Hopefully you’ve been training your feet for all the walking and your stomach for all the eating you’ll be doing in Chicago. The best way to get to know Chicago is through the food, and these four food tours take you through the best neighborhoods and dishes.
Chicago Food Planet
The concierge can’t decide which of Chicago Food Planet’s many tours is their favorite. Brianna Connell, concierge at 71 South Wacker, loves the 3-1-Chew™ tour because it “gives tour-goers a real sense of neighborhood life—plus they stop at Mindy’s Hot Chocolate which is my favorite.” Logan Lawson-Parks, concierge at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, likes the Second City Classic tour because it allows you to learn Old Town’s history through its iconic food. Lawson-Parks also enjoys the Chinatown Adventure tour because you get to experience the culture through five different Chinese restaurants. Chicago Food Planet tours last between two to three hours and involve walking but at a moderate pace and with opportunities to sit for a total of 45 minutes of the tour.
Chicago Pizza Tours
Chicago natives can rarely decide on which establishment makes the best pizza. Douglas Pickett, concierge at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, finds Chicago Pizza Tours being “the best way to sample what Chicago does best—pizza.” Deep-dish pizza is king in Chicago, but with Chicago Pizza Tours you’ll try the best deep-dish, wood-fired, thin-crust, and stuffed pizza the city has mastered along with other styles. You’ll experience icons like Lou Malnati’s and hidden gems like Macello. Tours last three and a half hours. Your feet will get a break on this tour as you travel more than 20 miles on a bus into different neighborhoods.
Chef Driven Food Tours
If you want to find hidden gems and the best food in the city always follow chefs and those that work in the restaurant industry. Joyce Fong, chef concierge at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, recommends Chef Driven Food Tours “because guests come back raving and full.” All the guides on the tours have at least 10 years experience in the restaurant industry as either chefs, owners, or mixologists and have either been born or raised in Chicago. These tours hit many of the culture-rich areas Chicago offers like Pilsen, Little Italy, and Maxwell Street. Try some of the best shrimp since 1917 in Little Village, delicious soul food on the South Side, and discover some of the secret taverns hidden all over the city.
The Barrel Run
It’s hard to fight the desire of immediately hopping into The Barrel Run bus when you see it traveling on Chicago’s streets. Flor Sigaran, concierge at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, admits that it’s just as much fun to visit the breweries on The Barrel Run tours as it is “to ride in the larger than life Barrel bus and surprise passersby at each historic or unique bar.” The elements of copper, brass, wood, and steel highlights brewing and distilling along with the round shape. With over 100 breweries in the Chicagoland area, The Barrel Run gives visitors a great way to visit and sample some of the best ones. The Barrel Run offers three brewery tours and each one stops at three different sets of breweries like Revolution Brewing, Motor Row Brewing, and Smylie Brothers Brewing Co. If you want to sample some of Chicago’s craft distilleries hop on their White Lightning tour to visit Chicago Distilling Company, Rhine Hall, and CH Distillery. You’ll savor every drop.