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Meet the Locals

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Our most recommended Chicago Meet the Locals

Chicago: 2.5-Hour Taste of Chinatown Food Walking Tour

1. Chicago: 2.5-Hour Taste of Chinatown Food Walking Tour

Explore the complex layers of Chinese culture and the many contributions these people have made to both Chicago and the world. And what better way to show off Chinese culture then through food? Your guide will take the confusion and language barrier away as you sample your way through a variety of Chinatown's best restaurants and well-kept secret recipes. Start your tour at Phoenix Restaurant and begin with some yummy dim sum dumplings and a traditional Chinese tea tasting. Next, it will be time for a sweet treat - buttery custard tarts from Chinatown's oldest bakery. Then, try a unique and delicious spicy meat sandwich from the Xi'an region. Afterward, stroll through the charming Chinatown Square with its ethnic grocery stores and souvenir shops. Finally, taste a sampling of succulent dry chili chicken, followed by the famous spicy Szechuan hot pot. You'll have traveled all over China but only walked a few blocks on this delicious tour of one of Chicago's most fascinating neighborhoods.

Chicago Underground Donut Tour

2. Chicago Underground Donut Tour

Take a donut tour of the windy city, and discover the best Chicago has to offer. At each location, you will taste a curated sample of the best donuts. Some of the stops on this downtown tour include Stan's Donuts, Do-Rite Donuts, and Firecakes Donuts, true donut institutions. This two hour walking tour is led by a passionate donut expert who will guide you to some of Chicago's best donut locales. This tour caters to all size groups, both large and small. The donut tour is great for bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthdays, family reunions, weekend getaways, or even corporate events. There are two versions of the Donut Tour: The Classic Downtown Tour, as well as a local neighborhood tour in Wicker Park. Both are great options if you're excited about donuts. It really just depends on what neighborhood you want to explore: if you want to stay downtown or if you want to venture out to the Wicker Park & Bucktown neighborhoods to see how "the locals do it". In either case, don't hesitate to join the tour. Buy your tickets today!

Chicago: River North Walking Food Tour

3. Chicago: River North Walking Food Tour

Come enjoy the luxury and opulence of the Magnificent Mile and Gold Coast on this guided food tour, a tour through the historically affluent River North neighborhood. Explore the remarkable and historic River North neighborhood known for its extreme affluence, typified by the Magnificent Mile and the Gold Coast. Boasting Chicago's highest concentration of restaurants and art galleries, the River North neighborhood has become a favorite destination for foodies. You will taste foods from five unique restaurants and bakeries, and your food tour guides are experts not only at temporarily filling stomachs, but at plumping up tour-goers' local food knowledge too. This 3-hour walking tour offers a look into the history and culture of the neighborhood in between each of your 5 food tastings. While the stops are subject to change, we usually stop to taste at five of the following food places: • The Doughnut Vault (est. 2011): Food and Wine Magazine named it the best doughnut in America in 2012 • Lou Malnati's (est. 1971): Rudy Malnati is generally considered to be the inventor of Chicago deep-dish pizza • Xoco- (est. 2009): Top Chef Masters winner Rick Bayless is one of the best known chefs for Mexican cuisine in America • Iberico- (est. 1992): Serving you the most authentic tapas and regional specialties from all across Spain • Al's Beef- (est. 1938): Founder Al Ferrari invented the sandwich in Chicago's Little Italy back in 1938 • Fabcakes Bakery- (est. 2012): Delicious pastries inspired by the seasons Your informative guide will point out examples of historic architecture and beautiful public spaces that help make the River North neighborhood one of Chicago's most notable.

