Food & Drink

Get a Taste of Istanbul: Food Tour Experience

Istanbul is a melting pot of cultures with various delicacies to offer. Turkish cuisine is a blend of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Central Asian flavors that make it unique and delicious. The best way to explore the diverse culinary culture of Turkey is through an Istanbul food tour. In this blog, we will take you on a gastronomical journey through the streets of Istanbul. From savoring the famous Turkish breakfast to indulging in street food, we have got you covered. We will also talk about what makes an Istanbul Food Tour unique and why you should definitely try it out when visiting Turkey. Join us as we discover the most popular street foods in Istanbul and get insider tips for your next food adventure in this beautiful city!

Food Tours in Istanbul

Istanbul is a city famous for its rich food culture, and the best way to explore it is through small group or private guided tours. You can take a self-guided street food tour or a private guided tour to get an immersive experience. Most of the food tours explores Turkish cuisines from both the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, providing you with a taste of local delicacies.

Two neighborhoods that offer unique dining options are Fener and Balat. Fener’s historical streets are swarmed with small restaurants serving traditional Turkish dishes, while Balat has more contemporary options. Istanbul Food Tours on foot provides visitors with an educational and exciting culinary experience while exploring the city’s vibrant food culture.

Eating Like a Local: Learn About Diverse Culinary Culture of Turkey


One of the best ways to experience the diverse culinary culture of Turkey is by joining Food Tours in Istanbul with locals. The tour takes you through popular neighborhoods like Beyoğlu and Kadıköy, where you can taste various culinary traditions that make Turkish cuisine unique. You will get to indulge in the famous Turkish desserts like baklava and helva which are a must-try for any food enthusiast.

Eating like a local is an experience that you don’t want to miss if you are in Istanbul. The guides of food tours in Istanbul are friendly and knowledgeable about the history and cultural significance behind each food item. They also share insider tips on where to find the best Turkish specialties. So, join a Secret Food Tour in Istanbul and experience the vibrant food culture of Turkey for yourself!

What to Eat in Istanbul

traditional turkish food

Istanbul is a foodie paradise, and it’s easy to get lost in the many culinary creations the city has to offer. If you’re looking for something vegan, traditional dishes like dolma and simit are great options. For meat lovers, kebab is a popular grilled item that can be prepared with lamb, beef, chicken, or fish. Dolma is another must-try dish – it’s a grape leaf wrap filled with rice, bulgur, and herbs. Pide is a popular flatbread made from wheat flour, water, and salt that pairs perfectly with spicy sauces or toppings.

To truly experience the best of Istanbul’s culinary scene, consider taking food tours in Istanbul led by an expert guide who knows all the hidden gems in the city. You’ll be able to explore local markets and try fine dining that you won’t find anywhere else.

Turkish Food

Turkish cuisine is known for its rich and diverse flavors, and Istanbul offers a wealth of options to explore. One must-try food in Istanbul is the unique culinary offerings of Turkey’s Black Sea region, such as cornbread, collard greens, and smoky bean stews.

While Turkish cuisine is heavily based on meat and dairy, vegans can still find plenty of options. Most mezes are vegan-friendly, as well as simit (a type of bagel) and many baked goods which are made with olive oil instead of dairy.

For vegetarian options in Istanbul, mezes like hummus and eggplant dip are a great choice. Other vegetarian dishes include breakfast items like menemen, mains like cheese pide or cig köfte (a vegan dish made from bulgur wheat), and traditional baklava or dolma.

Common ingredients in Turkish dishes include orange lentils, chickpeas, rice, red bell pepper paste, pomegranate sauce, and lemon juice or sauce. Whether you’re a meat-lover or a vegan, don’t miss out on the diverse flavors that Turkish cuisine has to offer when visiting Istanbul. And don’t forget to try Karnıyarık, made with fried eggplant, ground beef, and vegetables. With so many delicious options available, there’s something for everyone on food tours in Istanbul.

