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

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

star-4.582 Reviews
|
Fatih, Turkey
Safety measures
icon3 hours 30 minutes  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds
Safety measures
icon3 hours 30 minutes  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

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Why you are seeing these recommendations

Safety measures
icon3 hours 30 minutes  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Overview

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.
  • 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 Travelers Choose This Tour

Experience local hospitality with a Turkish family on this small-group tour—and munch on home-cooked local treats.
Saved to wishlist!
Local English-speaking guide
Home-cooked dinner, tea and soft drinks
Use of a shisha pipe
Gratuities
Extra drinks at the teahouse
Pudding Shop Lale Restaurant , Alemdar, Divan Yolu Cd. No:6, 34400 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
6:00 PM
This activity will end right where it started.
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.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Please be aware that the standard of dress through out Turkey is conservative. To respect this and for your own comfort we recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees for both women and men. Turkish people do not wear shoes within the home so we suggest easy slip on shoes be worn. The weather in Istanbul is highly variable depending on the time of year. Winters range from freezing cold to extremely hot and humid in summer (June, July and August).
  • This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.
  • Maximum group size is 12.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Effective Sept 1, 2021, travellers 18+ must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Children 6-17 must present a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or lateral flow) conducted maximum 72 hours prior, proof of recovery dated up to 9 months or proof of vaccination. View full policy at urbanadventures.com/vaccine.
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Intrepid Urban Adventures - Turkey
You can cancel up to 4 days in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 4 full days before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 3 full days before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 3 full days before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Eat Like a Local: Istanbul Food and Culture Tour with Dinner at Local Family Home?
A:The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Eat Like a Local: Istanbul Food and Culture Tour with Dinner at Local Family Home.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Eat Like a Local: Istanbul Food and Culture Tour with Dinner at Local Family Home?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Eat Like a Local: Istanbul Food and Culture Tour with Dinner at Local Family Home.

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Traveler Tips


  • "when i ordered this i thpught it would be interesting to eat with a loal, turkish , family and learn aout culture, cuisine etc." See review
  • "One would expect a lavish Turkish spread given the strength of Turkish cuisine." See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
82 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

