Met in front of the Markets, couldn't have asked for a more knowable foodie! Renan knew all the right places and was a pleasure to met! Would definitely recommend to anyone planning on going to Turkey!
Turkey is a beautiful country with lovely people. Selin and her ladies do a wonderful job of filling you with local knowledge and leave you with a feeling that you've been blessed with true Turkish hospitality. We are a family of six that visited in early July right after the Ramadan holiday. We spent two days with Turkish Flavors. One day in a cooking class/ spice tour and the other touring the Kadikoy Market and having an exceptional lunch. The first day we had Renan guiding us through the Spice Bazaar and then off to the cooking class, where we met Daria (another exceptionally sweet woman) who helped with our class. On the second day we met Taciser who guided us through the Kadikoy Market where we tasted many foods and learned a lot of interesting things about shops and ingredients. We ended that day with a wonderful lunch filled with many options! At the end of each day we felt like they all went above and beyond to make sure we had a memorable day! They took their time, we never felt rushed, and everything was planned out very well. This is something you must do if you are visiting Istanbul!
Neibi V. Australia
I am an Australian woman travelling alone in Istanbul and as is usual in a new city, struggling a little with the language and the etiquette. I thought I would try a little day tour to make myself feel more at home and Turkish Flavours is so highly regarded it seemed like the obvious choice. And I love the way food and fresh seasonal produce are so much a part of the culture in Europe. Booking the tour was super easy and the directions to the meeting place very easy to follow as well! I arrived a little early to look around Eminönü and Renan spotted me straight away and immediately put me at ease with a friendly Merhaba!. As it was still early, the markets weren't too crowded yet as we had a short stroll to the spice shop but It was great to have a local to lead me through the labyrinthine market stalls! I was so in awe of all the colors and smells and sounds I know I would have gotten lost otherwise! I must admit, when I chose this tour, I was skeptical about how interesting spices could be but within about 45 seconds my mind was blown!
These are seriously amazing flavors! Both familiar and exotic, rich, complex and fresh. And as I am discovering- Turkish people will talk to you like an old friend within minutes, we had lots of fun! We spent half an hour at the spice shop with the lovely people there to answer all my questions and make recommendations of things to try.
After this Renan lead me around the busy local laneways and as we walked, At each point of interest Renan had some relevant trivia which she wove into the conversation naturally. And We laughed as we saw many cats emerging from stalls, tripping over the shoppers and sitting in seemingly uncomfortable places - like a tiny orange kitten sleeping peacefully on a pile of sharp agricultural blades for sale! We of course stopped regularly to sample some local foods - börek, ayran, and pide, hand rolled dough and baked before my eyes! (After nearly 3 weeks in Istanbul - it is still the best I've had, so I can assure you if Renan says its her favorite - it must be good!) it was only an hour into the tour and it was becoming apparent I was going to eat a lot of delicious food so I had better pace myself! We took a ferry to Kadiköy and wandered carefree through the markets there, and the boutique stores selling incredible Turkish treats! We sampled the most amazing produce and street foods on the planet as we wove through the streets before having a leisurely lunch with yet more amazing and culturally rich foods! And of course Renan accompanies each course with a story too! Anyway this review is very long winded but I wanted to tell you about the experience as a whole - you will see in the reviews below that the food is absolute perfection! But it's more about getting the loving attention of a local to give you a real sense of life in Istanbul, both past (as the history is very rich) and present (as it is continually evolving). It was the little touches like recommending local galleries/museums and places of interest and making sure I knew where the loo was (often a rather inconvenient mystery in Europe!) that made it all the more special. At the end of the tour I did indeed feel better equipped to get around this magical city! have signed up for the cooking class which I am looking forward to as well!
