TURKEY: Istanbul Gourmet Culinary Tours
Tour Grading EASY: Suitable for travellers with an average level of fitness and mobility
Tour Commences In: Istanbul
Number of Days: 1 day tour
Accommodation: 5, 4 & 3 Star Modern & Boutique Hotels Available on Request
Leaders: Professional Local Chef
Tour Concludes In: Istanbul
Tour Style: Luxury Escorted Small Group Tours
Meals: Lunches; Dinners; as per Tour
Transportation: Luxury / deluxe chauffeur driven air-conditioned private vehicles and local transport
We offer Istanbul Gourmet Culinary Daily Tours that include culinary walks in buzzing bazaars and colouful markets and introduce you to Istanbul's diverse and truly authentic street food stalls with tastings, giving you a better insight in to Turkish Culinary delights and Turkish food.
The taste of Istanbul’s gourmet cuisine lies in its Ottoman past. We say “Oh that is very Ottoman. Today, Istanbul’s cooking combines the best of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It relies heavily on the freshest vegetables, fragrant olive oil, grilling and the flavours of many ingredients. Combined to this Mediterranean sensibility are Middle Eastern notes–lamb, rice, dried fruits, grape leaves and yogurt.
The spicing of Istanbul food too is Middle Eastern: cinnamon and saffron appear in savoury dishes, mildly spicy Urfa and Maras peppers are set out on tables as salt and pepper are abroad. Our cuisine also relies on seafood from a simple grilled Blue fish to rice-stuffed mussels and spicy octopus salad.
Turkish food is not complicated cooking, it is about getting simple cooking absolutely right. We delight in every detail of the preparation, in every stage of its development.
Turkish home cooking classes are aimed at being a full immersion into the Turkish gastronomic culture and include the preparation of real Turkish Dishes.
Each of our venues are carefully selected for their quality and character. Our Chef and guide will ensure that you journey will be filled with wonderful memories.
It is possible for you to do all or some of the culinary tours over consecutive days.
- Experience all the cosmopolitan delights of Istanbul
- Discover speciality foodie shops on the ‘Champs Elysées’ of Istanbul
- Visit the Galatasaray Fish Market to get acquainted with the locals
- Explore the grand Bazaar for a “Foodie Tour” and shop for unusual treasures
- Smell the spices and taste Turkish Delight at the Egyptian Spice Market
- Enjoy delicious tasty treats served in quaint restaurants at reasonable prices
- Enjoy a delicious home cooked meal with a family in their home
- Learn all about Turkish cuisine by participating in a culinary class
- Enjoy a variety of delicious cuisine and regional delicacies
- And more
- Private airport arrival and departure transfers for all guests
- 5, 4& 4/3 star Modern & Boutique Hotels as per your choice
- Hotel porterage (1 bag per person)
- Meals as indicated in Itinerary; B=Breakfast: L=Lunch: D=Dinner:
- Chauffeur driven luxury air-conditioned private luxury vehicle for all transfers & sightseeing
- Fully escorted by Australian t our manager & chef and professional specialised guide
- Admission fees to sights, monument, shows and activities as per the itinerary
- Bottled water whilst touring in vehicle
- An exclusive BT&T travel information booklet
- A: : Istanbul Foodie Tour - Pera:
- B: : Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market Tour:
- C: : Spice Odyssey at the Spice Market followed by a Cooking Class in a local chefs home
- D: : Spice Bazaar & Kadikoy Market Tour with Regional Anatolian Lunch
- E: : Dinner in a Turkish Home
- F: : Three Markets - Two Continents:
All our hotels are excellent four and five star boutique hotels. We highly recommend our hotel as they have excellent services and facilities. All rooms have modern facilities, private bathrooms with double & two twin beds. Triple share accommodation may also be available and consists of two single beds plus a rollaway/fold-up bed.
Climate & Clothing:
In summer the weather in Turkey is hot and humid, the temperature between July and September averaging 82°F (28°C). Summers are relatively dry, but rain does occur all year round. During winter it is cold, wet and often snowy. Snowfalls tend to be heavy, but temperatures rarely drop as low as freezing point. The general rule is to bring comfortable clothing including lightweight cottons. Comfortable walking shoes are essential as is a light waterproof jacket. We provide a detailed packing list to all our guests prior to departure.
