FAQ2022-06-29T08:05:38-07:00

Buying Tickets

What is your cancellations policy?2020-10-16T13:06:51-07:00

No need to worry.  If there is an unforeseen change in your schedule you can cancel your tour with a 72-hour notice. There is a 10% processing fee for any cancellations.  Sorry, we don’t allow for cancellations within 72 hours but we can offer future gift certificates depending on the situation.

Bike tours are offered from March through November because these are the months you can usually rely on good Chicago weather for biking.  Our Chicago walking tours are offered year-round and during winter months, making use of Chicago’s unique underground pedway system. Tours do run rain or shine and you should always dress appropriately for the day’s weather conditions. Note that Chicagoland is huge, so when they predict “scattered showers” it probably won’t affect the tour. We provide free ponchos on our bike tours when the weather requires and on walking tours. It’s usually easy to duck inside (or stay inside) for a moment until a shower passes. In the rare event that a tour is canceled due to extreme weather, we will allow you to reschedule your tour (subject to availability) or offer a full refund.

There is a minimum number of people needed for our tours to go out. Although solo customers can always sign up and join our tours, we do require at least two participants for any of our bike tours to go out.  And we require a minimum of three participants in order for any of our Chicago food tours to go out. If we do not meet or exceed that number within 2 hours of the tour time you might be contacted and could be asked to either reschedule, be offered a Gift Certificate for a future tour, or cancel altogether (with a full refund).

Are tours offered in bad weather?2018-01-22T07:24:42-07:00

It’s always a beautiful day at Bobby’s Bike Hike and we strongly suggest you dress for the weather, preferably in layers.  We run most of our tours in any type of weather.  Our Bike Tour season is scheduled during months when the weather is predicted to be good, so our schedule reflects that.  We ride in rain but will usually cancel a tour if lightning is present at the start of the tour.  We keep a close watch on the sky and we may decide to start a tour a little late or might cancel all together.  In the rare occurrence that we cancel a tour due to weather we’ll offer you a substitute tour at a different time or day, or offer a full refund for your missed tour.  We do provide ponchos if there happens to be a brief shower while out on the bike tour.  Our walking tours run year round as they are less dependent on stable weather for their operation.  During the nicer months, we use the beautiful outdoor promenades for our walking tours.  And during inclement weather we can duck down and use Chicago’s unique underground pedway system to get from point to point. Just remember to always dress for the weather.  Because our walking tours do not leave from our headquarter location, we do not provide rain ponchos should a pop up shower occurs

What types of private groups do you accommodate?2017-03-08T09:37:37-07:00

We accommodate all sorts of groups.  We have performed an incredible experience many times over for Girl Scout troops, Boy scouts, bachelor and bachelorette parties, school groups, family reunions, college alumni rides, sorority and fraternity mixers, seniors, bike clubs, corporate retreats, teambuilding outings and countless others.  Because of the diversity of our tour selection, we can cater our tours to any type of group.  Email us or give us a call.

What are the requirements for a private guided tour?2017-03-08T09:50:49-07:00

There is a standard cost to book a private tour. We can accommodate from 1-300 people. If you book well in advance there is a good chance that we can accommodate your needs. We have both biking and walking tours and you can add food to any of our tours.  To inquire about a private tour, please fill out the form you’ll find on any of our main tour pages (Bike, Walking, or Food) or you can find the form on each individual tour page.  Our Director of Group Fun will contact you within 24 hours to inform you if the date and time requested is available, and answer any of your questions.  If you need immediate answers you can call our main number 312.245.9300 and select option 2.

Are gift certificates available?2017-03-08T09:50:57-07:00

Yes, gift certificates are available for all Bobby’s Bike Hike guided tours and rentals.  And they make a perfect gift for holidays, birthdays or any other occasion! To purchase a gift certificate, please click on the “SHOP/SERVICE” link on our Menu.  We can ship them to you or to a friend/family member.

Are guide gratuities included in the price?2017-03-08T09:36:51-07:00

Bobby’s Bike Hike does not include gratuities in the cost of our tours. A standard gratuity for a tour guide in Chicago is 18% to 20% of the tour price. If you had a great time gratuities are accepted by our tour guides. We do not provide ATM’s at any of our locations, so please plan ahead and bring cash with you to tip your guide for a job well done.

Do you offer discounts for students, seniors, military, travel agents or kids?2021-05-14T09:45:11-07:00

We do not, however, our online rates are 10% off our in-shop rates.  And, of course, we do appreciate our military, seniors, and students and everything they are about.  So take advantage of our online discount and reserve as either an adult (Age12+), youth (Ages 4-11), and infant (Ages 0-3). Please note if you’re booking a food tour then the infant rate would not include an extra portion of food.

