Factories to Calories Fulton Market Food Tour in Chicago, IL

Stumptown Coffee Roasters Chicago, IL 60642
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During this walking tour, gain insight into one of Chicago’s most interesting neighborhoods—Fulton Market! This educational tour, led by a professional guide, takes you through Fulton’s meatpacking past and into its present as a bustling hub of industry and popular places to eat. Discover just how much this section of Chicago has changed!

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Chicago Travel Experts
  • Tour duration approximately 2 hours.
  • Tour includes food samples.
  • Be prepared to walk roughly 1 mile.
  • All gratuities for servers included.
  • A maximum of 14 people are allowed on the tour.


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

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"Virtual River Tour"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 15, 2020
My wife gave me the virtual river tour as a birthday present. It was great. This tour had features that haven't been on previous live river tours. For instance, we started much farther down the south branch. We were also able to see the inside of some of the buildings (using Google Maps), such as the inside of the clock tour of the Encyclopedia Britannica building. I love the extras that Chicago Detours gives to people who already know quite a bit about Chicago. Informative, entertaining, and interactive.
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"Virtual tours"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 12, 2020
I have really enjoyed the virtual tours! I can't wait to talk a walking tour when I get to chicago again. The tours are very interesting. And Alex has a great personality and is very informative.
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San Francisco, CA
"Fantastic Virtual Tours"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 11, 2020
I can't say enough about how good the Chicago Detours virtual tours are. I have taken several of their virtual tours, and they have been terrific. The guides are superb--very knowledgeable and very interesting. I recommend them very highly!
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Los Angeles, California
"Fantastic zoom tours!!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 10, 2020
I have spent lots of time over the last month watching these zooms. I love Chicago and this is a great way to see it. When you are there physically you could not do all of these tours in the offbeat neighborhoods. They put together such interesting presentations that I think I will still do the zooms even when I can also go there again physically. Fantastic job!!! Don’t stop the zooming!
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Chicago, Illinois
"I highly recommend them!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 10, 2020
I have been really enjoying Chicago Detour's virtual Architecture Walking Tours and Neighborhood Tours. I have learned a lot on the Ravenswood, Lakeview, Uptown and cocktail tours. I thought my latest one of the Indiana Dunes and the Century of Progress homes was particularly good. I am exctied to go on an actual tour once things open up!!!
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Factories to Calories Fulton Market Food Tour is located at Stumptown Coffee Roasters Chicago, IL 60642
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Frequently Asked Questions about Factories to Calories Fulton Market Food Tour

How long is the tour?
This tour has a length of 2 hours and a length of 1 mile. Please be prepared to walk or stand for this tour duration, though most tours have moments to sit.

Is food or drink provided?
There will be availability to purchase drinks on the tour, whether soda, water, wine or beer. It’s not included in the cost of the ticket.

Will I have to climb any stairs during the tour?
Yes, most tours have stairs involved. Sometimes there is an elevator available but not in every case. Please call ahead with mobility concerns.

Are kids welcome?
Adults generally have more fun on the tour, but children are welcome! Strollers are welcome on tours, even though there are stairs on some tours.

Are recording or audio devices allowed/provided?
No recording or audio devices on the tour.

Where does the tour start and end? 
Our walking tour starts inside Stumptown Coffee Roasters at 311 N Morgan St. The tour ends inside the Haymarket Pub & Brewery at 737 W Randolph St.

Are tours provided in multiple languages?
All tours are in English.

Will my walking tour be canceled for bad weather? 
Rain or shine our walking tours go on! No refunds. In the case of serious or threatening conditions, we’ll call you.