The Best Food Tours in Chicago: Top 10 Windy City Culinary Experiences

This article has links to products and services we recommend, which we may make a commission from.

Chicago food tours introduce you to the best local food scene and the iconic flavors that have received worldwide acclaim.

As Chicago locals, we are proud of our city and the diverse culinary gems found all over the city. 

Chicago has been named one of the top cities for food in America with deep dish pizza and Chicago hotdog at the helm.

Beyond these signature foods, you’ll find amazing food, outstanding architecture and neighborhoods known for unique specialties.

This list of the 10 best Chicago food tours include some our favorite experiences and neighborhoods for iconic food.

If you are looking to taste the best of the Windy City, join any of these Chicago food tours. Loosen up your belt and get ready for an amazing array of flavors.

Authentic Food Quest Page_Break

Comparison Table of The Best Food Tours in Chicago

Chicago Food ToursPrice 
($ USD)
PrivateStart TimeDurationLocationBest For
Chicago in a Day$104Small group tours10:00 am5 hoursChicagoFirst time Chicago visitors
Chicago Food Favorite$74.99Small group tour11:30 am3 hoursDowntown ChicagoChicago Signature foods
Loop Secret Food Tour$87Private and small group tours11:30 am3 hoursChicago LoopChicago Iconic Sites
Bikes, Bites and Brews$89.99Small group tour11:30 am and
5:30 pm
4 hoursDowntown ChicagoBike & Beer Lovers
Underground Donut Tour$40Small group tour9:00 am, 11:00 am or
12:00 pm
2 hoursDowntown ChicagoDonut Lovers
River North Food Tour$75Small group tours11:00 am3 hoursRiver NorthCulinary specialties in River North
Chicago’s Chinatown Food Tour$74.99Small group tour11:30 am and
4:00 pm
3 hoursChicago ChinatownChinese Food Enthusiasts
Chicago Pizza Tour$75Small group tour11:00 am3.5 hoursDowntown ChicagoPizza Lovers
Chicago West Side Food & Bike Tour$89.99Small group tours12:00 pm4 hoursChicago’s West SideEthnic Food Lovers
Chicago Premiere Dinner Cruise$180.18Small group tour7:00 pm (times vary in Summer months)2.5 to 3 hoursLake MichiganCruise Lovers

Please note that prices might vary slightly when you book your tour. Availability of some Chicago food tours may differ based on season and time of year.

Top Selection of Food Tours in Chicago

1. Chicago in a Day – Food, History and Architectural Walking Tour

The Bean Chicago Food Tours by Authentic Food Quest
“The bean” is one of Chicago’s most iconic landmarks

The city of Chicago is well known for its amazing architecture and it has also been ranked as a top destination for food.

This Chicago food, history and architecture tour takes you to some of the greatest places in Chicago, both food-wise and architectural.

In over 5 hours, you’ll visit classic attractions and hidden gems on your way to taste some of the city’s most delicious foods.

Your guide will share interesting facts about the attractions and buildings and you’ll understand why Chicago’s architecture is world renowned.

Iconic foods like Chicago hot dog, deep dish pizza, Chicago sandwiches with Italian beef will surprise you with their special flavors.

You will take a walk along the Chicago Riverwalk and admire iconic buildings like Marina Tower, the Willis Tower and the Britannica Building.

After that, you might either take a water taxi or hop on the “L” train, a Chicago landmark seen in movies or TV shows.

Insights about the city, famous buildings, movies and celebrities will entertain you during this walking tour.

Local Chicago favorites like popcorn and homemade chocolate will be savored, including a visit to the Pedway system. 

This maze of underground tunnels and bridges is used by locals to commute around the city.

Your Chicago adventure ends in the picturesque Millennium Park, a popular gathering spot for locals. 

From here you can relax and enjoy the gorgeous lakefront or go shopping on the magnificent mile.

This tour offers a comprehensive overview of the city and is best for first time visitors. Be sure to wear comfortable as you will do a lot of walking.

