Eat Like a Local: Istanbul Food and Culture Tour with Dinner at Local Family Home

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
Destination: Turkey, İstanbul, Istanbul

Check Availability

  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Istanbul
  • E-Voucher
  • Lowest Price
  • Cancellable


Visit a typical Istanbul family household for a home-cooked meal, and then explore the backstreets of Sultanahmet with a guide, meeting locals and experiencing popular Turkish pastimes. A fascinating insight into Turkish hospitality and culture, the 4-hour evening tour is the perfect experience if you want to discover Istanbul as the locals know it. Feast on a 3-course meal, explore off-the-beaten-path streets, and enjoy a football or backgammon game. There’s even an option to try smoking a shisha pipe!

Numbers are limited to 12 on this small-group tour, ensuring personalized attention from a guide.

Meet your guide in the Sultanahmet area of Istanbul, and then stroll through the streets to visit a local family, learn about traditional customs and, most importantly, sample some of their home-cooked cuisine.

Dinner is ready and waiting, so after meeting your hosts, tuck straight into the food. Ingredients vary, but expect a 3-course meal featuring tasty dinnertime staples that are cooked in many Turkish homes. Classic dishes include a thin soup called çorba (often made with lentils) or a main meal featuring minced meat and eggplant with rice and salad. Turks are known for having a sweet tooth, so expect sugary pastries paired with mint tea for dessert.

While enjoying your food, chat with your friendly hosts about life in Istanbul, hearing about the city, its culture and cuisine. While little English is spoken in the household, your bilingual guide will help translate, letting you experience the famous Turkish hospitality first hand.

Bid your hosts a fond farewell, and work off your food with a stroll through the backstreets, away from the main tourist sites. Have your camera ready to capture photos of picturesque wooden houses, and learn about the city’s different residents and the sub-cultures that exist. Often called the city of a thousand faces, Istanbul is as cosmopolitan as cities come, populated by Turks, Greeks and Armenians, among others.

Visit a popular local hangout to enjoy views of the Marmara Sea and get to know the friendly locals. The area is a popular spot for football matches and backgammon games, so join in with them if you wish! Finish your tour by enjoying two of the country’s favorite pastimes: tea drinking (own expense) and shisha-pipe smoking. If you need directions back to your Istanbul hotel, simply let your guide know.

  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Home-cooked dinner, tea and soft drinks
  • Use of a shisha pipe

  • Gratuities
  • Extra drinks at the teahouse
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Please be aware that the standard of dress through out Turkey is conservative. To respect this and for your own comfort we recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees for both women and men. Turkish people do not wear shoes within the home so we suggest easy slip on shoes be worn. The weather in Istanbul is highly variable depending on the time of year. Winters range from freezing cold to extremely hot and humid in summer (June, July and August).
  • This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.
  • Maximum group size is 12.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
  • All tours follow the latest local health authority advice, including mask usage and social distancing. Urban Adventures has received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels stamp, which recognises companies that have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols.
Departure Point

Pudding Shop Lale Restaurant, Alemdar, Divan Yolu Cd. No:6, 34400 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey

Departure Time

6:00 PM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point

Voucher info

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.


3 hours 30 minutes

If you cancel at least 4 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
If you cancel within 3 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.

User's Reviews

Tomislav M

20 Apr, 2018

This is a tour that you must take if you want to see and experience real Istanbul. Our guide Ayse was perfect. Huge knowledge and understanding of culture. Our little group was very interesting. Family where we had dinner was perfect. We really felt like we came to friends for dinner. This was for sure highlight of our visit to Istanbul.

vibhore k

27 Jan, 2018

It was amazing to visit the family, sit, chat and dine. to my luck there was only 1 more person who signed up for this trip and he did not show up. so it was only me !! the host Seray was a very nice and humble lady and i met her daughter and a few relatives. it was like you are visiting your own family. we spoke about each other, shared stories and had a lot of fun. special thanks to my guide Tolga who is such a nice and knowledgable person. he helped not only translate but also told me a lot about turkish history. ask for him if you are planning this tour. i highly recommend.


04 Dec, 2017

Tolga was an excellent guide - very knowledgeable in history and answering our questions. Wonderful cultural exchange dinner with a Turkish family. So hospitable and super food!

Athena C

06 Oct, 2017

This was the one thing we did that made the trip worth all the cultural shock that followed in the shops and on the streets. Do bring a gift for the family. We were remiss in this. Our guide was more than just helpful. He followed up on suggestions for navigating our way for our extended stay in the tourist and shopping locations throughout the city. The food was thoughtful and the family kind and welcoming. As two women traveling alone it was a wonderful introduction to Istanbul. Our guide pointed out the best locations for photographs, Bosphorus rides, local foods, and unlike the remainder of our stay, we felt safe and confident exploring the quaint cobblestone streets with this knowledgeable, conscientious guide. Thank you, Süleyman Erköse!

Stephanie A

18 Sep, 2017

this tour was eye opening, and such a cultural experience. the host family was probably one of the sweetest families I have ever met. We got to eat in her home, met her children, and learned about her lifestyle and what a day in the life entails.
We LOVED this.

User's Picture Gallery


My mother in law trying out

laughing and smoking together - not easy!


at the shisha bar

waiter showing us how to smoke


Tea time

it was fun watching us server us all


stuffed aubergine

these were so good!


shisha pipe

Getting serious...


Serving tea

refilling our glasses


Our host serving tea

the end of our evening at her place


our host bringing bread

getting us started for the meal


My father in law

Trying on smoking the shisha


More tea coming up!

Tea tea tea time!


Lentil soup

A yummy start


In the kitchen

Our friendly host!


Dinner at our host

Enjoying our evening


bread and yogurt.

Main course, with meat stuffed aubergine and rice


bread and meze

Traditional meze starter


with our host.JPG

At the end of our meal


Tour group with guide and host family at dinner


Enjoying shisha pipe at local tea house


a fine spread



My fellow diners

a mixed group but all from Canada


the scene

The lady of the house and cook


Our Wonderful Hostess

This lady is a great cook.


Similar Packages

Other Populars

Some popular Sightseeing Tours, Activities, Hotels and Holiday Packages.

Turkey - SightSeeing Tours and Activities View All

Istanbul - Where To Stay View All

Istanbul - Holiday Packages View All

Istanbul - Top Tourist Attractions View All