For millennia, Istanbul has been the connection point for a vast web of places with distinct cultural identities, landscapes, and, of course, cuisines. These disparate influences form the great mosaic that is modern-day Istanbul cuisine, which is so much more than simply “Turkish food.” Question the origin of any dish in a typical neighborhood restaurant and you’ll find yourself falling down a rabbit hole that may lead out to Albania or maybe over the peaks of the Caucasus to Chechnya. On this week-long culinary experience in collaboration with Culinary Backstreets, we’ll be studying the city of Istanbul through its kitchens. We’ll use the simple ritual of a tea break to access ancient crafts still alive today. We’ll cross the Bosphorus, visiting food bazaars on both continents and eating in private homes along the way. We’ll also witness cooking demonstrations in working restaurants and have a hands-on lesson in a private home. It will be a week of constant collision and confluence between the many cultural currents that make Istanbul so unique.
Our partner, Culinary Backstreets: In order to create and curate this unique experience, we’ve partnered closely with Culinary Backstreets, a global guide to local eats that publishes restaurant reviews and features on local culinary culture. They bring these stories to life on culinary tours and special events, offered in 12 cities around the world, and have extensive international experience with all things gastronomical.
Travelers should be reasonably fit and feel comfortable walking 3 to 5 miles each day and remaining on their feet for long periods of time. Keep in mind that Istanbul is a bustling and crowded place!
You should plan to arrive anytime by 3 p.m. on June 8 and depart anytime on the morning of June 15. We’re happy to book you extra nights at the group's hotel and provide suggestions for things to do and see in the city on your own.
Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated, though in most cases ingredients can’t be substituted or omitted from particular dishes. Vegan options are challenging to come by, but if you’re willing to be flexible and miss out on some of the tastings, then you’re more than welcome to join. If you have a particular food allergy or intolerance, please contact us to find out if this is the right trip for you.