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Sidewalk Food Tours of Chicago

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to purchase tickets in advance? May I purchase with cash?

Tickets must be purchased in advance through our secure website or by calling (877) 568-6877. Please make sure you purchase tickets well in advance of your desired tour date, as our tours sell out quickly. We have a no refund policy.

Is there a waiting list if the tour I'm interested in is sold out?

We currently do not have a waiting list. Please email us at info@sidewalkfoodtours.com to find out if an additional tour has been added that suits your schedule.

What if there is bad weather?

Tours are given rain or shine. A good portion of our time is spent walking outdoors. However, on our food tasting tours, we do spend time inside establishments, so you will not be subject to the elements the entire tour.

What type of clothing and shoes should I wear?

We do a fair amount of walking on our tours. You should dress casually and wear comfortable shoes or sneakers.

How much food do we eat on the food tasting tours?

You will taste foods from five different specialty shops, ethnic eateries, and restaurants. Depending on the tour you take, you may eat a gourmet taco, deep-dish Chicago-style pizza, Spanish tapas, award-winning soup, a cupcake, etc. This is just some of the food on one tour. Most people say it's enough food for lunch. We suggest individuals with large appetites see how they feel after the tour, and order a dish from their favorite tasting.

What if I have dietary restrictions or food allergies?

Please be sure to let us know if you (or anyone in your group) has a dietary restriction (e.g. vegetarian, diabetic, allergy, etc.) when you purchase your tickets. All tastings are prepared in advance at each location, based on the information you provided to us at the time of ticket purchase. Please be sure to purchase your tickets in advance so that we have adequate time to prepare your tasting substitutions. Last minute dietary changes on the tour will not be accommodated.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Our tastings are designed to bring you the best of what each renowned food establishment has to offer. In particular, at locations that specialize in traditional, family recipes, there isn’t always a “next best” option we can offer that will meet your specific dietary needs.

If you HAVE SEVERE FOOD ALLERGIES please contact us or call us at 877-56-TOURS before purchasing tickets for any of our food tours.

Do you offer vegan and gluten-free options on the food tour?

We do not have substitutions for vegan, gluten-free or dairy free. If you have questions regarding this, please contact us or call us at (877)568-6877 before purchasing tickets for any of our food tours.

Do you offer vegetarian options?

Yes. We have vegetarian options on our food tours. Be sure to let us know, well in advance, and we will make the appropriate substitutions.

Do you offer kosher options?

The majority of the food tastings are not guaranteed kosher. If you keep kosher please contact us or call us at 877-56-TOURS before purchasing tickets for any of our food tours.

What if I am late?

It is a good idea to arrive at the meeting location 10-15 minutes prior to the tour start time. In fairness to the people who arrived on time we will leave promptly at the tour start time. If you are late, you may call us at 877-56-TOURS to try and find the group, once they have left. There are no guarantees you will be able to find the group, as our guides are narrating the tour and will not pick up their cell phones. There are no reschedules or refunds for latecomers who cannot find the group.

May I reschedule my food tour?

We have a 72 hour rescheduling policy. You must notify one of our representatives at least 72 hours before your tour to reschedule. Call 877-56-TOURS. Otherwise, you will forfeit your ticket. We pre-order the food for our tours 72 hours in advance.

How much walking is there on the food tasting tours?

We're on our feet for approximately 3 hours. We walk at a casual pace and stand in place for a few minutes at various attractions. The streets have a slight incline and you will have to walk up small stairs at some of the establishments. Please let us know in advance, if you have difficulty walking up a few flights of stairs, and we will make arrangements for you.

Are your tours appropriate for children?

Our friendly and knowledgeable tour guides make learning about the history, culture, and foods of the neighborhoods we visit interesting, informative and fun. Please gauge whether or not you think this tour is appropriate for your child. Children under the age of 5 are free, unless they're going to participate in all of the food tastings. You may bring a stroller on the tour, but it will have to remain outside, if the food establishment is busy.

Are pets allowed on your tours?

Pets are not allowed on any of our food tasting tours. Chicago law prohibits pets from entering an establishment that serves food or drink.

Is your tour very touristy? Do native Chicagoans take your tours?

Our tours are specifically designed to take you to the "hidden gems" only the neighborhood locals know about. Therefore, our tours take you "off the beaten path," so you're not mobbed by tourists on crowded streets. Native Chicagoans take our tours to explore neighborhoods other than the ones they live in, and learn where to find the best culinary delights. None of our tours have a touristy feel to them. Our goal is for you to revisit a neighborhood like a local.

Are tour guides gratuities included in the price?

Tour guides gratuities are not included in the cost of your tour. We generally recommend giving your guide between 15% - 20% of the purchase price of the tour. Our tour guides are dedicated to making your tour the highlight of your stay in Chicago.

Are gift certificates available?

Yes. A walking tour is a great gift to give someone living in or visiting Chicago.
River North Tour Gift Certificates

Wicker Park Tour Gift Certificates

Can I book a private tour?

Yes. Private tours are available for our Wicker Park and River North Food Tours. To inquire about a private tour, please fill out the form on our private tours page. Our tour director will contact you within 24 hours to inform you if the date and time is available.

What are the requirements for a private tour?

There is a minimum charge for a private tour. We can accommodate large groups up to 75 people, but the group will be split up into groups of 25 people with their own private tour guide. The earlier you book your private tour the more able we are to accommodate your needs. For pricing and information regarding private tours, please refer to the private tours page.