If a tour is sold out can I get on a waiting list?2017-03-08T09:51:17-07:00

We do not officially provide a waiting list. If a date is sold out, there is always a chance that we will add an additional tour. Please email us or call us (312) 933.2980 and let us know what date you are interested in.

When do I buy tickets? Is advance purchase required?2017-03-08T09:51:27-07:00

We strongly encourage you purchase tour tickets in advance. We have been giving tours since 2002 and often sell out quickly (especially on the weekends). Saturdays are the busiest day of the week! You don’t want to get caught at the last minute so check out our tour schedule and availability. Booking ahead guarantees your space on our tour, plus saves you 10%.

How do I buy tickets?2017-03-08T09:51:37-07:00

Our Chicago Guided Tour tickets are sold by calling 312.245.9300 or by reserving online through our website. We work with a third party software that handles our online ticket sales so we can spend more time doing what we do best, creating the best bike, walking, & food tours available. Tickets can be purchased online or over the phone with a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express. Checks and Travelers Checks are not accepted.

Bike Tours: Frequently Asked Questions

Who should take a Chicago Bike tour?2017-03-08T09:51:48-07:00

Explorers, Bike Lovers, Friends, Family, and everyday people too! Our bicycle tours are designed for anyone that loves exploring great neighborhoods while hearing interesting stories about the history and culture that make Chicago a world class city. We have so many bike tours to choose from including ones appropriate to explore unique neighborhoods, the foods that made Chicago famous, Chicago nightlife, Chicago’s gangster history, and kid-friendly side to Chicago.

Do you provide beverages on your food tours?2017-03-08T09:42:30-07:00

Yes, we provide water on all of our food tours.  And most of our tours involve some sort of beverage, whether it be craft beer or hot tea.

Can you accommodate food allergies or vegetarians on your Bike and Food Tours?2017-03-08T09:52:03-07:00

We CAN provide food substitutions for vegetarians on ALL tours. Gluten-free substitutions are available on certain tours.  While we try our very best to accommodate food allergies, we cannot guarantee certain avoidance from various food allergies.  We would encourage you to ask questions along the way and see if our guide might recommend a substitution.

May I bring my dog on the tour?2017-03-08T09:52:26-07:00

Sorry, we do not allow pets on any of our tours.  Actually, you can bring a goldfish in a plastic bag.  Actually, no don’t bring the goldfish either.

Will there be breaks for restrooms?2017-03-08T09:52:34-07:00

Yes, most of the restaurants we visit will have restrooms to use.  We do recommend using the restroom prior to arrival to your tour, however, to expedite the start of the tour.

I took this tour a year ago, has anything changed?2017-03-08T09:52:45-07:00

We change the tour slightly every six to eight months. Many parts of the tour remain the same, but we do our best to improve upon and enhance the tour. Don’t be embarrassed to come back for more and repeat the experience – many people do!  We had one guest tell us he has taken the same tour 8 different times.  When we mentioned he should look at one of the many other tours we offered, he stated no need.  His reason is every time he takes the same tour he gets a different tour guide and each tour guide provides their own unique spin and presentation style.  So if you come back to the same tour, be prepared for a new and engaging experience each and every time.

Do your tours have anything to offer a native Chicagoan?2017-03-08T09:53:00-07:00

Absolutely! Many of our attendees live right here in Chicago or the outlying suburbs. Locals often attend to learn things about the neighborhoods and the city in which they live that they did not know beforehand. We mainly stay off the beaten path, and thus avoid being consumed by crowds. Locals (and those that want to feel like locals) can often get the MOST out of the tours since the tours are designed to show you how the locals live, work, eat, and play in each neighborhood we cover.

Do your bikes have front pouches for storage?2017-03-08T09:53:19-07:00

We offer pouches on the front of our bikes that allow you to store wallets, cameras, cell phones, and other smaller items, and you are welcome to keep any larger items back at our shop while you are out on a tour or rental.

Do you have a bike I can use?2017-03-08T09:53:27-07:00

No bike, no problem! We have hot deluxe comfort bikes for you to ride, and helmets to keep you safe. Each bike is labeled with a name that describes its personality but you can also tell them apart by their distinctive markings and behavior. They each have front pouches and back racks for storage of smaller items. Although we recommend riding our bikes, you can bring your own but we don’t offer any discounts for doing so.  Moreover, due to so many types of bike makes and models, if you bring your own bike and have a mechanical issue it will be unlikely we will have the proper tools to fix the issue.  But we will have the tools to fix any issues that might arise from use of our bikes.  All of our bikes are deluxe comfort bikes with fat tires, cushy seats, and fenders to keep you clean.

