Nearly everyone who celebrates Christmas, and likely many others who don’t, are familiar with the popular song “12 Days of Christmas.” We can’t guarantee you that you’ll find any maids a-milking or lords a-leaping in very many restaurants across Chicago, we nonetheless decided to write a Chicago Restaurant Edition guide to the 12 Days of Christmas. Grab some of your favorite holiday cookies, sit down and read on to find out which Chicago restaurants cracked the 12 Days of Christmas guide.


closeup photo of lantern lamp

Here are some other opportunities to celebrate in Chicago as well!

  • Christkindlmarket: The Christkindlmarket is a Christmas market held every year in Daley Plaza in the Loop, that has expanded and now has two other locations in Wrigleyville and Aurora. Free admission to walk around and you can sample some of the various foods sold at the various stalls - typically there is a lot of traditional German cuisine. The Loop, Wrigleyville & Aurora
  • See The Nutcracker at The Joffrey Ballet: Whether or not you’re a year round ballet lover, there’s no denying that the Nutcracker is an iconic aspect of the yearly Christmas festivities. Immerse yourself in the magic of the dancers, and afterwards find some of the great restaurants nearby that are offering holiday specials or menus. Our advice would be to check out the Chicago Athletic Association. The Loop
  • Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light: Located at the Museum of Science and Industry, the beloved annual celebration features a four-story, floor-to-dome Grand Tree, surrounded by a forest of more than 50 trees. There are also displays and decorations that represent holiday traditions from other cultures around the world which makes it a great family event. Make sure you don’t miss pictures with Santa either! Hyde Park
  • Jack Frost Holiday Pop-Up: According to their website, this is “The Biggest Outdoor, Interactive Christmas Event in the Heart of Chicago!” This interactive Pop-Up Experience in Fulton Market features an outdoor adventure in the heart of Chicago. Dazzling light displays, an outdoor Christmas-themed party, tons of holiday themed photo opportunities and even a full-sized Ice Rink, there’s something here for everyone! West Loop
  • Mrs Claus! A Holiday Musical at the Beverly Arts Center: Running December 1st-29th, the Chicago Kids Company’s holiday classic celebrates its 24th year with Mrs. Claus! So popular this year it’s playing at two separate theaters, the Beverly Arts Center and the Apollo Theater. Don’t miss seeing this family friendly production, get your tickets today! Beverly & Lincoln Park

Without further ado, here is the list of the 12 restaurants to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas in Chicago this year!

First day: Partridge in a pear tree

  • Yardbird: You won’t find any partridge on the menu (at least that we’re aware of), but starting off with a restaurant named after a bird for the first day feels appropriate. With accolades from James Beard, Yardbird features American Classics and a vast list of curated cocktails. Central

Second day: 2 turtle doves

  • Birrieria Ocotlan: It might be December, so your mind might not instantly imagine tacos as the go to food of the season. But once you try the dynamite tacos at Birrieria Ocotlan you’ll change your mind. With a simple menu you can easily try everything in just a few visits (or maybe one, we don’t judge). Far Southeast Side

Third day: 3 French hens

  • Magic Jug: Over in Portage Park you’ll find a great restaurant with an even better name - Magic Jug. Make sure to visit this Ukrainian restaurant and try some of their traditional dishes on the menu to experience the holiday’s through a slightly different traditional perspective. The potato pancakes are a must-try for all who go. Northwest Side

Fourth day: 4 calling birds

  • The Warbler: Four days in and with the theme of “Calling Birds” The Warbler feels a very suitable recommendation. Itself named for the well known calling bird, The Warbler serves elevated comfort food for lunch and dinner seven days a week. West Side

Fifth day: 5 golden rings

  • GOLDEN APPLE GRILL & BREAKFAST HOUSE: It’s hard to find many foods that include gold in some way, luckily it’s not hard to find a great breakfast at Golden Apple Grill & Breakfast House. There are no secrets to this place. Just great and classic breakfast options - a midwest diner through and through. North Side

Sixth day: 6 geese a-laying

  • Wild Goose Bar: A no frills bar and restaurant experience, it wasn’t hard to pick a recommendation for the sixth day of Christmas. No, there are no geese hidden in the corner laying eggs, but there is an extensive beer list and award winning wings on the menu. North Side

Seventh day: 7 swans a-swimming

  • Sun Wah BBQ: For the seventh day of Christmas we are highlighting one of the best restaurants in Chicago for Peking Duck. And YES, we know duck is not a swan, but it’s illegal to eat Swans OK! Sun Wah BBQ has one of the most well reviewed full duck dishes in the city - but also an extensive menu full of other authentic Chinese dishes. Far North Side

Eighth day: 8 maids a-milking

  • Pupuseria: While Pupuseria specializes in crafting hand-made stuffed tortillas, on this, the eighth day of Christmas, we also highly endorse trying their milkshakes. What’s the point of eight maids a-milking if you can’t at least get a good milkshake out of it? Far Southwest Side

Ninth day: 9 ladies dancing

  • Lips: Lips is a drag dining experience unlike any other. Ornately decorated with tons of glitz and glam, the cast of nationally recognized drag talent perform a dynamic show of lip syncing, vocals, comedy and much much more. The menu is simple but delicious and they have an extensive cocktail menu. The performers double as your servers so you’ll have a full night of entertainment. Central

Tenth day: 10 lords a-leaping

  • Carnivale: In need of another great restaurant where you can also get down and dance, for day ten we find ourselves with Carnivale. This description sums it up perfectly, “Lively eatery with colorful decor, festive vibe & food from South America, Spain & the Caribbean.” With various events hosted throughout the year celebrating various cultural events like Copa Carnivale (obviously), samba dancing and a New Year’s Eve disco. West Side

Eleventh day: 11 pipers piping

  • Restaurant Cocula - Pulaski: This unassuming restaurant started with one location on the corner of Cermak and California. They’ve now expanded to six locations across the Chicagoland area! The restaurant is named for a small town in Mexico that is considered, “the cradle of Mariachi,” so it makes sense that on the eleventh day of Christmas we highly endorse this restaurant. You can’t go wrong with any of the authentic Mexican cuisine and cocktails on the menu! Southwest Side

Twelfth day: 12 drummers drumming

  • Bronzeville Winery: Live music lovers rejoice, this unique restaurant offers a well curated wine list and perfectly executed local menu. It aims to celebrate the honorable traditions of taking care of the community through the craft of food and beverage. According to their website, “The restaurant will act as a cultural incubator highlighting a revolving art collection curated by Cierra Mckissick, a state-of-the-art 360 sound system, live music and DJ residency.” South Side

With full bellies and high spirits we complete our 12 Days of Christmas dining adventure in Chicago! We hope you’ve found some new prospective restaurants to try this holiday season. Remember that using FoodBoss you can always check ahead to see if a restaurant offers delivery and/or pickup. Don’t miss out on a great meal - use FoodBoss to make sure the food you want is always within reach.

And also remember, Chicago's amazing food scene this holiday season extends far beyond just this list. We encourage you to continue exploring the city's diverse neighborhoods and hidden culinary gems to discover treasures waiting for you to find them. Find even more holiday pop-ups and wildly decorated bars here to find more activities.