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Hey guys! I hope you all had a terrific Thanksgiving and enjoyed your long weekend, as well as snag some awesome Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. If you didn’t get any shopping in over the weekend, there are plenty of sales still happening so make sure to check out my list of Black Friday Deals from last week.
This past Sunday, my lovely girlfriends and I got together for our Annual Girls Christmas Party; a tradition our girlfriend Jen started about 15 years ago with only a handful of girls that has now grown to a group of 12. Each year we get together during the holidays for brunch or dinner and a gift exchange/grab bag. It’s just a fun excuse to kick off the holiday season with one another since it’s a lot harder to get together as often as we used to due to busy schedules, careers and families, although we do get together for important events and celebrations whenever possible. Most of us have been friends for over a decade (or two), and have seen each other go through many different stages in life. It feels so nice to be surrounded by such a wonderful group of women you can have fun with, but who also support you, love you and encourage you without any jealousy or drama.
This year we hosted our Annual Girls Christmas Party at Beatnik Chicago in West Town, a restaurant with an eclectic mix of furniture and decor from all over the world that offers flavorful dishes made up of ingredients from Asia, Mexico, the Middle East and South America. If Beatnik wasn’t already the perfect choice for Sunday Brunch, the restaurant was beautifully decorated for the holiday season with lit-up Christmas trees, candelabras and crystal chandeliers which has inspired me to compile a list of 18 festive restaurants and bars to visit with your friends or family during the holiday season.
1. All Chocolate Kitchen: Located in Geneva (about 41 miles west of downtown Chicago); serves chocolates, cakes, pastries, house made gelato, coffee and other savory bites. They also make life-size candy and cake installations for the holidays.
2. Beatnik Chicago: There are two locations; one in West Town and one on the river in the loop. Beatnik On The River is closed on Sundays, but both locations are open for lunch and dinner. Our bill came out to $46/pp. with mimosas and cocktails.
3. Club Lucky: Cozy Italian eatery located in Wicker Park/Bucktown.
5. Happy Camper Pizzeria: Pizza place that also serves cocktails in a warehouse setting with tire swings and Airsteams. There are two Chicago locations; one in Old Town and one in Wicker Park. There’s also a location in Denver.
6. LUXBAR: Located in the Gold Coast. Had brunch with a girlfriend last year and it was very cozy and festive for the holiday season.
7. Meson Sabika: Mansion with eight dining rooms decorated in traditional Spanish decor located in Naperville; serves Sunday Brunch and tapas style dinner (had brunch with a couple of girlfriends last year). Super cozy and charming for the holidays. Cost of brunch is $34.95/pp which includes a mimosa; $16.95 for children 7-12 years old. Great venue for weddings and other events.
8. Miracle at Sable Kitchen & Bar: Restaurant/cocktail bar in River North decked out in holiday decor, offering ten Christmas-themed cocktails, a DJ and games.
9. The Lobby at the Peninsula Hotel: Beautifully decorated this time of year; John and I are going for brunch this coming Sunday. Brunch is served from 11am-2pm and The Lobby is also where the celebrated Peninsula Afternoon Tea is served.
10. The Walnut Room at Macy’s State Street: A Chicago tradition since 1905; open for lunch and dinner from 11am to 8pm.
1. Butch McGuire’s: One of Chicago’s most popular bars located in Gold Coast at Rush and Division; famous for its over the top Christmas decor.
2. Frosty’s Pop-Up Christmas Bar: Holiday season pop-up in it’s third year. Super fun and completely decked out for the holidays with four different bars on three levels. They serve Christmas-themed cocktails, have a DJ and a singing Santa Show every hour. Open from 4pm to 4am and tickets are $15-$30. Runs through January 5. An added bonus: Some of the bartenders are models and a lot of them are good looking.
3. Happy’s at Chicago Athletic Association: Pop-up bar located on the hotel’s ground floor, open for the third year in a row. Serves top-notch holiday cocktails and snacks with Christmas tunes playing in the background, festive decor and plenty of twinkling lights. Located at 12 S. Michigan Ave. Closed on Sundays.
4. Rudolph’s Pop-Up Bar at Casey Morans: Sports bar in Wrigleyville with several themed spaces and character appearances with plenty of holiday decorations and cocktails. Food is also available.
5. Santa Baby at Deuce’s and Diamonds: One of the largest and over-the-top Christmas bars located in Wrigleyville. Offers multiple themed spaces and bars. Free on weekdays; $20 on weekends.
6. Sippin’ Santa at Cortland’s Garage: A suburban Christmas pop-up in Arlington Heights; open Sunday through Thursday 12pm-11pm and Friday-Saturday 11am-2am.
7. The Christmas Club at the Country Club: Another Wrigleyville bar with two floors and three bars that offers six “naughty or nice” shots and snacks . No cover.
8. The Sixth: A new Yippee Ki Yay Christmas pop-up bar in Lincoln Square inspired by the movie, Die Hard. Offers 15 specialty cocktails and is open every day except Mondays, all through December.