Turkish Breakfast

Turkish Breakfast

One of the most popular food tours in Istanbul is the Turkish breakfast tour. Turkish breakfast is a savory meal consisting of eggs, cheese, olives, tomato, cucumber, honey, jam, pastries, and various types of bread. It is usually eaten as a standalone meal or part of a larger meal. The traditional Turkish breakfast comes with hot tea or coffee that complements its flavors. Many food tours offer a chance to taste authentic Turkish breakfast dishes and experience local customs and traditions in Istanbul. If you are visiting Istanbul for the first time or looking to explore the city’s food culture, the Turkish breakfast tour should be on your list.

The most delicious Turkish foods

Turkish kebab

Istanbul is well-known for its rich and delicious cuisine, with a mix of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors. Ottoman cuisine is a must-try while in Istanbul, with food like Kebab being one of the most popular dishes among tourists. İskender kebab, a skewered lamb dish prepared with unique spices and herbs, is also a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Kofte, a ground meatball dish served with rice or vegetables is another must-try treat when in Istanbul. For those looking for something lighter, Lahmacun is a perfect option as it is made from thin flatbread baked or grilled to perfection. These Turkish delicacies are sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you wanting more. Joining one of the best food tours in Istanbul will allow you to try all these tasty treats and give you an in-depth understanding of Turkish culture through its food.

Finding Your Perfect Kebab in Istanbul

turkish kebap grill

When it comes to experiencing the most delicious Turkish foods on a food tour in Istanbul, you can’t miss out on trying the city’s famous kebab. However, with a little exploration, you can discover options that are more delicious and satisfying than the typical oily mess. Traditional Turkish kebab covers a range of very different dishes with varying levels of spice and accompaniments. To find your perfect kebab in Istanbul, don’t settle for the typical doner kebab. Instead, explore the vast array of options available and be sure to try different types of meat, such as lamb or chicken, with flavorful spices and fresh vegetables for a truly authentic experience.

Istanbul Food Spots

When it comes to experiencing the most delicious Turkish foods, a food tour of Istanbul is the perfect way to do so. Istanbul Food Tour offers a great variety of local delicacies such as Turkish ice-cream, kebabs, pizza, and Turkish delight. Culinary Istanbul walking tours give you a deeper appreciation for the city’s most delicious Turkish foods while exploring lively backstreets.

For those looking for a more upscale dining experience, Ottoman cuisine at a restaurant in Istanbul is prepared at the highest level and includes spectacular presentations of meat, fish, salads, vegetarian plates, pasta, pizzas, and kebabs.

And no visit to Istanbul would be complete without trying traditional Turkish coffee. Known for its unique and strong flavor, Turkish coffee is prepared by boiling finely ground coffee beans with water and served unfiltered. A food tour of Istanbul is not only a great way to taste these delicious delights but also get an insight into Turkish culture and tradition.

Istanbul Street Food

Istanbul street food

Istanbul is a hub for street food lovers that are best explored through small group tours on foot. The vibrant food culture of Istanbul has something for everyone, from traditional kebabs to savory pide (Turkish pizza). Istanbul’s street food scene offers delicious and affordable options ranging from 1-3 US dollars on average, making it accessible for budget travelers.

For those looking for a sit-down meal, mid-range restaurants offer popular Turkish street foods but at higher prices. Whether you are in the mood for sweet baklava or hearty stuffed mussels, Istanbul’s street food scene will not disappoint. A guided food tour in Istanbul is a great way to explore the city’s culinary delights while learning about its rich history and culture.

What is the most popular street food in Istanbul?

Istanbul is known for its delicious and diverse street food scene. Some of the most popular street foods in Istanbul include döner kebab and lahmacun, both of which can be found at street carts and tiny shopfront places all around the city. In fact, sampling street food is one of the best ways to experience Istanbul’s unique cuisine. There are plenty of food tours available in Istanbul that offer a chance to explore the city’s best street food spots and learn about their history and cultural significance. So, whether you’re a foodie or just looking for a tasty snack, Istanbul’s street food scene is not to be missed!

Islak Hamburger

This wet burger can be found throughout Taksim Square and is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The burger consists of a steamed beef patty and a special garlic and tomato sauce that makes it wet, making it a unique and tasty option. Often eaten after a night of drinking or partying, Islak Hamburger is definitely worth trying during a visit to Taksim.