 

What should I wear? What should I bring?2017-03-08T09:53:35-07:00

You should wear clothes, of course, but beyond that you’re free to show your expressive nature in what you decide to wear.  We recommend you bring small items such as an ID, credit card and cash (to tip the guide), cell phone, and camera.

We suggest tennis shoes and comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that are appropriate for the weather conditions on the day of your tour.  We strongly suggest you wear layers, particularly in spring and fall, as you can always take a layer off if you get too hot or add a layer if you get too cool.  Many of our tours ride close to Lake Michigan, which is one of the largest lakes in the world and can alter the temperature quickly based on the direction of the wind.  We offer pouches on the front of our bikes that allow you to store wallets, cameras, cell phones, and other smaller items, and you are welcome to keep any larger items back at our shop while you are out on a tour or rental.

How many people do you take on a tour?2017-03-08T09:53:44-07:00

Bike Tours:18-20 people per tour is the perfect number for most of our bike tours that do not include food.  For our Kid-Friendly tours as well as our Bike & Food Tours, we max out at 15 guests per tour guide.

Is the tour appropriate for kids? Seniors?2017-03-08T09:53:55-07:00

Our bike and cultural tours have been developed for a wide variety of ages, interests, and skill levels.  But not all tours are appropriate for younger riders. Regarding seniors, we rarely hear that seniors have a hard time on our tours as long as they feel comfortable on a bike.  The Southside Gangster tour is definitely our longest ride and might give the most issues.  And seniors might want to beware of taking the tour in extreme temperatures.  Regarding kids on our tours, not every tour is appropriate for younger riders.  For instance, we do not recommend our Bike & Food tour participants for ages 17 and over due to the fact that we do go into bars in certain neighborhoods and the tour may not be appropriate for them.  That said, we do realize that every child is different so we do leave it in the hands of the parents to ultimately decide what is ok for their child and what is not.  It might be that you just sit outside during the stops that include the bar.  We do encourage younger riders that are under 12 years old to take Bobby’s Tike Hike: Kid’s edition bike tour as well as our Museum & Parks at Sunset Tour (in lieu of the Night Tour).  While many kids can handle our Lakefront Neighborhoods Tour, we have noticed that it’s not appropriate for riders 8 and under who are average riders for their age.  Those kids would want to stick to our Tike Hike or Sunset Tours.  Whether to bring your child is ultimately up to your discretion, but please note that ALL CHILDREN need a paid ticket. Our “under 4” pricing is deeply discounted and usually pays for the special equipment needed for your kids.  A good rule of thumb to know whether a tour is kid-friendly to see if we offer kid prices on the tour.  If no kid prices, it’s probably not the best suited.  But again, it’s up to the parents to ultimately decide because all kids are different.  For food tours, we assume that if your child is below age 3 than they will not be participating in the food tasting portion of the tour or that they might be sharing food with a parent. Therefore, for children below age 3, no ticket is required and there will not be a food portion dedicated to this child. If you’d like food for your child under 3, then please do purchase a ticket in advance. Either way, please indicate when you sign up whether you are bringing a child on the tour so that our tour guide can be prepared.  Please also note that if you are bringing kids on our bike tours, you will need to indicate what additional equipment they will need during your reservation of the tour.  We offer child bikes, tag-alongs, trailers, and child seats.  If your child becomes unruly we would just ask that you step away from the group for a bit to calm your child down before returning to the group.

How much Biking is involved?2017-03-08T09:44:17-07:00

Enough biking that you’ll see a ton but not more than you can handle! The pace is usually good for everyone.  We’ve rated each tour level so that you can pick the right tour for you. We do stop at various points of interest and attractions so that you can have a brief rest while our tour guides explain the history of Chicago in a way that brings the stories to life.  While you want to make sure the distance we cover is suitable for you, remember that we will never be biking continuously for that amount of time.  We will have 6-8 stops mixed in along the route for resting periods and to learn about Chicago.

What should I expect on a bicycle tour with Bobby’s Bike Hike?2017-03-08T09:54:04-07:00

Expect the very best.  Our staff takes great pride in being the best in their field.  So we don’t skimp on any of the details.  All of our tours are different and they all go in various directions from downtown.  Our staff has spent a lot of time and energy making sure that we bring the very best of Chicago to you on our tours.  So each route is carefully detailed and every story is crafted to perfection to make sure you come away with the best Chicago experience possible.

