Located on the 7th floor of Macy's on State Street (formerly Marshall Field and Company), the Walnut Room has been serving guests as the very first restaurant in a department store since the late 1890's. With its warm Circassian wood paneling, imported from Russia, its dazzling Austrian crystal chandeliers and iconic Great Tree, a visit to this classic Chicago restaurant is a must over the holidays.
Marshall Field's was the first department store ever to introduce the concept of an in-store tea room with the Walnut Room. In the 19th century, it was considered in poor taste for a lady to dine alone. When Marshall Field's clerk, Mrs. Herring, shared her lunch with a tired shopper, Marshall Field's recognized the need to better accommodate his female customers. To this day the classic Mrs. Herring's Chicken Pot Pie is a Walnut Room favorite.
At the center of the Walnut Room, the 45 ft. tall Great Tree stands as a grand symbol of the holidays. It takes two days to construct and decorate the Great Tree. And since the tree hangs from the ceiling, it's decorated from top to bottom, so the star is the first decoration to adorn the tree each year. Long ago, the Great Tree was real and required an on-site team of firemen to ensure that it didn't start on fire!
This year, the Great Tree will be on display in the historic Walnut Room from November 2 through January 5, 2014. The holiday menu is in full swing, and a special breakfast buffet will be served everyday through December 26 (except November 24-25 and Thanksgiving and Christmas days). Breakfast hours can be found by visiting macysrestaurants.com or visitmacyschicago.com.
As an added treat, all beverages are served in a special 2013 edition holiday mug, yours to keep with any purchase. As a yearly Walnut Room visitor, I recommend winding down with a Brandy Alexander Egg Nog, and be sure to save room for a slice of Franco Mint Cheesecake.
A full listing of the holiday hours can be found online at www.visitmacyschicago.com or by calling the Walnut Room hotline at 312.781.3139. While no reservations are accepted during the holiday season (through January 1, 2014), pagers for same day seating are available at store opening and can be picked up on the 7th floor near the main escalators so you can get your holiday shopping done without having to wait in line.