|« Vosges and Corzo Team Up for Tasting||Mmm, Midweek Links »|
Resource Wed Apr 14 2010
Chicago has a lot to offer hungry tourists, besides the chance to eat a watery hot-dog from the vendor next to the Wendella Boat Tour dock as you cruise the Chicago River. A self-guided Cupcake Crawl is available from Chicago Bites food bloggers Tammy Green and Bridget Houlihan. Their e-book maps out public transportation to different bakeries and includes coupons, hours and prices.
Or skip the cake and go straight for the chocolate. Chicago Chocolate Tours leads two-and-a-half hour strolls through the South Loop, Lakeview or Michigan Avenue (and shorter tours of the new French Market) to meet some of the city's best chocolatiers.
Chicago Food Planet offers walking tours of the Near North and Wicker Park/Bucktown neighborhoods. These tours take about three hours, with stops at restaurants, specialty grocers and, to help keep your energy up, ice cream shops and bakeries. In addition to discovering mom-and-pop shops around town, you'll also learn about neighborhood history and architecture.
Entering its second season is Fork and the Road bike tours. This year the women behind Fork and the Road, Dimitra Tasiouras and Sharon Bautista (a Drive-Thru contributor), will lead samplings of diner specialties, dumplings, Eastern European cuisine, or Mediterranean restaurants and shops, among other tours of eateries, all of them off the beaten path. (No Italian beef or deep dish pizza.) Each ride is about 16 to 20 miles, which sounds worse than it is. The guides ride at a leisurely pace, and each stop offers a chance to rest and refuel. Tours always start at a location near a bike-rental shop, so even those without wheels can take part.
Of course, if deep dish is your thing, there are tours of local pizza purveyors. Slice of Chicago offers a deep-dish walking tour, and Chicago Pizza Tours will show you the city "one slice at a time" and through four different styles of pizza (deep dish, thin crust, stuffed and neapolitan).
When your guests show up this summer, show them there's more to do than hang out at Navy Pier or the Mag Mile eating franchised food stuffs and fighting the crowds.