The Most Festive Chicago Restaurants and Bars
Being from Chicago may make us a little biased, but we think it's the best city to visit during the holidays. From the Christkindlmarket, to Zoo Lights, to ice skating under a snowy sky - there is no lack of festive activities for you to enjoy in the Windy City. But our favorite part of the season might just be watching all the Chicago restaurants get in on the holiday fun by decking their interiors in twinkling lights, lush green garlands, and tinsel.
So if you happen to be in the city this season and are looking to fill yourself with some holiday spirit (both the figurative and boozy variety)—well, look no further! We've gathered together eight of the most festive bars and places to eat in Chicago. You're guaranteed to be filled with holiday cheer at any of these local spots!
1. Lockwood Bar17 E Monroe St. | The Loop
Sink into one of the plush chairs or have a seat at the long bar and take in a classic Christmas scene in the lobby of one of Chicago's oldest hotels, The Palmer House Hilton. A towering tree overlooks the space that's also filled with twinkling wreaths hanging from the banisters and polished pots full of holiday florals.
20 W Division St. | Near North Side
If you're looking for a serious shot of holiday spirit, look no further than Butch McGuires. This quintessential Chicago watering hole is famous for it's over-the-top holiday decor. In addition to over 100s of feet in garland and lights strung across the ceiling, there are also antique toys, ornaments, dozens of motorized mobiles, and even a train that runs length of the bar. No tour of the city's most festive restaurants is complete without a stop at Butch McGuires.
3. Club Lucky
1824 W Wabansia Ave. | Wicker Park
Once the site of a local dance hall, Club Lucky still reverberates with the easy yet elegant feel of a 1940's supper club. They're famously known for covering the ceiling of their dining room and cocktail lounge with hundreds of handmade snowflakes. Stop in for a holiday martini and enjoy sipping in their homemade winter wonderland.
1721 W Wrightwood Ave. | Lincoln Park
Your warm and fuzzy corner dive bar, Augie's loves the holiday season. Beyond your standby lights and greenery, Augie's spends weeks putting together a vintage ceramic village and train that runs the length of the bar. Giving you the feeling of a small town holiday getaway in the heart of our big city.
806 N Rush St. | Near North Side
Pippins has been a quintessential Irish pub on Rush St. for over 40 years. Their holiday lit sign has become an iconic Chicago symbol and invites patrons in to enjoy over 60 different Christmas beers and cocktails. Cheers!
6. Miller's Pub
134 S Wabash Ave. | The Loop
With its stained-glass tavern windows and Tudor-style interior, this 82-year-old Chicago pub feels pretty Christmassy year-round. But the festive feeling is compounded every December when the bar gets decked out in lights and garland, and throngs of customers crowd the bar to get a sip of the bar's most popular seasonal drink: the Tom & Jerry.
5210 N Clark St. | Andersonville
Some say it's not the holidays until the neon sign in the front window of Simon's Tavern proclaims "It's glogg time!". This 80-year old dive is where true Andersonvillites warm up with a glass of the hot mulled wine known as glogg. A perfect way to end a day filled with holiday activities is cozying up to their wood burning fireplace with a steaming mug.
111 N State St. | The Loop
The Walnut Room might just be the most famous Christmas restaurant in all of Chicago. Located on the 7th floor of the Macy's department store (originally a Marshall Field's), the elegant, wood-paneled dining room has been nourishing hungry shoppers since 1905. A meal here is a holiday tradition for many Chicago locals and out-of-towners, drawn in by the comforting food as well as the towering 45-foot Christmas tree that serves as the dining room's focal point.