Reviews for Tastes of Istanbul

Claudia D.

Kasper is the best. He took us to several places we'd never have found ourselves and we got the best real Turkish food. He knows lots of people around town and everyone seems to like him very much. He speaks fluent Turkish and has a lovely warm way of connecting to all sorts of people, from all levels of society. He took us to his favorite bakery, two small Turkish restaurants, a baklava place...the only one that makes chocolate baklava, and for a tea on the bank of the Golden Horn. We also walked in districts we would never have found on our own and saw where real people in Istanbul live, not just tourists. You will be lucky if you can have him as your tour guide!

Heather P.

My boyfriend and I visited Istanbul for the first time and were very happy that we went on a food tour with Kasper at the start of our trip. Starting from Taksim Square and walking all the way down to the sea, we saw beautiful views and were introduced to many new foods. We learned delicious drinks and dishes that we went on ordering for the rest of our stay. During the subsequent week, we ate at more places that Kasper recommended, and they were terrific (usually better than others we found!). Kasper's tour was also a great introduction to the windy streets and many neighborhoods of Istanbul's Beyoglu district -- it really helped us orient us in this exciting place, and find cafes and beautiful rooftop restaurants we hung out at later in the trip. Kasper was very friendly and we had much interesting conversation along the way. I've already recommended this tour to other friends of mine visiting Istanbul.

Phil V.

This is a way overdue review for Kasper. I have never been to Turkey before and seeing that food is pretty much number one on my agenda when it comes to traveling, I decided to do this tour on my first full day in Istanbul. My friend and I met Kasper for the taste and contrast tour and had a blast. This man knows Istanbul like the back of his hand. Introduced us to restaurants and bars that we wouldn't otherwise know about. We sampled a lot of different things that Istanbul has to offer and it was the perfect beginner's crash course to Istanbul's food scene. The greatest part of the tour was the fact that it didn't feel like we were on a food tour so to speak. I felt like more like a friend who's showing me around Istanbul. If you are looking for a great introduction to what Istanbul has to offer, definitely hit Kasper up.

Veronica

We highly recommend this tour with Kasper! It was a perfect introduction to this amazing city, which has so much on the surface and even more below. There are hundreds of shops selling pide, kebaps, kofte, etc.--it's hard to know which ones are worth trying. Of course, we didn't have time to sample all of Kasper's favorites, but he pointed them out, we took pictures of the store fronts, and came back later. (I recommend noting directions as well, because the streets can be confusing.) Loved ALL of them! He also emailed us an additional food tour itinerary that we could try on our own time. It was involved... it required bus rides, boat rides, and asking locals for help.... all worth it for what was one of our favorite days of truly experiencing Istanbul. We sampled the famous Kanlica yogurt with powdered sugar (ooooh so delicious), the most amazing borek, and more outstanding food all complemented by scenic rides along and across the Bosphorous. In addition to his great knowledge of the food Istanbul has to offer, Kasper is a genuinely nice person--we felt like we were being welcomed to the city. Spending an evening with him was a pleasure as we restaurant hopped, sampling kokoreç, downing beer, and enjoying a nargile.

Danna K.

Kasper was a wonderful tour guide. He took me to places I never would have found or heard of on my own that were all exceptional. I had the best baklava, turkish ice cream, fish sandwich, borek, and too much else to remember. Additionally, Kasper gave me some wonderful recommendations for the rest of my time in Istanbul based on what I mentioned I was interested in. Couldn't have asked for a better introduction to the city.

Amanda L.

Thank you for the wonderful afternoon Kasper! We enjoyed your insider's perspective and knowledge of Istanbul's lesser known spots very much. Our favourite part of the tour was the food! I don't think we would have found all of these wonderful spots on our own. We went back to the "fat" man's cart by the Galata Bridge for a fish sandwish before we left Istanbul...you were right, he did make the best! We would definitely recommend for others to enjoy this tour with you as well.

Brian W.

I took Kasper's tour at the end of a 6-day trip to Istanbul and wasn't sure initially if I would have already seen all I had needed to see. But he showed me many neighborhoods, sites and unique corners of the city that would never have known about otherwise. He brings a great knowledge and enthusiasm for Istanbul that is contagious from the start. Most of all, he tailored a tour that had much variety - from fish sandwiches along the piers to an excellent baklava restaurant to a rooftop tea house/restaurant (I appreciated his photography too, as others here have noted). There was a small glitch towards the end of our afternoon when we got stuck in heavy traffic on what was supposed to be a short bus ride to a pier. But it was clearly unusual and not something one could predict. I ended the day - and my trip - feeling that I had gotten a special perspective on a big and fascinating city.

Matthew B.

This was not our first trip to Istanbul. It is a city that we love to get lost in and make all sorts of wonderful discoveries. Joining up with Kasper was totally amazing. He took us to places we would had not discovered on our own or may have passed by not knowing better. He tailored the route to our interests and tastes and off we went. We spent our evening eating our way thru Istanbul. All sorts of tasty treats from savory to sweet. It was one of our best evenings in Istanbul. To be honest, Kasper has a great personality and is able to make everyone feel comfortable. He is multilingual and well-travelled so it is easy to make conversation with him from the instant we met. This was a great way to really see the contrasts and tastes of Istanbul.

Merve E.