Just finished our food tour through the spice bazaar and the Kadukoy market with the enthusiastic and very knowledgeable Ms Taciser. Stuffed to the gills with tastes of so many stunning foods, starting with breakfast (after our hotel breakfast!), then on to tastes of borek, fried mussels, sheep cheese matured in goat skin, baklava, spice mixes for every type of dish, followed by a superb 10 dish meze, finishing with ginger and lemon goats milk ice cream, and an amazing candied pumpkin sweet with a candied olive! We drank pomegranate juice, fresh green drinks, yoghurt drinks, Turkish coffee and chai, and even pickle juice. And this is only what we remember! Plus we are carrying home a tonne of Turkish delight like you have never tasted. All of it was fabulous... foodie heaven. Yum! And made all the more delightful by our bubbly guide. Don't miss the chance to do this tour in Istanbul.
My sister and I recently took the spice bazaar and Kadikoy market tour with Taciser and we were extremely lucky that the tour went ahead with just the two of us booked. It was a fabulous way to taste all the things we saw, safe in the knowledge that we now knew what they were - even if that was intestines! It was a really fun and informal way to find out all about Turkish cultures and eating habits. More than that, Taciser was happy to discuss all sorts of other issues from politics and immigration and we left feeling that we had spent the day with a local friend. I totally recommend Taciser and this tour to travellers to Istanbul. Don't have a breakfast and eat a light dinner the night before!
George S United States
As a professional chef on my first visit to Turkey it was extremely important to make sure that my limited time of being exposed to Turkish food and culture was maximized. I have used food guides in the past and had high expectations. I came across Turkish Flavours in a number of publications and found them to have favorable reviews, to be honest no review I read was adequate enough to describe the wonderful experience I encountered. The owner of the company, Ms. Selin, was extremely well organized from the very beginning ,her follow-up to my inquires about their offerings, to calling my hotel to ensure I had arrived safely and double check our arrangements ,it was customer service at its best. My guide, Ms. Taciser, was on time, energetic and totally concerned with my needs and goals for the day. She was extremely fluent in English and the all things culinary. It was obvious that she had a passion for food and cooking and it was infectious. Her relationship with the vendors and restaurants in the Spice Market and the Food Malls was exceptional. They obviously respected her and were happy to answer all my questions with a smile and a sample. The day was perfect in every way and I can truly say it was a bargain when considering all that I walked away with in knowledge and cultural understanding.
Trip Advisor website
The day started with a short trip to a shop in the spice bazaar for a spice tasting then a ferry across the strait and a car ride to an apartment. Then we cooked and ate lunch. The group size was small and the staff did a great job making sure everyone was involved in the cooking and a small booklet of recipes was provided. We had a fantastic time. The stop in the spice market for a spice tasting seemed gimmicky and I felt tired of it shortly after it started. Otherwise it was a great activity. I would recommend it to a friend.
Trip Advisor website
My friend and I did the Spice Bazaar/Asian Market tour with Taci as our tour guide, and it was the highlight of our visit to Turkey. Our only regret is that we didn't do it sooner in the trip, to utilize all the great learnings for the rest of our stay. We got to sample dozens or spices in the market, try bites of different Turkish meats, wander the streets and eat fresh veggies, local cheeses, desserts and other delicacies. Not only that, but we were able to ask Taci about the culture and other questions we had while traveling the country. Her English was perfect. What an enjoyable day. Make this a part of your trip--and book in advance to make sure you get a spot on the day you want!
Trip Advisor website
It's been almost three weeks since we completed the Explore Turkish Flavours tours with Selin Rozanes - just wanted to make sure that what we said was not biased by the immediate afterglow of the experience. This was a once in a lifetime experience where you get to experience another nation's history, culture, and cuisine with a front row center seat with an added backstage pass.What makes the tour so special is the personal involvement of Selin. She not only makes the arrangements but personally participates in the activities and makes changes to the planned itinerary depending on local conditions or desires of the participants. For those readers not available to participate in this twice a year event, the spice market tour and the cooking class at Selin's home were both parts of this tour are not to be missed.If you're a foodie, it doesn't get any better than this!! If you decide to take this tour make sure you are up for days that are full of activities that require walking and a disciplined appetite. Selin also help us with arrangements for excellent tours in Istanbul for days prior to the tour that allowed for us to adjust to a seven hour time zone change and see some of the city sights not included in the tour.
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