Chicago is well known for its delicious regional dishes, such as Chicago-style pizza, but with so much more to discover and sample, a guided food tour is the best way to go.
If you find yourself in the Windy City with a rumbling stomach, there are plenty of excellent hunger-busting tour options available. While deep-dish pizza might be the best-known Chicagoan food, other hearty meals, such as gyro and jibarito sandwiches are well worth a try. There are many excellent Chicago food tours available, simultaneously unlocking Chicago’s culinary secrets while exploring its streets. Here are the best five food tours, based on many factors, including the price, itinerary, and value for money.
Chicago Favorites Ultimate Food and Walking Tour
Exploring the culinary delights of Downtown Chicago, this three-hour tour will initiate you into the ways of the Windy City’s finest pizza, beer, hot dogs and brownies. You’ll also get the chance to visit landmarks such as Millennium Park, the Chicago River and the Palmer House Hotel. The walk is a gentle 1.5-mile (2.4-km) loop, perfectly doable on a full stomach and an ideal way to burn some calories as you consume them. All food tastings are included in the price. Tours run from Weds to Mon, and less frequently in colder months. From $63 per person.
Chicago History and Food Tour
Chicago’s River North was once an industrial region, but since the 1930s it has become well known for its dynamic shopping and dining scene. Try some of the classic regional dishes here, starting off with a Chicago-style hotdog (with delicious neon green pickle relish on a poppy seed bun), and not forgetting the filling deep-dish pizza. At this point, a little stroll might be necessary to work up an appetite for the final round: an Italian beef sandwich and a dessert, washed down with a beverage of your choice. You’ll learn about the history of how these foods became Chicago classics along the way. This tour runs daily. From $59 per person.
Taste of Chicago Chinatown Food and Walking Tour
Chinatown in Chicago has formed an important focal point for the city’s Chinese population since the early 20th century. A great way to learn about Chinese culture is to access it first through the food. This tour will help you explore this fascinating corner of Chicago, digging out the best restaurants and sampling plenty of delicious food. You’ll also discover how varied Chinese cuisine can be, via the excellent Szechuan hot pot, dim sum dumplings from the Cantonese speaking regions of the country, and spicy meat sandwiches from Xi’an. This tour runs only on weekends. From $63 per person.
Chicago Westside Food Tasting Bike Tour
A great alternative to the walking food tours is this excellent cycling tour, which allows you to travel further to reach the lesser-known diamonds of the Chicago food scene. You cross the Chicago River, cycle through Fulton Market meatpacking district, to the Ukrainian Village. Then hit the 606 bike trail into Lincoln Park and the Lakefront Trail. If that wasn’t impressive enough, you’ll also have food tastings thrown in along the way: Mexican tortas, Polish pierogis, craft beer and a sweet, French dessert, perfectly highlighting the city’s multicultural influences. From $85 per person.
Chicago Loop Secret Food Tour
This food walking tour of Chicago is especially popular due to the smaller size of its groups. Over three hours a maximum of 12 people will be treated to some of Chicago’s classic dishes, including the Chicago hot dog topped with seven different items. Note: Ketchup ain’t one of them. You’ll also try both an Italian beef sandwich and a deep-dish pizza. Towards the end of the tour, wander through Millennium Park to try a salty chocolate dessert while enjoying the city skyline from the Art Institute. From $194 per person.