My belly is currently in turmoil. In the most fantastic way. Today my brother Danny and I experienced the Millennium Tastebud Loop Tour, which is a 3 hour food and cultural walking tour.
Tastebud’s website describes the tour as:
The Chicago Tour that Treats All of a Tourist’s Senses
Chicago is the city of deep dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs and the Italian beef sandwich, and Tastebud Tours wants you to enjoy the tastes of these wonderful foods which are unique to our great city. At the same time we want to introduce you to other iconic foods of Chicago in their historic settings. Join us as we savor the traditional tastes of Chicago along with new and exciting food experiences.
Walk with us through the heart of the city on our taste adventure, stopping at six or seven memorable restaurants and food specialty shops. Along the way listen to our entertaining tour guides as they share history and fun facts about Chicago and its celebrated cuisine.
This was one of the best tours I’ve ever been on. Mimi, our guide, was truly excellent. When we first bought the tickets I expected to eat a lot of good food, enjoy it, and become uncomfortably full. But it was so much more than that.
Before the tour I started the day with a 30 Day Shred Level 2.
I had to do something with the amount of food heading towards my belly.
Around 10 AM Dan and I walked the 1.5 miles to the food tour meet up spot while enjoying the beautiful and scenic morning along the way.
The food tour kicked off at Pizano’s Pizza where we met our guide, Mimi, and were given our route maps.
The tour started with our first tasting: Pizano’s pizza. Now I’ve had my share of Chicago deep dish but went into this with an open mind.
This pizza was out of this world. It was totally different from our usual Giordanos in that you didn’t feel like you were wrestling with a mound of cheese. The cheese itself was incredibly fresh and the crust was crisp and delicious.
We also spotted my dad on the fountain.
Creepy, but hilarious.
After Millennium Park we popped into the Palmer House Hotel.
Gorgeous, and extremely posh. The Palmer House was rebuilt after the Chicago fire in 1871 and was the first hotel to be fireproof, have telephones in the rooms, and also was the sight of the first Brownie. Mimi provided brownies in honor of the occasion.
By this point we were actually hungry again, which was awesome. We headed to Gold Coast Dogs for some authentic Chicago cuisine.
These babies were loaded with mustard, relish, onions, tomato, a pickle, peppers, and celery salt. Not really my bag, but I ate about half.
Notice any similarities in the below pictures?
Yep. Dyed green river = dyed green relish, in my mind.
After Gold Coast Dogs we headed to the Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique.
We tasted a mini cupcake, and I brought home a doggy bag for Mr. BMB.
Continuing on the most random day of food EVER we headed next door to Heaven on Seven.
After a short pit stop through Daley’s Plaza we headed to our final stop on the food tour: Berghoff’s.
Berghoff’s is the oldest restaurant in Chicago, and the first to have a liquor license.
Fun facts learned from our conversation at Berghoff’s:
-root beer, or “near beer”, was invented in Philadelphia
-revolving doors were also invented in Philadelphia
-women weren’t allowed in Berghoff’s until 1969
After the tour was officially over we enjoyed a Berghoff brew with Mimi, David, and Jackie before trekking the mile and a half home.
Taste Bud Tours totally exceeded my expectations. Mimi not only exposed us to a random sampling of Chicago’s best food offerings but was extremely knowledgeable and interesting. The 3 hour tour was a great mix of eating, walking, and entertainment. The company is only a year old, and I can’t wait to try their other offerings.
Now we are back home and resting up for our next eating extravaganza: Danny’s birthday dinner tonight.
I’ll leave you with that.. enjoy your weekend!