Are you a foodie? If your answer is, YES! Here I will introduce you to one of Istanbul’s best food tours, Yummy Istanbul.
For me experiencing a new country isn’t only about visiting historical places. A very big part of its culture is hidden in its cuisine. Food is a way of communication, it doesn’t need language and can gather a whole community together around one table. Think about all the conversational tidbits that come up when talking about food. The coziness and quality time spent around a table is priceless.
So, you've come to Istanbul, knowing about the incredible cuisine of Turkey, but you're not sure where and what to eat, or the best locations to experience it. This is where Yummy Istanbul comes into play. As a Food Tour Agency, Yummy has been conducting food tours in Istanbul since 2013. Their dedication to their work has earned them thousands of five-star reviews from tourists visiting Istanbul from all around the world.
What to Expect on the Tour
There are simply no words to describe how wonderful my experience was with Yummy Istanbul. I participated in the Taste of Two Continents Tour, and it was absolutely worth every penny. The experience was not only about the incredible foods we tasted, but also about the energy, enthusiasm, and fun atmosphere that our tour guide provided. As we wandered around, the guide also introduced us to historical places, sharing interesting stories about past events, which gave us a comprehensive overview of Istanbul.
My favorite part of the tour was the food variety. We visited 10 different destinations and tasted dishes from all across Turkey, spanning from the far East to the far West. It wasn't solely about Istanbul's cuisine; instead, we sampled dishes from Antep, Mersin, Antakya, Bursa, Maraş, and more. This culinary adventure was accompanied by mouthwatering desserts, plenty of Turkish tea, and coffee.
Taste of Two Continents
As implied by its name, this tour whisked us from one continent to the other, including a ferry ride in between. But before embarking on this gastronomic journey, let me give you a small tip: make sure you arrive hungry because you'll be eating for hours. I would advise against overeating while touring; otherwise, you might lose your appetite for the later stops. Now, here's a brief summary of our journey.
Firstly, we kicked off our day with a traditional Turkish breakfast, handpicked from the Egyptian Bazaar located in the Historical Peninsula of Istanbul. Then, we moved to a different location, where we were introduced to an unfamiliar type of breakfast, predominantly popular in the eastern regions of Turkey.
Next, we crossed the Bosphorus on a ferry and immersed ourselves in the vibrant atmosphere of Kadıköy. There, we had two separate lunches at two incredible locations. As you may well know, no food tour is complete without tasting Iskender, a dish from Bursa. We had our second lunch at one of Kadıköy’s best home-cooked meal restaurants, "Çiya Sofrası". This was my favorite spot, as everything they brought to the table was simply mind-blowing. We were served an array of mezzes, side dishes, kebabs, freshly baked bread, and mouth-watering desserts.
After indulging in these delicious flavors, it was time for a stroll. We wandered around Kadıköy and were introduced to several authentic locations. Of course, that wasn't all. It was then time to delve into popular street foods. From Tantuni to Kokoreç and stuffed mussels, we sampled the best-known highlights of Turkish street food.
Finally, we ended our day on a sweet note. We headed to an ice cream parlor, where they make authentic Turkish ice cream from Maraş, prepared with a special ingredient to prevent it from melting as quickly as regular ice cream. This was the last stop on this incredible food tour, which I highly recommend to tourists seeking a comprehensive overview of Turkish food and history. Enjoy, and as they say in Turkey, Afiyet Olsun!
-by Julide Koca