Chicago is a city that loves to eat. With classic Chicago food groups such deep dish pizza and the Chicago dog, paired with many ethnic cuisines, it is no wonder why. All of these food options can be a little overwhelming. Let us help. This is a food tour comparison post, sharing some of the top rated food tour companies according to TripAdvisor, and analyzing what guests have shared about their experiences.
Tours focus on different neighborhoods, cuisines, classic Chicago foods, while sharing some of the unique history that has shaped the Chicago food scene. Whether on foot, bike, or vehicle, experience the city firsthand, and taste some of the best food that Chicago has to offer. With different themes, schedules, and prices, chances are you will find a tour that sparks your interest. While some tours are seasonal, there are many options for any month of the year and any appetite.
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CHICAGO CLASSIC FOOD TOURS
Many tour companies have complied stops that highlight some of Chicago’s most famous dishes. During these tours, experience some of the best food in different parts of the city while learning why these foods are such a city staple. Chicago is famous for a few foods, such as deep pizza.
Second City Classic by Chicago Food Planet
Taste test some of the best food that Chicago has to offer on this 3 hour tour! Chicago Food Planet brings locals and tourists to explore the vibrant Near North area. Enjoy seven different stops as you indulge in classics such as deep dish pizza, and try restaurants known only to Chicago. Not only will you learn about the Chicago food culture, but enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides will be sure to point out famous and historical architecture along the route, and eagerly pass on tips for local attractions.
Chicago Food Planet is the second ranked tour company on TripAdvisor, with a radiating 5 star rating based off of almost 3,000 reviews! This Second City Classic tour in particular has received positive feedback, often from couples and groups of friends, with a few families with teenage children. Guests praised this tour, calling it educational and entertaining. Led by energetic guides, this tour has pleased local Chicagoans and those that are just passing through the city. It is a great way to experience more than just the downtown streets. Beginning with a hearty slice of deep dish pizza, this tour spreads out different food samples that many reviewers found to be a very satisfying lunch. From those who experienced it themselves, this tour is highly recommended.
Taste Chicago Food Tour by Tastebud Tours
Wander through the streets of downtown as you indulge your taste buds with some of the best Chicago classics, such as deep dish pizza and an Italian beef sandwich from Al’s. As your enthusiastic guides lead you through the Downtown Loop neighborhood, you will be educated on more than just the food you eat. Your guides will share with you some of the tourist attractions along the way and provide tips of what else to fill your time with while in the Windy City.
Standing strong at a 5 star rating, and ranked as the 3rd best food and drink tour on TripAdvisor, Tastebud’s Taste of Chicago Food Tour seemed to have impressed many of its guests, locals and tourists alike! Reviewers stated that time flies on this entertaining tour, as it provided a great way to try traditional foods of Chicago while experiencing the sights of downtown. Friendly and knowledgeable guides are able to answer other questions unrelated to tour material. While not everyone preferred the types of foods chosen, most guests found the food to be tasty and the serving sizes to equal a very satisfying lunch!
Original Chicago Pizza Tour by Chicago Pizza Tours
Chicago might be known for its deep dish pizza, but there is so much more to the pizza scene here. On this guided bus tour, you will explore four different neighborhoods, sampling five different styles of pizza! Learn about the invention of deep dish pizza, the best ingredients, and pizza preparation. You will experience the city like a local through trying the best pizzerias that Chicago has to offer.
Chicago Pizza Tours has received positive feedback on TripAdvisor, and maintains an overall 5 star rating! This tour was popular with friends and couples, but reviews suggested it would be perfect for the whole family. Guests also said that the variety of neighborhoods and pizza styles never made it feel like they were eating the same exact thing. Many also appreciated the opportunity to see other parts of the city, and learn about more than just pizza. Be sure to pace yourself with the food, because the pizza keeps coming!
Chicago Pizza Tours also offers a Pizza and Cocktail Tour!
FOOD TOURS BY NEIGHBORHOOD
Chicago has over 70 different neighborhoods, each with a unique character and flavor. Here are some of the best food tours that share the diverse food and history of the city beyond downtown.
Pilsen- Little Village- Heart of Chicago Tour by Chef Driven Tours
Chef Driven Tours provides guides that are culinary experts and have been a part of the restaurant industry for over ten years. So yeah, these professionals know what they are talking about as they escort you around some hidden gems in Chicago. Explore the West Side neighborhoods, as you try some of the best tacos you’ll ever have. Beyond the food, you will learn about the history and culture that has shaped these neighborhoods, the “heart of Chicago”. Guests are driven from spot to spot, but still experience short walks through the neighborhoods.
