Chicago goes all out when it comes to celebrating the holiday season, with spectacular light displays, parades and theatrical productions.
The area’s restaurants get just as festive, with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day feasts available to either dine-in or take out if you prefer to celebrate at home.
The dining scene’s diversity is on full display with meals featuring Southern, Peruvian, Italian and Indian fare and a mix of family-friendly outings and formal luxurious dinners. Give yourself the gift of some great food by booking one of these Christmas meals.
Do you know a restaurant, bar or food business offering a holiday special? Email food editor Ariel Cheung at [email protected]. Read more about submitting holiday specials, and submit them for New Year’s Eve, here.
If your holiday meal is missing something sweet, pick up cookie tins ($30) with a dozen favorites, from tiramisu cookies to brown butter chocolate chip. Get a free tin when you buy five, and they’ll be available for pick up from Monday through Christmas Eve. 912 N. State St., 312-820-9000, adalinachicago.com
No matter how you prefer to celebrate, the restaurant within the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago has you covered. Dine family-style with a $135 Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve featuring limoncello-cured lake trout, a chilled seafood platter, sun-dried tomato-grilled octopus and housemade cannoli. A buffet from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Christmas Day for $245 or $65 for kids ages 6-12 includes made-to-order omelets, saffron risotto, herb-crusted prime rib and a wine tasting table.120 E. Delaware Place, 312-280-8800, adornrestaurant.com
Book a spot at 4 or 8 p.m. Christmas Eve for a $105 three-course dinner including lobster ravioli with sauteed prawns, roast venison with sweet potato gratin and Grand Marnier creme brulee with gingersnaps. 64 Green Bay Road, Winnetka; 847-441-3100; exploretock.com/aboyer
Christmas Eve dinners from this Swedish stalwart will be available for dine-in and carryout at the Belmont Avenue location starting at 11 a.m. Saturday. Dine on baked ham, beef tenderloin, roast turkey and vegetarian lasagna ($30 each) — and, of course, the signature cinnamon rolls. The Belmont Avenue location will serve Christmas Day breakfast favorites from 7 a.m. to noon, and dinner specials again from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pies are also available for pre-order ($17) and include pumpkin, apple, and chocolate chip-walnut. 909 W. Belmont Ave., 773-348-2378, annsather.com
Let the tandoor oven do all the hard work for you and pick up a feast for four people at this Indian restaurant in River North. The whole tandoori chicken is served with makhani gravy, butternut squash soup, green bean foogath, truffle mashed potatoes, saffron rice and dessert. $120. 116 W. Hubbard St., 312-900-0197, bargoachicago.com
Executive chef Fred Ramos offers festive specials in addition to the regular menu from 4:30-9 p.m. Christmas Eve, including cauliflower soup ($10), Tuscan kale salad ($15), black peppercorn cavatelli ($28) and dark chocolate panettone bread pudding with eggnog ice cream ($10). 5101 N. Clark St., 773-942-7572, barromachicago.com
Everyone gets to relax and enjoy Christmas dinner with a take-home meal package from this South Deering spot. Choose between smoked turkey or a smoked brown sugar ham for 15 people ($240), with sides including greens, sweet potatoes, cornbread dressing and cranberry sauce, with peach cobbler for dessert. Preorder the ready-to-heat dinner by the end of Wednesday, or select from the grab-and-go a la carte menu and take home a glazed ham ($60), Southern fried catfish ($77 for 10 filets), sweet potato pie ($15) and other holiday staples. 1737 E. 95th St., 773-374-4700, bjsmarket.com
The brand-new Avondale restaurant offers a three-course, gluten-free Christmas Eve dinner featuring jumbo lump crab cakes, gumbo and chocolate lava cake for $90 or $45 for kids. The regular menu is also available. 3235 W. Addison St., 773-754-8523, chesasgtf.com
A Christmas Eve meal offers classic holiday dishes including roasted chestnut soup ($12), herb-roasted prime rib with horseradish cream ($65), whipped potatoes with gravy ($13) and eggnog cheesecake with brandied cherries ($13). 1401 S. Michigan Ave., 312-786-1401, chicagofirehouse.com
Choose from a prime rib ($295) or whole rotisserie duck ($218) dinner, both of which come with enough creamed kale, Irish cheddar potato casserole and sticky toffee pudding to feed a family of four. You can also just get the sides for $145 or add on a seafood tower for $75. Meals can be picked up or delivered Friday. 2701 S. Eleanor St., 312-724-8811, theduckinnchicago.com
