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Foodie Tour in Istanbul

We are doing the Best of Turkey tour in October. We will be in Istanbul 3 days before RS tour starts and are considering the SRM Foodie tour on one of our pre-tour days. Has anybody done this foodie tour and if so, did you find it valuable?

Posted by
4869 posts

I haven't taken the Foodie tour, but it's designed, by the company that wrote the RS Best of Istanbul guidebook, to be complementary to the Best of Turkey tour.

The Best of Istanbul tour spends a few hours on the Asia side of Istanbul, but the Best of Turkey tour does not. So the Foodie tour brings you over there and does some of the same things as the Best of Istanbul tour, and more.

I took both tours (Best of Istanbul and Best of Turkey) last fall and hope to take the foodie tour when I next visit Istanbul.

Posted by
515 posts

A friend and I are signed up for Best of Turkey beginning October 2. Is that the tour you will be on? We have already signed up for the Foodie tour on October 1 (arriving September 30 and staying the extra nights at the tour hotel).

Posted by
2471 posts

I haven't yet, but I am signed up for the foodie tour the day before my Sep. 23 tour - probably not enough time to give you feedback, unfortunately. As CWSocial pointed out, it goes to the Asian side of Istanbul which sounds appealing to me, plus, food!

Posted by
34 posts

We are on the Oct 9 best of Turkey tour and would do the foodie tour on Oct 7 or 8 so would love to hear from you that are doing it before us! I’m reading you can cancel up to
24 hrs. before. Thank you all.

Posted by
22 posts

I went on a self-guided street food tour in the Galata area. You can begin by walking from Taksim's Istiklal Street all the way to Eminonu.

Posted by
3 posts

we are also on the October 2 tour and are taking the foodie tour on Oct 1. we have heard many great things about the foodie tour and especially appreciate nothing is repeated on the Best of Turkey Tour! Looking forward to meeting you Renee

Posted by
51 posts

We are booked on the Istanbul Foodie Tour this Sunday, the day before our Best of Turkey tour begins. I'll try to remember to post after our experience, so you have an idea of how it went. I have high hopes. We have learned we really enjoy foodie tours and cooking classes when we travel abroad because it's interactive and you learn a lot about the culture. It's as important to us now as seeing the sites and visiting museums.

Posted by
2471 posts

I just completed this tour with Lale (co author of the RS guidebook for Istanbul). Worth every penny times ten. You go to the Asia side and visit two very different neighborhoods that are themselves very different than the tourist area. Lale fed us all kinds of interesting food but also gave a ton information about how Istanbul lives outside the crowds at the Hagia Sophia. I am stuffed to the gills and very happy to have spent my pre-tour day on this activity. Just six of our 26 tour members chose to go. For those not doing a RS tour, SRM travel can arrange same thing for a private tour. https://www.srmtravel.com/index.html

Posted by
5 posts

We hope to take this foodie tour also before our. RS tour starting Oct 16. We have emailed them but not heard back yet

Posted by
2 posts

We loved the foodie tour with Lale on Sept 29 2023 prior to our Best of Turkey tour. We felt it was well worth the price. I would recommend it.

Posted by
1 posts

We loved the foodie tour with Lale on Sept 29 2023 prior to our Best of Turkey tour. This pre-tour helped greatly with understanding the diversity of food in Türkiye. I think the misconception is that it is Mediterranean food, but it is much more diverse than that: the Black Sea, Aegean, Mediterranean, Marmara, Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia and Southeastern Regions all have differing specialties; not to mention the historical aspects of the Ottoman Empire or Central Asia and those foods. We learned how to order and drink Turkish coffee (bir sade türk kahvesi lütfen) and immediately fell in love with Simit (Turkish crispy bagel ring) that is the most common street food and is re-stocked hourly by motorcycle delivery people. This country is the birthplace of pilav (pilaf), so be sure to have Medye Dolma (stuffed mussels), and learn that dolma = stuffed and sarma = wrapped. One of my favorites from this day was Tahin Pekmez which is tahini with grape molasses mixed together, and I drizzled it on fresh bread every chance I got throughout the whole time in Türkiye. This pre-tour was a great launching point for The Best of Türkiye tour and highly recommend making the time for it with Lale as your guide.

Posted by
12 posts

We were traveling independently in Turkey at the end of September , and weren’t able to schedule a private tour with Lale. As an alternative, I can’t recommend Culinary Backstreets highly enough. With friends, we took their “Two Markets, Two Continents” tour our first day in Istanbul. Our guide was excellent, and the day was a fantastic introduction to Turkish food and culture.

Posted by
94 posts

I see that you've already gone by the time of this answer. Just posting in case someone else has questions. We just returned from the RS Best of Turkey Tour on October 28. We took the SRM Foodie Tour on October 15 and were lucky enough to take it with Lale. We highly recommend the tour. The answers from the Jensens above is spot on. We met for the tour at 9 or 9:30 and Lale was generous with her time. I think that we were with her until about 6 p.m. The sights, sounds, ferry ride, and locations in several neighborhoods - not to mention the food - were amazing.