Bazaar Sights, Scents, Tastes
Markets and Gastronomy Across the Bosphorus
Istanbul Food Tour
Can this tour be adapted for vegetarians or celiacs?
Yes, please indicate any dietary restrictions in the tour notes and your expert guide will adapt the tastings accordingly.
What is included in the tour?
Various food tastings are included during the tour from sweet to savory. Ferry tickets to cross over to Kadıköy are not included. Your expert guide will help you purchase these during the tour.
Where does the tour begin and end?
The tour begins at the Spice Bazaar (on the Historic Peninsula) and ends at the Kadıköy Market. Your expert guide will provide you with instructions on returning to the Historic Peninsula or to another destination at the end of the tour.
Is this tour suitable for clients with mobility issues?
This tour is not walking intensive. The Spice Market is accessible to visitors in wheelchairs, however, the ferries and the Kadıköy Market are more challenging. If you have mobility concerns, please contact us to discuss the best option for your needs.
An architect by training, Aylin studied the conservation of historic structures in Turkey, Italy, and the UK. She practiced architectural conservation for thirteen years in her own office, and later became the manager of the Turkey Cultural Heritage Project conducted by The Ministry of Culture and World Bank. Eventually, her passion for travel and food led her to write on the latter, and since 2003 she has written a weekly food column at Cumhuriyet, a prestigious national daily. She contributes to various food magazines and was a jury member of the Slow Food Award 2000-2003. Aylin contributes to Terra Madre and Presidia projects as the leader of the Ankara Convivium. Additionally, she consults for Channel 4 and appeared in the Istanbul episode of ‘Food Lover's Guide to the Planet,' a documentary by Gourmet and broadcast by National Geographic TV. She won the Sophie Coe award on food history in 2008 for her article "Poppy: Potent yet Frail," presented previously at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery where she has become a regular presenter. Lately she contributed to the Food Cultures of the Word Encyclopedia entry on Turkey and is the curator of the Culinary Culture Section of Princess Islands’ City Museum. She is happy to unite her expertise in archaeology and art history from her previous career with her unbounded interest in food culture.
Having lived the “best 20 years of her life” as a magazine editor for two lifestyle and decoration magazines, Vizyon and Vizyon Dekorasyon, Hulya knows the Istanbul lifestyle by heart. During those years, she developed an irreversible interest in food and invested her time extensively on it - food became an inseparable part of her life. She read and wrote on food culture, as much as she cooked and shared the fun with family and friends. Her major network TV show, “Lezzet Yolu”, was the first program to combine cooking with different facts on food. She also contributed to various magazines, such as The Guide Istanbul, and has continued to write on food for an art magazine, Milliyet Sanat Dergisi, for the last 12 years. Hulya was the field coordinator of the Istanbul episode of "Food Lover's Guide to the Planet", a documentary for Gourmet magazine, broadcast by National Geographic TV. She is the Istanbul correspondent of Chicago-based Passport Newsletter, has published a book called “Dilim Gülümsüyo!” on food culture, and is working on a second book. She also teaches magazine editing at Bilgi University.
Banu Özden is a graduate of Business Administration from Clark University in Worcester, MA. She started her career at Bertucci’s Brick Oven Ristorante in Boston, as the kitchen manager. She returned to Turkey and started working at Istanbul Culinary Institute as Director of Educational Programs. She continued her work at The Culinary Arts Center, where she worked on several projects promoting Turkish cuisine including a website, lectures and culinary trips. She has participated in several symposiums in New York, Oxford, Tours, Mexico City and Dublin where she talked about different aspects of Turkish cuisine. Currently she is an instructor at culinary arts departments of İstanbul Medipol University, teaching history of Turkish cuisine, and a student of Sustainable Tourism Management Master’s program at the prestigious Bogazici University. She is also writes her own blog called Spoon in My Pocket where she talks about food and shares recipes. She has been designing and leading walking food tours around İstanbul and in gastronomy capitals of Turkey since 2009. She is a regular columnist for a bi-monthly food magazine called Food in Life.
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