Currency & Money Matters:
The official currency is the New Turkish Lira (TRY), which was introduced on 1 January 2005, whereby six zeros were dropped from the TL and the sub-unit New Kurush was created. Travellers cheques can be exchanged at some banks and currency exchange offices, but are not as welcome as cash or credit cards. ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas.
The electrical current in Turkey is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. The European two-pin plug is standard.
You must obtain Comprehensive Travel Insurance as a condition of travelling with Boutique Tours & Travel. We recommend that you purchase insurance at the time of Booking.
Turkish is the official language, but English is widely understood in the main tourist areas.
Our hotels offer a wonderful selection of dishes at their buffet breakfasts with a wide variety of both menu and venue for lunches and evening meals.
Medical Services & Facilities:
Our hotels have access to a doctor if required. They can also assist guests with purchasing of medicine. The international hospitals in Turkey are very good and have western trained medical and surgical specialists. Dental care is also available.
Passports & Visas:
To enter Turkey you require a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry and with at least two blank pages. A visa is required for most guests and will be organised prior to departure.
Pre & Post Tour Accommodation:
Boutique Tours & Travel suggests that you may like to arrive a day before the start of your tour to allow time to relax and refresh. You are also very welcome to linger longer after the tour is completed.
Boutique Tours & Travel has negotiated special overnight rates at this hotel for both pre and post tour accommodation. Please ask for details at time of booking. Local tour guides are also available on request.
We welcome single travellers and we are able to arrange single accommodation. We negotiate strongly to keep single supplements at a reasonable cost. If you wish to share a room, we will endeavour to match you with another single guest and adjust the costs accordingly and refund any costs after you return home. We accept no responsibility for the suitability of a room partner.
Specific requests such as adjacent or connecting rooms, bedding requests, smoking or non-smoking rooms and special dietary needs or any other arrangement should be advised at time of booking. Please note that every effort will be made to secure your special request; however, they cannot always be guaranteed.
Turkey standard time is GMT +2 (GMT +3 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October)
Our small group tours provide you with a good balance of group activity and personal discovery.
We generally use modern deluxe minibuses for tours. We also walk where and when it’s suitable.
Water & Beverages:
Our hotels offer bottled water and bottled water is provided throughout the day. Alcoholic beverages are not included in the cost of this tour except for ‘welcome cocktails’ on the first evening.
A: : Istanbul Foodie Tour in Pera: (B)
Pera is one of Istanbul’s most colourful quarters, every corner of Pera has a different story to tell. Towards the end of the 19th Century the Grande Rue de Pera, with its embassies, churches, schools and art nouveau monuments was the Champs Elysées of Istanbul. The hub of Constantinopolitan high society. Our guide will take you down the Istıklal avenue, showing the interesting turn of the century architectural buildings, arcades, walk through the Galatasaray food market to get acquainted with local products, stop at the pickle shop, spice shop, a typical bread oven, the fishermen, the greengrocer and similar other shops, meet local vendors and learn about how those are used in the Turkish Cuisine, what is in season etc stopping for delicious Turkish desserts, visit a Franciscan Catholic Church and two Modern Art Galleries.
Your walking tour will end with Turkish tea or Turkish coffee at a typical Pera Style house.
B: : Grand Bazaar Istanbul: (B/D)
This morning we have organized a special ‘foodie tour’ in the Grand Bazaar. Enjoy delicious tasty treats served in quaint restaurants at reasonable prices and shop for unusual treasures. We find places you never would have found by yourselves!
We then visit the Spice Bazaar and nearby attractions. This extensive market was built in the 17th century to finance the upkeep of the nearby mosque, Yeni Cami. The bazaar is often referred to as the "Egyptian Market" due to the fact that spices used to come to the market from India and Southeast Asia via Egypt. There is plenty to discover for the "foodie." We will walk through the spice market and stop for spice tasting to learn about the special spices used in the Turkish Cuisine. Then we will visit a special candy shop dated back to 18th century, discover the colorful and tasty world of Ottoman style candies and delights.
