Chicago is a foodie’s dream. Each month, there’s a new batch of food and drink events that offer a taste of the city’s scorching-hot culinary scene. This December, take your pick from an unlimited chili fest to a veggie-centric farmer’s market dinner, specialty beer and wine festivals and much more. Here’s a preview of just a few of Chicago’s upcoming food and drink events in December.

Southport Holiday Stroll + Cocktail Crawl

Dec. 6
The Southport Corridor in Lakeview is known for its charming mix of boutiques, specialty shops, and local restaurants. Get a taste of the neighborhood (while sipping on seasonal cocktails) during the annual Southport Holiday Stroll + Cocktail Crawl. A $30 ticket includes tastings of 15 holiday cocktails at multiple businesses, plus festive entertainment, photos with Santa, holiday treats, and more.

Chicago Wine Fest

Chicago Wine Fest
Photo by Nolasco Giovanni

Dec. 7
It’s hard to beat the combination of wine, food, and live music. The Chicago Wine Fest is bringing this beloved trifecta to Artifact Events in Ravenswood. Wine lovers will enjoy multiple tastings from over 15 different wineries with DJ entertainment and various food vendors. Tickets start at $35 and there are multiple sessions throughout the day.

Gingerbread House Decorating at Park Grill

Photo by Randalyn Hill

Dec. 8
What better way to get into the holiday spirit than by decorating gingerbread houses while enjoying a classic view of downtown Chicago? The Park Grill at Millennium Park is offering a holiday brunch paired with a gingerbread house decorating party. The $25 ticket includes a blank gingerbread house, plenty of decorations, and a hot chocolate bar.

Annual Chili Cook Off at Lo Rez Brewing

Dec. 8
Chili and beer are an unbeatable combination and you can enjoy the best of both at Lo Rez Brewing’s 3rd Annual Chili Cook Off. The Pilsen microbrewery will serving homemade chili, locally brewed beer, and fresh bread. Chili lovers are encouraged to sample all varieties, vote for their favorite, all while washing it down with one of Lo Rez’s barrel-aged beers.

Drink Better Beer at Hopewell Brewing

Hopewell Brewing
Photo courtesy Hopewell Brewing

Dec. 9
Head to Hopewell Brewing for a special night in conversation with journalist and beer expert Joshua Bernstein. In addition to discussing his book Drink Better Beer, Joshua and the Hopewell team will also cover topics like cocktail-inspired beers and the latest in beer trends. The $35 ticket includes a copy of Drink Better Beer, beer tastings from Hopewell, Half Acre Beer, Hop Butcher, and Whiner Beer Company, along with food from L’Patron.

BrewLights at Lincoln Park Zoo

BrewLights at Lincoln Park Zoo
Photo by Phil Parcellano

Dec. 12
There’s no better way to experience the holiday magic of Lincoln Park Zoo than at BrewLights, a festive beer tasting event that’s complemented by the stunning scenery of the annual ZooLights display. Guests can enjoy tastings from Maplewood Brewery, Begyle Brewing, 2 Towns Ciderhouse, Ravinia Brewing Co. and many others. The $49 ticket includes a dozen sample-sized tastings, a tasting mug, carousel rides, live music, and more.

Holiday Cocktail Classes at Aster Hall

Aster Hall cocktail class
Photo courtesy Aster Hall

Dec. 14 and Dec. 19
Aster Hall
is a super-chic food hall located along The Magnificent Mile. Their cozy bar and study area is the perfect spot to learn the craft behind some favorite holiday cocktails. Get step-by-step guidance from the bartenders at Aster Hall on how to mix up five different boozy seasonal drink. The $59 ticket includes a seasonal cocktail of your choice and the recipes for all five featured drinks.

Holiday Wine & Truffle Festa at Eataly Chicago

Photo courtesy Eataly Chicago

Dec. 14
Truffle season is finally upon us and there’s no better way to celebrate than at Eataly’s Holiday Wine & Truffle Festa. Experience the magic of the season at Eataly’s restaurant, Il Tartufo e Il Vino, for a one-of-a-kind wine and truffle tasting. Tickets start at $42 and include a tasting of eight Italian wines, a prosecco welcome toast, and bites of seasonal truffle dishes.

December Tea at Bittersweet

Bittersweet Pastry Shop

Dec. 15
Lakeview’s Bittersweet Pastry is home to some of the neighborhood’s favorite sweet and savory bites. They’ll be hosting a December Tea event with a three-course, seasonal menu including Harney & Sons fine tea, homemade scones, tea sandwiches, and decadent desserts. The $60 ticket also includes complimentary bubbles and a chance to do some early holiday shopping with a 10% off all purchases.

Feast of the Seven Fishes Dinner at Fish Bar

Dec. 17
One of the great Italian holiday traditions is to celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Fish Bar is putting their own spin on the fish-filled event with a special dinner on Dec. 17. Guests will have the chance to enjoy the six-course menu during two evening seatings, featuring fritto misto, tuna tonnato, clams oreganata, sea scallops with mussels, baccala with tomatoes, and more. Tickets for the dinner start at $71.


Pretzels at Christkindlmarket in Chicago
Photo by True Shot Studios

Dec. 24
One of the city’s most beloved holiday traditions, the Christkindlmarket is a can’t-miss event for food lovers in Chicago. Whether you’re exploring the Loop or Wrigleyville location, the free-admission market is full of authentic German food and drinks. There’s no shortage of delicious options, including freshly roasted nuts, homemade pretzels, potato pancakes, bratwurst, schnitzel, and more. Just don’t leave the market without trying the traditional hot spiced wine.