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“A look inside the belly of Istanbul”

Culinary Backstreets -Tours
Ranked #1 of 80 Food & Drink in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
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.
Reviewed May 21, 2011

Although we met in front of the famous Spice Market, we never went inside. Instead, we were taken on a 5 hour walk to food sources that only the Istanbulli's know about--the markets, tea houses,street food vendors and restaurants where they buy. Everywhere we visited the vendors greeted our guide Angelis with humor and affection and our group of 5 as his good friends. While the food was wonderful and abundant, be prepared to fall in love with the stars of the tour--the people of Istanbul.

2  Thank larryfour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 19, 2011

We stumbled upon the Istanbul Eats book early on in planning our visit to Turkey. This ended up being the most fortuitous event because it led us to meet Angelis Nannos, our guide for the amazing Old City Walk. Animated, irreverent, and obviously deeply in love with Istanbul, the city was indeed both his girlfriend and his grandmother, and he did not hold back in expressing his passion for his home.

Breakfast began as we sipped tea and coffee in a backroom that serviced the Spice Market merchants. We moved on to a baklava shop, then to a taste of Istanbullis' favorite hangover food, Kokorec, and took a break in a caravanserai that was a hidden oasis within the bustling streets. Working our way west into Fatih and the Kurdish neighborhood, we experienced merchants who specialized in only a few things, but of the highest quality, including lokum, donor, boza and buryan, to name a few.

In a city teeming with amazing sights, sounds and smells at every turn, it says a lot to claim the Istanbul Eats tour as the highlight of our stay. But Angelis' and our warm interactions with everyone that crossed our paths magnified our enjoyment in learning about not only the food of Istanbul, but her people, politics and culture.

We were sad to end the tour and leave our incredible guide, but he was kind enough to spend the next day (his only day off) with us and walked us around Pera, still welcoming and pressing palms with shopkeepers, neighbors and various passers-by. He opened our eyes to an entirely different side of the city, but one still warm, generous and welcoming.

If you're looking for a passionate local's point of view on not only Istanbul food, but the city itself, you cannot go wrong with Istanbul Eats' Culinary Walks. I know we are not the first to extol the virtues of this tour, and of Angelis, but we hope he knows just how much this meant to us.

Tessekur ederim Angelis and Istanbul Eats!

5  Thank blouie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2011

This walking tour was amazing and completely catered to us, as we had a vegetarian with us. We walked all over Istanbul, our guide Angelis (I'm sorry I spelled it wrong) was so friendly and informative. Explaining what the food was, how it was made, where it comes from, how the people eat it and why they eat it. We went to a tiny tea shop within the spice market, where there was a wall of coffee beans. We went to this Turkish delight candy shop were we had free samples. Everywhere we went was a culinary delight. To understand the Turkish culture you have to understand and experience their food. Food which was freshly prepared, and amazing.
The food venders themselves are friendly and glad to see us come and sample their food. They welcome pictures and feel very proud of their food.
We went to see an old building that used to be used for caravans. We heard the call of prayer as we walked through the city. Our tour started at 9:30 and ended at 3pm. About 6 hours of eating, it was amazing.
I always make it a point to go on food tours now.

4  Thank etherealprey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2011

This was an absolutely brilliant tour . Not only does Angelis take you to all the best places - and the places you'd never find yourself - but he is also terrific company - very amusing and intelligent. In a way this is the kind of tour you'd like to keep to yourself as a special secret, but that's a selfish instinct, so I am going to be a good person for once and share it with Trip Advisor readers.
There were five of us on the tour and we all loved every minute of it, even on a cold Friday April Fool's morning/afternoon. Istanbul Eats very well indeed.

1  Thank BrookeMorgan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2011

Angelis was friendly, engergetic, charming, and very knowledgeable. The first tour was in the historic part of Istanbul, centered on the Spice Market. He took us places and fed us things that we never would have found on our own. He had obviously done his homework, and took us to the best and most authentic places, not necessarily the most glamorous or most popular. It was the perfect way to explore the historic section and to learn about Turkish food. We returned the next day on our own for lunch and snacks. We went back for the second of his tours, and were glad we did.

Thank croxgordon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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