This evening we enjoy some real Turkish hospitality and invite you to have dinner in a Turkish home. This evening you will venture where few ordinary visitors ever tread right into the homes of some of the people of Istanbul! Share a delicious home-cooked dinner, enjoy pleasant conversation, delight in the warmth and friendly hospitality of your hosts. Instead of trying a restaurant you will enjoy wholesome home-cooked specialties at an authentic Turkish home where you’ll learn about and appreciate the outlook, aspirations, and way of life of your hosts. Dinner with Turkish Wine upon availability of hosts.
C: Spice Odyssey at the Spice Market followed by a Cooking Class in a local chefs home
We say "Make yourselves at home" and we mean it!
Today Turkey's culinary legacy is a tapestry of tastes and pleasure, seasoned with Ottoman indulgence and refreshed by Anatolian inspiration. Learn the secrets of a cuisine relished within all corners of Turkey but rarely experienced by outsiders. Join us to learn how to make a traditional home-cooked Turkish meal.
- After we meet we will walk through the reknowned Spice Market and stop for a private Turkish Spices Tasting session in a shop that has been there since five generations. A real Spice Odyssey!
- Then you will take a short scenic ferry ride over the Bosphorus to the Asian side of Istanbul. You will join your chef at her home on the Asian side of Istanbul and cook a traditional home-cooked Turkish meal together.
- Dishes are approachable and easy to replicate in your home country. The best part is the conclusion: Tasting your creations!
- For lunch, you will savor what you have cooked! A six course menu you have prepared accompanied with boutique Turkish wines.
- Recipes vary according to the season, utilizing only the freshest ingredients available and providing you with a deeply individual Turkish experience . As a member of Slow Food, the chefs focus is on healthy locally sourced, fresh, artisan, and sustainable food.
- Vegetarian and gluten free Turkish food is not a challenging option for us – it's easy being green and creating exciting Turkish vegetarian and gluten free recipes.
- Upon request Turkish - Sephardic dishes can also be included to the menu
Classes are organized in the chefs Home Kitchen. Instructions are in English or French.
Recipes are geared to the home cook. Detailed recipe booklets are offered to take away and try recipes once back at home.
The groceries and the ingredients are purchased daily and are seasonal and fresh.
A sample menu might include:
- Crispy cheese and herb filled pastry rolls or Flaky Turkish Borek with feta and herb filling or Zucchini flan with feta cheese and herbs
- Bulgur wheat salad- Kısır or Carrots with a garlic infused in yogurt and tahini dressing or Cacik
- Leeks ,green beans, celery root or artichokes in olive oil
- Purslane salad with mint and yoghurt or Green Olive Salad with sumac and pomegranate molasses
- Spicy bulgur pilaf or Tomato rice pilaf or pilaf with Orzo
- Split Belly Eggplant stuffed with meat – Karniyarik or Aromatic Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers with Olive Oil or Zucchini stuffed with meat, rice and herbs in a tomato sauce or Baked Sea Bass with shrimp and vegetables or Eggplant in Earthenware casserole with lamb or Swiss Chard rolls
- Apricots stuffed with Kaymak ( clotted cream) or Roasted Figs infused in honey with bay leaves or Revani - Turkish Semolina sponge cake
COST : USD 125.- per person
Spice tasting session , cooking class and lunch with wine, ferry rides and transportation from /to ferry pier on the Asian side are included in the price.
D: Spice Bazaar & Kadikoy Market Tour with Regional Anatolian Lunch
A gourmet walking tour on two continents - Europe & Asia!
Depart for a visit to the Spice Bazaar and nearby attractions. This extensive market was built in the 17th century to finance the upkeep of the nearby mosque, Yeni Cami. The bazaar is often referred to as the "Egyptian Market" due to the fact that spices used to come to the market from India and Southeast Asia via Egypt. There is plenty to discover for the "foodie."
Then we will take a ferry to Kadıköy on the Asian side of Istanbul from Eminönü and walk through the historical Kadıköy market where there is plenty to discover for the "foodie. This market is one of İstanbul's most colourful, vibrant and accessible shopping spots. Many traders have been in business since the early to mid 1900s and the more famous ones really need no introduction.
