11 Best Istanbul Food Tours That Will Make Your Taste Buds Dance (2023)

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Are you wondering about the Best Istanbul Food Tours? I’ve got you covered!

Istanbul is one of the most vibrant cities in the world, filled with an eclectic mix of cultures and cuisines.

I am so glad to be living here but when I first moved here it definitely was a bit overwhelming, especially food-wise.

Food tours of Istanbul are one of the best things to do in Istanbul if you love to eat your way through a city. From traditional Turkish dishes to locally inspired fusion cuisine, there is something for everyone!

The best food tours in Istanbul provide both variety and quality as you explore Istanbul for the first time or 20th time.

You can sample dishes from all over Turkey, as well as experience authentic foods that you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

It’s also important to note that not all restaurants are equal. I have learned this the hard way while living here in Turkey for the last 3 and a half years.

It can be overwhelming on your first visit to Istanbul for food lovers.

If you don’t want to miss out on any of the city’s must-try foods, go with an experienced Istanbul food guide who can direct you to quality places on the culinary backstreets of Istanbul.

With a guided tour, these visitors can avoid places that aren’t worth their time or money and focus on finding truly unique culinary experiences.

Let’s jump in!

6 Must-Have travel accessories for Under $25

black anker portable charger
black wallet belt with RFID protection
blue osprey daylite backpack
  • Make sure you have room for the goodies you’ll buy on your tours with this Osprey day pack.
  • This international travel adapter is the best. With 1 Type C and 4 USB slots, you will be able to charge it all!
  • Make sure you always have life left on your phone with this Anker external battery.
  • A money belt is really great to have especially in crowded/touristy areas. This one has RFID blocking and a great price!
  • These luggage tags are incredibly helpful. I have also used metal ones but those bend out of shape so easily.

My Top 3 Picks: Best Istanbul Food Tours

#1 Top Pick
4 cups of turkish coffee being raised in a toast with Hagia sophia in the background


Taste of Istanbul

✅ 6 – 7 hours

✅ See the Europen & Asian sides of Istanbul

✅ Fully customizable

#2 Pick
Produce stand at the local bazaar

Private Vegan/ Vegetarian Tour of Istanbul

✅ Caters to Vegans/ Vegetarians

✅ Visit the European & Asian sides

✅ Get tips for the rest of your trip!

#3 Pick
a glass of raki next to an  ice bucket

Istanbul Foodie Tour by Night

✅ One of only a few night tours

✅ Raki is included

✅ Max of 8 participants

Turkish breakfast that has sosis, cay, butter, olives, jellies, bread, honey, cucumbers and tomatoes

1. Taste of Two Continents

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  6-7 hours |? LOCATION: Europe & Asia

The Taste of Two Continents food tour is a must-have experience for tourists looking to explore the best of both continents.

It’s a great way to get a taste of Istanbul’s unique blend of European and Asian cultures in one city.

You will enjoy a tasty Turkish breakfast before you take a ferry across, which is my favorite mode of transportation here in Istanbul.

When you get to Kadıköy, my part of the city, you’ll enjoy even more delicious food and Turkish coffee!

However, this tour isn’t suitable for vegans or vegetarians; only 8 participants can join the tour, which adds to the exclusivity and intimacy of the experience.

You’ll get to visit different markets and neighborhoods, while simultaneously experiencing both sides of Turkey.

With the Taste of Two Continents Yummy Istanbul tour, you’ll learn more about Turkish culture and gain new knowledge that you can take with you wherever you go.

If you’re not a vegan/vegetarian then this tour is so incredibly worth it!

“Sinan was the perfect foodie tour guide! From first breakfast, second breakfast, first kebab, second kebab, baklava and everything in between…. (read more Yummy Istanbul reviews on Viator)


Istanbul Street of restaurants at night

2. Private Evening Local Food Tour

⭐️ RATING: 4.8/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3 hours |? LOCATION: Kadıköy

The Private Evening Food Tour offers tourists a unique chance to explore Istanbul like never before.

You’ll get to experience the culture and flavors of this city while avoiding the typical tourist traps.

This tour caters to both vegetarians and vegans, so everyone can have an enjoyable time without worrying about what to eat. Just make sure you let them know when you book it.

During your tour you’ll also get a chance to check out parts of the city that are often overlooked, giving you a more authentic feel for Istanbul than what the average traveler experiences.

Seeing Istanbul is not just about checking out the historical sites. On this tour, you’ll also get to see more than Istanbul’s beautiful palaces, mosques and buildings.

This is an adventurous tour that will provide you with a better understanding of Turkish cuisine and culture as you try things you might not have on your own.

One of my favorite things to eat is called ‘meze‘ and is essentially a small appetizer. You will get to try different ones on this tour as well as some of the best olives ever!