In addition to Islak Hamburger, Tantuni is another popular street food option in Istanbul. This dish features julienned beef or lamb stir-fried on a sac and wrapped with chopped onions, tomatoes, and parsley. While there are plenty of fine-dining options in Istanbul, those looking for a more casual experience should make sure to check out the shops selling wet burgers around Taksim Square.

Balik Ekmek

Balık ekmek, most popular street foods in istanbul

Istanbul is known for its diverse and delicious street food scene, with options ranging from döner kebab to lahmacun. However, the most popular street food in Istanbul is Balik Ekmek. This iconic sandwich is made with grilled fish fillets, lettuce, tomato, and onion, all served on fresh bread. It can be found at many street vendors along the waterfront or at local markets. Food tours in Istanbul always make sure to take you to the best place for Balik Ekmek.

Kofte Ekmek

Köfte Ekmek is always one of the standout choice among the other street foods. This Turkish dish consists of grilled or fried meatballs mixed with spices and served in a small loaf of bread along with parsley, onions, tomatoes, and peppers. Considered the most practical and delicious street food in Istanbul, Köfte Ekmek is an important part of the city’s social life, particularly during football matches.

The spices used in Köfte Ekmek meatballs include black pepper, cumin, and allspice, which give it its unique and delicious taste. You can find this tasty treat all over Istanbul.


Kestane istanbul

One of the most popular street foods in Istanbul is Kestane, or roasted chestnuts. Istanbul offers a wide variety of street food options, from freshly caught fish to kofte ekmek, a type of meatball sandwich. Another practical and delicious choice for street food in Istanbul is kofte ekmek, which can be found at many street vendors and restaurants throughout the city.

Döner Kebab

If you’re looking to try some of Istanbul’s delicious street food, the famous doner kebab is a must-try. Made from shredded meat and served with various toppings in pita bread, the doner kebab is Istanbul’s most popular street food. Historical districts such as Sultanahmet and Eminonu are known for their delicious doner kebab shops.

Doner kebab is often called shawarma, but the traditional Turkish version differs and is served with sauce and vegetables in bread, lavash, or with rice. It’s not just a quick and filling meal, but can also serve as a fancy dinner option. Doner kebab shops are found all over Istanbul, but a popular spot is near Taksim Square where you can find many vendors selling this delicious dish. So if you want to experience authentic Turkish street food, make sure to try the doner kebab on your next visit to Istanbul. Döner Kebab is a dish that no food tours in Istanbul can pass!

These are only some of the most popular street foods in Istanbul. For more options you can check our blog on street foods in Istanbul!

Street Food Prices in Istanbul

turkish simit istanbul

Istanbul’s street food is a budget-friendly option for those traveling on a tight budget. Prices can vary depending on what and where you order but the average cost of street food in Istanbul ranges from 1-3 US dollars, making it an affordable choice. In fact, street food in Istanbul is more affordable than some fast-food chains. Eating in Istanbul can be satisfyingly cheap with general food prices being low for most people. Mid-range restaurants offer popular Turkish street foods at higher prices than street vendors, but the authenticity of the experience may be lost in this case. Overall, street food prices in Istanbul are very reasonable and won’t break the bank while you explore the delicious cuisine of this vibrant city.

What are the benefits of food tours in istanbul?

Taking a food tour in Istanbul is an excellent way to experience the vibrant and delicious cuisine of the city. You can explore the hidden culinary gems and backstreets of Istanbul with a private tour guide who will show you the best local food spots.

A knowledgeable guide will provide you with insights into the city’s food history and traditions, giving you a deeper understanding of its culture. By joining a small group food tour on foot, you can engage all your senses and indulge in the distinct flavors that make Istanbul’s cuisine so unique. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to discover one of the world’s most diverse and satisfying culinary destinations!

Unique and local restaurants

Local Turkish Restaurants

If you’re a food lover, then food tours in Istanbul is a must-do experience. These small group tours allow you to explore the vibrant food culture of Istanbul on foot, with expert guides leading the way. One of the highlights of an Istanbul food tour is discovering unique and local restaurants that are off the beaten path. From boutique markets to tucked-away eateries, there’s always something new and exciting to try.