Chef Driven Tours has a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor. Guests only had positive things to say about this particular tour, calling it a very personal tour experience that is worth a slightly higher price tag. Mostly rated by couples and groups of friends, guests really appreciated being shown an area of the city that they would not have experienced on their own. The knowledgeable guide was able to provide them with information on more than just the food, but also included cultural and historical stops. Many long time Chicagoans were quick to express how much they enjoyed seeing a unique area of the city that they knew little about. Be prepared to come hungry, because even though the food is spread out on the tour, no one said they left hungry. This tour comes highly recommended for tourists, locals, and foodies.
River North Food Tour – Food, Scenery and Culture Tour by Sidewalk Food Tours
Explore one the of city’s neighborhoods that claims to have the most restaurants and art galleries. On this tour, you will have the opportunity to try five different local restaurants in River North. By the end, you will have a full stomach, as well as a better understanding of the food scene in Chicago and history that has shaped the neighborhood.
Sidewalk Food Tours has a 4 1/2 star rating according to TripAdvisor. Many guests complimented their experience, saying that the tour was well organized with informative and energetic guides. Reviews stated that this was a great way to get to know the River North neighborhood and sample some amazing food! A couple of good and average reviews mentioned that you cannot sample food inside of all of the restaurants. Overall, guests left this tour satisfied and better educated about the city!
Savor Historic Gold Coast & Old Town Food Tour by Tastebud Tours
Explore the beautiful and historic Old Town and Gold Coast neighborhoods on this food tour offered through Tastebud Tours. With a combination of old and new restaurants, this tour allows guests to taste some of the best food that these neighborhoods have to offer with a variety of cuisines. Seven different food tastings provide enough for lunch at a leisurely pace that allows you to appreciate the shops and beautiful Victorian-era buildings that line the streets here.
This is another favorite tour offered by the 5 star rated Tastebud Tours. This specific tour only received excellent and very good ratings on TripAdvisor. Be aware that the restaurants listed online are subject to change. Guests, a majority friends or couples, stated that they would join another Tastebuds Tour based off of their experience, and would recommend it to locals and tourists alike. Another common theme among reviews was to come hungry because this tours provides a satisfying lunch.
3-1-Chew by Chicago Food Planet
Affectionately named after the primary area code of Chicago (312), this tour escorts you through the artistic and historic Bucktown and Wicker Park neighborhoods. Along the route, you will try six different food tastings at some of the locals’ favorite stops. Guides will share more than food knowledge, as they point out some hidden speakeasies, unique architecture, and other gems that make these neighborhoods so popular. With a variety of food, this will make up one of the best lunches you could have in the city.
With the comments that guests have left on TripAdvisor, there is no question why Chicago Food Planet has a 5 star rating. This tour in particular has left an impact on the locals and tourists who chose this tour to learn about the food and neighborhoods northwest of downtown. Comments shared that this was the highlight of some trips, and the perfect way to spend a relaxing afternoon. Guests enjoyed walking around this neighborhood and tasting the terrific food. Knowledgeable guides only added to the positive experience. Be prepared to try a variety of food and learn about this trendy neighborhood, as a couple average reviews commented on the busy stops and food selected at the stops.
HISTORIC FOOD AND DRINK TOURS
With hosting the 1893 World’s Fair and the gangsters of the 1920’s, Chicago has an interesting history. These food and pub tours will bring you to the historic sights and share the anecdotes that prove how these events have shaped the city culture and food scene.
Historic Chicago Walking Bar Tour by Chicago Detours
Chicago’s history is rich with the years of prohibition, jazz music, different social clubs, and the theater scene. Experience the history first hand along this tour route that includes a historic speakeasy and jazz club. Learn about the party days of Chicago with drinks, food, and photos and videos from the past.
Ranked as #2 in Nightlife on TripAdvisor, this tour has entertained couples, friends, and solo travelers. The 5 star rating seems appropriate, as guests commented on the interesting facts shared about the architecture and history of the city. Intelligent and entertaining guides encourage interaction among guests. Reviewers commented their appreciation for the unique experience that called attention to the details in the architecture, accompanied by informative stories. This tour comes highly recommended by locals and tourists.
The World’s Fare by Chicago Food Planet
This winter tour visits the Wicker Park neighborhood for a perfect dinner tour that includes four food and drink pairings. Taste food from around the world within a few blocks. Your guide will lead you through Chicago history, discussing the World’s Fair of 1893 and how that shaped the city and began to impact the food culture of Chicago.
