Istanbul also offers a wide array of regional and specialty Turkish dishes. Here are a few that you should definitely sample, many of which can be found on the street or on a Turkish food tour . Kebabs - Do Turkish kebabs really need an ... 

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2014

The sightseeing with Omar as our tour guide was excellent. Omar was very informative and entertaining. The tour kept to time and was very professionally arranged. We had enough time to explore the attractions without being rushed. We would love to do it again and recommend to anyone who likes to tour Istanbul's highlights in one day.
The dinner show was very good. The entertainment provided was excellent . The host who came on for the final act was very good and kept the party going to a very exiting tempo. It is unfortunate we didnt get his name.However the dining area was a little too cramped with all tables being placed too near where the waiters had hardly any roomto move about. Would have preferred a bigger dining area. The food provided and the show was good value for money.

Doing what: Istanbul Super Saver: City Sightseeing Tour plus Turkish Dinner and Show

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

The lady did a fantastic job of providing good local food and a comfortable setting in very humble living environment. Be prepared to sit on the floor!
The guide was a nice guy but was tired and did not provide a very good tour on the way to the apartment for the dinner. All in all, if one wants to see how the average person lives in Istanbul, this is highly recommendable experience.

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

We had a great day with our private tour guide. He was very knowledgeable about all the places we went on the tour and about the history of Istanbul and Turkey. He was very friendly and we enjoyed the tour very much. We really liked visiting the historical sights in Istanbul and the food was very good in the restaurant where we stopped for lunch. In short, it was a very enjoyable day and the guide was great!

Doing what: Private Tour: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour including Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

This was perfect for us. The company picked us up as scheduled and got us back to our hotel as promised. Because the driving in Istanbul is fast and furious and there is a lot of gridlock, we had to walk a couple of blocks to meet the driver (someone came to the hotel and walked with us) and walk a couple of blocks back on the return trip. This wasn't a problem for us but may be for those who have difficulty walking. Otherwise the tour was good, food was great (!) and the guide and assistants friendly and knowledgeable. Thanks to them and to Viator for providing this service.

Doing what: Bosphorus Strait and Black Sea Half-Day Cruise from Istanbul

Prezzman
United Arab Emirates

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

The 'Eat Like A Local' tour is definitely one of the highlights of our trip.

Our guide Saleh met us at a mutually agreed location. Saleh is a very young, hard working, knowledgeable and energetic young man. He was able to answer our queries and provide suggestions for our remaining time in Istanbul.

The tour takes us to a typical home of a Turkish family. The home we went to was nice and cozy, and the people there were very welcoming. As soon as we had arrived, around 7:00pm, the host started laying down the food for our dinner. Saleh was acting as a translator throughout.

For starters, the had served a salad, which I was told is usually served around all the restaurants in Istanbul, but this had to be the best tasting salad that I would have had during the trip. This was followed by Dolma, the traditional dish of bell pepper or vine leaves stuffed with rice. The servings were plentiful to the point that I was unable to finish all that was served. The dinner concluded with servings of traditional Turkish tea. The food was delicious and I would have definitely made a second visit if I had the time during my trip.

My wife and I were traveling with our daughter, 2 years of age. Because of our daughter, we decided to skip the smoking of the shisha pipe. Instead, Saleh took us to a coffee shop and offered us coffee and snacks.

What I enjoyed most about this tour was the fact that we get to see and understand how people live their daily lives. The traditional Istanbul hospitality that you hear of is clearly evident during this visit. Definitely worth the time spent on this tour!!!

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

We got to see everything a tourist wants to see before leaving Istanbul in one day. But, the best part was the night show. It was fantastic, the audience was into it, the food was good, and the service was great.

Doing what: Istanbul Super Saver: City Sightseeing Tour plus Turkish Dinner and Show

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2014

Great day tour which covered all the "big" attractions you can visit in Istanbul.
The very friendly guide gave you more than enough information about all the sights and you were comfortable transported in an air-conditioned mini-bus.
Included food was delicious and typical turkish, still don't know how it could be so cheap.
Really recommend this tour especially to first-time visitors.

Doing what: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2014

This was our chance to meet some real residents of Istanbul. Our tour guide was good company with his intimate local knowledge and enthusiasm for his city. We enjoyed our family meal, which although basic, typified the food eaten everyday. Our walking tour was interesting and ending in a shisha bar was a new experience for us.