How long and strenuous are the bike tours?2017-03-16T16:41:47-07:00

“Strenuous” is not in Bobby’s vocabulary.  All of Bobby’s bike tours are set at a relaxed to moderate pace for riders of all skill levels.  In order of “difficulty,” they are as follows:  “Bobby’s Tike Hike: Kid’s Edition” and Bobby’s “Museums & Parks at Sunset Tour” are each a quick two hours covering less than 5 miles, with a brief rest-stop along the way.

Both Bobby’s “Lakefront Neighborhoods Chicago Tour” and “City Lights at Night Chicago Tour” are set at a relaxed pace, covering about 6-8 miles in 3 hours, including a small break at a quiet, outdoor café/beer garden just in case you need a snack (snacks are ala carte and not included in the regular tour price; private groups can include breakfast/lunch/dinner with one of our partners in their package upon request).

Likewise, foodies on Bobby’s “Bikes, Bites & Brews Chicago Food Tours” cover about 12 miles in 4 hours, and there are lots of delicious breaks along the way.   We call it “Somewhat Moderate to Easy.”

Bobby’s “Southside Chicago Gangster Tour” covers 12 miles in 3 and a half hours with a break as well. It’s a bit more moderately paced but not advanced.

Why should I take a Chicago Bike Tour?2017-03-16T19:47:24-07:00

Our bike tours are led by experienced Bobby’s Bike Hike tour guides. During our tours you will learn about the history and culture of the various neighborhoods and attractions we visit, as well as get to see Chicago the way Chicagoans experience their City. Bobby’s Bike Hike is one of the oldest City Bike Tour companies in the country, offering quality tours since 2002.  We are proud to have put bike tours on the map in Chicago!  Bobby’s Bike Hike Tours is a mid-sized local tour business that concentrates on details, organization, and accuracy. We will not show you anything unless we know about, believe in it, and love it! We use old school methods, modern technology, and a lot of personality with everything that we do. We focus on good honest food and fun, striving to make sure each person that takes our tours has a memorable Chicago experience.

 

Do you offer water on your tours?2017-03-16T19:48:36-07:00

We provide water free of charge on all of our Bike & Food Tours.  On all other bike tours where food is not offered, we do not provide water but offer it for purchase inside our bike shop where the tour begins.

Walking Tours: Frequently Asked Questions

How long and strenuous are the walking tours?2017-03-08T07:49:27-07:00

“Strenuous” is not in Bobby’s vocabulary. All of Bobby’s walking tours are set at a relaxed to moderate pace for walkers of all skill levels. Our guides will lead you from attraction to attraction, stopping to give you insight into this amazing City. At many landmarks, there will be places to sit down during the presentation. And of course, on our Food & Walking Tours we will stop and sit at each Chicago restaurant that we visit.

Can you accommodate food allergies or vegetarians on your food tours?2017-03-08T07:57:12-07:00

We CAN provide food substitutions for vegetarians on ALL tours. Gluten-free substitutions are available on certain tours. While we try our very best to accommodate food allergies, we cannot guarantee certain avoidance from various food allergies. We would encourage you to ask questions along the way and see if our guide might recommend a substitution.

May I bring my dog on the tour?2017-03-08T07:56:41-07:00

Sorry, we do not allow pets on any of our tours. Actually, you can bring a goldfish in a plastic bag. Actually, no don’t bring the goldfish either.

Will there be breaks for restrooms?2017-03-08T07:55:54-07:00

Our walking tours start at various locations around the City and while we do our best to accommodate restrooms at the start of your tour, we do highly recommend using the restroom prior to arrival to your tour. We will have restroom stops built in to each walking tour. For our food and walking tours, all of the restaurants we visit will have restrooms to use.

I took this tour a year ago, has anything changed?2017-03-08T07:55:27-07:00

We change the tour slightly every six to eight months. Many parts of the tour remain the same, but we do our best to improve upon and enhance the tour. Don’t be embarrassed to come back for more and repeat the experience – many people do! We had one guest tell us he has taken the same tour 8 different times. When we mentioned he should look at one of the many other tours we offered, he stated no need. His reason is every time he takes the same tour he gets a different tour guide and each tour guide provides their own unique spin and presentation style. So if you come back to the same tour, be prepared for a new and engaging experience each and every time.

Do your tours have anything to offer a native Chicagoan?2017-03-08T07:55:02-07:00

Absolutely! Many of our attendees live right here in Chicago or the outlying suburbs. Locals often attend to learn things about the neighborhoods and the city in which they live that they did not know beforehand. We mainly stay off the beaten path, and thus avoid being consumed by crowds. Locals (and those that want to feel like locals) can often get the MOST out of the tours since the tours are designed to show you how the locals live, work, eat, and play in each neighborhood we cover.