As one of the top food and drink tour companies in Chicago according to TripAdvisor, this 5 star tour has been complimented, with reviewers applauding the food and drink pairings and the tour guide. Guests enjoyed the diverse food and the accompanying history lesson about the World’s Fair. Reviewers mentioned that they’d recommend the tour to friends and co-workers, and that it is a great date idea.
Chicago World’s Fair/1893 Columbian Exposition Food Tour by Tastebud Tours
This tour will take you back in time, as you are escorted around the city by Bertha Palmer herself! The day is May 1st, 1893. The opening day of the Chicago’s World Fair. 27 million people came to the fairgrounds to experience the technology, art, and food that first appeared at the World’s Fair. Sample some of Bertha’s favorite food from the fair while she shares her memories of the good old days.
Tastebud Tours as a whole maintains a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor, and this tour in particular was only reviewed as excellent and very good. With more than enough food to eat, many guests said that the highlight of the tour was Bertha herself. She really brought the tour alive, with stories and anecdotes about the Fair and the way that it shaped the city, and of course food. Come hungry and leave satisfied on this historic food tour!
ETHNIC CUISINE FOOD TOURS
Chicago is a very diverse city, and the food proves it. Here are some of the best food tours that allow you to sample different cuisines from around the world in neighborhoods that will make you to forget that you are in Chicago.
Little India Tour by Spice of Life Tours
Known for its cultural diversity, Devon Street has become a popular tourist destination. Experience this unique stretch of Chicago with a knowledgeable guide who will share with you some of the best South Asian food in Chicago! This tour provides a full cultural experience, as you will have the opportunity to stroll through local shops, participate in cultural activities, and learn more about the history and architecture of Little India.
This tour has provided a memorable experience for many local and out of town guests, and deserves the 5 star rating that it has on TripAdvisor. Reviews stated that the tour provided delicious food and a great exposure to the culture of different South Asian countries. Families, couples, and friends alike really appreciated the knowledgeable guide that was willing to go out of his way to make it a personal and meaningful experience. This tour is worth the time and money!
Chinatown Adventure by Chicago Food Planet
Experience the heart of Chinatown with five sit down meals and tastings, along with etiquette demonstrations and a lesson in ancient Chinese customs. This tour provides knowledgeable guides as you savor the variety of flavors and regional cooking styles that this neighborhood has to offer. Locals and tourists will leave this tour with a better understanding of local customs, folklore, and a full stomach.
With an overall 5 star rating, Chicago Food Planet has impressed guests with this particular tour. Reviewers appreciated the culture and history lessons that accompanied the authentic and regional food. Upbeat and passionate guides only added to the enjoyable experience. Guests stated that they finished the tour with a full stomach, and felt comfortable making their way around the neighborhood afterwards. Many people commented that they will look for other Chicago Food Planet Tours after such a positive experience.
Argyle & Andersonville Tour by Chicago Ethnic Food Tours
This tour will bring you north to Chicago’s Little Saigon and the old Swedish area. Today, these neighborhoods are full of unique restaurants, shops, and ethnic markets. As your tour guide leads you through these streets, you will receive six generous tastings representing food from four different continents. Learn about the rich history of this part of the city, including a silent film studio and haunted speakeasy from the years of prohibition.
Chicago Ethnic Food tours has a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor with a handful of reviews. All comments were positive, as guests mentioned appreciating having a guide that is not just local to Chicago, but to the specific neighborhood. The enthusiastic guides share the history of the neighborhood, from immigration to prohibition. The delicious food was also a common theme among reviews. Many would recommend this to tourists and locals, as these stops are really off the beaten path.
DRINKS AND DONUTS TOURS
Chicago loves drinks and donuts. These tours complement that well and show locals and tourists some of Chicago’s best places for both, while educating guests on the history behind it.
Bacon & Brewing Beer Tour in Lakeview & Lincoln Park by Chicago Beer Experience
With Chicago Beer Experience, you will have more than just beer. This company prides itself on bringing you to locally-owned bars, full of character and away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. On this tour, you will explore the Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods, 3 miles north of the Loop. Taste several different beers, the equivalents of 4 normal sized beers, paired with bacon and spicy beer nuts. While you sip on your beer, a local guide will share the history of the city, particularly related to beer, and the process of making different styles of beer.
Chicago Beer Experience has a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor, and holds onto the #1 rating under Nightlife in Chicago. Guests, a combination of friends, couples, and solo travelers, shared about their positive experience. Comments included how educational this experience was, paired with fantastic beer and informative guides. Many locals found new favorite bars, and even made some friends. With no shortage of selected beer, this was a favorite activity for many guests.
