Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, runs from Dec. 18-26 this year, chasing away the winter chill with nightly candle lighting and hearty meals with an emphasis on fried food.
Restaurants and bakeries throughout the Chicago area are making celebrating easier by serving up traditional holiday fare like potato latkes and sufganiyot (fried jelly doughnuts) for dine-in or as part of to-go packages for gatherings at home.
Order ahead to get all your favorites, or kick off the party early with a wild pop-up named for a line in Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song,” with these Hanukkah specials and events in Chicagoland.
The West Loop Mediterranean restaurant will serves Parmesan, potato and Brussels sprout latkes with scallion crema and applesauce as a dine-in special Dec. 18-26. 302 N. Green St., 773-645-1400, abarestaurants.com/chicago
Pick up Hanukkah treats including apricot or raspberry sufganiyot ($2), sugar cookies decorated with menorahs or dreidels ($3.50), coconut macaroons ($10) and rugelach ($9) Dec. 17-24. 1000 Davis St., Evanston; 847-328-9434; bennisonscakes.com
Treat your party to a $40 box of nine sufganiyot, freshly fried milk doughnuts stuffed with housemade blueberry-chamomile jam, raspberry-lemon jam and spiced apple butter. Orders must be placed by Thursday for delivery or pickup at Revival Food Hall or From Here On between Dec. 19-22. 433 W. Van Buren St.; 125 S. Clark St.; familiarbakery.com
A five-course $75 Hanukkah feast served at the Andersonville restaurant Dec. 18 includes potato latkes with house-cured salmon, brisket, charred sweet potatoes and chocolate babka. 5419 N. Clark St., 312-493-0443, fiyarestaurant.com
The Lincoln Park bakery has teamed up with Schmaltz & Vinegar to offer potato latkes and matzo ball soup for pickup ($15-$18). Grab them along with a pack of four jelly doughnut morning buns ($26), a spinach and gruyere quiche ($66) or cranberry orange olive oil tea cake ($19). The specials are available Dec. 17-18 and 21-24. 1220 W. Webster Ave., 773-883-1313, floriole.com
Leave the cooking to the pros by ordering from a catering menu featuring chicken matzo ball soup ($7-$14), bite-sized potato latkes with smoked salmon and caviar ($36), roasted butternut squash ravioli ($25), noodle kugel ($9-$16), challah ($11) and potatoes au gratin ($13-$24). A wide selection of desserts includes walnut-raisin, apricot and raspberry rugelach ($12), and sufganiyot from Do-Rite Donuts ($3.95 each). Orders must be placed by noon Wednesday. Multiple locations, goddessgrocer.com
The 8 Crazy Nights pop-up bar running through Jan. 8 features more than 14,000 white and ball lanterns hanging from the ceiling, an 8-foot-inflatable dreidel, a Hanukkah sweater wall and more festive decor. A special menu offers matzo ball soup, latkes, brisket and rum-infused jelly doughnuts, plus themed cocktails such as Chag Nog, a blend of eggnog, coconut rum and light rum garnished with a cinnamon stick. Revelers can also spin dreidel and play Connect 4 with Hanukkah gelt. 3441 N. Sheffield Ave., 773-666-5450, graystonetavernchicago.com
Feed four with slow-roasted brisket in housemade chili sauce ($48), noodle kugel ($22) and giant potato and apple latkes served with crème fraîche and black garlic apple sauce ($22). Add on a quart of matzo ball soup ($18) or a platter of five varieties of fish including beet-cured gravlax, smoked whitefish salad and pickled herring ($60). Orders can be picked up Dec. 18-24 and Dec. 26. 2700 W. Chicago Ave., 773-661-9577, heritage-chicago.com
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a four-pack of baked raspberry sufganiyot ($17) or chocolate babka ($15). Orders must be placed by 8 p.m. Thursday for pick up Sunday. 1733 Central St., Evanston; 847-869-4396; 348 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville; hewnbread.com
Festive specials including matzo ball soup and braised brisket with potato pancakes and green beans are available for dine-in or pickup Dec. 18-26. 7110 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincolnwood; 847-677-3350; lwoodsrestaurant.com