“Our guide Cetin was outstanding. He took us to so many places we never would have found on our own. We tried an endless variety of local foods that we would never have known to order by ourselves and left very full…. (read more on GetYourGuide)

-GetYourGuide traveler

person grilling fish and bread and onions on an outdoor grill for fish sandwhiches.

3. 10 Tastings of IST with Locals

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3 hours |? LOCATION: Europe

The 10 Tastings of IST with Locals private tour provides an unforgettable experience for tourists looking to explore the culinary traditions and local highlights of Istanbul.

Private Istanbul guided tours are able to be tailored to your preferences, allowing you to pick the restaurants, dishes and sites that interest you most.

From meyhane (fish restaurant) favorites like raki and balık ekmek to iconic landmarks such as Cicek Pasaji, Avrupa Pasaji, this tour is the perfect way to learn about Turkish culture in a relaxed manner.

One thing I hope you enjoy is the baklava with ice cream or kaymak.

Everyone knows baklava but baklava with the weight and creaminess of the kaymak especially it takes the experience to a whole new level.

I recently had the chocolate baklava while hanging with some friends who were in town visiting and it was absolutely amazing.

“Aisha was not only incredibly knowledgeable about local cuisine, but a joy to dine with! She shared interesting insight about how popular dishes derived and are prepared. We also had the pleasure of stopping in a few local shops… (read more on Viator)

– Calvin_C

Street art of a man sitting reading a book with hot air balloons in the background and a phone that is off the hook.

4. Kadıköy walking food tour Istanbul

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4 hours |? LOCATION: Kadıköy

The Kadıköy Food Tour by Secret Food Tours is the perfect way to experience the heart of Istanbul like a local!

Choose this tour and you’ll be able to explore the delicious flavors of Turkey while learning about the city’s fascinating history.

You’ll have the opportunity to taste some of our most beloved dishes and drinks while discovering hidden gems throughout Kadıköy.

Your guide will teach you the right way to eat Lahmacun…I ate it wrong for a long time because I just didn’t know!

You will also get to try Muhlama, a special dish from the black sea made from cheese and butter. Ok, it’s so not healthy but oh so delicious!

Plus, as part of the tour, you can savor a glass of Turkish wine and enjoy the best Turkish dessert, katmer.

With only 10 people in each group, it is ideal for those who want an intimate and informative tour experience.

The experienced guide will share interesting facts about neighborhoods and entertaining legends from around Kadıköy which will make your journey even more engaging!

If you love food but have food sensitivities, they can also cater to your needs so don’t miss out on this amazing walking tour experience!

“For our first full day in Istanbul, my wife booked a food tour. It’s become a favorite way to get the lay of the land, also a sense of where to go and what to do during the rest of our trip. This tour took place on the Asian side… (read more on Viator)


4  people with a Turkish coffee in their hands cheersing with the Hagia Sophia in the background.

5. Taste of Istanbul

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  6-7 hours |? LOCATION: Europe & Asia

A Taste of Istanbul private food tour is a great way to explore the city through its delicious local cuisine!

Their knowledgeable and passionate guides will introduce you to the best restaurants in the area and give great order recommendations.

Plus, it is fully customizable, so you can make the perfect itinerary for your group tour.

This is one of the only full day food tours. I love that because you can eat more and walk it off as you go.

But beyond the sheer enjoyment of it, our tours are also informative: learn about the history behind each dish and gain insight into Turkish culture.

You will get to try one of Turkey’s most loved desserts, kunefe.

I could describe it but it wouldn’t sound as appealing as it actually tastes. If I am being honest though, I have had bad kunefe…It is good to get kunefe with your tour guide.

Book your food tour today for an unforgettable experience in Istanbul!

“Our guide Derya was very friendly, knowledgeable and had a overall great spirit about her. The day passed so fast and we didn’t even noticed we walked over 5 miles ?. The food tour was great … (read more on Viator)

– Phillip_S

Ferry ride surrounded by seagulls looking for  their daily bread donation from those riding the ferry.

6. Ist: Private Food & Culture Tour

⭐️ RATING: 54.9/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  5 hours |? LOCATION: Europe & Asia

Ist: Guided Food & Culture Tour is the perfect way to get a comprehensive experience of Istanbul.

On this tour, you will get to see both the European and Asian sides of this vibrant city.

In addition, you will be able to experience the unique flavors of Kurdish food that is rarely featured on other tours.

Not only can you enjoy lots of delicious food options, but also lots of drink options as well.

You’ll also get to take a scenic ferry ride – my favorite mode of transportation – and enjoy beautiful views of Istanbul from the sea.

One thing Turks love, that I haven’t built up the courage to try, is stuffed muscles. You will see them throughout the city on silver trays with a plethora of lemons.