Sin & Suds Beer Tour in the Loop & South Loop by Chicago Beer Experience
On this beer walking tour, you will experience much more than just different styles of beer. Your guide will lead you through the Loop and South Loop neighborhoods. Here you will learn about the infamous Chicago history during the years of Al Capone, and how beer influenced the bootlegging activities during prohibition. You will visit one of Chicago’s oldest bars, and sample many different beers with a slice pizza.
As one of the best nighttime activities and beer tours in the city, Chicago Beer Experience deserves its 5 star rating on TripAdvisor. Guests enjoyed this particular tour, commenting that each stop represented an important part of Chicago’s history. The guide made guests feel welcome and relaxed. The stories of Al Capone and beer demonstrations made it a memorable tour for many, and one they are quick to recommend.
Traditional Donut Tour by Underground Donut Tour
Chicago sure does love donuts, and has many original donut shops to prove it. On the Traditional Donut Tour, your guide will bring you to four of the best donut shops in Chicago, all of which are located in close proximity to the Loop area. At each stop you will be able to try exclusive samples of donuts. You will also learn about the history of donuts, and get a great walking tour of the city itself.
While only reviewed a handful of times, Underground Donut Tour maintains a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor. All reviews were excellent, as guest stated that these were some of the best donuts they have ever had, and they were able to sample a wide range of donuts. The personable guide helped make the experience, while combining the history with the taste testing.
BIKES, BUSES or BARREL FOOD TOUR
While many food tours escort guests via something on wheels, here are some of the most creative ways to cover more ground and experience food and drinks in different parts of the city.
Brewery Tours by The Barrel Run
Ride in style from brewery to brewery in this barrel bus inspired by the years of prohibition. This barrel will transport you to three different breweries for samples and a brewing production facility tour. Along the way, your guides will share with you Chicago’s history starting in the 1800’s as it relates to beer, and how that effected the politics and the city as a whole. Sample craft beers at each brewery, and be educated on the brewing process.
The handful of reviews on TripAdvisor only have good things to say about this tour and company as a whole, giving it an overall 5 star rating. Guests really enjoyed this unique brewery experience, full great beer and information. The barrel bus itself was a highlight for many, with comfortable seats and an enjoyable ride between stops full of history and trivia led by accommodating guides. Groups of friends really enjoyed their time on the Barrel Bus, and would recommend it for other groups and as a great idea for a birthday or bachelor party.
Bikes, Bites, & Brews Tour by Bobby’s Bike Hike
Work off your lunch by biking through the city streets! Sample some of Chicago’s favorite food as you cruise around five different neighborhoods on the north side. Pizza, hot dogs, cupcakes, and beer provide a filling and well deserved lunch as your guides safely take you around the city, educating you on the history and the food.
Bobby’s Bike Hike Chicago is the #1 rated food and drink experience in Chicago on TripAdvisor, with a 5 star rating! With over 2,000 guests raving about it, this is one you won’t want to miss as you explore the city. This flat, 13 mile bike ride is broken up nicely with food stops, and brings riders through neighborhoods that they normally wouldn’t venture out to. Guests said the guides put them at easy with clear safety instructions as bikers made their way through city traffic. Couples and friends alike are complimenting the food quality, and highly recommending this tour. This comprehensive tours takes half the day, but seems well worth it!
TIP: If you are looking for a regular bike tour without food or a good price on a bike rental see out detailed post on Chicago Bike Tours and Rentals.
Progressive Dining Tour by Chicago Dine-Around
This bus tour is perfect for large groups that are seeking an interactive dining experience, and some really awesome food. Enjoy a 3 course meal, stopping at three different restaurants for hors d’oeuvres, a main meal, and dessert. Your guide will accompany your group to ensure a smooth, sit down, dinner. You can select the perfect meal for you group from different packages and menu options. There is enough variety with every option, that everyone in your group will leave happy! The bus ride itself is also an enjoyable experience full of Chicago trivia.
Chicago Dine-Around has a 4 1/2 star rating on TripAdvisor. Many reviewers commented on their excellent experience, saying the company made planning a night out with a large group easy and enjoyable. Flexible guides led the group through a memorable night. Many people suggested that it was great for corporate events, team building, and entertaining a group of out of town family and friends. All negative and average reviews were from years ago, stating disappointment in the price and food quality. The company seems to have really stepped up its game since, and many people have highly recommended this tour!