Do you offer water on your tours?2017-03-08T07:54:26-07:00

We do not provide water on our tours due to the fact that they all originate from locations outside of our headquarters. Please plan ahead and bring water with you. For our culinary, restaurant and food tours our restaurant partners will provide water free of charge.

Are your tours ADA accessible?2018-02-02T12:19:26-07:00

All of our walking tours at the present moment do allow for ADA compliant and wheelchair accessible. But please note that sometimes our restaurants change and we cannot guarantee every restaurant will not include stairs of some sort which might make things difficult. But a majority of our stops should be ADA compliant.

Do you have a stroller I can use for my child?2017-03-08T07:53:26-07:00

No stroller, no problem! We rent strollers out for daily use, multi-daily use. But most of our walking tours do not originate from our bike shop. So you will want to make arrangements in advance to rent and pick up your stroller. Please note that our tour guides many times meets the group directly in the neighborhood covered on the tour, without stopping at the bike shop, so we cannot deliver strollers to you.

What should I wear? What should I bring?2017-03-08T07:52:24-07:00

You should wear clothes, of course, but beyond that you’re free to show your expressive nature in what you decide to wear. We recommend you bring small items such as an ID, credit card and cash (to tip the guide), cell phone, and camera.

We suggest tennis shoes and comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that are appropriate for the weather conditions on the day of your tour. We strongly suggest you wear layers, particularly in spring and fall, as you can always take a layer off if you get too hot or add a layer if you get too cool. Many of our tours are downtown, close to Lake Michigan, which is one of the largest lakes in the world and can alter the temperature quickly based on the direction of the wind.

How many people do you take on a tour of Chicago?2017-03-08T07:51:59-07:00

15 people per tour is the perfect number for most of our walking tours.

Is the tour appropriate for kids? Seniors?2017-03-08T07:51:10-07:00

Our walking and cultural tours have been developed for a wide variety of ages, interests, and skill levels. So you’ll want to pick the tour that is appropriate for you and your group. Regarding seniors, we rarely hear that seniors have a hard time on our tours as long as they feel comfortable walking. Seniors might want to beware of taking the tour in extreme temperatures. Regarding kids on our tours, not every tour is appropriate for younger hikers. For instance, we do not recommend our Chicago Favorites Walking & Food Tour for participants under the ages of 17 due to the fact that we do go into bars on this particular tour. That said, we do realize that every child is different so we do leave it in the hands of the parents to ultimately decide what is ok for their child and what is not. It might be that you just sit outside during the stops that include the bar. A good rule of thumb to know whether a tour is kid-friendly to see if we offer kid prices on the tour. If no kid prices, it’s probably not the best suited. But again, it’s up to the parents to ultimately decide because all kids are different. Whether to bring your child is ultimately up to your discretion, but please note that ALL CHILDREN need a paid ticket. For food tours, we assume that if your child is below age 3 than they will not be participating in the food tasting portion of the tour or that they might be sharing food with a parent. Therefore, for children below age 3, no ticket is required and there will not be a food portion dedicated to this child. If you’d like food for your child under 3, then please do purchase a ticket in advance. Either way, please indicate when you sign up whether you are bringing a child on the tour so that our tour guide can be prepared. We do rent strollers should you need them. If your child becomes unruly we would just ask that you step away from the group for a bit to calm your child down before returning to the group.

How much Walking is involved?2017-03-08T07:51:23-07:00

Not more than you can handle! The pace is usually good for everyone. We’ve rated each tour level so that you can pick the right tour for you. We do stop at various points of interest and attractions so that you can have a brief rest while our tour guides explain the history of Chicago in a way that brings the stories to life. While you want to make sure the distance we cover is suitable for you, remember that we will never be walking continuously for that amount of time. We will have 6-8 stops mixed in along the route for resting periods and to learn about Chicago. Please note that with some of our walking tours there are some stairs that we navigate during the tour.

What should I expect on a walking tour of Chicago with Bobby’s Bike Hike?2017-03-08T07:49:58-07:00

Expect the very best. Our staff takes great pride in being the best in their field. So we do not skimp on any of the details. All of our tours are different and they all go in various directions around the City. Our staff has spent a lot of time and energy making sure that we bring the very best of Chicago to you on our tours. So each route is carefully detailed and every story is crafted to perfection to make sure you come away with the best Chicago experience possible. Our walking tours allow for a much more intimate experience with the neighborhoods, foods, and cultures that we visit.

