Istanbul, Turkey

Delicious Old City

with Tansel K.

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15 reviews

Tansel K.

You might have heard that food is really good in Istanbul. It's especially good in the historical peninsula, the melting pot of Turkey.

After my return from USA, I gained a total of 60 pounds. As I visited the shops, restaurants and sweet makers of Fatih, I couldn't help but taste the amazing food these shops had to offer. The good thing, now I know where you can find this amazing food around the historical peninsula.

Everything from great kebabs to delicious street food, hundred year old shopkeeper restaurants to desert makers. It is there if you know where to look.

Stay away from tourist trap restaurants. If locals are not eating there, you should stay away from them.

Please let me take you to a rollercoaster ride of delicious food. As we eat and walk, I'll tell you about the history of the city and we'll talk about politics, culture and traditions of this country. Don't worry, it takes about 5 years to put on all that weight.

I have done this tour for vegans, vegetarians, families with children and mixed groups. Please let me know your food choices, any allergies you might have and your preference for food, so I can tailor the tour.

The price doesn't include the food. I'll make suggestions on what to eat and you can try them according to your preferences and budget. We typically eat about $25 per person.

Here's a sample tour we did recently that took about 5 hours:

• Historical Sultanahmet Meatballs Shop: Meatballs, ayran, beans salad, halva
• Gülhane Social Center: Toygar soup
• Muhiddin Hacıbekir Candy Shop: Tamarind sorbet
• Kral Kokoreç: Kokorec
• Eminönü Street Vendors: Lokma dessert
• Süleymaniye Erzincanlı Ali Baba: Red beans, rice
• Süleymaniye Hüsnü Ala: Turkish mastic flavoured coffee
• Taksim Fish Market: Stuffed and grilled mussels
• Nevizade Lipsos Restaurant: Grilled calamari, shrimp casserole, feta cheese, melons, eggplant salad, fava, samphire, purslane salad with yoghurt
• Saray Dessert Shop: Künefe, rice pudding, kazandibi

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Tansel K.

I was born and raised in the old city of Istanbul. My family has been living next to the Byzantine Palace of Bucoleon for the last 100 years. After the world war, my grandfather bought the land from our neighbours, the Cagaloglu family. They have been living there since 16th century and gave their name to the district famous for the governors office and newspaper industry. I'm a computer engineer by education and I had the opportunity to work for Fortune 500 companies such as Intel and Qualcomm. My team implemented History Calls, an audio and video guide covering the monuments of the city. For the last six years, I'm a councillor of the city responsible for foreign relations. During my mandate, I hosted numerous guests ranging from Hollywood celebrities to presidents. I always enjoy revisiting the street of the city and talking about it's past, present and it's people. My hobby is magic. So if you are interested, I'll be happy to perform for you during our trips. Full profile

15 Reviews


Tansel was a fantastic city guide, he was very knowledgable about the city, history and food in town. He made it a very enjoyable evening with his tricks and his sense of humor. Tansel was very friendly, funny and speaks impeccable English. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone interested in Turkish cuisine and culture.


My wife and I recently did this tour with Tansel. We were both really happy with our experience. Not only did the day include interesting and varied food items but it also served us as a great orientation tool for our next few days in the city when we were on our own. Tansel spent way more time with us than we had booked him for and explained the history and sights of the city in detail. We would highly recommend him for any istanbul activity.

Beth W.

This was a wonderful experience and wouldn't have been the same with any other guide. Tansel is personable and works with you to develop a plan that fits the sights you want to see as well as any foods you may want to try. We first had tea while sitting on the coast with a beautiful view. We then ate a variety of street food and ended at The Grand Bazaar. We got to see the sights that only the locals see. Tansel is also well versed in the history and development of the city. This was one of my most favorite things the entire time we were here.


We loved this tour, the food was amazing and Tansel is not only a fine connoisseur of Istanbul's food and history but also a passionate and interesting person. He had no problem to take a deviation in the tour for showing us something fascinating that we didn't saw and was really generous with his time. We totally recommend this experience!

Sara S.

We spent 2 days touring Istanbul with Tansel and could not be happier about our experience!! Tansel is an amazing tour guide and will customize a tour to your interests and time frame. For our first day we requested to see many of the main tourist attractions and Tansel happily obliged and helped us navigate an efficient path through the many sights we wanted to cover while still making time to sample some Turkish desserts and coffee. Tansel is incredibly knowledgable about the city and its history and is really great at bringing the history alive and tying together the significance of many of the sights you will see. For our second day we focused much more heavily on sampling as many local specialties as possible and seeing more of the hidden side of Istanbul, and of course Tansel did not disappoint! We viewed beautiful local mosques, sampled delicious food until we were very full and ended by taking the ferry to the Asian side of the city. Tansel provided an unforgettable tour of Istanbul, much of which we could have never seen (or eaten) without his guidance. Our time spent with Tansel was one of the highlights of our trip!! You will not be disappointed with any tour you book with Tansel and will have the wonderful opportunity to see some of the most beautiful and culturally-alive parts of this special city.

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