If you’re looking to feast this Christmas in Chicago but don’t want to make a mess in the kitchen, we suggest trying one of these impeccable menu options from the brilliant chef in your own backyard.
See also: The 24 Best Holiday Events in Chicago
Whether you’re looking to dine in at a luxurious restaurant or want to bring something home to eat in comfort; want to celebrate with a Christmas Eve feast of the seven fishes or jazz things up with something less traditional, these Christmas meals are a splendid way to spread cheer and flavor for the whole family—and yes, some spots on our list are open Christmas Day, too.
120 E. Delaware Place / Website
For a particularly luxe Christmas Day spread, make tracks to the Four Seasons Chicago to explore the Mag Mile destination’s "A Nutcracker Christmas”-themed brunch. Enjoy traditional holiday fare with brunch classics, chilled seafood, a holiday hot chocolate station and other sweet treats from pastry chef Bharat Dharmwani, all for $265/adult, and $85/child.
Locations in River North, Streeterville, Fulton Market and Oak Brook / Website
Whether you’re looking to hit the town or opt for carry-out or delivery, Beatrix is a solid option for Christmas Eve dining. Featured specials include grilled filet medallions with short rib ragout, whipped Yukon gold potatoes and truffle-onion jus, but the menu has plenty of other options too—including vegetarian and vegan choices aplenty.
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11 E. Walton St., 3rd Floor / Website
This restaurant in the Waldorf Astoria will be buzzing throughout the Christmas holiday. Christmas Eve dinner offerings include specials of truffled Jerusalem artichoke soup with crispy bacon lardons; lamb chops with a dukkah crust; Chilean sea bass; and a seafood bucatini with mussels, clams and lobster. On Christmas Day, brunch will feature specials like pork belly banh mi, tiramisu pancakes, steak and eggs and Korean fried chicken along with the regular menu of signature items like lobster toast and crab Benedicts. And for Christmas dinner, the regular menu will be joined by specials like prime rib with Yorkshire pudding plus a dessert of chocolate-pear, a chocolate torte with a poached pear, chocolate mousse and pear sorbet.
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12 S. Michigan Ave. / Website
Christmas Eve specials at this beloved Chicago Athletic Association restaurant include crispy whole branzino with kimchi fried rice, 12-ounce prime rib and specially selected Champagne offerings, all served with stellar views of Millennium Park and the lakefront.
537 N. Michigan Ave. / Website
Open for Christmas Eve, this newcomer perched above the Mag Mile will be offering dishes like 16-ounce king cut prime rib with creamed spinach, pommes puree and au jus as well as a classic sticky toffee pudding with fresh whipped cream.
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500 N. Franklin St. / Website
A Chicago steakhouse legend since 1941, this River North institution celebrates its annual Buon Feste on Christmas Eve, featuring a feast with offerings like caviar service, a seafood tower, tagliatelle with black truffles, holiday prime rib and peppermint bark gelato.
108 E. Superior St. / Website
Open for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, this five-star hotel beckons with two equally tempting options in The Lobby restaurant. On Dec. 24, enjoy a five-course menu (think caviar, scallops, Chilean sea bass and beef Wellington) with an over-the-top dessert buffet and live music from a trio. The price is set at $275 per guest with an optional wine pairing for $75 (children can order from the children’s menu). On Christmas Day, dig into a brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a series of decadent stations, including meat carving, seafood, butter poached lobster and truffle, bouillabaisse, caviar, cheese and charcuterie and Shanghai Terrace, finished off with a decadent dessert buffet. A magician will be on hand to perform for children, and a string quartet will provide live music; the experience is priced at $325 per adult and $95 per child.
401 E. Wacker Drive, 11th Floor / Website
Available from 3-8 p.m. on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, this chic Japanese spot is offering a $26 special of Japanese-style fried chicken, a playful nod to the Japanese tradition of ordering fried chicken on Christmas Eve. Miru’s regular dinner menu of sushi, robata dishes and more will also be available.
8 W. Maple St. / Website
Open for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, this Gold Coast fave is offering a special of bone-in Chateaubriand Rossini with seared foie gras, black trumpet mushrooms, Perigord black truffles and truffle jus in addition to its signature menu of fine steakhouse fare.
222 N. LaSalle St. / Website
This top Loop steakhouse will offer a Christmas Eve feast in the form of a three-course tasting menu ($110 per person) with tempting options like lump blue crab cakes, petit cut filet, dry-aged Rohan duck, red wine-braised lamb shank and more. Menu add-ons and sommelier-selected wine pairings are available too.
317 N. Clark St. / Website
Want to truly go over the top on Christmas Eve? Make tracks to this River North seafood fave for an updated version of the classic Italian celebration of Feast of the Seven Fishes, featuring a lavish seafood tower with prawns, Maine lobster, Alaskan king crab, oysters, red snapper ceviche, tuna poke and hand-cut hamachi crudo, all for $290 plus tax and gratuity. And if you’re feeling like a more traditional Seven Fishes experience, check out fellow Lettuce Entertain You restaurants RPM Italian and Osteria Via Stato, both of which will be offering their own unique take on the menu.
405 N. Wabash Ave. / Website
The city’s newest omakase destination, this 12-seat destination tucked inside Lady May restaurant and cocktail bar is a bona fide hit in Austin, Tex., Dallas and Miami Beach, and now arrives in Chicago. On Christmas Eve, the restaurant will be open regular hours for its omakase experience, available with a variety of drink pairings.
1000 W. Fulton Market / Website
Prefer to enjoy Christmas Dinner at home? Indulge in Fulton Market steak fave Swift & Sons’ signature beef Wellington, available for the first time this year as a cook-at-home experience starting at $235. Order here for pick-up on Dec. 23.
118 W. Grand Ave. / Website
This Peruvian hot spot in River North is offering Christmas Eve dinner specials available Dec. 22-24—think marinated octopus carpaccio, smoked duck breast and braised beef in red wine demi-glace, a dish that serves up to four and served with aji amarillo potatoes puree, traditional choclo butter rice and criolla salad.
530 N. Wabash Ave. / Website
Get a taste of the South on Christmas Day at this River North comfort food haven, which will be open during its regular hours and offering special dishes like herb-roasted prime rib, lobster agnolotti and red velvet cake along with its regular menu.
Now that your dinner plans are covered, make merry and bright with a visit to one of Chicago’s most brilliant holiday light displays.
Photography by: FG Trade / Getty; Swift & Sons photo by Nick Podraza; Tanta photo by Mistey Nguyen