Why should I take a Chicago Walking Tour?2017-03-08T07:48:50-07:00

Our walking tours are led by experienced Award-winning Bobby’s Bike Hike tour guides. During our tours you will learn about the history and culture of the various neighborhoods and attractions we visit, as well as get to see Chicago the way Chicagoans experience their City. Bobby’s Bike Hike is one of the most popular City Tour companies in the country, offering quality tours since 2002. We are proud to have put walking tours on the map in Chicago! Bobby’s Bike Hike Tours is a mid-sized local tour business that concentrates on details, organization, and accuracy. We will not show you anything unless we know about, believe in it, and love it! We use old school methods, modern technology, and a lot of personality with everything that we do. We focus on good honest food and fun, striving to make sure each person that takes our tours has a memorable Chicago experience.

Who should take a Chicago Walking tour?2017-03-08T07:47:43-07:00

Explorers, Culture Lovers, Friends, Family, and everyday people too! Our walking tours are designed for anyone that loves exploring great neighborhoods, top attractions, and lesser known highlights while listening to interesting stories about the history and culture that make Chicago a world class city. We have so many walking tours to choose from including ones appropriate to explore unique neighborhoods, the foods that made Chicago famous, Chicago Culinary & Culture tours, Chicago’s gangster history, and kid-friendly side to Chicago.

Food Tours: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a bike I can use?2018-02-02T12:17:51-07:00

Of course! For our Bike & food Tours we have hot deluxe comfort bikes for you to ride and helmets to keep you safe. Each bike is labeled with a name that describes its personality but you can also tell them apart by their distinctive markings and behavior. They each have front pouches and back racks for storage of smaller items. Although we recommend riding our bikes, you can bring your own but we don’t offer any discounts for doing so. Moreover, due to so many types of bike makes and models, if you bring your own bike and have a mechanical issue it will be unlikely we will have the proper tools to fix the issue. But we will have the tools to fix any issues that might arise from use of our bikes. All of our bikes are deluxe comfort bikes with fat tires, cushy seats, and fenders to keep you clean.

Do your bikes have front pouches for storage?2017-03-16T15:46:09-07:00

We offer pouches on the front of our bikes that allow you to store wallets, cameras, cell phones, and other smaller items, and you are welcome to keep any larger items back at our shop while you are out on a tour or rental.

Do your tours have anything to offer a native Chicagoan?2017-03-16T15:44:46-07:00

Absolutely! Many of our attendees live right here in Chicago or the outlying suburbs. Locals often attend to learn things about the neighborhoods and the city in which they live that they did not know beforehand. We mainly stay off the beaten path and thus avoid being consumed by crowds. Locals, and those that want to feel like locals, can often get the MOST out of the tours since the tours are designed to show you how the locals live, work, eat, and play in each neighborhood we cover.

Will there be breaks for restrooms?2017-03-16T15:43:19-07:00

Yes, most of the restaurants we visit will have restrooms to use. We do recommend using the restroom prior to arrival to your tour, however, to expedite the start of the tour.

May I bring my dog on the tour?2017-03-16T15:42:31-07:00

Sorry, we do not allow pets on any of our tours. Actually, you can bring a goldfish in a plastic bag. Actually, no don’t bring the goldfish either.

Can you accommodate food allergies or vegetarians?2017-03-16T15:41:52-07:00

We CAN provide food substitutions for vegetarians on ALL tours. Gluten-free substitutions are available on certain tours. While we try our very best to accommodate food allergies, we cannot guarantee certain avoidance from various food allergies. We would encourage you to ask questions along the way and see if our guide might recommend a substitution.

I took this tour a year ago, has anything changed?2017-03-16T15:44:02-07:00

We change the tour slightly every six to eight months. Many parts of the tour remain the same, but we do our best to improve upon and enhance the tour. Don’t be embarrassed to come back for more and repeat the experience – many people do! We had one guest tell us he has taken the same tour 8 different times. When we mentioned he should look at one of the many other tours we offered, he stated no need. His reason is every time he takes the same tour he gets a different tour guide and each tour guide provides their own unique spin and presentation style. So if you come back to the same tour, be prepared for a new and engaging experience each and every time.

Do you provide beverages on your food tours?2017-03-16T15:41:12-07:00

Yes, we provide water on all of our food tours. And most of our tours involve some sort of beverage, whether it be craft beer or hot tea.

What should I wear? And what should I bring?2017-03-16T15:36:02-07:00

You should wear clothes, of course, but beyond that you’re free to show your expressive nature in what you decide to wear. We recommend you bring small items such as an ID, credit card and cash (to tip the guide), cell phone, and camera.