We will wander to probably Kadıköy's, if not İstanbul's best-known restaurant amongst gourmets. It specializes in food from the Southeastern region of Turkey, as well as a wider selection of Mediterranean food. This restaurant creates its menu from the kitchen memories of forgotten dishes, lost tastes and wiped -off-cultures which have been carried from hand to hand and from taste to taste. The ingredients used in the dishes travel from the cities of Hatay and Gaziantep to arrive at your plate in Istanbul: aromatic red pepper, pistachios, chickpeas, olive oil and pomegranate molasses. Here we will enjoy a sumptuous meal of dishes by a renowned chef and eventually hear the stories of his signature dishes; Zahter salad, kebab with pistachios, stuffed eggplant, babahannus, and many more.
After lunch we will take the ferry back to the European side.
This is a delicious walking tour in Istanbul! We suggest that you do not have a big breakfast on the day of your tour and that you make no dinner reservations.
Vegetarian dishes are able to be included – it's easy being green and tasting exciting Turkish vegetarian delicacies.
The tour is from 9:30 am to 14:30 pm, ferry fares , tastings , a multi course lunch with a tasting menu offering small portions of many dishes in the restaurant.
Cost : USD 145.- per person
E: Dinner in a Turkish Home
Relive the past with Dinner in a Rum-Ottoman town house
If you are limited for time but would like to sample some real Turkish hospitality, we invite you to have dinner in Annie's typical Pera Style house. This evening you will venture where few ordinary visitors ever tread . Share a delicious home-cooked dinner, enjoy pleasant conversation, delight in the warmth and friendly hospitality of your host.
Towards the end of the 19th Century, the district of Beyoğlu-Pera was an elegant residential district mainly populated by the minorities and foreign diplomats. The very first stone and brick houses were built there. Annie's house is a town house built by her great grandfather in 1880. The architectural style is typical for that period - four floors, with a curving interior wooden staircase, a light-well, a bay window , high ceilings. It has been restored, but a lot of the furniture is in the style of Napoleon III and art nouveau.
Instead of trying a restaurant you will enjoy wholesome home-cooked specialties at an authentic Turkish home where you'll learn about and appreciate the outlook, aspirations, and way of life of your host. This dinner is available with minimum 2 participants.
Cost : USD 100.- per person
F: Three Markets - Two Continents: - Mondays only
We will first meet at the Spice Market for Spice Tasting. This extensive market was built in the 17th century to finance the upkeep of the nearby mosque, Yeni Cami. The bazaar is often referred to as the "Egyptian Market" due to the fact that spices used to come to the market from India and Southeast Asia via Egypt. There is plenty to discover for the "foodie."
Then we will take a ferry to Kadıköy on the Asian side of Istanbul from Eminönü. here we will savor the morning at a Farmer’s Market discovering season’s vegetables and fruits, browsing, and sampling your way through the stalls of fresh produce. You will find produce--fragrant, pristine and bursting with flavor. As you explore the market your senses are filled with the fresh smells, and tastes from the produce, herbs, and flowers.
Our third stop will be the historical Kadıköy Market where there is plenty to discover for the "foodie. This market is one of Istanbul's most colorful, vibrant and accessible shopping spots. Many traders have been in business since the early to mid 1900s and the more famous ones really need no introduction.
For lunch we will introduce you to Istanbul's diverse street food in the Kadıköy market.
This tour will give you a chance to discover 3 different types of food markets in Istanbul, taste delicious Istanbul street food allowing you a glimpse into the daily lives of Istanbuliotes.
The Tour is from 9:00 am to 14:00 pm including ferry fares, tastings , transfers to / from farmers market, street food lunch
Cost : USD 125.- per person
G: SAIILING TO THE PRINCE’S ISLANDS – Full Day Tour: (L)
Today we take you on a unique cruise in the Sea of Marmara to the Princes’ Islands aboard our sailboat as you enjoy the expansive view of Istanbul’s shoreline. After a one and a half hour sailing tour, we will dock at Burgaz, one of the prettiest of the Princes’ islands. The Princes’ islands are where Istanbullus go to escape hectic city life for a day. These islands are an oasis of peace and quiet where the only sounds you will hear are bicycle bells and the sounds of horse hoofs. Horse-drawn carriages and bicycles are the main transportation on the islands.
We will have lunch at a dockside restaurant where the menu will include an assortment of mezes and fresh fish in season. You can even have a swim at one of the creeks around the Princes’ Islands depending on the weather. You will be transferred back to your hotel upon disembarking at the marina.
It is possible if you wish to do all or some of the culinary tours over consecutive days.