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Top 10 Chicago Places for Holiday Treats & Eats

BY: Food Travelist | Dec 18, 2014
Top 10 Chicago Places for Holiday Treats & Eats

Chocolate at the Pen

If you’re looking for a way to sweeten your holidays, why not experience the ultimate indulgence – a room full of chocolate decadence in The Lobby at the Peninsula Chicago. Friday and Saturday nights from 8pm to midnight, you and your lucky companions can revel in chocolate treats including petite desserts, handcrafted sweets and specialties of the day prepared directly in front of you by a talented pastry chef. It’s a fantastic way to finish off a fun and festive holiday eve.

Holiday Tea at The Drake Hotel

An elegant way to celebrate the holidays is with Holiday Tea at Palm Court in The Drake Hotel. Enjoy the custom-blend tea, a beautiful selection of delicate finger sandwiches, breads, scones and delicious holiday pastries. Enjoy the harpist and relax after you’ve finished your shopping on Michigan Avenue. 

Top 10 Chicago Places for Holiday Treats   Eats


Experience all the fun of a German Christmas market without getting on a plane. Be sure to go hungry because there are so many Bavarian favorites to try from giant soft pretzels, schnitzel and sausages to cookies, candies and strudel. Bundle up and enjoy a hot wine or hot chocolate in a commemorative mug while browsing all the handcrafted holiday ornaments and gifts.

Piccolo Sogno Restaurant

If you’re looking for a restaurant to take that special someone and make a great impression, Piccolo Sogno, is just the place. Chef Tony Priolo’s “little dream” Italian restaurant offers the experience of dining in a comfortable home somewhere in Italy. The delectable offerings range from fresh antipasti to fish, game, handcrafted pastas, pizza and more. The extensive wine by the glass list is reasonable and encourages exploration. Attention to detail ensures your comfort and satisfaction. It’s a meal you will dream about a long time after you leave.

Chicago Pizza Tours

See Chicago one slice at a time! Perfect for a gift or for something new to do during the holidays, Chicago Pizza Tours provides a fun and tasty exploration of the city, offering pizza tastings and a great way to learn about the history of Chicago pizza. You are comfortably escorted on a bus to experience local favorite thin crust pizza, famous Chicago deep-dish pizza and a few more that you might be surprised to find in Chicago. Full commentary from the knowledgeable guide provides all kinds of pizza lore along the way. This tour will leave you a lot smarter about pizza and full!

Dining at The Art Institute of Chicago

You might not typically think of a museum and delicious food in the same sentence. However, the Art Institute of Chicago has done just that. Not only is this world famous museum just ranked the #1 museum in the world by Trip Advisor but it also has numerous options to dine at the museum that are all well worth the visit. Whether you chose celebrity Chef Tony Mantuano’s elegant and authentic Terzo Piano Italian restaurant , the vibrant, family-friendly Museum Café or convenient quick-order Caffè Moderno there’s something for everyone at the Art Institute. If you’re a member don’t miss the complimentary hot chocolate, tea or coffee in the members lounge.

Sola Restaurant

If you want to escape the winter chill, the warm and welcoming sola restaurant from Chef Carol Wallack is just the place for you. The Hawaiian-inspired cuisine at this hidden jewel uses local ingredients and supports sustainability. Whether you stop in for the amazing Sunday brunch, nightly dinners or special monthly Prixe Fix menu created around a delectable theme you will find the dishes unique and delicious. Don’t forget to order one of the creative handcrafted cocktails with fresh juice to keep you really warm.


Breakfast at Jam is by far one of the most memorable events you’ll have if you add it to your must-do list. Every dish is thoughtfully planned and executed. Their famous Malted Custard French Toast is simply not to be missed. If you’re a bacon lover be sure to get the jowl bacon- it’s unforgettable! Whatever their fresh pastry of the day is, just order it. Don’t even ask. It will be worth the extra exercise you’ll need to add to your day. Delicious and affordable, Chef Jeffrey Mauro’s creative menu items will start your day with a smile that lasts.

Table Fifty-Two

For a special night out or a Sunday Brunch full of Southern hospitality, head over to Chef Art Smith’s signature restaurant Table Fifty-Two. His delicious grits and handcrafted Bloody Mary will have you sitting back, relaxing and talking in a southern drawl in no time. From special southern treats like fried green tomatoes to elegant scallops, there’s something to please every palate. Buttermilk fried chicken with roasted garlic mashed Potatoes for dinner is a favorite or try the chicken with waffles and maple syrup at Sunday brunch and you won’t soon forget it. Discover the food that made Oprah claim Chef Smith as her personal chef.