When you try them with your tour guide, you will be able to try them safely as they aren’t always the most hygienic. As we say in Turkish, afiyet olsun (like bon appetit).

This tour will leave you with memories that last!

“Where do I even start? Salih is one of the best tour guides my wife and I have ever had the pleasure of being around. He is knowledgeable, entertaining, and has a stomach that somehow is never full. I highly recommend this trip… (read more on GetYourGuide)

– GetYourGuide traveler

Street art in Kadıköy of some characters in a ship that is filled with dolls and houses and suitcases and odd looking things.

7. 10 Tastings Kadiköy

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3 hours |? LOCATION: Kadıköy

Enjoy the best of Istanbul on the 10 Tastings Private Food Tour!

This half-day tour, which focuses on the Asian side, specifically Kadikoy, is perfect for those looking to get in a bit of sightseeing and explore local neighborhoods without taking up too much time.

Since I live in Kadıköy, I am a bit biased towards it but you will really find some great food here!

You’ll get to try out Turkish coffee and other traditional food specialties in off-the-beaten-path local neighborhoods, all while enjoying some of Istanbul’s most famous landmarks!

Their knowledgeable guides will provide an enjoyable experience as you explore this unique corner of the world.

“My husband and I can’t say enough good things about our time eating our way through Kadikoy with our guide, Sözüm. It wasn’t just a tour- it was more like hanging out with your cool friend who knows all the best spots… (read more on Viator)

– Layne_F

raki on a table with a bucket of ice and a glass of water

8. Istanbul Foodie Tour by Night

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3.5 hours |? LOCATION: Beyoğlu

Visiting Istanbul is a must for any traveler, and the Istanbul Foodie Tour by Night offers a unique experience.

With only 8 participants, this tour is a great way to explore local culture and taste some of the delicious regional dishes.

You’ll get to learn about the city’s history in Pera, one of its oldest neighborhoods, as well as sample Turkish culture with a traditional glass of Raki—the national alcoholic drink of Turkey.

As you venture through the markets you’ll gain insight into artisanal recipes, centuries-old culinary traditions, and authentic Turkish ingredients.

You’ll also get to eat one of the staples of Turkish cuisine, kebaps. There are so many different types because each region makes its own style. My favorite is the Adana Kebap.

One drink you’ll get to try is şalgam. This is a pickled red carrot juice. When I first moved to Istanbul, I was not a fan. Now I regularly drink it! Definitely give it a try.

Whether it’s your first or fourth time in Istanbul, this tour is a great way to experience one of the world’s most vibrant cities.

“OMG! This is by far one of the best food tours we’ve been on in our worldly travels – and we’ve been on a lot. Erol was super fantastic! He was on time and took us on a walk through the streets of Istanbul that 1. we never might have gone on… (read more on Viator)

– Trina_S

Street pazaar with apples, pears and oranges on tables.

9. Private Vegan/Vegetarian Tour of Istanbul

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  6-7 hours |? LOCATION: Europe & Asia

Visiting Istanbul is an amazing experience, but it can be overwhelming to explore the city on your own.

That is compounded when you’re a vegan/vegetarian. That’s why a private vegan/ vegetarian tour of Istanbul is such a great option for you if you’re vegan/vegetarian!

You’ll get all the tips you need to make the rest of your trip in Turkey even more enjoyable.

You’ll also get to enjoy a private and plant-based food tour that takes you through hidden gems like Kadıköy and Istiklal Caddesi.

Kadıköy especially has upped their vegan/vegetarian game in the last few years. You’ll be in culinary heaven.

The fun thing about this tour specifically is that beyond food, you will also get to see some main sights like the Old City, Hagia Sophia and the Grand Bazaar.

Plus, your helpful guide will give you insightful information about the city along the way, making this a highlight for your trip.

“Derya was so amazing and accommodating to my family and I during the food tour. She became like a friend to us, and wanted us to enjoy our time. She helped us not only try new foods… (read more on Viator)

– A Tripadvisor Reviewer

Dried eggplant and red bell peppers that will later be used in winter to make dolma, a Turkish favorite

10. Istanbul Food Market & Street Food Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  6 hours |? LOCATION: Europe & Asia

Visiting Turkey as a tourist is an amazing experience and one you’ll never forget. It will only be enhanced by this Istanbul Street Food & Market tour.

One of the highlights of your trip will be checking out a local dairy market and tasting the delicious tastes of simit and kaymak (similar to clotted cream) with honey.

Another highlight is taking the ferry across the Bosphorus, where you’ll get an amazing view of Istanbul on both sides and can even spot some dolphins!

During the pandemic, they were out a lot more but just recently on the ferry, I saw dolphins from the ferry and it made my heart sing!

Of course, there’s also the delicious cuisine!

