Chicago food tour with Chicago Food Planet

 

I was lucky to grab a last-minute spot on a Chicago food tour with Chicago Food Planet.

The Second City Classic Tour would include a visit to some of the best places to eat in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago

When visiting a new, or unknown, destination, most people tend to overlook food tours and instead opt for a bus tour. While a bus tour of Chicago is an equally good idea, a food tour teaches you about the cuisine as well as the local area.

Chicago food tour with Chicago Planet

The first thing you can expect on this Chicago food tour is a vivacious, fun and a ‘laugh a minute’ guide. Our  guide, Jaci, not only ticked all 3 boxes, but her upbeat attitude and quick wit made the experience far more enjoyable. 

Walking around the Old Town, you’ll see several buildings from the Victorian times, plus a few structures that survived the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.

This post lists the 7 places we visited while on this tour. Take note: the places may vary depending on season and availability.

1. Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria has been a long-time favorite for many locals, and is also a beloved Chicago institution.

The pizzeria wanted to create a place where people could come, sit down with their families and eat good pizza. If you’re not familiar of the difference between Chicago and New York-style pizza, it really comes down to depth.

New York style pizza tends to have a thin, crispy crust, while Chicago style is a deeper crust with plenty more tomato sauce and toppings.

Whatever your preference, Lou Malnati’s is delicious, and I could easily have wolfed down another slice.

 

 

 

Pizza slice from Lou Malnati - Chicago food tour
Teapot in window display at Teagschwendner - Chicago Food tour

Whatever your preference, Lou Malnati’s is delicious, and I would have easily wolfed down another slice.

FOLLOWING THE RIVERA

Teagschwendner pineapple iced tea
Pitta sandwich from Old Jerusalem - Chicago food tour

2. TeaGschwendner

What better way to cool off after a steaming slice of pizza than with a refreshing tumbler of iced tea?

TeaGschwendner is a mecca for tea lovers and drinkers alike. You won’t be surprised to hear read that it was originally a German brand as its name suggests. A franchise across the United States, it set up shop in the Old Town in 2005.

Hot and cold tea — Chicago food tour

Here, you can find a wide variety of premium quality handpicked loose teas from around the world.

After a brief talk on tea from a staff member, we sampled a few of the delights on offer. At the end, we took away with us, a generous-sized tumbler of the mouth-quenching pineapple iced tea — perfect for the 35° weather.

3. Old Jerusalem

The next stop was a taste of the Middle East at Old Jerusalem restaurant. For me, I was doubly excited as it was a fond reminder of the food I’d eaten during my recent travels to Jerusalem.

A family run and owned restaurant, we were treated to a delectable pitta sandwich. Homemade crunchy falafel, salad, and with some hummus on the side, it was just the right size to save room for the next place.

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4. The Spice House

An array of fragrances and aromas hit you the second you enter The Spice House. We came to get a brief spice 101 lesson and to also learn something new.

The shop has an impressive range of spices, salts and seasonings on offer. I also ended up buying a small bag of Vietnamese cinnamon; something that’ll come in handy for my next apple pie.

5. The Fudge Pot 

A food tour wouldn’t be complete without some kind of chocolate temptation — and ours came in the form of The Fudge Pot. This local confectioner has been keeping the locals happy, and maybe making them a little rounder, since 1963.

The sweet spot — Chicago food tour

Suffice it to say, this isn’t a place for anyone on a diet, nor a place where you should visit every day. From homemade chocolates to truffles, the Fudge Pot is where you come to get your sweet tooth seen to. We tried the chocolate toffee block, which was so good, I had to stop myself from scoffing down the whole thing.

The store’s open till midnight on Friday and Saturdays, meaning plenty of opportunity to grab something sweet after last orders from the restaurant/bar.

Pitta sandwich from Old Jerusalem - Chicago food tour
Luxury experience in Vienna - Kunsthistorisches Museum

“An array of fragrances and aromas hit you the second you enter The Spice House.”

FOLLOWING THE RIVERA

6. Old Town Oil 

There’s only one place in Old Town where the locals come to get their hands on good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and that’s Old Town Oil.

The owners of Old Town Oil work directly with producers around the world to create their own unique products.

From extra virgin olive oils to aged balsamic and specialty vinegar, this store inspires you to want to try everything.

I particularly enjoyed trying the strawberry balsamic vinegar alongside Nana’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Both were unique in taste, and I couldn’t stop dipping the bread into both.

7. La Fournette Bakery & Café 

A taste of all things French was our last stop of the Chicago Planet Second City Classic Tour at La Fournette Bakery & Café.

The creation of French husband and wife duo Michele and Pierre Zimmermann, they wanted to bring a taste of home to their favourite American city. And so, Old Town welcomed the addition of La Fournette to its vibrant neighbourhood.

Eating french — Chicago food tour

As you’d imagine, the café serves up a mouth-watering selection of handmade croissants, artisan breads and sweets. We each gobbled down a classic Ham and Cheese Croque Monsieur, followed by 2 delicate meringue-y (raspberry-chocolate) macarons.

Want to try the Chicago Food Planet Second City Classic Tour for yourself? Head to the website to see availability of this, and other Chicago Food Planet tours. If you enter FOODIE at the checkout, you’ll receive 10% off the ticket price!

Disclaimer: Even though I was invited by Chicago Food Planet, all views are my own and based on my own experience. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I’ve recommended. Thank you for your support.

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Falafel in pitta - Chicago Food Tour
Falafel on a board - Chicago Food Tour
Chicago style pizza - Chicago Food Tour
Lisa R sitting in a wicker chair

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