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Turkish Food in Istanbul

Turkish Food in Istanbul

Istanbul serves up a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, and food lovers will find a dish to tempt their every craving. Whether you want to discover traditional Turkish dishes, sample Anatolian specialties, or feast on street food snacks—here’s our pick of the best foods and food experiences in Istanbul.

Must-Try Dishes

It’s hard to visit Turkey without tucking into a kebab, and there are plenty of varieties from which to choose, including skewered shish kebabs, wrapped doner kebabs, and spicy Adana kebabs. Other regional specialties include kofte (meatballs), Anatolian dishes like manti (Turkish dumpling), pide (Turkish pizza), and karniyarik (stuffed eggplant).

While you’re waiting for your main course, tuck into an array of mezes or tapas-style appetizers, including dolma (stuffed vine leaves) and borek (savory pastry), or try street food favorites such as midye (mussels), gozleme (stuffed flatbread), simit (pretzel-like bread ring), and hamsi (anchovy). Finish it all off with an indulgent slice of baklava or Turkish tea, accompanied by a sugary fruit-flavored lokum (Turkish delight). 

Must-Do Experiences

  • Enjoy an authentic introduction to Turkish cuisine with a 3-course home-cooked dinner at a local family home.

  • Start the day with a traditional Turkish breakfast and sip a Turkish coffee during a food tasting walking tour of Kadıköy Market.

  • Soak up the atmosphere of Istanbul by night on an evening food tour.

  • Visit the Spice Bazaar, ride the ferry across the Bosphorus, and explore the Asian district of Üsküdar on a street food tour of Istanbul. 

  • Take a private tour for an itinerary that suits your exact tastes.

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7 Tours and Activities | All Istanbul Tours

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Eat Like a Local: Istanbul Food and Culture Tour with Dinner at Local Family Home

Eat Like a Local: Istanbul Food and Culture Tour with Dinner at Local Family Home

star-4.5
For the true essence of Turkish heritage, eat like a local and explore the streets of Sultanahmet during this guided small-group Istanbul food and culture tour. Step inside a local’s home to meet the family and enjoy an evening experience of Turkish hospitality. The 4-hour night begins with a 3-course dinner of traditional dishes and concludes with an expedition into the backstreets of Istanbul. You’ll witness a backgammon or football game along the way and even have a chance to take a puff from the shisha pipe. People are limited to 12 on this tour, so you can receive more personalized attention from your guide.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$57.90
From
$57.90
Taking safety measures

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

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

star-4
Awaken your culinary senses with this small-group Turkish food night tour in Istanbul. This tour explores Istanbul’s off the beaten path eateries, letting you discover the best of Turkey’s traditional tastes. Visit a barbecue restaurant and roast kebabs over an open flame, savor classics from a ‘simit’ bakery and enjoy live music and delicious meze at a ‘meyhane’ (Turkish tapas bar). This small-group food tour is limited to 15 people, for more personalized attention from your guide.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$97.43
From
$97.43
Taking safety measures

Istanbul Evening Food Walking Tour

Istanbul Evening Food Walking Tour

star-4.5
Treat your palate to Istanbul’s exciting flavors on a 3-hour evening food walking tour. Follow a food-enthusiast guide around hidden streets and neighborhoods, and scout out the best food haunts the city has to offer. Taste treats such as 'borek' (flaky pastry); nibble on enticing ‘meze’ (small appetizers) at a ‘meyhane’ tavern, and savor ‘raki’, the locals’ beloved anise-flavored firewater. As you walk and eat, learn about Istanbul’s cuisine and the ingredients and influences that have shaped it. Numbers are limited to 12 for a more personalized atmosphere.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$106.97
From
$106.97
Taking safety measures

Lonely Planet Experiences: Istanbul Sightseeing Street Food Tour with a Picnic

Lonely Planet Experiences: Istanbul Sightseeing Street Food Tour with a Picnic

star-4.5
Feast on Istanbul’s favorite snacks on this 3.5-hour walking tour of the city’s food stops, stalls and markets. With a guide passionate about Turkish cuisine, explore the Spice Bazaar to try staples such as ‘pastirma’ dried beef and artisanal cheeses. Then, sample more delicacies on a Bosphorus ferry ride to the Asian-side district of Üsküdar. Stroll the scenic waterfront and visit a teahouse to try some mouth-watering Turkish delight and refreshing tea before returning to the European side. This tour is limited to 12 people for a more intimate experience.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$54.11
From
$54.11
Taking safety measures

Istanbul Food and Culture Walking Tour

Istanbul Food and Culture Walking Tour

star-3.5
Sample your way through Istanbul on this small-group food and culture tour. Stroll the city’s historic streets with an expert guide, dipping into local markets and cafes along the way. Taste foods from typical streets vendors and patisseries (own expense), and peruse some local shops as well. This tour offers a great overview of Istanbul’s lively food scene. Group size is limited to 15 people to ensure a quality experience.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$45.00
From
$45.00
Taking safety measures

Istanbul Food Walking Tour of Beyoglu by Night

Istanbul Food Walking Tour of Beyoglu by Night

star-4
Savor traditional bites on this guided Istanbul food walking tour through the lively Beyoğlu district. Beyoğlu is a maze of winding back streets with top notch grills, restaurants, and eateries around every bend. On this tour, explore with a local guide and open up your temporal senses trying an array of delicious foods like classic kebab and ‘islak’ burgers, tomato sauce-drenched rolls on either side of a burger. This night is has it all: scrumptious meze platters, cosmic fortune telling and traditional Turkish coffee. Top it off with sips of anise liquor ‘raki’ that will have you rolling.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$121.79
From
$121.79
Taking safety measures

Istanbul Cross-Continental Food Tour Including Tastings, Public Transportation

Istanbul Cross-Continental Food Tour Including Tastings, Public Transportation

star-5
Dive into the sights, scents and tastes of Istanbul on this 6-hour food tour, including a visit to the magnificent Rustem Pasha Mosque and an optional ceramic-making workshop. Arrive with an empty stomach and an open mind, as you’ll enjoy a lot of (more than 10) tasters, including traditional mezes and seasonal street food. You’ll explore both the European and Asian sides o f Istanbul, take part in a Turkish Delight-making class and learn the art of brewing Turkish coffee. This small-group tour is limited to 9 people.
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  • 5 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$133.34
From
$133.34