Big Shoulders Historic Bar and Food Tour

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Event Category

Food & Drink

Event Overview

Connect the history of Chicago’s food and drink with the story of Bridgeport, a historically working-class neighborhood. On this tour, guests explore the area’s history of industry and politics while enjoying beers, good company, and local fare. Normally only offered to private groups, this one-off tour for the public gives a rare chance to have this special experience.

The title for this 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 Chicago historic 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 on our food tour are used as elements of cultural history. Foods we try include an authentic Chinese bao, Lithuanian beer, a Polish cookie, and the “mother-in-law” sandwich–a South Side Chicago specialty.

For this pub crawl tour, you will eat, drink and learn with a group of mostly fellow Chicagoans. A luxury coach whisks you from one experience to another on a luxury 37-passenger coach. We take a short walking tour for a more up-close look at the architecture of the neighborhood, including a look at homes and neighborhood corner buildings on the very old-timey Lituanica Street.

The 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.

Minimum age

All ages welcome

What's Provided

Food Bus Tour Includes :Driving tour of Bridgeport’s historic sites, Three servings of beer or wine per person, Home-made Chinese bao, Choice of Chicago hot dog or mother-in-law sandwich, Polish cheese, kolaczki cookies. All gratuities!

What You Can Expect From This Experience
  • 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
  • Ties between drinking industry and Chicago politics
Cancellation Policy

There are currently no upcoming dates scheduled for this Dabble. Log in to an account message the host or add to your bucket list to be automatically notified when new dates are posted.


Our Philosophy
We believe that the primary role of a tour guide is to educate, so we create an interactive group dynamic and share educational tools and new perspectives for you to connect with the architecture of Chicago.

We are committed to responsible travel, so our tour company uses green practices and immerse you in a truly local experience.

We know that history is best told with a creative approach, so we use different media, like historic quotes, old photographs, and documentary film clips, to stimulate your imagination and present various perspectives.

We believe that a city like Chicago is more than “highlights,” so we share forgotten stories about both famous city landmarks and lesser-known attractions.

We understand that business is about building community, so our tour company likes to connect with tour operators, conventions, destination management companies, non-profits, community groups, senior groups, universities, cultural organizations, and Chicago businesses.

We treat all our tour guests like a new friend, because we believe in the importance of hospitality, and we love when tour guests have chosen to tour Chicago with a small business.

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