Unlike large tour groups and buses, food tours in Istanbul offer a more personalized experience, as you’ll be able to ask your guide questions and get insider tips along the way. Whether you choose tour that explores both the European and Asian sides of Istanbul or opt for a self-guided street food tour, you’re sure to come away with a deeper appreciation for this city’s incredible culinary traditions.

Insiders View

Not only will you get to discover the best local restaurants and street food vendors, but you’ll also get an insider’s view on what to eat and where to go for the ultimate culinary experience with food tours in Istanbul.

Explore the charming neighborhoods of Fener and Balat on a self-guided street food tour, or book a private guided tour for a more personalized experience. Either way, you’ll be able to uncover hidden culinary gems in Istanbul and taste authentic Turkish and Ottoman cuisine that you won’t find anywhere else. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable gastronomic adventure in one of the world’s most vibrant cities.


Exploring the diverse culinary culture of Turkey is a must-do experience for any foodie. From Turkish breakfast to street food and kebabs, Istanbul offers a wide range of delicious options that will leave your taste buds craving for more. To truly understand and appreciate the local cuisine, we recommend taking food tours in Istanbul with unique and local restaurants. You’ll get an insider’s view into the city’s vibrant food scene and discover hidden gems that you wouldn’t have found otherwise. So why wait? Book one of the food tours in Istanbul now and join us on a culinary adventure through this magical city.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most famous food in Istanbul?

The most famous food in Istanbul is perhaps the Turkish delight, a sweet treat made of sugar, starch, and flavorings like rosewater or nuts. Other popular dishes include kebabs, baklava, and meze, which are small plates of various appetizers.

What is famous about food in Istanbul?

Istanbul is famous for its diverse and flavorful cuisine influenced by Ottoman, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean cultures. Some of the most renowned dishes include kebabs, baklava, Turkish delight, meze (small plates), and Turkish coffee. Street food is also popular in Istanbul, with vendors selling simit (sesame bread rings), stuffed mussels, and roasted chestnuts. The city's vibrant food scene and markets like the Grand Bazaar make it a must-visit destination for foodies.

What food to order in Istanbul?

There are several traditional dishes that you should try if you visit Istanbul. Here are a few examples: Doner kebab: roasted meat, usually beef or lamb, served with vegetables and sauce in pita bread. Lahmacun is a thin and crispy dough with minced meat, onions, and herbs on top. Borek: a cheese, spinach, or meat-filled pastry. Manti: small meat-filled dumplings served with yogurt and tomato sauce. Turkish breakfast: a filling meal of cheese, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggs, bread, and tea.

How much does a typical Istanbul meal cost?

A typical meal in Istanbul can vary in price depending on where you eat and what you order. A simple meal at a local restaurant or street food vendor may cost between 20 and 30 Turkish Lira ($2.5-$4 USD), whereas a more upscale restaurant may charge between 100 and 150 Turkish Lira ($13-$20 USD) per person. Alcohol is generally more expensive in Istanbul, so if you're on a budget, stick to non-alcoholic beverages like tea or ayran (a yogurt drink).

Which area of Istanbul is best for foodies?

Because Istanbul has so many culinary gems, it's difficult to single out one area that is ideal for foodies. However, there are a few neighborhoods in particular that are well-known for their delectable food scenes. Kadikoy, on Istanbul's Asian side, is one such neighborhood. This area is well-known for its street food, particularly the fish sandwiches sold at the Kadikoy fish market. Kadikoy also has a plethora of restaurants and cafes serving both traditional Turkish and international cuisine. Another popular area for foodies is Beyoglu, located on the European side of Istanbul. Many chic bars, cafes, and restaurants serve both Turkish and international cuisine in this trendy neighborhood. Furthermore, the narrow streets of Beyoglu are densely packed with small shops selling sweets, nuts, and spices, making it an ideal destination for foodies. Finally, the historic district of Sultanahmet is an excellent destination for foodies. Many traditional Turkish restaurants in this neighborhood serve authentic dishes like kebabs, meze, and baklava. Several street vendors sell simit (a circular bread covered in sesame seeds) and other Turkish snacks in the district.
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Simge Sor

I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list.
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