Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Chicago Food Tours with Chicago Food Planet: Exploring a World of Food, Architecture and History

Chicago Food Tours with Chicago Food Planet: Exploring a World of Food, Architecture and History

Chicago Food Planet Second City Classic Food Tour

**Disclosure: Thank you to Chicago Food Planet for inviting my family to sample a food tour! We did receive a complimentary food tour in order to bring you this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

Our Second City Classic Food Tour with Chicago Food Planet introduced us to the unique melding of history, food and architecture of Chicago's Gold Coast and Old Town neighborhoods. Throughout our tour, we savored tasty Chicago food while hearing the family stories behind each venue. During our walk, we learned more about the history and architecture of these very distinct neighborhoods.


Lovely walk through Chicago's Gold Coast on a Chicago Food Planet Food Tour.
Lovely walk through Chicago's Gold Coast on a Chicago Food Planet Food Tour.

Chicago Food Planet offers a variety of tours exploring different and unique neighborhoods in Chicago. Chicago is rich with all sorts of cultural and food experiences that tours are intriguing both for visitors and locals alike. In fact, we had a healthy mix of locals and visitors to the city on our Chicago Second City Classic tour. Registering for a tour is pretty easy online. Tours range from 2 hours to 3 hours. Our tour was three hours but honestly, it was so interesting the time flew! While we did have a bit of walking, we did have a decent amount of time sitting while learning about different venues.

Sampling Food:

We sampled both foodie items that are iconic to Chicago including Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza and foodie items from locations you may normally only hear of by living in the city. Time to get local! One of our favorite new discoveries from this tour was Old Jerusalem. Old Jerusalem is a family-owned Lebanese restaurant that has been serving up great food since the 1970's. I have to say, we certainly devoured our delicious falafel! This extra community insight is such a special element of this tour!

Falafel sandwich at Old Jerusalem in Old Town, Chicago
Falafel sandwich at Old Jerusalem in Old Town, Chicago
We definitely did not leave the tour hungry and had full samplings at each location. We also did have opportunities for water and even iced tea along route. A samples brought us on a journey of a variety of flavors and food types.

What is a trip to Chicago without some deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati's
What is a trip to Chicago without some deep dish pizza?
Touring the Neighborhoods:

As we wove through city streets, our tour guide Amber filled us in on the history and architecture of the neighborhoods. We appreciated learning about a variety of architectural styles including this lovely 1890's Gold Coast mansion:

Stunning Gilded Age mansion in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago
Stunning Gilded Age mansion in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago
On our adventure through Old Town, we discovered a JC Rivera mural on Broken English Taco Pub which has its own unique take on Mexican street tacos. Local art and food combined!

JC Rivera mural adorns Broken English in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood.
JC Rivera mural adorns Broken English.
Amber supplied us with a wealth of knowledge on both neighborhoods and included interesting anecdotes. She is also constantly exploring herself and adding new knowledge to her tours.

Enhanced Drink Pairings:

For those 21 and over, you can enhance your Chicago Food Planet tour if you would like by adding drink pairings. I am really glad that I did because I was able to try Daisy Cutter Pale Ale by local brewery Half Acre. There is so much to experience on the tour, you will have a wonderful tasting adventure no matter whether you choose a pairing or not.




Relaxing with a glass of Daisy Cutter at the end of the tour with Chicago Food Planet
Relaxing with a glass of Daisy Cutter at the end of the tour.































Foodie Demonstrations:

On your adventure, you may be treated to a few foodie demonstrations. We arrived to The Fudge Pot just in time to see candy being made!

Candy being made before our eyes at The Fudge Pot in Chicago.
Candy being made before our eyes!
The Fudge Pot was not only an interesting spot because of its chocolate goodies but also its history. As a third generation small business, The Fudge Pot has been dazzling Chicagoans with sweet treats for quite some time. The Fudge Pot makes incredible molds including custom made. We tried some of Fudge Pot's famous Butter Toffee -- so delicious!

Delicious and fresh Butter Toffee from The Fudge Pot
Delicious and fresh Butter Toffee!

Experiences like ours at The Fudge Pot adds more appreciation and understanding of the community.

Incredible chocolate molds at The Fudge Pot!
Incredible chocolate molds at The Fudge Pot!
Plus, we got to see treasures like these incredible dog molds!

Overall Experience:

We had a fabulous afternoon wandering through the world of food, history and architecture on the Second City Classic Tour. I love that Chicago Food Planet incorporates little demos and lessons into the tour to give you a little something more. Additionally, I loved the emphasis on family run operations on this particular tour. We had a fabulous time and would not hesitate to tour with Chicago Food Planet again!

Things To Know:

  • I only highlighted a few locations that we visited in this piece. We did visit many more locations either for a tasty adventure or to learn about history. I want to make sure the experience is unique and exciting for anyone else wishing to go on the tour.
  • If you have any food allergies or aversions, you can discuss with Chicago Food Planet before hand.
  • The tour guide went outlined the tour very well at the beginning so we would know when we would have bathroom breaks.
  • The walking did not involve truly long stretches. 
  • When sitting at restaurants, sometimes we had our own table and sometimes the group had a really long table together.
  • Each tour is different and itineraries may change. For example, one of the stops on this tour had a fire. So, Chicago Food Planet made alterations.
  • Be prepared to eat!
  • If you are looking for more ideas for exploring Chicago's unique flavor, check out 25 Best Chicago Tours & Activities Guide.
Chicago Food Planet  Second City Classic Food Tour




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