Cost: About $104 per person

Time and Length of Tour: Approximately 5 hours. Tour starts at 10:00 am

Group Style: Small group tours onducted in English

2. Chicago Favorites Ultimate Food & Walking Tour

Italian Beef Sandwich Food Tours Chicago by Authentic Food Quest
Taste delicious Italian beef sandwich on this Chicago food tourPhoto credit: Bongiorno’s Cucina Italiana on Facebook

Feast on Chicago’s legendary foods on this 3-hour food and walking tour. In true Chicago fashion, this tour begins at a pizza restaurant where you’ll be introduced to the city’s history. 

You’ll savor Chicago pizza along with locally crafted beer as you prepare your taste buds for your culinary tour. 

As you stroll through downtown Chicago and Michigan Avenue, you’ll stop at an iconic hotdog and discover why it is so good.

Throughout this Chicago walking food tour, your guide will entertain you with stories about the history, food and culture.

Going down the river, you will make a stop in the Chicago Riverwalk, to admire the majestic architecture and downtown skyline. 

While you are here, you will indulge in an one of the best Italian beef sandwiches from a family-run business.

At Billy Goat Tavern, popularized by Saturday Night Live, enjoy hot dogs and “the Cheezborger, Cheezborger stories”.

This Chicago walking tour continues to the Millennium Park where you’ll marvel at the works of art, including Cloud Gate, or “the Bean”. 

An American sweet favorite ends your ultimate Chicago food and walking tour. At the elegant Palmer House Hotel, you’ll sit down to chocolate chip brownies, invented in Chicago.

For a downtown walking tour featuring favorite foods, this is one of the best Chicago food tours to take.

Cost: About $74.99 per person

Time and Length of Tour: Approximately 3 hours. Tours starting at 11:30 am 

Group Style: Small group tour conducted in English

3. Chicago Loop Secret Food Tour with Private Tour Option

Garretts Popcorn Food Tours In Chicago by Authentic Food Quest
Gourmet popcorn made in Chicago – Photo credit: Garrett Popcorn on Facebook

Taste the food and experience the culinary influences from the people who build Chicago. 

This Chicago loop secret food tour covers the city’s historic enclaves, public art and architecture in the Loop district.

You will learn about the city through the people and communities that have left a huge imprint on it. At the same while, you’ll also savor the cuisine and flavors of the immigrant heritage on the food.

You’ll open up the taste buds with a slice of deep dish pizza, as you head to the bold Postmodern Harold Washington library.

You will be surprised to learn and enjoy one of Oprah’s “favorite things”, the gourmet popcorn.

Next, you will sample the classic Chicago-style hot dog. A delicious ketchup-free hotdog with the toppings that define the city.

A secret food will surprise you at the world’s former tallest building, the Willis Tower, formerly, Sears Tower.

And you cannot leave the Windy City without having tried the famous Italian beef sandwich.

Your last stop along Michigan Avenue south is for a much loved Chicago invention. Enjoy delicious brownies while learning about their history and creation.

The 3-hours you’ll spend on this Chicago loop secret food tour will leave you with a deep appreciation for the heartbeat of Chicago.

Cost: About $87 per person

Time and Length of Tour: Approximately 3 hours. Tour starts at 11:30 am

Group Style: Small group tour conducted in English

4. Bikes, Bites and Brews –  Chicago’s Signature Dishes Bike Tour

Bike Tour Food Tours Chicago by Authentic Food Quest
Explore Chicago’s local food scene on bike – Photo credit: Bobby’s Bike Hike – Chicago Tours on Facebook

There is nothing more fun than discovering Chicago’s signature dishes while biking and staying active.

This rather unique tour takes you to popular Chicago neightborhoods for the city’s favorite food groups – pizza, hot dogs, brownies and beer.

There are two versions of this tour available. There is a morning tour and afternoon tour, though availability will vary depending on the season.