Christmas desserts couldn’t be simpler, with the bevy of options at this bakery in the Douglas neighborhood. Boxes of biscuits, cookies, cake and brunch pastries offer easy-to-grab options for every holiday meal, or pick up full-size Bundt cakes and cobblers Friday and Saturday. Options range from pound cakes ($65) waiting to be drizzled in bourbon pecan butter sauce, to a bite-sized vegan chocolate cheesecake ($7). 3453 S. Prairie Ave., emechecakeryandcafe.com
Visit Millennium Park and then warm up with a four-course meal featuring lobster bisque, slow-roasted prime rib with horseradish cream and raspberry mousse. The meal is $60 or $26 for kids. Reservations are available at 5 and 7 p.m. Christmas Eve and 11 a.m., 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Christmas Day. 221 N. Columbus Drive, 312-477-0234, firelakechicago.com
The classic River North steakhouse serves a special Christmas Eve menu featuring clam chowder ($10), a surf-and-turf dinner with an 8-ounce center-cut filet and a 10-ounce lobster tail ($120) and panettone with whipped mascarpone. 500 N. Franklin St., 312-527-3718, geneandgeorgetti.com
The Italian restaurant celebrates the Feast of the Seven Fishes by adding seven seafood specials to its regular menu on Christmas Eve including octopus carpaccio ($25), squid ink risotto ($38) and tagliatelle with asparagus and lobster sauce ($47). 1133 W. Randolph St., 773-672-8955, gioiachicago.com
Order a classic holiday meal for two ($150) or four to six people ($275) featuring a pecan-crusted whipped cheddar ball, wood-smoked prime rib, roasted Brussels sprouts, profiteroles and a selection of house wines and cocktails. Or upgrade to The Baller package ($250 or $475), which adds in caviar, baked lobster claws and crab and shrimp Louie. Either can be complemented with a $60 add-on featuring roasted butternut squash soup, cranberry-pear chutney and roasted green beans. Orders must be placed by Wednesday to pick up before 4 p.m. Friday or Saturday. 2700 W. Chicago Ave., 773-661-9577, heritage-chicago.com
A favorite dessert in Black Muslim American communities, bean pies are a sweet treat to put a perfect finishing touch on your holiday meal. Imani’s Original Bean Pies will offer pickup daily, including from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Christmas Day, with 9-inch pies for $17 including options topped with cream cheese frosting, or vegan takes on blueberry, apple and peach. 2423 E. 75th St., 773-716-7007, imanisoriginals.com
Get dressed up for an elegant Christmas Eve dinner featuring a mini foie gras tart, cured salmon with yuzu pearls, chicory tart with blue cheese croquettes and sauteed grouper filet with caviar for $150. Wine pairings are available for $55 along with other premium upgrades such as an ounce of olive-fed wagyu ($10) or a seafood platter ($100). 400 N. Wells St., 312-822-0191, kinziechophouse.com
Embrace the Italian tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes with a $275 take-home meal featuring grilled octopus, whole stuffed branzino and shrimp scampi. The package includes French toast casserole for a Christmas Day breakfast. Orders must be placed by Tuesday for pick up at Nonna from noon to 5 p.m. Christmas Eve. 925 W. Randolph St., 312-690-7323, formentos.com
Pick up an Indian to-go feast from noon to 2 p.m. Christmas featuring butternut squash soup, jackfruit cutlet with tomato chutney, spiced mushroom-stuffed pasta with ricotta and Christmas berry pulao for $75. A minimum of two orders is required and they must be placed by Friday. 217 W. Huron St., 312-291-9427, indiennechicago.com
This holiday pop-up will be open through Dec. 30 (except for Christmas Eve and Day), offering its signature frozen treats along with soups, grilled cheese, rum cake, cookies and more in the Jefferson Park neighborhood. 4968 N. Milwaukee Ave., Ste. 1B; 312-709-8790; ixchelgelato.com
For a laid-back Christmas party with little lifting on your part, order sandwich platters with your choice of five types, plus a fruit tray, garden or macaroni salad, and a gallon of lemonade for $150. 8010 S. Western Ave., 708-325-8778, jussandwiches.com
Pick up Christmas tamales or enjoy them at these sibling restaurants in the West Loop and West Elsdon through the end of December. Carrying on his own family tradition, chef-owner Pepe Barajas and his teen daughter tested out recipes for this year, and will offer rajas con queso and tamales verde made with roasted chicken, serrano chiles and tomatillo salsa at La Josie. Solazo will serve rajas con queso and a pork tamale. 740 W. Randolph St., 312-929-2900, lajosie.com; 5600 S. Pulaski Road, 773-627-5047, elsolazo.com