Bike Tours:
We suggest tennis shoes and comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that are appropriate for the weather conditions on the day of your tour. We strongly suggest you wear layers, particularly in spring and fall, as you can always take a layer off if you get too hot or add a layer if you get too cool. Many of our tours ride close to Lake Michigan, which is one of the largest lakes in the world and can alter the temperature quickly based on the direction of the wind. We offer pouches on the front of our bikes that allow you to store wallets, cameras, cell phones, and other smaller items, and you are welcome to keep any larger items back at our shop while you are out on a tour or rental.

Walking Tours:
We suggest tennis shoes or boots, depending on the season, and comfortable loose-fitting clothes that are appropriate for the weather conditions on the day of your tour. The key to comfort in Chicago’s seasonally variable weather is layering, so you can adjust to changing conditions on the spot. That’s why you see so many Chicagoans wearing light coats even on cold days: odds are good they’ve got 2 or 3 sweaters under there. Chicago borders Lake Michigan, one of the largest lakes in the world, and can alter the temperature quickly based on the direction of the wind.

How many people do you take on a tour?2017-03-08T08:45:48-07:00

For all of our Food tours, whether by bike or walking, we max at 15 people per tour which seems to be the perfect number! All of our guides can manage 15 people with ease and still make sure that everyone gets a personalized experience. Saturday is the busiest day of the week for all of our tours. If one tour is sold out there is a very good chance we will offer another that same day.

Is the tour appropriate for kids? Seniors?2017-03-08T08:45:12-07:00

Our food tasting and cultural walking tours have been developed for food and history lovers. In our vast touring experience we have found that those under the age of 16 might be indifferent, fidgety, and may not fully appreciate our food tours. More importantly, their disinterest could interfere with the exciting experience which Bobby’s Bike Hike has carefully crafted for you. Although, we do find that some children are super excited about the tour (the history, the food) and if your children are – please bring them along! Whether to bring your child is ultimately up to your discretion, but please note that ALL CHILDREN, ages 3+, need a paid ticket. We assume that if your child is below age 3 than they will not be participating in the food tasting portion of the tour or that they might be sharing food with a parent. Therefore, for children below age 3, no ticket is required and there will not be a food portion dedicated to this child. If you’d like food for your child under 3, then please do purchase a ticket in advance. Either way, please indicate when you sign up whether you are bringing a child on the tour so that our tour guide can be prepared. Please also note that if you are bringing kids on our bike tours, you will need to indicate what additional equipment they will need during your reservation of the tour. We can accommodate small strollers on most of our walking tours, although please note we do have some stairs at some of the restaurants that you’ll have to contend with. If your child becomes unruly we would just ask that you step away from the group for a bit to calm your child down before returning to the group.

How much Biking and Walking is involved?2017-03-08T08:44:28-07:00

Not more than you can handle! The pace is usually good for everyone, whether it’s a bike tour or a walking tour. We’ve rated each tour level so that you can pick the right tour for you. Our food stops are perfectly laid out so that you never are on your feet or biking too much in between stops. While you want to make sure the distance we cover is suitable to you, remember that we will never be biking/walking continuously for that amount of time. We will have 5-7 food stops mixed in along the route for resting periods. Please note that with some of our walking tours there are some stairs that we navigate during the tour. If stairs are a problem for you or any of your guests, please indicate that when you purchase your tickets so we can do our best to accommodate your needs.

What restaurants will you visit? How much food is offered?2017-03-08T08:41:51-07:00

We serve enough food tastings that for most people lunch/dinner afterwards is not needed. We have toured hundreds of thousands of guests and it’s very rare that anyone walks away hungry!
All food tastings and paired beverages are all included in the cost of the tour. There are 5-7 delicious food tasting stops on each tour. Each tasting has been chosen and paid for by Bobby’s Bike Hike staff based on what we think is the best of the best in the neighborhood. At the end of the tour, most people are stuffed and lunch/dinner afterwards is not necessary. In addition to feeling full, our goal is to introduce you to some new local favorites and even old school food items in each neighborhood. Some foods might be familiar and other might be a new experience for you!

Should I take a Food Tour via Bike or Walking?2017-03-08T08:41:04-07:00

Totally up to you. Our Bike Tours allow you to cover more ground and see many more Chicago neighborhoods and attractions. But our Walking Tours are fun as well, where the intimate setting allows you to really dive deeper into the specific areas we cover.

