Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Eat Like a Local: Istanbul Food and Culture Tour with Dinner at Local Family Home. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
I cannot rate this tour highly enough. It was an amazing experience to basque in the local culture and eat with a lovely family. I would say that a trip to Istanbul (and Turkey in general) is incomplete without a traditional meal with a family.
The young tour guide was inexperienced but made up for that by being very personable. The actual experience was excellent and our hosts were gracious and the meal a fine example of what to expect in a Turkish home. The visit to the Reggae Cafe was unexpected but interesting and gave us another insight into how cultures are influenced by others halfway around the world, in this case by Bob Marley.
We met with our guide and the other customers, and walked across the Hippodrome up to smaller streets where our host lived. Our host lived in an apartment and guided us to a main room, where we sat on cushions on the ground. Helped by her kids and a neighbor, she served us traditional meal, with soup, meat aubergine and then some tea. It was a great evening, though having to sit on floor was a bit hard for senior like me. The evening was not over as our guide brought us to a shisha bar, where we gave a try to a shisha pipe! It was pretty nice, to my surprise, and we could definitely feel the apple flavor, It was a very nice evening, definitely enjoyed it, and would recommend it.
Very nice welcome, and I really appreciated all the different culinary tastes, and the tea experience. Some hip troubles made it a bit tough to sit on the floor comfortably but the evening was very nice and the host family welcoming, even with the language barrier
We first walked through touristic area before heading to less busy ones where we met our family. This family was originally from the South East of Turkey, where it is custom to eat seating on cushions. A good full meal, with soup, aubergine, rice, bread, meze and tea! Friendly family that made us at ease, welcoming us 12 in their small living room. We then went to a shisha place where we all tried on smoking the shisha (individual end pipe provided!), with the waiter showing us the ropes. Though I am not a smoker, it was fun and the apple flavor we chose was nice
We met out guide close to the Sultanahmet station and headed through the Hippodrome to less touristy part of town. Going up the building, we met our host for the night, together with her kids and friends who were helping her for the night. We all sat on the floor on cushions, the 12 of us eagerly awaiting the festivities. We were first served with some yummy lentil soup and bread, followed by rice and aubergine stuffed with meat. All the meals were very tasty, definitely home-made quality! Our host then served us with Turkish tea, which ended our dinner. She was very friendly and made us feel at ease in her house. Though we could not communicate properly, her genuine smile, together with hand-gestures, was more than welcoming. I sneaked into the kitchen to see her realm, where she did cook our delicious meal and get tea ready! Her kids being there made it out all very lively too, as eager to learn about us as we were to learn about them, We then headed to another part of town for a shishah evening - it was fun to see the waiter preparing and showing us how to use the narguile. Can't say I did a good job at it, but definitely tried and it was a good laugh and experience. Would definitely would recommend this tour
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.
United Arab Emirates
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!!!
It was fab, the family were wonderful, the guide was great and I would highly recommend
You get an impression of what life in istanbul is about and can ask all the questions you have.
Personally I had a great guide who told me a lot and had answers to all my questions.
Also the food had been very delicious and beeing typical turkish rounded up the cultural tastes.
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.
Just did this last week and it was a very funevening! I was the only one with tolga (the guide), most likely because it was off season. Really enjoyed my meal with the family. The mom was so sweet and the lil kids entertaining. They didnt speak eng as it was forewarned but the guide did a good job of mediating conversation. One neice was there, spoke eng, and I ended up getting along really well with her and even hung out with her the following days. It was a perfect start to my weeklong trip. Would recommend this to everyone!
Amazing night...great food, company and the local family/kids wanted to know as much about us as we did about them!