Exploring Chicago’s Culinary Side with Chicago Food Planet

Have you ever taken a food tasting tour? If you want to try a great one, I would highly recommend taking it with the guys from Chicago Food Planet. This is a tour company that offers walking food tours in different areas of the city. I had the pleasure to join them in a 3-hour culinary journey through the Bucktown and Wicker Park neighborhoods. The selection of the restaurants for the tour is based on the quality, history, originality and awards that the restaurant holds.

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For this tour in particular, we visited George’s Hot Dogs, a traditional hot dog stand established in 1948 that offers Chicago-style hot dogs prepared with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Then we headed to Hot Chocolate, a restaurant and dessert bar whose owner and chef won the Jean Banchet award for Best Celebrity Pastry Chef in Chicago and was named Pastry Chef of the Year by Chicago Magazine. There we tasted a super yummy iced chocolate with marshmallow. Our next stop was The Goddess and Grocer, a gourmet foods and catering store that carries products from around the world where you can order deli sandwiches and salads. We had to walk a little bit more to get to Piece, a pizzeria and brewery place, but it was well worth it. Piece has award-winning micro-brewed beers and one of the best pizzas I have ever tried (and I am not a pizza lover). They call it New Haven-style thin crust pizza. This is a perfect place to watch a sports event; Piece has a series of eleven 42” plasma TVs that span the length of the bar. Our last stops were Sultan’s Market, a Middle-Eastern deli that offers delicious vegan and vegetarian food and ICream Cafe , an ice cream parlor that makes customized molecular ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet on the spot. Delicious samples from both stops are part of the tour.

The tour was led by Liz, a graceful and knowledgeable tour guide who provided us with insightful commentaries, historical facts and anecdotes of the restaurants we were visiting as well as of the neighborhoods we were walking through. I recommend taking this tour not only to tourists but also to locals. You will surely have a great time discovering culinary treasures in our city and learning interesting facts about the neighborhoods you are visiting.

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