We perform checks on reviews

Showing 1-10 of 82 reviews
star-3
Istanbul Food & Culture Tour
Thomas Z
, Nov 2019
Food was definitely not acceptable. One would expect a lavish Turkish spread given the strength of Turkish cuisine. Location was also not acceptable. The saving grace was the hookah session. Mainly waste of money
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-3
was nice but a bit dissapoing
ITAY_S
, Oct 2019
when i ordered this i thpught it would be interesting to eat with a loal, turkish , family and learn aout culture, cuisine etc. instead we arrived to a poor house with cobwebs. the woman was very nice but the other memebr with the family - her husband and 3 children were not attended. we sat on the groud on pillows with thbe shows outside the food was very tasty! then we wallked to drink turkish coffee and play backggamon - was nice.
star-5
This is a tour that you must take if...
Tomislav M
, Apr 2018
This is a tour that you must take if you want to see and experience real Istanbul. Our guide Ayse was perfect. Huge knowledge and understanding of culture. Our little group was very interesting. Family where we had dinner was perfect. We really felt like we came to friends for dinner. This was for sure highlight of our visit to Istanbul.
star-3
Idea is great tourist attraction but...
Jami
, Feb 2018
Idea is great tourist attraction but there is a room for substantial improvement by the organiser. Firstly except the mother the host family though present in the apartment neither joined the dinner nor discussion which negate the slogan of dine with local family . Secondly due to space constraints in the apartment though we were only two seating for dining was on the floor which was bit uncomfortable and without prior disclosure. Thirdly the so called three course dinner was served in one go and was cold and blew average quality. Lastly it is too pricey even giving the margin that idea is to support the chosen family with additional income. However since share of the family in the price appeared to be nominal therefore gave them gift/tip wroth 75 TL.
star-5
It was amazing to visit the family...
vibhore k
, Jan 2018
It was amazing to visit the family, sit, chat and dine. to my luck there was only 1 more person who signed up for this trip and he did not show up. so it was only me !! the host Seray was a very nice and humble lady and i met her daughter and a few relatives. it was like you are visiting your own family. we spoke about each other, shared stories and had a lot of fun. special thanks to my guide Tolga who is such a nice and knowledgable person. he helped not only translate but also told me a lot about turkish history. ask for him if you are planning this tour. i highly recommend.
star-5
Tolga was an excellent guide - very...
richesposito
, Dec 2017
Tolga was an excellent guide - very knowledgeable in history and answering our questions. Wonderful cultural exchange dinner with a Turkish family. So hospitable and super food!
star-4
A nice experience. We were a group...
AdaM_O
, Oct 2017
A nice experience. We were a group of 6. The guide escorted us to a family house. A woman - lower middle class- lives there with her 3 kids and her husband. We enjoyed the traditional meal in a local house as well as the conversation. However, the conversation was more among us the visitors than with the woman and her kids due to language barriers. Overall a good experience.
star-5
This was the one thing we did that...
Athena C
, Oct 2017
This was the one thing we did that made the trip worth all the cultural shock that followed in the shops and on the streets. Do bring a gift for the family. We were remiss in this. Our guide was more than just helpful. He followed up on suggestions for navigating our way for our extended stay in the tourist and shopping locations throughout the city. The food was thoughtful and the family kind and welcoming. As two women traveling alone it was a wonderful introduction to Istanbul. Our guide pointed out the best locations for photographs, Bosphorus rides, local foods, and unlike the remainder of our stay, we felt safe and confident exploring the quaint cobblestone streets with this knowledgeable, conscientious guide. Thank you, Süleyman Erköse!
star-5
this tour was eye opening, and such...
Stephanie_M
, Sep 2017
this tour was eye opening, and such a cultural experience. the host family was probably one of the sweetest families I have ever met. We got to eat in her home, met her children, and learned about her lifestyle and what a day in the life entails. We LOVED this.
star-5
We only had an overnight stop in...
Lisa Marie C
, Jul 2017
We only had an overnight stop in Istanbul and this was a perfect choice for dinner. The host family was gracious and the guide was like a friend. He also walked with us around the Hippodrome and showed us the outside of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia while sharing historical information with us. This part of the tour was more of a bonus, as this could be done without a guide, but the traditional Turkish dinner in the home of a local Kurdish family was really special.
star-5
Great tour. It was a nice way to get...
Rachel F
, Mar 2017
Great tour. It was a nice way to get to experience the city. Our tour guide, Tolga, was very knowledgeable and gave us helpful tips about how to spend our time in Istanbul. definitely recommend!
star-5
The tour was very good. We arrived...
Divya_M
, Jun 2016
The tour was very good. We arrived at our host's home to a very warm welcome. The food especially the lentil soup was amazing. The conversations with our guide about Turkey were very illuminating as well.
star-5
The family was friendly and made me...
Antonia S
, Mar 2016
The family was friendly and made me feel welcome and it was nice to sit and talk with them, and the guide was extra special with his friendliness, I was impressed.
star-5
EXCELLENT tour. Good food, a...
Jenna A
, Oct 2015
EXCELLENT tour. Good food, a wonderful guide who was a great interpreter. I had such a good time! SO WORTH IT!
star-4
very good tour guide friendly...
Lillian A S
, Oct 2015
very good tour guide friendly family - we met the mom and two daughters - youngest daughter spoke some English interesting to see a room in a Turkish home
star-5
A wonderful experience with a very...
donald r
, Oct 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.
star-3
We thoroughly enjoyed this tour...
LA C
, Oct 2015
We thoroughly enjoyed this tour although we only ate with the lady of the house who had cooked us a great meal. Her husband was at work and although the children were present they didn't join in the meal which was a disappointment. As we had expected to be with an entire family.
star-5
Better than expected! I am always...
Amanda M
, Sep 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.
star-5
Being the only one on this tour, my...
Oliver
, Aug 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...
star-4
A brilliant opportunity to...
Shenaz W
, Jun 2015
A brilliant opportunity to experience some of the local culture and cuisine and walk the back streets.

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