Restaurant tour goes off the beaten path

June 16, 2012 9:07:21 PM PDT
George's Hot Dogs has been a part of the Bucktown community for more than 60-years.

It's well known to the locals, and will now be discovered by the culinary curious who have signed up for the food-tasting walking tour of Bucktown and Wicker Park.

Before the group sets off they head inside George's to taste a classic Chicago hot dog and to learn the history behind it.

The Bucktown-Wicker Park tour is one of three itineraries organized by Chicago Food Planet.

It also conducts tours in Chinatown and the near north neighborhoods.

On each one, a tour guide takes a group to several restaurants that are off the beaten path, which could explain why half of the clientele are Chicagoans.

"We're getting a lot of people from the city itself looking to take a three-hour vacation in their own city and really enjoy food along the way," said Chicago Food Planet's Shane Kost.

Along the way, the guide gives a little history of the neighborhoods and highlights architectural points of interest.

Then it's back to the best part, tasting something new.

"I've taken pictures of some of the food and sent them to my daughter and we're gonna do the tour again," said Lynn Walwer.

At the restaurant and dessert bar Hot Chocolate, it's the iced hot chocolate.

For the restaurants along the route, the tour is great for business.

"The people who come on the tour that might not be aware of the neighborhood or of the restaurant are now very aware of it and they come back," said Hot Chocolate owner Mindy Segal.

And can brag about their new favorite restaurant, 0r the best place to go for a hot dog or pizza.

For 9-year old David Frank, it's one thing in particular.

The Hot Chocolate place, their hot chocolate was very good," he said.

www.chicagofoodplanet.com


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