Big Shoulders Historic Bar and Food Bus Tour

Eat and drink through the history of the oldest neighborhood in Chicago.
Explore Chicago beyond downtown.

This bus tour explores Chicago’s food and drink history in Bridgeport, a historically working class neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. On this private group tour, guests explore the area’s history of industry and politics while enjoying beer or wine, good company, and classic South Side fare in a “secret bar.”

PRIVATE BIG SHOULDERS BUS TOUR DETAILS

The title for this private tour 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.

We go to three historic Chicago 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 served are elements in telling the story of the neighborhood. Foods we try include an authentic Chinese bao, Lithuanian beer, a Polish cookie, and the “mother-in-law” sandwich–a South Side Chicago specialty. It’s a culturally vibrant food tour, which is our style on private Chicago tours!

For your private group pub crawl tour, guests eat, drink and learn in between being whisked from one experience to another on a luxury 18-passenger or 37-passenger coach. We also take a short walking tour for a more up-close experience with the neighborhood, including a look at homes and neighborhood corner buildings.

Our 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. It’s an incredibly fascinating area of Chicago, making this private group tour option ideal for corporate team building, family reunions and birthday parties.

WHY BOOK THIS BUS TOU FOR YOUR PRIVATE GROUP?

Who wants to listen to a volunteer tour docent rambling a bunch of memorized dates and names? Not us! Our expert Chicago 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 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!

As you decide on a private group tour of Chicago, this quick guide may help you understand if Chicago Detours is the right tour company for your special event.

All-inclusive rates are $80 per person including transportation, dinner, dessert, three drinks, gratuities, taxes, special gifts and more! This private food bus tour lasts three hours to three-and-a-half hours depending on the size (and speed) of your group. Minimum group size is 14.

Length

3 - 3.5 Hours

Distance

Some Walking

Highlights

  • White Sox stadium
  • Chicago Stock Yards Gate from 1875
  • Classic Chicago homes, including Mayor J. Daley's bungalow
  • Street art and murals
  • A quarry-turned-park
  • 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
  • Luxury coach transportation to/from any downtown office or hotel
  • Photo and video presentation via screens on bus
  • Driving tour of Bridgeport's historic sites
  • Brief walking tour
  • Three servings of wine or beer per person
  • Choice of Chicago hot dog or mother-in-law sandwich
  • Authentic Chinese pork and meat baos
  • Polish cheese kolaczki cookies
  • All gratuities for servers, tour guide, and driver
  • Special gifts

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