When you join one of our trips, we want you to have peace of mind.
For millennia, Istanbul has been at the junction of a vast web of geographies with distinct cultural identities, landscapes, and, of course, cuisines. These disparate influences form the great gastronomic mosaic that is modern-day Istanbul cuisine—which is so much more than“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 to Albania, or maybe over the peaks of the Caucasus to Chechnya. On this week-long journey in collaboration with Culinary Backstreets, we’ll study the city of Istanbul through its kitchens, using 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, 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.
The cost of this trip is $3,280, based on double occupancy.
You’re in good company. Solo travelers typically make up about half of our small groups. With curiosity at the center of our experiences, there’s a natural camaraderie that develops over the course of a trip. We have two options for you:
Shared Room: You’ll be matched with another solo traveler of the same gender.
Private Room: Have your own room, subject to availability, for a supplemental cost of $520. When booking, please select the single room package option.
Travelers should feel comfortable walking three to five miles over the course of 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 Day 1 and depart anytime on the morning of Day 8. We’re happy to book extra nights for you 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.
Visa requirements for Turkey vary depending on traveler citizenship. Please check requirements for travel to Turkey and any countries passed through in transit. A passport is required for international travel. We recommend your passport expire at least six months after your return home.
Joining this trip directly supports the unsung heroes of the kitchen—hardworking, independent people running some of the most economically vulnerable businesses in the cityscape who, through their daily working life, preserve local traditions embedded in food. Aside from the financial support that comes from your trip fees, you can contribute to the preservation of community spirit and memory by sharing the stories of the places and people we visit, and honoring the traditions we encounter along the way.