Chicago is famous for its food. For many people, a trip to the Windy City wouldn’t be complete without a slice off deep dish pizza or a snack involving a hot dog. With this in mind, I knew that one of my missions of my trip would be to explore the city’s food offerings.
Chicago Food Planet offers several daily food tours covering different areas of the city. I had actually done a tour with them years ago, so I took this opportunity to do their Near North Food and Cultural Walking Tour.
This tour is designed to help get you away from the typical Chicago’s eateries while still allowing you to explore some of the city’s best options.
During our trip we explored a local Jewish Deli, a deep dish food place, a tea house, a spice bazaar, a fudge shop and a local bakery. I ate Reuben sandwiches, munched on deep dish pizza, sipped exotic teas and sampled olive oils and smelled fresh cinnamon.
Overall it was an entertaining and tasty tour. In addition to our food stops, our guide stopped us several times on the walk to point out historic sites (such as the original playboy mansion) and to tell us stories of local lore.
Each stop also gave as a unique perspective into the art behind that particular food. At the Tea House we were provided with a tea making demonstration. Our Spice Salesman regaled us with stories of ancient spice trading. At the Oil Store we were given lessons on how to mix up the perfect batch of olive oil and vinegar.
I left the tour quite full and happy with my tastings but also wondering how specifcally “Chiacagoian” this experience really was - is tea a Chicago favorite? Our spices unique to this area? Probably not.
If you are itching for some real classic Chicago eats- this tour probably isn’t for you. But, if you are a local or just interested in learning some fun food facts it will definitely provide an enjoyable afternoon.
Disclaimer: Chicago Food Planet provided me with a complimentery tour in exchange for this review. All thoughts, opinions and expanded waist bands are my own.