OLD POLONIA AND WICKER PARK FOOD TOUR DETAILS
Wicker Park has been studied by sociologists around the world for its rapid transformation in the ’80s and ’90s. Wicker Park was once marked by crime and poverty. Instead today it is often ranked in lists of “Coolest Neighborhoods” in America and high real estate prices. Now neighboring Ukrainian Village and Noble Square are moving in the same direction, too.
Compared to other Chicago food tours where it can be quantity over quality, we have three food stops on our Wicker Park food tour. The Chicago Detours kind of neighborhood food tour means that beyond just eating, we are going to really learn. To have a more meaningful connection with the places we visit, stories on this Wicker Park food tour range from the voyage of Polish immigrants to the “bard of the down-and-outer” of Nelson Algren, to the “Die Yuppie Scum” graffiti of the ’90s gentrification movement.
Our neighborhood walking food tour starts at the former “Polish Broadway” with a visit inside a stunning Polish Catholic Church, filled with paintings, gold leaf details, and sweeping arches. Our walk around the Old Polonia neighborhood reveals clues to incredible contrasts of old and new, like upscale condos in a former school building or one of Chicago’s last newspaper stands. Over Mexican chile rellenos, we consider Mexican immigration to Chicago and Ashland Avenue’s “taco row.” Then we sample home-style Polish food in a restaurant that feels just like going to visit your Polish grandmother.
The neighborhood tour group takes the CTA up to the Damen stop to stroll through the blooming park of Wicker Park (guests bring their own train cards). In this vibrant park we begin to see the Wicker Park neighborhood’s diverse mix of people, before wandering down “Beer Baron Row” to ogle at massive 19th century mansions.
On this Wicker Park food tour, you’ll hear the history of the Turkish Baths, which often piques interest from riders on the CTA’s adjacent Blue Line. We’ll consume an example the neighborhood’s new, hip vibe with a gourmet doughnut from Stan’s Donuts. And our Chicago neighborhood tour concludes at a special spot at the massive gears of a bank vault, now the inside of a pharmacy.
WHY BOOK THIS NEIGHBORHOOD FOOD TOUR WITH CHICAGO DETOURS?
Who wants to listen to a volunteer tour docent rambling a bunch of memorized dates and names? Not us! Our expert tour guides are highly trained, smart, fun and passionate about Chicago architecture and history.
In business since 2010, we are proud to be a top-rated Chicago tour company with five-stars on Yelp and TripAdvisor. Many of our Chicago architecture walking tours integrate historic bars, food, and music history. We hope you’ll join us to explore stories and places locals don’t even know, both downtown and in Chicago neighborhoods!
Got a time conflict? Consider our Chicago Architecture Crash Course Walking Tour.
This Wicker Park food tour is available to private groups, a unique thing to do in Chicago for a family group or a corporate team building event.