Avital is a culinary experience company who provides a behind-the-scenes snapshot of a famous Chicago neighborhood by telling its story through its people and great food (and drink, of course!)
THE AVITAL PHILOSOPHY
Our mission is to help people experience the world differently through storytelling and food. We think of ourselves as storytellers, showcasing each neighborhood through the people, places, and great food (and drinks). Our core values define our experiences: Build Awesome Experiences, Create Community, Breathe Curiosity, Embrace Quirky, and Seize Ownership.
A THOUGHTFULLY CURATED COLLECTION OF EXPERIENCES:
Each 4-course progressive meal starts with appetizers, then an entree and finally dessert with each course served at a different restaurant. Along the way, our expert guides will provide a snapshot of an iconic neighborhood by telling its authentic story through its people and great food (and drink, of course!)
DISCOVER NEW PLACES & REDISCOVER OLD FAVORITES:
We pride ourselves on working with the best quality restaurants in each neighborhood ranging from hidden gems to local favorites. We feel the best dining experiences are the ones in which we’re seated around tables sharing food and stories with others. Let us tell you their story and you tell us yours!
QUALITY NOT QUANTITY:
We select our restaurant partners for their quality and stories. Yes, you’ll leave satisfied, but we want you to taste and experience food in a new way – and to us its about the quality and flavor — and quality is not cheap. And yes, we want to challenge your taste buds and push your boundaries.
BEST DARN GUIDES OUT THERE:
We are energetic, fun and quirky — and are ridiculously passionate about everything edible we put in our mouths and all of the stories that come out of our mouths. We embrace what makes you, our restaurants and us unique. And most importantly, we are authentic and genuine!
BUILT BY LOCALS FOR LOCALS:
Our goal is that someone who lives in Fulton Market comes on our Fulton Market Progressive Meal and learns something about her own neighborhood – exploring her own backyard through curious eyes. Ask lots of questions and take the experience to new levels for yourself.
Why we are unique
Avital Ungar, founder and owner of Avital Tours, first became serious about the finer points of life while living in Paris and the quaint town of Aix-en-Provence in Southern France. After drinking wine at three in the afternoon as per the cultural norm and gorging her way through the countryside, Avital returned to the United States and began reading “Wine for Dummies” with the hope of adding an academic wine approach to her informal wine education. Now, years later, Avital is a certified sommelier.
A UCLA graduate, Avital studied Art History, French and Mandarin Chinese but wishes she could have majored in Chocolate. Returning after living in Paris and Shanghai, she began to pursue her passions professionally. She has been leading food tours since starting Avital Tours in 2011. She has served as a judge at the International Chocolate Salon, the Best of the West Rib Competition, the Good Food Awards and and has been featured on CNN, the Travel Channel, Travel+Leisure and more.
Why is Avital Tours more expensive than other Chicago food tour companies?
You may be asking yourself why would I pay $100 per person for an Avital Tour when I can go on a $50 food tour from other Chicago food tour companies? Here’s why:
Avital Tours has a different business model
We choose which restaurants we want to introduce to our guests and curate the experience to feature the best restaurants and stories of each neighborhood. That means that when we choose to work with the best restaurants in each neighborhood, they don’t need our business since they are already popular with locals. We don’t ask them for discounts or free samples or ask them to participate in our tours for marketing purposes. Quite the opposite: we make sure to pay generously for tastings and tip their staff well in order to support local businesses and ensure quality relationships.
Thus, our restaurants love welcoming our groups and are genuinely happy to have you in their restaurant. The restaurant owners, chefs and staff go out of their way to provide great service and hospitality to our guests, oftentimes spending time chatting with our guests. They go above and beyond to reserve us a table inside of their restaurant instead of having our guests stand on a street corner eating nibbles outside.
Avital Tours focuses on quality
We serve substantial tastes at each restaurants. With other Chicago food tour companies, you will receive a small taste cut into 1/4 or 1/2 sizes. We believe that you eat with your eyes first, so we focus on presentation and make sure to serve you full substantial tastes.
And, since we focus on quality, we aren’t choosing the cheapest tastes on the menu, instead we are choosing what genuinely tastes good and we think you must try since you may not have ordered it yourself!
Avital Tours is a curated storytelling experience
We are storytelling through food. Food first with great stories on the side. We are not a history tour with food as an afterthought. We don’t believe in throwing boring facts at you that you’ll likely not remember afterward. We would rather tell you a fun, engaging and interesting culinary story – and that story curation and restaurant curation takes time and lots of research!