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.
United States of ...
EXCELLENT tour. Good food, a wonderful guide who was a great interpreter. I had such a good time! SO WORTH IT!
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.
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.
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...
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.
Our tour guide was excellent and we were able to experience some true Turkish culture.
Great experience. Being able to meet a local family and be in their home was a wonderful experience, unlike most tours.
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.
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.
Good way to interact with a true local and understand their way of life. A must do for the socially responsible tourist as this also benefits people who need it.
We loved this experience and it was our best vacation activity. Our guide was very sweet, accommodating and well informed. The guest home was warm and friendly. The food was delicious, the conversation was very interesting and the the woman who made our dinner was so happy to have us as guests in her home. I would highly recommend this tour!
This was the best expirience, there is nothing fake - the family is real and when you are at home there, you feel like visiting frends. Great ! We were little sorry, that haven't no small presents for the kids.
Fantastic evening. Really lovely, well informed and friendly guide. Very welcoming family who provided us with a banquet and did a special vegetarian version at my request. Enjoyed the hookah smoking in the bar! Felt like a really authentic experience and was excellent value for money. Would recommend to anyone!
Really enjoyed this evening - very interesting to go to local Istanbul house and eat outour guide was very friendly and interesting - telling us about local customs and life in Instanbul. It was also fun to meet other travellers and hear what they were doing - we had a nice time together at dinner and then went on from the house to have coffee or tea out at a cafe
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!!!