The morning tour will take you to the popular city’s neighborhoods of Streeterville, Lakeview, Wrigleyville and Lincoln Park. 

And, the evening biking food tour focuses on downtown Chicago including Millennium Park and Buckingham Fountain.

Regardless of which tour you choose, you will indulge in the luscious Chicago deep dish pizza. 

You’ll stop a famous hot dog stand for the famous Chicago hotdogs. And, two thirst quenching beer stops at local breweries are also part of the experience.

This biking food tours covers about 13 miles (21 km) at a comfortable pace. The paved path is relatively flat making it a safe and accessible experience. 

The Chicago Lakefront is one of our favorite parts of the city and a great way to combine iconic sights with food.

If you enjoy staying active, then a Chicago Signature Dishes Bikes, Bites and Brews tour is the one for you.

Cost: About $89.99 per person

Time and Length of Tour: Approximately 4 hours. Morning tour at 11:30 am, Evening tour at  5:30 pm

Group Style: Small group tour conducted in English

5. Underground Donut Tour – Chicago’s First Donut Tour

Donuts Food Tours In Chicago by Authentic Food Quest
Try some of the best donuts in Chicago

Walk about 2 miles through the heart of Chicago and see parts of the River North neighborhood, near Michigan Avenue. 

This tour is the perfect choice for the lovers of both Chicago neighborhoods and donuts, since it is the city’s only donut-themed tour.

In this 2-hour underground donut tour you will stop at four of the best donut shops in the windy city.

Tasting a few samples from each one of them is included. You’ll try glazed, cake, cream-filled donuts and some with exotic aromas as your guide shares stories about Chicago’s main attractions.

A first stop will be made at the Doughnut Vault where you will try hand-crafted doughnuts, with classic flavors. 

With a tradition and secret recipe dating since the 1930’s, Firecakes Donuts will make a  sweet second stop. This is a family business, inspired by the owner’s grandfather, who created the “firecakes”, an old version of today’s donuts.

Then, you will head to Stan’s Donuts & Coffee. Here you can try a Boston Cream or a Peanut Butter Pocket, amongst many other flavors and delicious shapes.

The underground donut tour will end at Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken. You will try unique recipes here, like Candied Maple Bacon or Michigan Apple Fritter.

Vegan, gluten-free and nut-free options are available, so that anyone can enjoy this Chicago donut tour.

This underground donut tour will finish near Michigan and Erie Avenue, allowing you to continue your exploration of local attractions and Chicago neighborhoods.

Cost: About $40 per person 

Time and Length of Tour: Approximately 2 hours. Tours start at 9:00 am, 11:00 am or 12:00 pm

Group Style: Small group tour conducted in English

6. Chicago River North Walking Food Tour

River North Food Tours Chicago by Authentic Food Quest
Explore River North neighborhood

Enjoy the splendor of the Magnificent Mile and Gold Coast on this Chicago River North walking tour.

This historically affluent neiborhood offers amazing food, regional specialties and wonderful restaurants.

You will delight yourself with five tastings on this 3-hour River North Chicago walking tour.

At least five unique stops are included on this food tour. You will stop for donut at the place where Food & Wine Magazine once rated as having the best donuts in America.

Mexican food by the famed chef Rick Bayless, is also included. Other stops for deep dish pizza, traditional Chicago sandwiches and desserts will also be covered.

As you explore River North, you’ll get cultural and historical insights about the neighborhood from your local guide. 

This deep dive into a historic neighborhood, enjoyed at a leisurely pace offers a different perspective of the Windy City.

For those who have already visited Chicago and want to explore a notable area, this is one of the best Chicago food tours to take.

Cost: About $75 per person

Time and Length of Tour: Approximately 3 hours. Tour starts at 11:00 am

Group Style: Small group tours conducted in English

7. Chicago’s Chinatown Food and Walking Tour

Siumai dumplings_ChicagoChinatownFood_AuthenticFoodQuest
Taste tantalizing dumplings in Chicago Chinatown

Even though we’ve lived in Chicago for many years, taking a Chinatown food tour Chicago remains one of our favorite experiences.

