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The Best Chicago Food Tours


One of the best ways to explore Chicago’s rich culinary landscape is by embarking on one of the many food tours. So many have popped up in recent years that they’re specialized right down to the concept and cuisine. Of note are tours for the hardcore foodies, chocolate lovers and pizza fanatics. Want to know which to choose? We’ve selected the very best around town.

1. Flight Deck Chicago

Courtesy of La Sirena Clandestina
Flight Deck Chicago takes foodies on a culinary tour that offers them a rare opportunity to hang out in the kitchens of some of the city's most celebrated chefs. For example, there's the West Loop Flight that travels to hot spots Carnivale, La Sirena Clandestina and Nellcote for an opportunity to meet chefs Rodolfo Cuadrof, John Manion (pictured) and Jared Van Camp, respectively. Guests get an intimate look behind the scenes, as well as tastings and one signature cocktail per place. There's also a Q&A session with the chefs and mixologists.

How Much: $145 per person; four person minimum

Schedule: 2:30-5:30 p.m. by appointment only

Contact: info@flightdeckchicago.com

2. Behind-The-Scenes Chicago Pizza Tour

Courtesy of Spacca Napoli
This tour proves in three-and-a-half hours that there's more to Chicago's rich pizza scene than deep dish. Participants get to witness the pizza-making process at some of the city's most celebrated parlors, including the likes of Spacca Napoli, Pequod's and Italian Fiesta (President Obama's favorite home-town pizza that's located near his Hyde Park home). Wear loose clothing because there will be plenty of tasting going on.

How Much: $60 per person fee includes tastings and transportation to each location

Schedule: 11 a.m. daily (except Tuesdays and Thursdays)

Contact: www.viator.com

3. Bites, Bikes & Brews Tour

Participants get a good workout in during a four-hour tour taking them to popular eating neighborhoods Gold Coast, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Old Town and Wrigleyville. They'll need it because there will be generous tastings of cupcakes, craft beers, hot dogs and pizza in each neighborhood. And yes, there are vegetarian options. Wear loose, casual clothing.

How Much: $45 per person fee includes bikes

Schedule: 11:30 a.m. Monday-Friday

Contact: 312-915-0995

4. Chicago Chocolate Tours

Courtesy of Katherine Anne Confections
This guided walking tour of upscale chocolate shops, bakeries and cafes will certainly get that sweet tooth satisfied. The downtown tour happens just in time for lunch, and travels to Toni Patisserie, Katherine Anne Confections and others.

How Much: $40 per person

Schedule: 12:45 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays

Contact: 312-929-2939

5. Chinatown Food Tour

Participants are strongly urged to nosh on something light before taking part in this unique event on the near South Side. Each restaurant's doing full portion sizes, which includes an authentic Beijing Peking duck and Hong Kong-style dim sum. Five restaurants are on the Chinatown food tour, including Ten Ren Tea & Ginseng Co. for authentic Chinese loose leaf tea.

How Much: $60 per person; $35 for children

Schedule: 10:30 a.m. Friday-Monday

Contact: 888-210-3238

6. Flavors of Chicago Tour

Courtesy of The Purple Pig
This is a pretty good deal: For $44, guests indulge in generous tastings at six restaurants in the Gold Coast area. The tour includes the likes of Heaven on Seven, Purple Pig and Billy Goat Tavern, but most exciting is the chance to head up to The Tip Top Tap at the iconic Allerton Hotel-which has been around since the Roaring Twenties.

How Much: $44; caps out at 16 people

Schedule: 11 a.m. daily

Contact: 219-929-6648

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