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4.5 star rating: Recommended 53 Reviews

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  • Location:Istanbul, Turkey
  • Duration:4 hours (approx.)

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

Visit a typical Istanbul family household for a home-cooked meal, and then explore the backstreets of Sultanahmet with a guide, meeting locals and experiencing popular Turkish pastimes. A fascinating insight into Turkish hospitality and culture, the 4-hour evening tour is the perfect experience if you want to discover Istanbul as the locals know it. Feast on a 3-course meal, explore off-the-beaten-path streets, and enjoy a football or backgammon game. There’s even an option to try smoking a shisha pipe!

Numbers are limited to 12 on this small-group tour, ensuring personalized attention from a guide.


  • 4-hour Turkish food and culture tour with an expert local guide
  • Visit a typical Turkish family home in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet neighborhood
  • Feast on a 3-course home-cooked meal while chatting with friendly hosts
  • Learn about the city’s cosmopolitan culture while exploring the backstreets
  • Take part in popular Turkish pastimes: football, backgammon, drinking tea or smoking a shisha pipe!
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of 12 people ensures personalized attention

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

If you would love to try Turkish home-made food and get more involved with the locals, then this tour was made for you!

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

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

Try smoking a shisha pipe in Istanbul!

Meet your guide in the Sultanahmet area of Istanbul, and then stroll through the streets to visit a local family, learn about traditional customs and, most importantly, sample some of their home-cooked cuisine.

Dinner is ready and waiting, so after meeting your hosts, tuck straight into the food. Ingredients vary, but expect a 3-course meal featuring tasty dinnertime staples that are cooked in many Turkish homes. Classic dishes include a thin soup called çorba (often made with lentils) or a main meal featuring minced meat and eggplant with rice and salad. Turks are known for having a sweet tooth, so expect sugary pastries paired with mint tea for dessert.

While enjoying your food, chat with your friendly hosts about life in Istanbul, hearing about the city, its culture and cuisine. While little English is spoken in the household, your bilingual guide will help translate, letting you experience the famous Turkish hospitality first hand.

Bid your hosts a fond farewell, and work off your food with a stroll through the backstreets, away from the main tourist sites. Have your camera ready to capture photos of picturesque wooden houses, and learn about the city’s different residents and the sub-cultures that exist. Often called the city of a thousand faces, Istanbul is as cosmopolitan as cities come, populated by Turks, Greeks and Armenians, among others.

Visit a popular local hangout to enjoy views of the Marmara Sea and get to know the friendly locals. The area is a popular spot for football matches and backgammon games, so join in with them if you wish! Finish your tour by enjoying two of the country’s favorite pastimes: tea drinking (own expense) and shisha-pipe smoking. If you need directions back to your Istanbul hotel, simply let your guide know.

Customer Reviews

Jenna H
United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

EXCELLENT tour. Good food, a wonderful guide who was a great interpreter. I had such a good time! SO WORTH IT!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

A wonderful experience with a very friendly and informative guide. The dinner host was very hospitable and the food was simple but delicious! My fellow tourists were also a great bunch. Sadly I fell prey to scam artists whilst in Istanbul and lost a considerable amount of money. I would recommend that visitors to Istanbul only use reputable tour agencies such as Viator.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Better than expected! I am always skeptical of organized tours, but this one caught my eye. We were a group of 6 with our guide, Himet. She was very friendly, open to any questions, and offered us great conversation. We had dinner in the home of Sarai, with her 3 kids helping out with the serving. The food was excellent, and we really felt we were getting a glimpse of normal life, away from all the tourist show. The hosts were gracious and also happy to entertain our questions. After dinner, we walked to a nargile garden for another Turkish experience. Himet then walked us back to the meeting spot, and then ended up walking and talking me back to my hotel, which was close to her tram stop. I'm really glad I did this! We walked to and from the home - a short walk on hilly/cobbled streets, so you'll want appropriate shoes.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Excellent tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Being the only one on this tour, my guide Tolga as well as my host family made me feel extremely welcome indeed. This is a fantastic way to be able to meet with locals, learn about their customs, enjoy traditional Turkish food, and revel in the culture of it all. I highly recommend this food and cultural tour to anyone visiting Istanbul...

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Lots of fun! The meal was delicious yet humble, served in the home of our beautiful host. Then it was vargîle (water pipe) time! It was great to mingle with locals.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

Our tour guide was excellent and we were able to experience some true Turkish culture.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Great experience. Being able to meet a local family and be in their home was a wonderful experience, unlike most tours.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

This was my 4th trip to Istanbul and this tour (dinner with a local family in their home) was the highlight. I love Istanbul; there is so much to see and do. But this was an experience that is harder to come by and gave a better view of life there. Our questions were answered and our host was very gracious and a good cook.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2015

One of the best tours we took part in while in Turkey. Our guide was extremely informative and helpful. The entire tour feels relaxed, casual and far more authentic than standard tours. Definitely something different to do from rushing to various landmarks. A very memorable experience.

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Tour code: 5966HOMECOOK


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