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4.5 star rating: Recommended 53 Reviews

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  • Location:Istanbul, Turkey
  • Duration:3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

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

For the true essence of Turkish heritage, eat like a local and explore the streets of Sultanahmet during this guided small-group Istanbul food and culture tour. Step inside a local’s home to meet the family and enjoy an evening experience of Turkish hospitality. The 4-hour night begins with a 3-course dinner of traditional dishes and concludes with an expedition into the backstreets of Istanbul. You’ll witness a backgammon or football game along the way and even have a chance to take a puff from the shisha pipe. People are limited to 12 on this tour, so you can receive more personalized attention from your guide.

Highlights

  • 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!

After you meet your guide in the Sultanhamet district, head by foot to your local family’s home for your small-group food and culture tour in Istanbul. Savor an evening to learn about the heritage of Turkish cuisine and, of course, fill your belly with plenty of home-style delights.

Arrive and meet your hosts as you absorb the delectable smells emanating from the kitchen. The meal of the night will vary depending on available ingredients, but prepare for a 3-course dinner that will leave you satiated. A typical appetizer is a thin soup called çorba (usually prepared using lentils) and a classic entree is minced meat and eggplant served with a side salad and rice. Since Turks have a soft spot for sweets, save room for dessert which includes tasty pastries served with mint tea.

During dining, enjoy casual conversation about a typical day in the life of an Istanbulite. Then, learn more about the food you’re eating as your bilingual guide helps translate with your friendly hosts. After experiencing warm Turkish hospitality, savor the waning moments as you bid farewell to your hosts.

Next, step outside into the evening air for a walk along the lesser known streets of Istanbul where tourists are few and far between. Cruise through neighborhoods with elegant wooden homes and learn about the diverse cultures that led Istanbul to be named the city of a thousand faces. Hear how Turks, Armenians, and Greeks all converged here making this a true east meets west Cosmopolitan city.

Continue to a local joint to meet some cool locals and gaze out over the Marmara Sea. Here, delve into Turkey’s sporty culture and see televised football games and people playing backgammon. Perhaps challenge a local to a backgammon match. The last highlight of the day is a Turkish staple: sipping strong tea and experiencing a rich puff from the shisha pipe. From here you can request from your guide directions back to your hotel or any other location you wish to go.

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!

donald r

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.

Amanda M

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.

andradafrasina

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Excellent tour.

Oliver

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...

emilyshanahan

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.

Amanda D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

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

Edward L

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.

Carol C

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.

ktmack88

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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