Local dishes like Iskender kebap, Menemen, Kunefe, and more are some of the best foods in the world – all uniquely flavored with spices from this region.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one tour that will let you experience Turkish culture through food, then look no further than their 7-stop 16-tasting tour.

You’ll get to truly immerse yourself in local flavors in a way that you won’t find anywhere else.

“This was the best day trip I booked in Istanbul and I made lovely friends with my group. Our tour guide Ondan or Onder (not sure on the correct spelling of his name-sorry!) was amazing. He not only… (read more on GetYourGuide)

– GetYourGuide traveler

A close. up of Çiya Kebap restaurant logo

11. Food Tour in Istanbul w/ Local

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4-6 hours |? LOCATION: Europe & Asia

Turkey is a land of many cultures and flavors, so it only makes sense to explore them through food!

Join the local Istanbul Food Tour with your private guide for a small group tour of no more than 6 people.

The focus is to take you away from the touristy areas where many travelers tend to get stuck.

Instead, the knowledgeable guides show you hidden gems that only locals usually know about.

My favorite thing about this tour is your stop at Çiya Kebap, one of the best Istanbul restaurants in my opinion. This is a special place with an incredible story.

The menu changes daily so I can’t recommend something specifically but everything we ate there was absolutely delicious!

It was featured on Chef’s Table and you can read more in this article. Better yet, go watch it. Season 5, Episode 2.

You’ll love your time as you visit some of the best restaurants in town and learn more about the history of Istanbul through its food!

For a truly unforgettable adventure – book your spot today!

“I am a solo traveler and I really like to book such local and less known tours (not really touristic) and I booked a tour with Ozzy who is amazing.He is such a foddie and while telling about the food and recipes I already feel… (read more on Viator)

– D.

Turkish Food and Culture

The Turkish food culture is very much entrenched in its own traditions, with many locals believing that Turkish cuisine is the best.

Furthermore, locals take exception to anything that might suggest that their traditional dishes have roots in another country; for them, all food is Turkish.

For visitors to Turkey, learning about and engaging with the local cuisine is an important part of the experience.

You will have a much more enjoyable experience, in my experience, if you listen and let people share their culture with you.

FAQs About the best Food Tours in Istanbul

Are there vegan/vegetarian options available on the tour?

Yes! On the tour, there are many Turkish dishes served that are vegan or vegetarian-friendly, though not all will be. Guests can make special requests ahead of time if needed.

What should I wear for the tour?

You should wear comfortable clothes when going on a food tour in Istanbul. The temperature can vary throughout the day so it is best to wear something light and breathable. Many people joke about wearing stretchy pants but they aren’t wrong.

How long do food tours typically last?

A standard food tour will take 3-7 hours depending on the type of tour chosen, but usually, they are 3 hours long.

What kind of food tours are available in Istanbul?

Istanbul offers a wide variety of food tours available for tourists, from traditional Turkish meals to street food and local delicacies. You can visit a combination of different restaurants, bazaars, and markets to sample the finest in Turkish cuisine.

Are there any age restrictions for visitors on these food tours?

Most food tours don’t have any age restrictions, but some venues may have their own particular age rules that guests must adhere to.

Final Thoughts: Best Food Tours Istanbul

Istanbul’s street food scene is famous for its variety and flavor. With an Istanbul day tour or private cruise, you can experience and get a real taste of the food Turkey has to offer.

Take the time to enjoy local food culture as well as all the flavors, sights, and sounds that Istanbul has to offer.

Whether it’s a small bite or an extravagant meal, a visit to Turkey isn’t complete without experiencing its incredible cuisine.

Did you try some of the best food in Istanbul?

Hopefully, this 2023 guide has wet your appetite. If so, don’t wait any longer – come on over to Istanbul!

If you’re into tours check out our Istanbul Day Tours to see Istanbul through a local’s eyes and go on an unforgettable journey.

Read More:

Turkey vacation basics

When I plan a trip these are the websites I use. Hope they help you plan your next adventure as well!

FLIGHTS: I am a huge fan of Skyscanner and WayAway.

VISAS: You can use the free e-visa portal here but for a few extra dollars you can use iVisa and someone else will handle any issues that may come up.

E-SIM: When I traveled to SE Asia I discovered e-sims and I’m never going back. Airalo has been easy and cheap!

TRAVEL INSURANCE: I use TravelInsurance.com for my trips abroad.

CAR RENTAL: I have loved working with Discover Cars when I rent cars in country.

AIRPORT TRANSFERS: I have used these transfers many times and they are always great. If you’d like more options, I also recommend GetTransfers.com as they allow you to compare companies.

ACCOMMODATION: Find the best Turkey hotel deals on Booking.com.

CITY TOURS & DAY TRIPS: You can browse GetYourGuide’s website to find just the tour you’re looking for!

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