Bring the family for a $75 four-course dinner from 4:30-10 p.m. Christmas Eve featuring cream of white asparagus soup, chilled seafood salad, bone-in rib-eye and apple cider bread pudding, plus a glass of sparkling wine. The dishes are all also available a la carte along with the regular menu and kids can dine on mac and cheese ($7), a burger and fries ($12) and ice cream sandwiches ($6). 2301 W. Roscoe St., 773-857-1985, lesudchicago.com
Christmas Eve promises to be a day filled with touchdowns and turf, with eight football games kicking off at noon. This Bucktown bar will be open and offering drink specials, $15 pizzas, giveaways and Christmas present raffles for fans who want to come cheer on their favorite team. On Christmas, Lottie’s Pub will host its 17th annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas party, with $6 Rumplemintz and giveaways such as a VIP concert experience at Metro and the Salt Shed, plus a coat drive for Salvation Army donations. 1925 W. Cortland St., 773-489-0738, lottiespub.com
A barbecue short rib dinner for two includes macaroni and cheese, broccoli, Parmesan-crusted roasted carrots and sticky toffee date cake for $132. Add a quart of butternut squash soup for $20 or a bottle of wine for $27-$33. Orders must be placed by Wednesday for pickup from 3-5 p.m. Friday. 601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook; 847-205-4433; prairiegrasscafe.com
The steakhouse offers a $125 four-course Christmas Eve tasting menu featuring lump blue crab cake, clam chowder, filet mignon with whole roasted garlic and banana cream pie. Wine pairings are $65 and additional upgrades include half a Maine lobster ($25) and a side of roasted wild mushrooms ($16). 222 N. LaSalle Blvd., 312-726-7777, primeandprovisions.com
Celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes with an $85 five-course feast featuring hamachi crudo, lobster manicotti, olive oil-poached halibut and chocolate zabaglione at 5 or 8 p.m. Christmas Eve. Holiday cookie boxes ($25) including Italian butter cookies and amaro snickerdoodles are available for pickup Thursday-Saturday. 1001 N. California Ave., 773-697-9687, segnatore.com
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Enjoy a three-course prix fixe menu on Christmas Eve at this chic Italian restaurant with wagyu meatballs, creamy gnocchi with truffle and pancetta, chicken diavolo, braised short rib and a chocolate gianduja bar. $95 per person. 51 W. Kinzie St., 312-595-1322, sienatavern.com
Pick up a holiday feast that’s ready to serve to hungry party guests from this long-standing South Side vegan restaurant. Its holiday catering menu features vegan “duck” and roast as entrees, along with sides ranging from candied yams and sweet potatoes to kale greens, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cornbread dressing, and cobblers for dessert. Orders can be placed through Thursday for pickup Christmas Eve. 201-209 E. 75th St., 773-224-0104, soulvegcity.com
Leave the hard work to chefs at this Oak Lawn restaurant, which will offer an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet on Christmas ($35 adults, $28 seniors, $20 children; kids under 6 eat free). Load your plate with prime rib, pineapple-glazed ham, salmon, sweet potatoes, citrus-honey carrots and more, or reserve a spot for dinner and enjoy similar plated dinners ($35 adults, $20 children). 9333 S. Cicero Ave., Oak Lawn; 708-229-8856; southsidesocialchicago.com
Celebrate Peruvian style with a $120 rotisserie chicken package for four that includes roasted fingerling potatoes with sausage gravy and pumpkin tres leches. Orders must be placed by 8 p.m. Wednesday for pick up from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Christmas Eve. The restaurant will also offer dine-in specials on Christmas Eve including osso bucco ($72) and whole branzino ($75). 118 W. Grand Ave., 312-222-9700, tantachicago.com
Stock up for your Christmas dinner with an assortment of market items available during this Roger Park spot’s Christmas Eve market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Preorder by 5 p.m. Wednesday and grab pimento cheese dip ($10), fried chicken thighs ($12), pan-roasted salmon ($21), and baked goods such as coffee cake ($8), ice cream pints ($8) and sourdough bread ($9). 7135 N. Clark St., 773-844-7335, twilightkitchen.com
The new Southern restaurant is open on Christmas Day serving Charleston she crab soup with pimento cheese straws ($16), surf & turf with broiled lobster and Maine lobster ($86), honey-glazed carrots with spiced cashews ($12) and cinnamon roll bread pudding ($16). 530 N. Wabash Ave., 312-999-9760, runchickenrun.com/chicago
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