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Sep. 15 – Big Shoulders Historic Bar and Food Bus Tour in Bridgeport

Eat and drink through the history of the oldest neighborhood of Chicago.

Connect the history of Chicago’s food and drink with the story of Bridgeport, a historically working class neighborhood. Normally offered only for private groups, this 2.5-hour food and drinking neighborhood bus tour is available one day only in 2019. We go to three Chicago historic bars that are quintessential to Bridgeport history. One historic bar is actually a secret bar, and not open to the public. You’ll hear fascinating stories culled from the family lore of barkeepers. The foods on our food tour are used as elements of cultural history. Foods we try include an authentic Chinese bao, Lithuanian beer, a Polish cookie, and the “mother-in-law” sandwich–a South Side Chicago specialty.

On this tour, guests explore the area’s history of industry and politics while enjoying beers, good company and local fare. The title for this tour in Bridgeport comes from a Carl Sandburg poem. His phrase “big shoulders” has come to be a common reference to the city’s labor roots. Bridgeport is Chicago’s oldest neighborhood and borders an industrial district.

In its earlier years, the Bridgeport neighborhood communities were Lithuanian, German, Polish, Czech and Irish. Chinese and Mexican immigrants have moved in recent decades. Most recently, hipsters have joined into the chronology.

For this pub crawl tour in Bridgeport, you will eat, drink and learn with a group of mostly fellow Chicagoans. A luxury coach whisks you from one experience to another on a luxury 37-passenger coach. We take a short walking tour for a more up-close look at the architecture of the neighborhood, including a look at homes and neighborhood corner buildings on the very old-timey Lituanica Street.

The driving portion of our tour includes the Chicago Stock Yards Gate, the former “Bucket of Blood,” the White Sox Stadium, historic factories, art centers, street art murals and a quarry-turned-park. We start and end the tour downtown for easy access.

Space is very limited so book now!

This neighborhood food tour is also available as a private group tour! 


2.5 Hours


Some Walking


$58, plus optional drink package

  • Days & Times

  • Sun, Sept 15

    Sun, Sept 15

    Sun, Sept 15

    Sun, Sept 15

    Sun, Sept 15

    Sun, Sept 15

    Sun, Sept 15


  • White Sox stadium
  • Chicago Stock Yards Gate from 1875
  • Classic Chicago homes
  • Street art and murals
  • Old school neighborhood bars
  • A historic bakery

Stories & Ideas

  • The culture of drinking around the turn of the 20th century
  • Stories behind each historic bar
  • Food history of the “delta tamale” in Chicago
  • The South Side’s unique fast food culture
  • History of the Chicago Stock Yards
  • Ties between drinking industry and Chicago politics

Tour Includes

  • Engaging tour guide commentary
  • Driving tour of Bridgeport’s historic sites
  • Home-made Chinese bao
  • Choice of Chicago hot dog or mother-in-law sandwich
  • Polish cheese kolaczki cookies
  • All gratuities for servers and bus driver
  • Special gifts


If you would like to purchase drinks, bring $18 cash to cover 3 servings of beer or wine and server gratuities.

Tour Location

This Bus tour meets outside the Palmer House Hotel, Wabash entrance - 124 S Wabash
We end inside the Palmer House Hotel, 124 S. Wabash

Book Now


Call: 312.350.1131
E-Mail: [email protected]