Chicago: History, Culture and Architecture Walking Tour

4. Chicago: History, Culture and Architecture Walking Tour

Start your tour under the dazzling marquee of the Chicago Theater (which you might recognize from the movie-musical Chicago) before heading off into the bustling city. Your first stop is inside one of the best-preserved spaces built for shopping in Chicago, featuring an unforgettable atrium at its core. Then head towards the Chicago Pedway, a uniquely Chicago feature used by locals and commuters daily to move about the city in a network of underground tunnels. Afterward, head back above-ground near City Hall and head inside to see the classic interior design and architecture. Next, enjoy a sweet treat, and local tradition: Chicago-style popcorn. Weather permitting, take a stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk while taking in views of several soaring buildings, including Marina Towers, the Britannica Building, and the Willis Tower. From there, make your way to another delicious destination. Along the way, enjoy views of the world-famous Wrigley Building and the incredible Chicago Tribune building, the heart of Chicago’s thriving and historic journalism industry. Your second tasty confection is locally made chocolate from a Chicago staple. Finally, take a stroll through the beautiful lakefront parks along Michigan Avenue. Round up your tour in the picturesque Millennium Park, home to the iconic Bean sculpture. Here, your guide will conclude your tour and point you in the right direction toward more amazing sights, great lunch spots, or drink recommendations.

Chicago: Ultimate Food Walking Tour with Tastings

5. Chicago: Ultimate Food Walking Tour with Tastings

Your Chicago food tour will take you through the River North neighborhood — the original Chicago foodie destination — to sample some world-famous Chicago dishes, local favorites, and sweet treats. Choose between a shared group or private tour. Start with a very well-known Chicago dish: the Chicago-style hot dog. Perfect for summers at a baseball game (cheering on the Cubs or Sox of course), or for a quick lunch on a workday, this local take on a hot dog is a debate-worthy food in Chicago and is taken very seriously by locals. You will also sample the world-famous Chicago deep-dish pizza! An entire meal unto itself, this staple of the Chicago food scene originated in River North in the 1940s when workers and families needed filling dishes at low prices.  After you’ve filled up on pizza and hot dogs, continue your tasting journey with a classic Chicago sandwich: Italian beef. This hearty meal came about during the Depression, and it’s here to stay. Conclude your Chicago foodie experience here, with easy access to the ‘L’. Even if you say you’ll never be hungry again, don’t forget to note some great dinner recommendations from your guide.

Chicago: Food, History and Architecture Tour with Tastings

6. Chicago: Food, History and Architecture Tour with Tastings

Discover the architecture and food scene of Chicago on a guided day tour. Learn more about the city's history and vibrant food scene as you discover various bustling neighborhoods and historic areas. Start the tour under the dazzling marquee of the Chicago Theater. Explore the bustling city where the first stop is inside one of the best-preserved spaces built for shopping in Chicago, featuring an unforgettable atrium at its core. Then, head towards the Chicago Pedway. This unique feature of Chicago is used by locals and commuters daily to move about the city in a network of underground tunnels. Make your way above ground at City Hall, and admire its classic interior design and architecture. Next, visit a spot for a tasty sweet treat, and a local tradition, Chicago-style popcorn. Take a stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk while taking in views of several soaring buildings, including Marina Towers, the Britannica Building, and the Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower). From there, visit another delicious destination for locally made chocolates from a Chicago staple. Meander through the beautiful lakefront parks along Michigan Avenue, finishing at picturesque Millennium Park, home to the iconic Bean sculpture. Travel by ‘L” train or ride share with your guide from Millennium Park up to the River North neighborhood, the original Chicago foodie destination. Your food tour starts with a very well-known Chicago fare, the Chicago-style hot dog. Every Chicagoan has his or her own preference as to how the dog should be made, and you’ll get a chance to try your guide’s favorite version. Next up is the world-famous Chicago deep-dish pizza. An entire meal unto itself, this staple of the Chicago food scene originated in River North in the 1940s when workers and families needed filling dishes at low prices. Your guide will take you to a pizza place that’s an icon to Chicago natives to try the real deal for yourself. After you’ve filled up on pizza and hot dogs, continue your tasting journey with a classic Chicago sandwich, the Italian beef. Sample this sandwich in a real Chicago institution with no-frills decor. Our tour ends here, and your guide will be happy to direct you back to your accommodation or share tips for what else to see in the city.

