For a taste of the best of the Windy City, Tastebud Tours offer opportunities for visitors and locals to indulge in the foods and fun that make Chicago great! Fully narrated by knowledgeable guides, tours provide fun facts about culture, history, entertainment and food as it pertains to the Chicago area.
Fabulous food is what Tastebud Tours is all about, including hot dogs, popcorn, Italian beef, chocolate and so much more. Whether enjoying pizza in the Loop or sampling grilled favorites on the Magnificent Mile, foodies will be pleased to take part in some of the best culinary masterpieces that Chicago has to offer. Guests on these walking tours can expect to walk for approximately 1 mile in total as they enjoy the scenery of the city between restaurants.
Started in 2009 by Chicagoans who were passionate about food, Tastebud Tours has grown as a family-owned business and is now also available in New Orleans and San Francisco.
Types of Tastebud Tours
Tastebud Tour themes may change from time to time, but what won’t change is the entertaining experience that your taste buds will enjoy! Some of the themed tours provided by the company may include:
Chicago’s famous World’s Fair & 1893 Columbian Exposition provides the perfect backdrop for experiencing the history, culture and food of the era. As many of Chicago’s now popular foods first debuted during this time, the tour is an ideal time to experience treats and food favorites that would have been presented at the Chicago World’s Fair.
Especially popular in the midst of the city’s harsh winter weather, the Pedway corridor provides a unique opportunity to taste Chicago’s iconic food underground. Along the way, guests can learn what makes a Chicago hot dog different from any other, and enjoy chocolates from the city’s favorite since the 1920s, Fannie May.
Chicago’s food scene wouldn’t be complete without its world-famous deep-dish pizza! Enjoy a slice on a tour of Old Town, along with cupcakes, hot dogs (with mustard—not ketchup!), exotic spices, olive oils, and a selection of whiskey, wines and craft beers. Wander through historic Gold Coast while taking in brick alleyways, Victorian-era buildings and family-owned restaurants on Wells Street. There might even be a bit of time for shopping!
What You’ll Experience on a Chicago Tastebud Tour
Depending on the tour chosen, these establishments are some of the highlights that Tastebud Tours proudly brings guests to visit:
- Pizano’s Pizza
- The Goddess and the Baker
- The Berghoff
- Chicago Kernel
- Al’s Beef
- Fannie May Chocolates
- Downtown Dogs
- Bill Goat Tavern & Grill
- Private Cliff Dweller’s Club
- Pittsfield Building
Tastebud Tours Services
Tastebud Tours provides fully-narrated walking tours for the public, featuring various eating establishments in the center of Chicago.
Private tours may be booked by contacting TastebudTours@gmail.com.
Tastebud Tours Timing
Tastebud tours typically last between 3-3 ½ hours and cover approximately a mile of walking. Tours are scheduled all year-round and more tours are available on weekends and during summer holidays. Tickets do tend to sell out quickly, so it is wise to book as far in advance as is possible.
Tastebud Tours Considerations
- Unlike many food tours, shopping is allowed at all stops assuming there is time.
- Menu items may vary but guests will receive food from each stop—arriving hungry is recommended!
- Vegetarian options are available if requested in advance. Shellfish allergies may also be accommodated with advance notice.
- Vegan and gluten-free dietary restrictions are not able to be accommodated.
- Tours accommodate 16-18 people each. Larger groups may be set up privately.
- Tour ticket prices include food tastings and taxes. Gratuities are optional.
- Tours may meet at various places depending on location. Spot Hero is an excellent way to find the best parking in the area.
- Tickets much be purchased in advance as tours tend to sell out quickly.
- Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded. Rescheduling may be possible but includes a fee.
- Children may accompany parents but must pay full price for tickets for children aged 3 or older.
- Tours are narrated live in English.
- Most tasting locations serve water only. If available, guests are welcome to purchase other beverages along the way.
- Tours are not accessible by strollers or wheelchairs for space reasons.
- Rain, snow, or shine, tours will be held—guests should dress appropriately for the weather.
Book a Tastebud Tour
Tickets for Tastebud Tours must be purchased in advance online. Tours often sell out. Booking is easy online. Online bookings show weekly availability including tour times as well as revealing tours that are already sold out. Pay for your tour in advance with a credit card and receive an email with all of the information you need about where and when tours meet as well as what to expect.