I always think that the foreigners know better than the locals where is best to eat, where is best to have great view. In Istanbul sure you can find many places and tastes but if you have Kasper your company he will take you to best places from baklava to hookah from breathtaking views to less occupied places by tourists. When I met Kasper, he showed me the best places and these places became my favorite ones, and I am really thankful for that! If you wanna enjoy Istanbul and meanwhile taste some great local foods I definitely suggest you to have Kasper as your guide. And as well he will tell you what to do in the city, where to go after and he always has interesting stories and information about the city!! You will not regret ;)

Teddy K.

Our only regret with Greg is that we didn't see him our first day in Istanbul so we could have benefitted from all his insights and great recommendations! He's a truly gracious guy, me us outside the grand bazaar and tolerated what I'm sure must be a bore accompanying tourists around that thick market of souvenirs and wonders. We went off on a meandering tour of interesting nooks and crannies, a tea/smoke house with only locals, delicious grilled mackerel sandwiches with parsley and olive oil, the best baklavas in Istanbul, a side trip to a cafe with wireless so I could make an important call back to the U.S, and ended up in galata, a Greg neighborhood centered around a tower where we climbed up to a breathtaking view of the entire panorama sipping tea and enjoying Greg's engaging company. Highly recommended!

Bart

Kasper is more than just a normal guide being... He'll make you feel flying twenty feets above the pavement...saying you bravely the histoy of the city and a lot of interesting stories about the culture, society, politics and religion. Just trust him and you'll discover all of the contrasts and tastes in Istanbul! Moreover, Kasper is earnestly mesmerized by Istabul and this is why he knows a lot of the unavailable for normal tourist places, which will give you the complete imagination about this unique city of two continents.. I heartily recommend this tour and this person!

Doug V.

Kacper has traveled the world, and he brings that perspective to bear on his magical mystery tour through turkey's chaotic culture clashes. He weaves the food, smells, sight, sound, and history with careful confidence - making sure to answer all your comments, criticisms, critiques, and hunger pangs in (sometimes delicious) detail! Take this tour!

Girish S.

We met up with Kacper in front of the giant statue in Taksim. He proceeded to take us through windy cobblestone sidestreets. We ate, laughed, drank, and hung out. It was awesome, and it felt like an adventure. He also brings a camera to capture the candid moments and amazing vistas. This is the kind of experience you can't get anywhere else. Kasper knows a LOT about Istanbul (and many other places in the world). He's extremely friendly, authentic, and a great guy. If you do ONE vayable experience in Istanbul, I'd really highly recommend this one. Make sure you ask him about his Balik Ekmek guy under the bridge (for 5TL!)

Steve

In the five hours we --parents and nineteen years old son--spent with Greg in September in Istanbul we saw places it would have taken us days to unearth and some we would not have seen at all. Greg was very flexible, adapting the tour to our preferences, but also had us work quite hard, and walk quite far -through hills, elevators and under passages-in our quest for the city's best views, best baklavas, and a great late fish meal. Great itinerary and good company. All three of us loved it--and we are usually a difficult and independent bunch. Greg also kindly provided us with some tips for our following trip to the Bosphorus, which proved excellent. This was our first guided tour ever in many years of traveling. Totally worth it, Serenella Steve and Michael

Los P.

Do you want a unique and unbiased view of a culture? Kasper’s Contrasts and Tastes prevail to allow you to discover the unimaginable. Every vacation doesn’t have to be filled endless lines to enter into some sort of tourist attraction, but can be experienced with unique architecture you wouldn’t normally see and everyday life of living among its citizens. I loved how he knew what time to wonder through the bazaar and what neighborhoods had changed through the years of progress. He gave us an insight at what to look for when wondering around Istanbul and what unique charms it brought to the city. I have added some wonderful photographs to my collection and taking Kasper’s tour made it all the more memorable.

Sara R.

We had a really good time seeing some of the more off the beaten path areas in Istanbul that we wouldn't have found on our own. Kasper is a very knowledgeable and fun guide. The tour is customizable and Kasper was open to our interests. We didn't want to spend too much money on food and he did a good job of taking us to some excellent but inexpensive local food spots. He also took pictures throughout the tour that we can't wait to see - I know they will be great.

Kace M.

Great trip with a great guide, allowed me to visit places that are impossible to explore during a normal sightseeing trip, where you can only see the rich part of Istanbul with it's famous monuments. Here I've seen, also the part where normal people live, which is as much or even more interesting than the rich one. Even after I get bored with sightseeing Kasper didn't let me down. His jolly face and good knowledge of turkish language helped me to reveal the biggest treasure of Istanbul. Namely cheerfull Turkish people. The last thing that made this trip so enjoyable was good food. In my opinion Kasper must be a gourmand. He knows a lot of places where you can taste local cuisine without gettin ill after consuming it:).

Michał Z.

If someone is looking only occasion for having fun better think twice before You pick up this tour.. I do not recommend it especially to some of my friends from Poland ;) Just a large dose of reflections. Amazing!

Dana A.

It is strange how a Polish could know so much about Turkish language and culture. The tour is more or less customized, and he showed me the sights of St Sophie and Sultan Ahmed mosque. I advise women to bring a headscarf for the mosque, but thats it. You dont have to worry about photos, as the lighting in some of the places can be tricky, Kaspar's photographs are really beautiful. I have also taken the tour with Kaspar at the Bazaar and that is also very cool. Ask him to show you a charming coffee shop nearby- he seems to know all the best ones! Have fun!

Paulina S.

one will never understand Istanbul's contrasts and controversies by walking alone on the streets of this amazign city... we got so much out of this trip - great fun, loads of amazing photos, knew places to visit again and planty of educative info. Mark, Gwen and Pete are sending their regards and we hope we will have a chance to meet again :-) it was so much woth it!