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

Be prepared for a very long day however this tour is well worth it. Pickup from your Hotel at 6 am and drop off back to your hotel close to midnight. About 5 hours drive to Gallipoli and then another 5 hours back to your hotel in Istanbul. A few things in regards to Neon of which we were not happy about. As we booked this tour with Neon we expected a Neon Tour Bus to pick us up. However, the Tour group that took us was Hassle Free Tours. The guide (Munt) did not speak to us much at all on the 5 hour journey to Gallipoli only to tell us when it was time to have a break and what time to be back on the bus. When we finally arrived in Gallipoli another Tour Guide (Murat) took over and then it started to get a lot better from there. We had lunch (which was okay) before we set off on our tour around Gallipoli. Murat was excellent, spoke very good English, had a great sense of humour and his knowledge on the history of Gallipoli is very extensive. He gave us a great insight and an unbiased account of the strategies they used and how these soldiers suffered through this sad time. We started from the beginning right to the end and took in all the important landmarks. About 6pm we headed back to Istanbul - quite exhausted - and arrived back at our Hotel around midnight. The drivers both ways were excellent. However just a heads up that the food in these road side services doesn't look too appetising and if you have a sensitive tummy you are better off bringing some of your own snacks (we had bananas etc). Well worth it.

Doing what: Small-Group Gallipoli Day Trip from Istanbul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2013

The tour guides were fabulous, professional and knowledgeable. Very service oriented. Logistics in Turkey were very well done. The cave hotel in Cappadocia (MDC) was a highlight of the trip. The manager, Mustapha, was super accommodating, from opening the restaurant early for our departure to arranging a balloon ride, everything was taken care of in a prompt, efficient, and kind manner. The food at MDC was excellent and staff were top notch. 5 star service!

The only downsides are:
1) The 4-star Grand Onder Hotel in Kusadasi was not up to 4 star standards. Buffet was not good, rooms worn down, maintenance sketchy, and swimming pool questionable. There were lots of much nicer places in town.

2) We wanted a balloon tour of Cappadocia. This was not included and we need to arrange this on our own.

3) Viatour was supposed to get us back to Istanbul. They couldn't find a connection to get us to the airport in time for our next flight. We needed to book this on our own and found a corresponding flight quite easily on the web. Not the full service one would expect for a tour of this price point.

Doing what: 6-Day Small-Group Turkey Tour from Istanbul: Pamukkale, Cappadocia, Ephesus and Hierapolis

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2013

Our trip to Istanbul in September was FANTASTIC. One of the most memorable moments of this week-long trip was the night of September 6th when we visited a Turkish family and had a GREAT meal with them. The food was simply delicious!!! There was enough food for you to have a second serving. I sure took advantage of that opportunity.
The family was lovely. We were allowed to asked any questions and they were answered honestly. The children were a pure delight.
Semih and his partner were wonderful tour guides. They helped to translate, but one of the little girls was able to practice her English on us. She was pretty good considering she is just learning how to speak it.
After dinner, Semih took us to a local cafe where we drank tea, used a shisha pipe and played backgammon. There is no need to worry if you don't know how to play backgammon, Semih is a wonderful teacher.
If you visit Instanbul, this is a MUST tour to take. It's inexpensive and trust me when I say that you will love it!!!

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

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2013

My wife and I had a wonderful tour experience with our guide Gulay. We not only had a relaxed touring experience of visiting the sites we wished to see, but we learned a lot about the Istanbul area and its people. One of the many highlights was the opportunity to chat over lunch at a Turkish restaurant and sample local food. As our time in Istanbul was limited this tour was a great way to appreciate Istanbul. We would highly recommend the tour and our very proficient guide, Gulay.

Doing what: Private Tour: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour including Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2013

This tour was wonderful led by a very lovely, informative and professional guide named Yuke. Yuke led our small group of five in and out of the major Istanbul sites displaying her love and enthusiasm for this wonderful city. She provided us with historical information as well as her own insights. Her dialogue was not a memorized set of facts it was a conversation with us, always welcoming our questions and input. The restaurant she took us to for lunch had a wonderful view and delicious food. This tour was terrific.

Doing what: Istanbul Small-Group Walking Tour: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2013

We booked this for our first night in Istanbul, hoping it would be a good way to familiarize ourselves with the city while also taking care of dinner. The tour accomplished both objectives, and then some!

It was so much more fun than we had expected. Our guide Selma did a great job of making the evening enjoyable for us and the other couple on the tour.

In addition to getting a tour of the Beyoglu nightlife, we got a tile game lesson in a traditional tea house, a charcoal grilled kebab on a hidden rooftop terrace, kokorec with hot peppers, melons and fresh cheese as we were serenaded with live gypsy music, and topped off the evening with tripe soup at a streetside table.

The food was great, but what made the tour special was the experiences. I don't think we could have found some of these places and experiences on our own, especially not the first night.

I highly recommend this tour.

Doing what: Istanbul by Night: Turkish Food Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2013

Omar our tour guide and we had a Blast! He is very knowledgeable and kept us moving at a comfortable pace. I think this was a great way to see and Feel Istanbul! I loved the Bazaar and Haggling with the store owners! Food was great ! Thanks for the Memories! We took tour on Mon, as we toured Hagia Sophia on Sun on our own , so it was great to see the Chora !

Doing what: Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

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