Kick of your Istanbul food walking tour by meeting your guide by Taksim Square in the district of Beyoğlu formerly known as Pera. Begin by strolling beside your guide and gain insight into the food history of this area and the treats you will be sampling shortly.
Arrive at a popular burger depot and taste the renown islak burgers. Watch as they prepare these ‘wet burgers’ by covering their buns in a tomato-garlic gravy and are then store them in a heated glass case to soak. Bite into this burger and savor its mouth-watering goodness.
Next, promenade down Independence Street to the ‘Flower Passage’ or Çiçek Pasajı. Check out this covered walkway and the nearby Nevizade Sokak arcade that bustles with popular meyhanes, Turkish bars. Drop in and let your guide pick the best starters to sample such as soslu patlıcan salatası (salad with eggplant) or patçanga böreği (rolls with melted cheese inside).
Continue down corridors through the fish market to a top notch grill house called Dürümzade. Here, you will relish the same freshly folded dürüms (kebab wraps) that chef Anthony Bourdain tasted in his hit TV show, No Reservations. Munch on this crispy flatbread filled with a juicy meat filling. It’s sure to satisfy.
From here walk to a coffee house and enjoy a strong cup of traditional Turkish coffee. Learn about the Turkish heritage of kahve falı, where after finishing your coffee you use your leftover grounds to read your future. Try it by turning your cup over and interpreting the shapes that the grounds create. An example is a fish-shape which means a new love.
Your night concludes with a platter of delectable meze at a trendy joint. Enjoy dolmas, yogurt with herbs and wash it all down with a local shot of raki, an anise-flavored liquor. After learning a ton about Istanbul’s underground street food, end your walking tour back at the same starting location and wish your guide a good evening.