Chicago is a city of neighborhoods, and each one has personality and history. It’s also a foodie’s paradise, and the restaurants and specialty shops reflect each neighborhood’s unique characteristics. Combine the two and you can literally eat your way through the city without ever getting bored.
With Chicago Food Planet, you get to do just that.
Last weekend I headed to the Magnificent Mile to take one of these culinary walking tours. Shane Kost, founder of Chicago Food Planet, gathered my fellow tour-goers across the street from the historic Water Tower. After brief name and where-we’re-from introductions he asked a Chicago trivia question for a piece of Ghiradelli chocolate.
How can you go wrong when it starts like that?
The tour covers quite a bit of ground – two miles, to be exact. Not to worry, though. It’s over a three-hour time period so it’s paced well, and it’s only by looking at a map that you realize how much ground you’ve covered.
The tastings are well-timed, and in between are architecturally and historically significant stops. Don’t worry. This isn’t your elementary school field trip. Instead of a dry recitation of facts and dates, Shane provided us with an entertaining look into Chicago’s past. He had us laughing, sometimes groaning, and at one point even had us licking the palms of our hands. To find out why you’ll just have to take the tour yourself!
For visitors I recommend taking the tour on your first couple of days in the city. You’ll get a good feel for the Near North side. Since you won’t have time to shop during the tour you’ll also have a chance to go back, and you’ll want to use the coupons provided.
If you’re a local, it’s a fun way to learn more about your city (and you can use the coupons any time you want!). Remember that trivia quiz? I had disqualified myself in the beginning because I thought it would be an unfair advantage. It should have been…but he was such a fount of knowledge and history that I learned quite a bit, and it’s my JOB to know about Chicago!
Chicago Food Planet
April – November; Daily Tours begin at 11 am, 2pm, and 5pm
3 hours, $38, Enough food is served for lunch