from Factories to Calories Fulton Market Food Tour
Discover the dramatic transformations of Chicago’s most rapidly booming neighborhood on this walking tour. Over the course of this two-hour excursion, you’ll get a glimpse of Fulton Market’s meatpacking past and enjoy a taste of its gourmand present.
Our Fulton Market food tour guests will sample some of the culinary delights of Fulton Market without feeling overstuffed. You’ll get to taste artisanal deli meats from Publican Quality Meats and half of the signature sub at J.P. Graziano, a family-owned shop in its third generation. The neighborhood tour finishes with pickles and a craft beer sample at Haymarket Pub & Brewery. Please keep in mind that this is an educational tour. Other Chicago food tours may focus more on eating, but we will eat a light amount and most of all learn!
We call our Fulton Market food tour the “Factories to Calories” tour because of the area’s shift from a place of production of appliances, furniture, and meat products to a hub of consumption of food and drink. The walking tour starts with a grand view to see the train and highway systems that made Fulton Market into a vital industrial and meatpacking district throughout much of the 1900s.
From there, we’re off on a one-mile jaunt through a neighborhood defined by change. As recently as the 1980’s and 90’s, Fulton Market was home to underground parties, drug busts, and low-rent art galleries. Today instead, you will find high-end retailers and offices of massive corporations like Google and McDonald’s among historic architecture.
Fulton Market Tour Highlights:
• Signature sandwich from a family-owned neighborhood shop
• A giant cold storage facility, now Google offices
• “Gourmet Food Trend Row” and a tasting from Publican Quality Meats
• The striking art deco Richter Foods building
• Hidden clues in the landscape tied to the meatpacking past
Walking Tour Stories and Ideas:
• Chicago’s meatpacking history and the role of Fulton Market
• Impact of transportation infrastructure on neighborhood identity
• The industrial neighborhood disappearing before our eyes
• Family businesses and traditions
• Urban renewal and redevelopment
• Labor history and the Haymarket Affair