Chicago: Wicker Park Walking Food Tour

7. Chicago: Wicker Park Walking Food Tour

Experience the close community and historic diversity in Wicker Park on a this guided food tour through Chicago. This food tour takes guests on a delicious trip through the scenic city blocks, whilst stopping for tastings and pointing out the local landmarks. On this guided food tour of Wicker Park, you will visit 5 uniquely different mom-and-pop shops, ethnic eateries and restaurants. Engage your sense of taste at President Obama's favorite fried chicken place in Chicago! Nosh on the most delectable meatball slider and a heavenly fish or pork taco that will blow your mind. On this 3-hour walking tour, you will get to try 5 different tastings. While the restaurants you will visit are subject to change, you will usually stop at 5 of the following food places: • Antique Taco: (est. 2012) Michelin names them Chicago's best value for authentic tacos • The Chop Shop: An authentic salumeria and gourmet butcher shop • Glazed and Infused Donuts: (est. 2012) Serving a Flavorful re-invention of the iconic American doughnuts • Harold's Original Chicken King: (est. 1950) The brainchild of an African-American southerner named Harold Pierce, and President Obama's favorite • Alliance Bakery: Moist red velvet mini cupcakes that are to die for In between tastings, your guides will explore the history, architecture and culture of Wicker Park. You'll see how the neighborhood's history and influences have shaped the food offered there today, and gain insight into the life of a local.

Chicago: Photo Shoot with a Private Vacation Photographer

8. Chicago: Photo Shoot with a Private Vacation Photographer

The tour provider will organize the locations for your photo shoot based on your own unique requirements, whether it be a family getaway, a romantic trip or a livelier one with friends.  Once the details are organized, you will receive confirmation of all the information you need, leaving you to simply meet the photographer on location in Chicago on the day and let them work their magic, capturing your travels in a contemporary and candid style of photography. Your Chicago vacation photographers are handpicked and highly experienced in addition to being local experts and will share their knowledge of the city with you like an old friend. Once your photo tour has finished, you will receive a link to your own personal online gallery (password protected) within 5 working days, containing your professionally edited images, all free to download. This photo tour will allow you to look back over your travels with fond memories, when all too often you are left with rusty memories of your journeys. Make sure that the next time you travel, you will have mementoes that will last a lifetime and beyond.

Chicago: Riverwalk Guided Walking Tour

9. Chicago: Riverwalk Guided Walking Tour

Tag along on this essential Chicago experience: a guided walking tour of the Chicago Riverwalk. Spend your day exploring art, architecture, and all the locals’ favorite spaces. Visit the Meatpacking District, Chelsea Market, DuSable Bridge, and more. Birthed around the banks of the (now) Riverwalk, Chicago is a city teeming with tales. With the help of your local guide, discover the stories behind the sites you visit and see. Visit all four districts of the Riverwalk, each offering its own flavor of Chicago. Pass iconic sites including the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, DuSable Bridge, and the Marina Towers. As an added perk, become a Chicago insider with behind-the-scenes access at the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum. Stop at Heald Square and see the city’s many monuments and memorials. Along the tour, spot the touching Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Continue strolling down the Riverwalk and hear stories at the site of Old Fort Dearborn and the disaster that was the SS Eastland. Then, pass by the Jeweler's Building and find out if Al Capone really had a super-secret speakeasy at the very top. Nearing the end of the tour, take in a Picasso gifted to the city by the artist himself, see the first church at the Chicago Temple, and end under the prisms of light filtering in the Tiffany Dome at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Frequently asked questions about Chicago Meet the Locals

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What people are saying about Chicago

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 153 reviews

Tour guides Nick and Jackson were very friendly and personable. Each donut shop was unique and offered a variety of donuts. Walk was around 2miles but didn't seem that long because the tour was entertaining. Definitely recommend

Our guide, Dash, was very knowledgeable about all aspects of the city, from the food to the history to all sorts of hidden gems to visit on our trip after the tour, and the whole experience was both fun and informative.

Nick was amazing!!! We enjoyed the Chicago tour so much that we have already booked the same tour in Nashville, TN in December!!! I can not recommend this tour enough!!!

Tour guide, York, was amazing, food delicious, and lots of history!

Wonderful experience!! Great doughnuts and Nick was simply awesome