This Chinatown food tour immerses you into Chinese culture and their unique contributions to Chicago.

As you walk through Chicago’s Chinatown, you’ll sample popular foods from five different Chinese regions.

Cantonese food will be the ice-breaker of the tour. You will try the specific food from the Southeastern region of Guangdong. 

And, also learn how the Cantonese emigrated to the United States during the California Gold Rush.

Traditional Chinese dim sum will be demystified as you sample a selection of appetizers with tea. And, learning about Chinese culinary history will become even more apparent as you stop popular desserts from Macau.

One of things we enjoyed best about this Chinatown food tour Chicago were the stops along the way to Chinese sites and attractions.

You’ll find your Zodiac sign in one of the areas iconic landmarks as well as admire murals and Chinese style-buildings

As the best is always saved for last, your final stop will be at a famous local restaurant. Here, you will taste, what it’s said to be, the “best noodles in all of Chicago.”

This Chinatown food Chicago tour goes beyond the food and combines history and culture.  It is one of the best Chicago food tours for for exploring a specific neighborhood and community.

Cost: About $74.99 per person

Time and Length of Tour: Approximately 3 hours. Morning tour at 11:30 am and afternoon tour at 4:00 pm

Group Style: Small group tour conducted in English

RELATED: If you are considering taking a Chinatown Chicago food tour, read our in depth review of the fabulous Chicago Chinatown Food Tour- How to Taste the Best of Chinatown

8. Chicago Pizza Tour

Deep Dish Pizza Chicago FoodTours by Authentic Food Quest
Delicious deep dish pizza

This Chicago pizza tours is one of the most comprehensive food tours dedicated to Chicago’s most famous food.

It is a guided tour that takes you in a small bus to four pizzerias in different neighborhoods over a 3.5 hour period.

You’ll start at a famous downtown pizzeria, Pizza & Pasta. Here, you will taste a slice accompanied by the culinary history of the Chicago deep dish pizza origins. 

And, you’ll be surprised to learn insights about the city’s unique ways of making the best pizza and the culture behind it. 

Flo & Santo’s is the pizzeria where you will enjoy thin crust tavern style pizza. 

Next up, Pequod’s will surprise you with their famous burnt cheese caramelized crust, a rather special taste. 

Finally, at Coalfire you will taste an original, authentic coal oven made pizza. A pizza with a coal-smoked aroma will surely leave you wanting more. 

Besides being well fed, your savvy tour guide will share insight about the techniques, processes and history of the different pizzas.

For pizza enthusiasts and those that love dough, this Chicago pizza tours is designed especially for you.

Cost: About $75 per person

Time and Length of Tour: Approximately 3.5 hours. Tour starts at 11:00 am

Group Style: Small group tour conducted in English

9. Chicago’s West Side Foodies Ride Bike Tour

Pierogis Chicago Food Tours Authentic Food Quest
Sample pierogis and more of Chicago ethnic cuisine Photo Credit: Chicago’s West Side Foodie Ride Bike Tour on Viator

Sample cuisine from around the world on this ride bike tour of Chicago’s West Side.

Over a 4-hour period, you’ll ride through distinct neighborhoods exploring Chicago’s immigrant history through food.

After getting set up and equipped with cycling safety gear, you’ll head to Fulton Market, a former meat packing district for burgers and beer.

Back on your bike, you’ll ride to Ukrainian Village for some of the best Polish pierogis. Enjoy Mexican authentic tacos on your way to the hip and artistic Wicker Park.

In Bucktown, the adjacent neighborhood, you’ll enjoy riding through streets lined with old homes and modern mansions.

Your delicious culinary experience takes you to the historic Old Town for chocolate tasting at one of Chicago’s finest chocolatiers.