Does Chicago have a distinctive Food Culture?2017-03-08T08:40:39-07:00

Yes, big time. Chicago has been introducing innovative food concepts since its inception. And during the Chicago Columbian Exposition, the World’s Fair of 1893, Chicago introduced a number of products still in play today income Hershey Chocolate, Aunt Jemima syrup, Twinkies, and even Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. The latter so named because it won the blue ribbon at the actual fair. I guess beer standards were quite low back in 1893. Today, Chicago’s most famous foods are its Chicago-style pizza, Chicago style Hot Dogs, and Italian Beef. Regarding Chicago style pizza, probably the best known food to come out of Chicago, the pizza’s foundation is simple. It uses a thick layer of dough (made with olive oil and cornmeal) that is formed to a deep round pan and pulled up the sides. The pizza crust is then parbaked before the toppings are added to give it greater spring. The crust is then covered with cheese (generally sliced mozzarella) and covered with meats and/or vegetables such as Italian sausage, onions, and bell peppers. A sauce consisting of crushed or pureed tomatoes is then added. Usually this is topped with a grated cheese blend to add additional flavor. On the usual pizza, about a pound of cheese is added. Because of the amount of ingredients in this style of Chicago deep dish pizza, it is usually eaten with a knife and fork. It’s quite messy to eat with your fingers. Other than the Chicago staples, Chicago has a very vibrant culinary scene inspired by the diversity of the neighborhoods and melting pot of local flavor and culture.

Why should I take a Chicago Food Tour?2017-03-08T08:40:16-07:00

Our bike, walking and tasting tours are led by experienced Bobby’s Bike Hike tour guides. During our tours you will learn about the history and culture of a neighborhood while tasting delicious food specialties from Mom and Pop food shops, unique eateries, as well as established restaurants. Bobby’s Bike Hike has been offering quality tours since 2002 and we are proud to have put bike and food tours on the map! The success we have had with developing a high level of tour guides led us into other types of food tours, most notably by foot on our walking tours. Bobby’s Bike Hike Tours is a mid-sized local tour business that concentrates on details, organization, and accuracy. We will not show you anything unless we know about, believe in it, and love it! We use old school methods, modern technology, and a lot of personality with everything that we do. We focus on good honest food and fun, striving to make sure each person that takes our tours has a memorable Chicago experience.

Who should take a Chicago food tour?2017-03-08T08:39:10-07:00

Foodies, Food Lovers, Food Explorers, and everyday people too! Our tours are designed for anyone that loves great food and loves to discover the hidden gems and interesting stories of our favorite Chicago neighborhoods and attractions. If you are in search of mom and pop food establishments, well-known Chicago restaurant staples, history, architecture, culture, and entertainment is what you’ll get on a Bobby’s Bike Hike food tour.

Do you offer water on your tours?2017-03-16T19:11:19-07:00

We provide water free of charge on all of our Bike & Food Tours. Unfortunately, because our Walking & Food Tours start at various locations around the City we do not provide you with a bottle of water upon arrival. However, we have arranged water at all of the restaurants we plan to visit. On all other bike and walking tours where food is not offered, we do not provide water but offer it for purchase inside our bike shop where the tour begins.

Kayaking: Frequently Asked Questions

Will there be restroom breaks on the kayak tour/rental?2022-06-22T15:19:34-07:00

You should plan to use the restrooms at Ohio Street Beach before the kayak experience.  There will be no restrooms available during the kayak experience.

What should I wear while kayaking? What should I bring on the water?2022-06-22T15:22:45-07:00

Dress for a variety of weather activities, layers always recommended because weather can shift quickly when on the Lake. Wear materials you don’t mind getting wet.  Bring a hat and sunscreen.  

What if the weather is bad for my kayak tour/rental? Can we kayak in the rain?2022-06-22T15:23:03-07:00

We do kayak in light rain. If weather is extreme and we must cancel the kayak experience you will be offered a full refund (minus 10% processing fee) or full value to a gift card that never expires and fully transferable.

What if I’ve never been kayaking before? Is it suitable for beginners?2022-06-22T15:23:36-07:00

We have a variety of tours that range from beginner to intermediate. For beginners, we recommend the Intro to Kayak Paddle tour option. There is a 20-minute safety/training session before the kayaking experience.

Do you provide life jackets? Do I need a life jacket?2022-06-22T15:23:57-07:00

Yes, we provide life jackets with each kayak tour and rental. Life jackets are required to paddle.

What is the age policy for kayak tours/rentals?2022-06-29T10:15:24-07:00

You must be 18 years of age to purchase a kayak tour/rental on your own. Ages 13+ can ride kayak alone if adult (18+) guardian rents the equipment. Tandem kayak is suitable for Ages 4+ as long as with adult (18+) guardian.

Do I need to know how to swim? What if I fall out?2022-06-22T15:24:50-07:00

We provide life jackets with each kayak rental which will keep you afloat.  Every kayak is fitted with a safety whistle if you need help.  You can blow the whistle in an emergency and we can come out to help you.