ABOUT SIDEWALK FOOD TOURS OF CHICAGO

OUR STORY

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A CULINARY EXPERIENCE COMPANY

The story behind Sidewalk Food Tours of Chicago goes back three years. Two friends with a deep love of food, history, and the city of Chicago found themselves constantly taking friends and family on private walking tours. One day a friend of theirs said, “You guys always give us such informative and delicious food tours. You should start a food tour company, so other people will be able to enjoy your tours as much as we do.” And the rest, as they say, is history.

Our goal is to provide exceptional walking food tours of Chicago so you can revisit these neighborhoods with confidence and enjoy the array of cultural options they have to offer. We’re self-proclaimed foodies. We’ve made it our mission to eat our way through Chicago, doing a lot of delicious research (and some not so appetizing) to bring you the best food options Chicago has to offer.

There is no better way to learn about the history and culture of a neighborhood than to eat its food. The food and the people who prepare it tell a story about the neighborhood. Tease your taste buds and join us in the River North and Wicker Park neighborhoods. We eat food from decades-old establishments, which have stood the test of time, as well as newer places with award-winning chefs. Join us on a real foodie adventure as we eat our way through these delicious neighborhoods and uncover the off-the-beaten-path food spots of Chicago.

Bon voyage!

SIDEWALK FOOD TOURS OF CHICAGO

OUR TOURS

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EXPLORE NEIGHBORHOOD DELIGHTS

Sidewalk Food Tours of Chicago offers exceptional Chicago walking tours. As any local can tell you, walking tours are the best way to see the sights and hidden gems of the city. Learn the history, culture, and architecture of Chicago neighborhoods up close and personal!

All our tours are guided by native Chicago sightseeing guides with a whole lot of great stories to tell.

We believe there are two important things that one should have at the end of a good tour: a full belly and a full mind. That’s why we’ve structured our food and history walking tours to offer you the best food and most fascinating sites that Chicago has to offer. Our expert local guides provide an entertaining insider’s view into the culture and history that define Chicago. Experience the best of Chicago in all of its deliciousness.

MEET THE TEAM

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JOSHUA HIRSCH Owner

On a six-hour historical tour of Lower Manhattan, Joshua’s stomach began to grumble as the guide pointed out some delicious food spots. It was then that he had an “aha moment.” He decided to include his favorite food places on a history and culture walking tour, so folks wouldn’t be hungry while discovering the city!

He wanted his tours to tell the story of the neighborhood through its food and the people who prepare it. The rest, as they say, is history. Sidewalk Food Tours, a culinary experience company, was born. He has since expanded into six delectable cities. His goal is to expand to every major U.S. city you travel to, so you can experience its food and culture on a Sidewalk Food Tour.

Chieu-Pham
CHIEU PHAM Partner

We are honored to have Chieu Pham on our team. She plays an integral part in the company’s overall success. Her family bravely refuged to the U.S. from Vietnam in the 1980s. She brings years of business experience, previously working for Sprint, Principal Financial, Morgan Stanley, and Hartford. In addition to her business acumen, she is extremely passionate about feng shui, astrology, food, and culture. She loves meditation, traveling, and hiking to beautiful mountaintops. Spending quality time with her eight nieces and nephews is what brings her the most joy.

Matt-Kinsey
MATT KINSEY Operations Manager

Matt Kinsey is a NY-based actor and director. He loves to binge watch Chef’s Table, pretend he can cook like a Michelin star chef, and enjoy the strangest bits of NYC’s history.

He studied acting at NYU and has since been focused on writing and directing theater. In addition to being a manager at Sidewalk Food Tours, he is also a wonderful food tour guide in New York City.

Favorite Cocktail: Old Fashioned
Favorite Bite: Pierogi at Veselka’s

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TORY WERGELIS-ISAACSON Human Resources/Marketing

Tory is a former math teacher and Philadelphia native with a passion for travel. Having lived overseas in Scotland, New Zealand, and the United Arab Emirates, he is always on the lookout for his next adventure- and those adventures will always involve trying new foods. His goal is to travel to and eat at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Outside of work, you can usually find him coaching baseball, endlessly scrolling through Netflix, or in pursuit of high-quality BBQ food.

Favorite Cocktail: Bourbon on the rocks

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JAKE WILKOFF Chicago Manager

Jake is a fun loving and hungry guy who loves to cook for his wife, Margaret, at their condo in the foodie hotspot of Logan Square. When he isn’t sampling tasty food and drinks he might be at the hockey rink where he coaches a children’s hockey team, or you might find him volunteering with the Union League Boys & Girls Club.

Favorite cocktail: Old Fashioned from the Violet Hour in Wicker Park

Favorite local food: Oiimen Ramen at Oiistar in Wicker Park

Favorite local restaurant: MingHin Cuisine (dim sum) in Chinatown

Brittany-Vogel
BRITTANY VOGEL Guide

Brittany is a native Chicagoan with a passion for pizza, wine and all things tasty. When she isn’t leading tours and indulging in delicious food, you can catch her freelancing throughout the city as an actress, improviser, and makeup artist.

Favorite cocktail: Caipirinha

Favorite Local Food: Tavern style pizza

Favorite Restaurant: Green Zebra

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SARAH MANNING Guide

Sarah is a national touring stand-up comedian who mostly performs in and around Chicago. She is a Second City Music Conservatory grad and often features characters and musical acts in her performances. An outdoor enthusiast, she is an avid cyclist, runner and beach “bum” (though she prefers beach connoisseur).

Favorite restaurant: Chicago Diner

Favorite cocktail: Bloody Mary

Molly-McElherne
MOLLY MCELHERNE Guide

Molly is a teacher and lifelong Chicagoan (authentic accent is free of charge) who loves to explore our great city plate by plate. Hooked on Chicago food and folklore, Molly is ready to help you make the best out of your day in our city. Bring her your foodie curiosities…such as, yes, we eat really do eat deep dish pizza. When she’s not leading tours, she is a home cook and a home brewer. Cheers!

Favorite cocktail: Champagne cocktail

Favorite Restaurant: Bite cafe

Naomi-Spungen
NAOMI SPUNGEN Guide

Naomi was born and raised in Highland Park, IL, just north of the city. After graduating from Boston University in 2015 with a degree in American Studies, Naomi moved to New Zealand for a couple years where she worked in marketing, before moving back to Chicago to pursue a career in stand up comedy.  When she’s not giving tours, bartending, or teaching yoga, Naomi can be seen performing all around over the city, and love to give her tours recommendations for where to catch some some of Chicago’s best live comedy shows.