For my birthday, my beautiful (and very pregnant) sister sent the most thoughtful gift. She discovered the Chicago Food Planet Food Tours and got us two tickets to the Bucktown / Wicker Park Food Tasting and Cultural Walking Tour.
I'm embarrassed to say how long it took for us to use the tickets, but I can promise you it was worth the wait. We ended up taking the tour on a beautiful Saturday fall-ish afternoon.
We started our afternoon at George's Hot Dogs. While I loved the information our entertaining tour guide provided on this stop, I can't say I'm a huge fan of George's. Before the tour started we attempted to buy a bottle of water and the service was pretty awful. We stood in the window and were completely ignored for several minutes despite being the only ones in the store. Not the best way to greet new customers.
But what was more disappointing was that our Chicago dog wasn't served on a poppy seed bun. As someone on the search for the best Chicago dog in all of the land, I've developed a few expectations. When an essential ingredient is missing it makes a big difference. The dog was good but definitely missing something.
Thankfully, the rest of the tour was top notch. Iced hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows from Hot Chocolate, roasted veggie salad from the Goddess and Grocer, Margherita pizza from Piece, and That Guy from Florida from iCream (silly name not so silly ice cream) all made my tastebuds sing. Turns out that Bucktown and Wicker Park have some pretty tasty treats for sale.
We also had a chance to learn a little bit about the history of both neighborhoods. Our guide was really talented. She was funny, informative, personable, and entertaining. She kept us on track without being pushy and let the tour go with the flow.
Oooo, ooo, ooo, and this reality TV junkie saw the building that was once the Real World Chicago house. It's pictured above and I admit to having a bit of a fan girl moment.
I'm kind of sad that I didn't get a picture of my favorite stop on the tour. Because we were running a little bit behind (we were a chatty group) we had to rush through Sultan's Market. I'm going to be honest, I was WAY too busy loving every bite of the falafel to stop and take a picture of it. On a day full of yummy deliciousness, it is really something to say it was the best thing I ate. But suffice it to say, I'm pretty excited to go back and try a few more menu items.
I'm also excited to try another tour! I'm hoping to jump on Chicago Food Planet's Chinatown Tour very soon.
Have you ever taken a food tour?
Did it tickle your tastebuds or turn your tummy?