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“Much more than a food tour”

Culinary Backstreets -Tours
Ranked #1 of 72 Food & Drink in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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.
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Much more than a food tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2014

My wife and I took the 2 Continents Tour on our last day in Istanbul and could not have been more pleased that we did. This tour was a lot more than walking both sides of the city and eating. Our guide Benoit was very knowledgeable and gave us a good amount of information touring through a couple of neighbourhoods by the waterfront on the European side before doing the same on the Asian side. The pacing of the tour is very good, and you do end up eating a lot through the day. We both were satisfied leaving full but not to the point where it is uncomfortable. We both felt we got to see a lot of places and eat a lot of food that we would never had found with a month in the city by ourselves. Benoit even brought things to try from around his neighbourhood (simit) and from things he had picked up on his Turkey travels (oregano tea) which made the tour that much more unique. Well worth the money.

Visited April 2014
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1 Thank Matt G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
27 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Highlight of our visit to Istanbul.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2014

You cannot go to Istanbul without doing this tour. We were taken and introduced to authentic turkish dishes/ drinks in 12 different locations which the normal tourist will never experienced. Our guide was fantastic and we also learned so much about Istanbul and Turkey.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Carina F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
160 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Not just a culinary tour, a cultural tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2014

I'll add to the rave reviews already given, which have many specifics. We took the Grand Bazaar tour with Ugur, and couldn't have been happier. We are NOT foodies, and enjoyed the true back streets and cultural nature of this tour - eating the food of the trades people, learning everything from how copper bottomed pots are made, to which tradespeople come from which cities... we loved it. It was a perfect introduction to Istanbul for us. It's a long day; so be well rested. The booking, information on where to meet, everything was well communicated. The groups are small - 6 or 7; an ideal size. Well worth the money.

Visited April 2014
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2 Thank RomeTheSecondTime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A must do in Istanbul”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2014 via mobile

This was so much fun! Our guide Senem was incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining. We did the Old City tour and basically ate our way through the city. We ate things we never would have come across by ourselves. My personal faves were the layered doner kebab (tomato, red pepper and lamb and beef) that soaked in yoghurt for hours, the incredible desserts and this buffalo cream and honey concoction. I recommend it to anyone who wants to see the food side of Turkey.

Visited April 2014
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3 Thank VirginiaKim23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“A 'must do' in Istanbul”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2014

We were comparing notes with a couple we met in Cappadocia who had just arrived from Istanbul, and they could not say enough about how great the Grand Bazaar backstreets tour was. On the strength of that recommendation we booked on-line (couldn't be easier), received a reminder email with meeting instructions a day or two in advance, and had no trouble finding our guide at the train station meeting point (the email instructions included a photo to make the meeting foolproof). Our fellow travelers were right -- the tour was truly terrific. Our guide, Ipek, was charming, knowledgable, and great fun to spend the day with. We started with a typical breakfast in the train station once famous for the Orient Express, and then went from place to place sampling really interesting and delicious local specialties -- many of which we would never find on our own, and some of which we would not have the courage to try on our own. Ipek introduced us to masters of the various cuisines, as well as people turning out brass and silver goods for the market. Along the way Ipek provided insights that only an Istanbul native would have, and like our tour, the conversation wandered in really interesting ways. They are not kidding about backstreets -- we were in alleys, on rooftops, and in basements, finally ending up at the Grand Bazaar where we had a little time to review our day over a final cup of tea or coffee (if you take the tour, ask your guide about the app that tells your fortune from coffee grinds). Ipek's enthusiasm was contagious, her knowledge impressive, and she was able to make the connection between food and culture clear and compelling. This was a terrific day, and we highly recommend both the tour and Ipek.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank stugru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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