“So much more than just amazing food” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Culinary Backstreets - Private Tours

Culinary Backstreets - Private Tours
Istanbul, Turkey
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Ranked #2 of 543 Activities in Istanbul
Type: Food & Drink
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Owner description: When it comes to exploring a city’s authentic dining scene, while the stomach should ideally serve as the best compass, the truth of the matter is that it’s hard to find your way without good local advice. That’s where Culinary Backstreets’ Culinary Walks come in. In order to help you explore the world’s gastro-capitals and get off these cities’ eaten path, CB is offering (with selected partners) guided culinary walks in some of the cities we cover, starting with Istanbul, Athens, Barcelona, and Shanghai.Our culinary walks are designed to lead visitors on an eating binge through a city’s lesser-seen historic side streets and authentic markets, taking in countless hard-to-find culinary gems and, in between bites, a select number of untouristed monuments.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“So much more than just amazing food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

The tour we took of Beyoglu was the real highlight of our week in Istanbul. The food was delicious, and all the stops on the tour were small, charming, family run places that were decidedly off of the beaten track. Our guide, Angelis, was funny and very well informed about Turkish history, culture, and values. So much more than a food tour, it was a glimpse into the soul of modern Istanbul. Definitely a must do when in this dynamic city.

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Utrecht, The Netherlands
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Fascinating and yummy look at Istanbul”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

Can't recommend these tours enough. Our guide, G, was super lovely, and even accommodated us being vegetarian into the walk. We learned a lot about Istanbul, Turkish food, architecture and society... these walks are definitely more than just a foodie tour. I've written a longer post about (some of) the food, with pictures, here: http://offtonethernetherland.tumblr.com/post/42449176691/click-on-the-pictures-above-for-a-better-view-and

Visited January 2013
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Providence, Rhode Island
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Whatever you do, take part in this tour!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

Wow, what an experience! Whenever I travel somewhere, food is the first thing on my mind. Where to eat, what to look for, where the freshest food is and where do the locals go? Being a Travel Major in the Hospitality field, I typically shy away from group tours doing the "normal" stuff that everyone expects you to do. This is anything BUT that. Angelis was a fantastic tour guide taking us through the tight and narrow walking streets of the Spice Bizarre to areas that you would NEVER go to, just because it's something not known to tourists. Everywhere we went, we were constantly stopping to learn about what different foods were, how they're prepared, when they're eaten during the day etc. Angelis seemed to know everyone that we walked past and would be chatting away with the locals and then translating it so that everyone could take part in the jokes and conversation.
Eating as much as you want is highly encouraged but be mindful of how many stops you make! Throughout the walking tour Angelis would keep asking us if anyone would like anymore, to not be shy or timid. Everything was on our taste buds from cheeses and olives to baklava and minced meat sanwiches, traditional Turkish style pizzas to Turkish Delight candies and a dessert pudding made with pureed chicken breast (fantastic! don't be freaked out, please!) to a full lamb dinner at the end and everything else in between. Turkish coffee and teas were offered at plenty of the stops and water was just a question away whenever you needed it.
This was by far the highlight of my trip and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Istanbul has plenty to offer and even more if you're with someone who knows the locals and how to get around. This is a fantastic opporunity to take off the tourist hat for a few hours and throw a bit of local spice into your life.
Do yourselves a favor and book this as soon as you can. I promise you won't be disappointed!
Also, I would recommend that you try to plan this tour at the beginning of your trip that way you get a feel of the Old City and if you consider yourself to be more of the "foodie" type, consider buying their book that they have online as well. It'll give you great ideas of places to go eat if you're like me and plan your trips with specific restaurants in mind. Just some food for thought!

Visited November 2012
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Ashburn, Virginia
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Discovering Istanbul through its eateries”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

Prior to my visit to Istanbul, I knew I wanted to try out the local cuisine during my visit there. But not knowing the language made it a little daunting to try out beyond the touristy places or even the typical kabob or fish restaurants.

I found out about the Istanbul Eats Culinary Walks when I looked for this type of tours. I had done something similar elsewhere, and it was a good way to explore the places where the locals eat accompanied by a guide who is familiar with the area and more importantly knows the best places to get the various local dishes.

Our guide, Angelis, had a very lively personality which made the tour engaging throughout. More importantly, he had also a wealth of knowledge about the food and also provided a unique view into the Turkish culture as he was also a foreigner.

The food we had were outstanding. Great variety, with most of the food I had never had before or wouldn't even know to order if I had gone by myself. The places we went to were the ones that the Istanbul Eats folks recommended. It's subjective of course, but when you find places that had been there for decades specializing in only one or two dishes, you know it's worth trying out at least once.

By the end of the tour, we were all quite stuffed as expected, and we all had better appreciation of the diversity in Turkish cuisine.

I would highly recommend this tour, and would love to try out their other tours the next time I'm in Istanbul.

Visited January 2013
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Doha, Qatar
Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
32 attraction reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
“Eating our way around Istanbul”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

Back in Istanbul again for another walking/ tasting tour and we were not disappointed. We did two tours, one with 'G' the 2 markets, 2 continents and another Beyoglu with Angelis. Very different tours with very different guides but they did share something in common, both tours were fantastic. The guides were brilliant, enthusiastic, knowledgable, passionate, friendly and we loved them. We ate ourselves silly on the first day but learned to pace ourselves for the second tour.
We ate a variety of food, grilled meat, fried fish, meatballs, mezze type dishes, and so many different types of sweets, soups, etc. by the end of the tour, we could eat no more. Very generous portions.
We learned tons about Turkish culture, food and nothing was off limits.
We also met some interesting people on the tours.
Next time we return to Istanbul, we have been promised another tour customised for us.
You pay for the tour and then you are plied with tons of food without having to put your hand in your pocket.
Thanx Istanbul eats

Visited January 2013
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