Offering a taste of ethnic cuisine, this biking food tour offers a wide range of flavors from the city’s local food scene. One of the best Chicago food tours for diversity of cuisines.

Cost: About $89.99 per person

Time and Length of Tour: Approximately 4 hours. Tours start at 12:00 pm

Group Style: Small group tours conducted in English

10. Chicago Premiere Dinner Cruise on Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan Chicago Food Tour by Authentic Food Quest
Enjoy amazing city view while on your dinner cruise

As one of the great lakes in North America, Chicago’s Lake Michigan offers beautiful skyline views enjoyable any season fo the year.

While not technically a food tour, this exclusive Dinner Cruise on Lake Michigan allows you to enjoy the city’s striking architecture while enjoying a gourmet dinner.

You will pass by the Willis Tower, Shedd Aquarium, Navy Pier and more, as you see the city from a different angle.

Multiple and various activities are await you on board the luxury yacht. You will indulge in a 3-course dinner with menu’s prepared by local celebrity chefs.

Everything you’ll eat is cooked on board with fresh ingredients. Your meal starts out with a choice of fresh salad or soup. 

The main course includes your choice of seafood, steak, poultry and vegetarian options. And, plan to finish with decadent mouthwatering desserts.

 Dining with remarkable views of the city is a one of a kind experience. Dancing ad music on board will turn this cruise into an evening to remember. A live DJ is there to ensure the fun never stops.

If you are lucky enough to book this tour during the Summer fireworks period, you’ll be in for a spectacular treat

From our personal experience, there’s nothing like seeing Chicago fireworks from the water.

If you are looking to celebrate a special occasion or simply want to experience Chicago from the water, consider this Chicago food tour.

Cost: About $180.18 per person

Time and Length of Tour: Approximately 2.5 to 3 hours. Tour start at 7:00 pm

Group Style: Small group tour conducted in English

What to Consider When Choosing a Food Tour in Chicago

While the Chicago food tours share some similar characteristics the experiences vary, from one tour to another. 

Some offer experiences by bike, foot, bus rides and even yacht cruises. They are all great culinary adventures showcasing the best restaurants and delicious treats.

As you consider booking your Chicago food tour, here are some things to consider.

What Kind of Chicago Food Tour Experience Do You Want

Rosemary Claire Chinatown BestChicagoFood by Tours by Authentic Food Quest
Claire and Rosemary on the Chicago Chinatown food tour

Start by asking yourself, what kind of experience you would like.

Do you want to walk around the city, navigate by bike or bus or take a dinner cruise instead?

While walking is a great option, riding a bike, taking a bus or yacht allows you to cover more distance while providing a unique perspective.

Do you want to see or dive into a specific neighborhood? Or do you prefer a broad view of the neighborhoods? 

Chinatown, West Loop, River North and Chicago Loop are some of the city neighborhoods visited.

The food experiences vary. The famous Chicago deep dish pizza, Chicago style hotdogs, local craft beer and more are covered in most tours. 

However, there are some tours that are dedicated to Chinese cuisine or ethnic flavors. Consider choosing based on the Chicago style food experiences you want to have.

With these considerations in mind, simply select the Chicago food tours that fit your preferences and travel plans.

What Is Your Budget for Your Chicago Food Tours

Chicago Panorama Chicago Food Tours by Authentic Food Quest
By bike or on a boat, Chicago offers amazing views

Chicago food tours vary in price depending on the length, experience and number of stops.

The best Chicago food tours range in price from $40 to $180.18 USD.

However, depending on the size of your group, you may be able to negotiate discounted rates.

All tours featured continue to adhere to Covid safety guidelines. However, if you prefer some offer personalized tours that you can enjoy at your own pace.

On a positive note, all these tours allow free booking cancellation up to 24 to 72 hours before the event.

Love Chicago Food Tours? Pin It!

Pinterest Best Chicago Food tours by Authentic Food Quest

Leave a Comment

Post a Comment

We love to hear from you, so tell us what you think.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.