Street food is one of my favorite ways to learn a new city. Normally I just discover it on my own, but I had heard amazing things about Culinary Backstreets and decided to get a insider’s view of one of the oldest markets in the world, the Grand Bazaar. Our guide, Ugur, is a native Istanbul resident and even let us try some “off tour” foods on request. Even though I had been to the Grand Bazaar before, I learned so much about the history of specific foods, and found new favorite dishes! This was my first food tour but it won’t be my last.

Here’s a look at what I ate to whet your appetite!

*Culinary Backstreets provided me with a complimentary tour, but all my opinions are my own.