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- Get a taste of Chicago’s most famous food in one of the city’s most historic neighborhoods
- Discover why locals have so much passion for their very own Chicago-style hot dog
- Enjoy a slice of pizza taken to a whole new level in deep dish form
- Tap into Chicago’s immigrant roots with a bite of Italian beef from one of the city’s original vendors
- Share delicious dessert in a local setting well off the tourist track
Lonely Planet Experiences: Chicago Food TourThe ultimate foodie adventure in Chicago’s historic River North!
- Additional food and drinks and tips/gratuities for your guide
What to Expect
This foodie adventure in Chicago’s historic River North area is guided by a local who can show you the best spots for some of the city’s most loved dishes. From deep dish pizza to Chicago-style hot dogs, this tour will leave you filled with delicious local foods as well as some insider knowledge into the city’s culinary history and culture. The tour starts with a well-known Chicago dish: the Chicago-style hot dog. Perfect for summers at a baseball game (cheering on the Cubs or Sox, of course), or for a quick lunch on a workday, this local take on a hot dog is a debate-worthy food in Chicago and is taken very seriously by locals. Every Chicagoan has his or her own preference as to how the dog should be made, and you’ll get a chance to try your guide's favorite version.
Next up is the world-famous Chicago deep-dish pizza! An entire meal unto itself, this staple of the Chicago food scene originated in River North in the 1940s when workers and families needed filling dishes at low prices. Your guide will take you to a pizza place that’s an icon to Chicago natives to try the real deal for yourself.
After you’ve filled up on pizza and hot dogs, the tour will walk through two more establishments, each one essential when it comes to Chicago’s food culture. One is a sight to behold — this uniquely Midwest phenomenon is filled to the brim with kitsch and 1950s retro love, and you have to see it to believe it. The other stop is a restaurant born in Chicago and recognized by nearly everyone on earth. This location is something special, with impeccable design elements, a live vertical garden, solar panels, and a beautiful atrium.
The tour continues the tasting journey with a classic Chicago sandwich: Italian beef. This hearty meal came about during the Depression, and it’s here to stay. You’ll sample this sandwich in a real city institution — no-frills decor included! Finally, it’s time for something sweet inside a truly local hangout. Your guide will show you to one of the oldest establishments in the city — either a classic Italian restaurant or a local watering hole with deep Prohibition roots. Here, you’ll enjoy a dessert with the opportunity to relax and purchase a beverage of your choice. The tour concludes here, with easy access to the ‘L’. Even if you say you’ll never be hungry again, don’t forget to note some great dinner recommendations from your guide. You won’t regret it!
Pickup: Historic Water Tower (outside the entrance), 806 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611
Frequently Asked Questions
Departs at 1:00pm from the Historic Water Tower (outside the entrance), 806 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611
A central location in the River North neighborhood near the Chicago Brown Line “L” Station.
Comfortable walking shoes, extra cash for tip.
Dress standard: Please dress comfortably and casually in weather-appropriate attire. Wear comfortable shoes for walking.
Your Trip: You will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people. This tour runs year-round and will proceed rain or shine unless such weather constitutes a dangerous situation.
Closure of sites: In the event of road or attraction closures, your guide will do their best to work around the obstacles or take your tour to alternate locations.
Child Policy: This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above.
Dietary Notes: The tour can accommodate vegetarians and other dietary restrictions.
Exclusions — Prices do not include:
- Tips and gratuities — If you are happy with the services provided by your local guides and drivers, a tip — though not compulsory — is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many the tour's destinations. Please consider this when budgeting for your extra expenses on your tour.
- Items of a personal nature — These may include snacks, meals, and drinks not outlined as an inclusion in the inclusions section of the tour description.
- Baggage and personal insurance — It is highly recommended that each traveller obtain adequate insurance for their travels, including for the Urban Adventure(s) they have booked.
- Local taxes and fees — Unless otherwise stated, the price does not include any local taxes or fees, including foreign departure, security, port charges, park fees, customs, immigration, agricultural, passenger facility charges, or international transportation tax.
Travellers must adhere to the start time set out in the product information on their voucher. We start on time, so please allow enough time to be at the start point before your official start time on your voucher. If you know you are going to be late, please contact us on the phone number on your voucher and we'll do our best to help you catch up. If a traveller hasn't arrived on time and without any contact, the tour will consider the traveller to be a "no show" and the tour will start without them and no refund will be provided. The following start point(s) are outlined in the tour information and on the confirmation voucher:
- Pick-up — If a pick-up is included in the tour, the times the service will be provided are listed in the product information and on the voucher (for example, 8.30 to 9.00am). The traveller should wait in the lobby of their pick-up point during the designated pick-up times.
- Meeting point — If a meeting point is set for the tour, one time will be set as the start time (for example, 8.30am). The traveller should be waiting at the designated start point at the designated start time. It is recommended that you arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the tour.
Cancellations by the traveller: Cancellation fees – Cancellation fees may apply to any cancellations by the traveller of a service provided by The Operator. Unless otherwise specified, the cancellation policy is as follows: Cancellations for set tours and made more than 48 hours prior to travel receive a full refund; Cancellations for set tours made 48 hours or less prior to travel require the traveller to pay for the tour in full, and no refund will be issued. Cancellations for custom itineraries ("Create Your Own") are as follows:
- 60+ days to departure – Full refund
- 59 - 31 days to departure – 50% cancellation fee
- 30 days and under to departure – 100% cancellation fee
Cancellations by The Operator: They may cancel a tour at any time prior to departure if, due to terrorism, natural disasters, political instability, or other external events it is not viable for us to operate the planned itinerary. If we cancel your tour, you can transfer amounts paid to an alternate departure date or, alternatively, receive a full refund. In circumstances where the cancellation is due to external events outside our reasonable control, refunds will be less any unrecoverable costs. We are not responsible for any incidental expenses you may have incurred as a result of your booking, including but not limited to visas, travel insurance, or non-refundable flights.
In the case of customers travelling on a Multi-City Explorer Pass, if a tour is cancelled by The Operator, the traveller will receive a refund for the cost of that trip only, and only if the total value of tours booked with the pass at the end of the 30-day period is less than the total price paid for the pass. If a tour is cancelled by The Operator and the value of the bookings with the pass are equal to or greater than the value of the pass, the traveller will receive a 25% discount on a future single tour booking.
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