If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.
You might think that seven hours is way too long to spend on a food tour, but you would be very wrong. Yummy Istanbul’s The Taste of Two Continents is the best Istanbul food tour, and it will convince you.
We’ve done more than fifty food tours and never a seven-hour one, but here’s why this works.
You Will See Different Parts of Istanbul on this Food Tour
First of all, the tour is literally on two different continents so you cover a lot of ground. Some food tours pack you with food but you don’t really move around much. In this case, you walk in between stops, see some sights, and learn about the different neighborhoods. There are two 30-minute ferry rides included as well.
You Will Learn a Lot from a Local
Secondly, you are in great company. Our local guide was Leyla Capacı, and she was a delight (Turkish delight?) She is warm and charming, passionate about Turkish cuisine, and her English is excellent. She was our tour guide as we walked around neighborhoods and markets and moved between areas, and she is extremely knowledgeable about the history and culture of Türkiye.
You Will Eat Well
Finally, if you aren’t familiar with Turkish food, then you will be blown away by the deliciousness and sheer variety of the food you will try on this Istanbul food tour.
The tour met in Istanbul’s Old City in the neighborhood of Eminönü, near the city’s bazaars. This is on the Europe side of the Bosporus. Yummy Istanbul limits the group size to eight people so it was not overwhelming.
We started at a market by gathering an assortment of Turkish breakfast items, including cheeses, buffalo cream, hazelnut spreads, honey, olives, dried beef pastrami, simit (sesame pretzel). Then we sat down at a local tea house and enjoyed it all with traditional Turkish tea and menemen, a popular traditional Turkish dish which includes eggs, tomato, green peppers, and spices such as ground black and red pepper cooked in olive oil.
Then we visited the Spice Market and tried a few different Turkish Delight (all were tasty), nuts, and an assortment of olives, including grilled green olives.
We visited a shop dedicated to all things pickled. Let that sink in. If you like pickles, now you have a massive selection of all kinds of vegetables and fruits that have been pickled. We tried a sampling, and even drank tursu suyu (pickle juice).
After breakfast, we walked some more, then took our first ferry across the Bosphorus Strait to the modern and trendy area of Kadıköy, on the Asian side. A lot of Istanbul’s best restaurants are in this area.
In Kadıköy, we tried a variety of Turkish street foods, including midye dolma (a stuffed mussel dish), dolma (stuffed grape leaves), and tantuni, a dish made from spicy julienne-cut lamb or beef wrapped in a thin lavaş bread, that originates from Mersin.
Then it was on to lunch. We sat down for a multi-course lunch at world-famous restaurant Çiya, where we had beyran (lamb soup), whole candied green walnut, a pasta dish, flatbread pizza, köfte (Turkish meatballs), balloon bread, stuffed artichoke, feta cheese, and baklava with clotted cream (I’ve been eating it wrong all these years!)
Then we were on the move once again. Even the most adventurous of us balked at kokoreç, which is a grilled wrap filled with chopped seasoned intestines, but everyone tried it and loved it. We washed it down with ayran, a salty yogurt beverage. An iskender kebab is similar to a gyro, and we tried one from a 150+ year-old family restaurant regarded as one of the very best in Istanbul. It was so good.
Satisfied and Happy
Traditional Turkish coffee cooked in hot sand and dondurma, Turkish ice cream, made with goat’s milk rounded out the experience. Overall, we probably sampled around fifty types of food, plus some local drinks, at about ten stops. We emerged at the end feeling satisfied but not stuffed. We took our second ferry back across the Bosporus Strait, chatting happily about our experience, and our entire group of eight even reconvened afterwards for drinks at a bar because we were having so much fun. This Istanbul food tour goes down as one of our all-time favorite food tours.
How to Book this Istanbul Food Tour
This popular tour sells out so when you’re planning your trip to Istanbul, I suggest you book it sooner than later. You will be so glad you did. Click the link for the details:
Here’s Leyla’s Instagram if you’d like to follow her and get in touch!