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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.

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. You’ll see the train and highway systems that made Fulton Market into a vital industrial and meatpacking district. From there, we’re off on a one-mile jaunt through a neighborhood defined by change.

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 tour finishes with pickles and a craft beer sample at Haymarket Pub & Brewery. Please keep in mind that this is an educational tour. Other food tours may focus more on eating, but we will eat a light amount and most of all learn!

Until very recently, Fulton Market was a gritty meatpacking district. You’ll see the historic Fulton Market buildings that housed 19th-century meat and produce vendors. Today, of course, they’re home to an array of high-end restaurants. We’ll discuss how even the streets and sidewalks themselves were designed to aid the often grisly work of butchering and processing meat.

Beyond that, this walking tour of Fulton Market will explore just how quickly the neighborhood has changed and gentrified. As recently as the ’80s and ’90s, Fulton Market was home to underground parties, drug busts and low-rent art galleries. Today you will find high-end retailers and headquarters for corporations like Google and McDonald’s.

And how did this all happen?! Your tour guide will talk about how the city of Chicago eased the way for gentrification over the past 20 years. As we walk through the neighborhood, we will see active demolition and construction. Finally, we’ll discuss the infamous Haymarket Affair and labor history with drinks and snacks at the eponymous brewpub.

Tour is capped at 14 tour guests. Space is very limited and tours do sell out, so we recommend booking your Fulton Market food tour ASAP!

This Fulton Market food tour is also available as a private group tour for nine or more guests.


Fulton Market Tour Highlights

  • A grand view of the railroad tracks and surrounding industrial buildings
  • Redeveloped meatpacking facilities, now trendy restaurants
  • A giant cold storage facility, now Google offices
  • “Gourmet Food Trend Row”
  • 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

$42 Walking Tour Includes

  • Engaging tour guide commentary
  • Artisanal deli meat sample from Publican Quality Meats
  • Beverage and half-size signature sub at J.P. Graziano
  • Sample-size glass of beer and pickles at Haymarket Pub & Brewery
  • All gratuities for servers
  • Special gifts


Tour Location

We start inside Stumptown Coffee Roasters at 311 N Morgan St. Parking recommendation will be included in your confirmation email.

We end inside the Haymarket Pub & Brewery at 737 W. Randolph St.

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