One of my great passions in life is to learn deeply about a cultures of the world. I do this mainly through meeting locals in the places I go, and by learning deeply about their cuisines. Not only do I want a general overview of the food, but I want to try foods that make my taste buds explode, these tend to really show the soul of a culture. I’ve been enjoying Istanbul for a few weeks, but up until this point, I hadn’t had many dishes that really impressed me until my food tour with Private Istanbul Walking Tours. The company tends to tailor make its tours depending on their customers desires, and with me it was no different. I reached out to the owners Furkan and Derya who were happy to put together a adventure of food and drink that simply rocked my world!
The tour started out with a pickup by Furkan and Derya on the European side of Istanbul.
We then drove to the Asian side and made our first stop at a gorgeous restaurant with stunning patio where we had a traditional Turkish breakfast. They really chose to start with a bang! We sat down and very soon our food started to arrive, which was a massive assortment of items. Very luxurious indeed. I’ve had Turkish breakfast several times and it’s always good, but this was a step above. The quality of each bite made my head explode, exactly what I was after. Not only did everything taste good, the service, and presentation were also top-notch.
Whether it was the Pişi (fresh donuts), the perfectly seasoned Sucuk (dry spiced sausage), the wide variety of unique jams, or the bold local cheeses, each bite made me want to keep eating more and more, and I did.
Our next stop included a stroll which helped us to digest the glorious and massive breakfast feast we had just finished. They chose a lovely nearby park which included a small cafe where we enjoyed a coffee and a lovely chat about our personal history as well as Turkish cultural. This park was absolutely filled to the brim with cute cats. We learned that the people of Turkey are happy to take care of them, and because their lives are so good, behave like super friendly house cats. Istanbul is a paradise for feline lovers!
The next stop was a local everyday Turkish restaurant which focuses on specifically grilled meats. The restaurant has one purpose, extremely rich and tasty food! Each item, once again, was simply fantastic. I feel deeper into bliss with each bite of Çiğ Köfte (Bulgur, onion, tomato paste, hot red pepper paste, urfa biber, salt), the Kelle Paça Çorbası (soup with can include beef or lamb head, feet, and stomach), kebab, or the Katmer dessert (fried layered bread filled with clotted cream and pistachios.). I am definitely going be returning to this place in my days ahead!
To finish the impeccable food tour we made our way to a small sweet shop in Kadıköy. This was yet another glorious place. We tried the caramel sundae and paired it with tea. The cotrasting textures throughout the dessert were a delight for my mouth. Not only did the dessert look lovely, it tasted lovely.
The day went off without a hitch! The customized food tour with Private Istanbul Walking Tours was very close to perfect, and I’ve been on dozens of food tours worldwide, so don’t take this lightely! Wink. Owners Furkan and Derya were great tour guides and I especially liked their insight into Turkish culture, history, and culinary knowledge. If you want a truly special tour with great people who truly know what they’re talking about, contact Furkan and Derya at Private Istanbul Walking Tours!