The Top Five Chicago Bars for Celebrating Christmas

In addition to such beloved Chicago traditions as breakfast under the tree in the Walnut Room, to the 85-foot Christmas tree and Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza, to the dazzling lights and parades along the Magnificent Mile, one can also enjoy festive cocktails and holiday ambiance at Chicago’s Top 5 Holiday Pubs (hours may vary so please call ahead).

Related: Top 10 Bars in Chicago

  1. Butch McGuire’s
    20 W. Division Street (1200N, 0W)
    Chicago, IL 60610
    (312) 337-9080
    Hours: 11a.m. to 4 a.m. Sunday through Friday, 8a.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday

    “The standard by which all other Division Street bars are judged,” also elevates the bar during the holiday season with its double-decker model train that runs around the room, thousands of string lights, Christmas trees and handmade holiday decorations crafted by one of the bar’s regulars, that includes a animated mobiles with Disney Characters and a full-sized Grinch. Since 1961.

  1. Cork & Kerry
    10614 S. Western Avenue (10600S, 2400W)
    Chicago, IL 60643
    (773) 445-2675
    Hours: 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday, 12p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday

    The most popular bar in the South Side Irish neighborhood of Beverly specializes at holiday time with over 80 animated displays—including a ski scene where a pair skis down a hill and climbs onto a ski lift—in addition to string lights inside and out and a life-sized Santa in the beer garden. They even pour a mean pint of Guinness on Christmas day.

  2. Miller’s Pub
    134 S. Wabash Avenue (200S, 100E)
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (312) 645-5377
    Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. Sunday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 a.m. on Saturday

    In addition to easily being one of the best downtown bars for lunch, drinks after work or the theatre, and for celebrities of either local, regional or national status, Miller’s Pub gets decked out at Christmas time with plenty of string lights and elegant wreaths around. Their signature holiday cocktail, the “Tom & Jerry,” is also featured and is made from Myers’ dark rum, brandy and egg nog, served hot and best enjoyed after a plate of ribs. Since 1935.

  1. Marie’s Riptide
    1750 W. Armitage Avenue (2000N, 1800W)
    Chicago, IL 60647
    (773) 278-7317
    Hours: 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. Monday through Friday and Sunday, 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Saturday

    Like a corner tavern straight out of Twin Peaks, Marie's Riptide Lounge is a timeless gem whose festive Christmas décor that includes a "snow-covered" bar and more red and green than Kermit the Frog caught in a meat grinder. The decorations goes nicely with the white-leather booths, electronic skeet shooting machine, and Hawaiian-shirt bedecked old Polish ladies that dole out Jägermeister shots with gay, yuletide abandon. Since 1961.

  1. Simon’s Tavern
    5210 N. Clark Street (5200N, 1600W)
    Chicago, IL 60640
    (773) 878-0894
    Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday

    As did all the long lost joints in this once Swedish neighborhood of Andersonville, Simon's still serves glögg at holiday time, made from a combination of hot port wine blended with raisins, aquavit (Swedish vodka) and other spices – it’s too good not to try (a frozen version is served during Midsommarfest). Festive decorations compliment the fireplace, large Deer Hunter’s Ball mural of regulars from the 1940s and the bars “pickled herring” logo… get it? Since 1934.