Get everything you need to celebrate the Festival of Lights with a roasted chicken ($70) or brisket ($100) dinner for four that includes glazed carrots, latkes, apple sauce and challah rolls, a pack of six sufganiyot stuffed with Nutella and topped with black-and-white icing ($24), and a box of menorah candles ($10). Other add-ons include matzo ball soup ($12), noodle kugel ($40) and smoked pastrami ($26). Takeout and delivery orders are available Dec. 16-18 and 23-24. 1141 S. Jefferson St., 312-939-2855, mannysdeli.com
This virtual Mexican-Jewish bakery offers sufganiyot stuffed with cafe con leche or cajeta cream ($9.60) for pickup or delivery Dec. 16-22. masamadre.bottle.com
Celebrate Hanukkah at home with a $118 package for two featuring slow-braised barbecue brisket, smashed roasted cauliflower, potato latkes with sour cream and apple butter, and flourless chocolate cake. Add on a quart of mashed potatoes ($32) or tzimmes, a dish featuring a variety of roasted root vegetables ($40), and a kosher cabernet-syrah red blend from Israel ($23). Orders must be placed by Thursday for pickup between 4-5 p.m. Sunday. Hanukkah specials will be served at the restaurant that night in addition to the regular menu. 601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook; 847-205-4433; prairiegrasscafe.com
The vegan Maccabee Feast ($48) includes matzo ball soup, egg’less salad, latkes with cran-apple orange sauce, lentil roast, mashed potatoes, cornflake pineapple kugel and cinnamon apple cake. Challah ($16) and cherry pie-filled sufganiyot ($30) are available to add on. 1309 W. Wilson Ave., 773-293-7413, samandgerties.com
Build your own latke bar for six to 20 people featuring traditional, everything spice, root vegetable or za’atar scallion versions with toppings including creamy onion dip, lox and duck confit ($68-$160). Latkes are also included in a Hanukkah dinner featuring eggplant schnitzel, creamed spinach and ricotta fritters with strawberry jam and lemon curd ($26 per person, four-person minimum). A la carte sweet and savory items are also available. Orders will be delivered Dec. 18 or 23. schmaltzandvinegar.com
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Jelly-filled sufganiyot doughnuts can be preordered for Dec. 21 and 23, and the Rogers Park cafe will also have loaves of challah ($10), gluten-free latkes ($32 for a dozen), and a lox bagel kit ($58) with six bagels and all the fixings available for pickup through December. 6730 N. Clark St., 872-241-9111, smackdabchicago.com
Get your brisket barbecued with a one- or five-pound order ($38 or $181) accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes ($23-$80), sautéed green beans ($15-$51) or apple slaw ($5-$10). Entree options also include house-brined smoked pastrami ($40) and Cajun-spiced salmon with charred lemon ($20-$152). Items are prepared cold and can be picked up with reheating instructions Dec. 18-19. 1601 Payne St., Evanston; 847-859-2732; soulandsmoke.com
Light the menorah at the annual family-style Hanukkah dinner at 6 p.m. Dec. 19, which includes matzo ball soup, braised brisket, potato latkes and noodle kugel for $75. 2500 W. Chicago Ave., 773-697-4413, splitrailchicago.com
Get your latkes served with applesauce and sour cream ($16) and add on more toppings with lox and sour cream ($18), pastrami and sauerkraut ($15) and housemade apple butter ($8). The special menu available Dec. 17-24 also features Nutella and cranberry sufganiyot ($5), a box of holiday cookies ($29) and chocolate babka ($24). 3737 N. Southport Ave., 773-661-2469, steingoldsdeli.com
Try three varieties of potato pancakes with classic latkes with housemade applesauce and sour cream ($8), braised leek latkes topped with grain mustard and red wine shallots ($9), and mini latkes with chive cream and smoked salmon ($15). The specials are available Dec. 15-22 for dine-in, carryout and delivery. 1954 N. Halsted St., 773-634-4100, summerhouserestaurants.com/Lincoln-Park
Samantha Nelson is a freelance writer.
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