14 Sips and Bites for a Holiday Wonderland in Chicago

Saturday, December 05, 2020

Ah, the holidays. When everything smells of eggnog and peppermint, when it is appropriate to stuff your loved ones with sweet treats to show them how much you care and love them, or to shamelessly indulge yourself! Here are 14 picks from peppermint mochas to a plethora of pies and many desserts across Chicago.

Esteemed pie which has an apple pie that Food & Wine hails as one of the finest in the U.S has an array of holiday pies and treats: Red Wine Poached Pear Streusel,  Michigan Sour Cherry, Holiday Glögg Cake, and the traditional apple pie (including a vegan option!).

Since 1987, Rick Bayless and his wife, Deann Groen Bayless, set up a spot with Mexican folk art on the walls and Mariachi music and packed the menu with the foods that reminded them of their Mexican travels. And nothing changed since. The holiday staple devil's food cake (Dark chocolate devils food cake, spiced coffee buttercream, fall cranberry compote, toasted almonds) is decadent, but their staple bestseller is a chocolate pecan pie created by Rick Bayless, on the menu for 33 years and counting.

Good Ambler has an array of sweet and savory offerings, hand-crafted assortments of individual chocolates, house-made candy bars, and cakes. While their cakes and exquisite bonbons, don't miss the decadent and Santa hat petit gateaux.

Finally a real Belgian Bakery in Chicago!  Artisanal breads, 13 different croissants, macarons and pastries all made from scratch by.Belgian Chef Renaud Hendrickx. For the holidays is a gorgeous Our chocolate, hazelnut or mocha Bûche de Noëls.

The Hoosier Mama Pie Company is a new artisanal bakery striving to be a great “old” pie company. We quite like their peppermint themed desserts and drinks for the holidays: peppermint mocha, peppermint hot chocolate and dark chocolate peppermint bark cookies.

A next gen restaurant and bar with over the top topped hot chocolates and intriguingly made cocktails in whimsical glassware, this is your staple for every holiday. Don't miss the Jingle Juice, Champagne Sangria Boot, and Old St. Nick cocktails, as well as the Peppermint Party Hot Chocolate, topped with Mini Marshmallows, Peppermint S’more, Peppermint Pretzel & Mini Candy Cane.


A French bakery and Filipino restaurant hybrid in Ukrainian Village with a flamboyant menu throughout the year, with holiday favorites like Ube & huckleberry basque cakes, berry & crème fraîche cheesecakes and more.

A cute bakery and cafe Lost Larson, known for beautiful and creative pastry creations, is a brainchild of Bobby Schaffer who has led the pastry programs for Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York and 3 star Michelin restaurant Grace. As a holiday bonus, they have tasty lussekatter (saffron buns) for St Lucia Day.

Holiday pies on your mind? Hope you don't mind them being Michelin rated. Pastry chef Lauren Terrill’s pie creations include innovative miso butterscotch apple pie and pumpkin custard pies (candied pepitas, chai milk jam, maple verjus, crystallized maple) and more. 

Sisters Meg and Molly Svec are known for making pies such as caramel apple cider and Georgia pecan with local, seasonal ingredients at their Oak Park shop. For winter, there's a classic, and pretty Peppermint Chocolate Cream pie!

Stephanie Izard has rebooted her West Loop bakery with whacky and unusual flavor combos, like a chocolate pie with shoestring potatoes, French silk and pecan and cupcakes that taste like pancakes. Seasonal favorites include Oatmeal and Pickled Raisin Cookies, Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies, Cinnamon Roll Cookie, a series of Cheez-it Cupcakes and the iconic Pancake Cupcakes.

Legendary speakeasy in Chicago, now selling tiki themed merch and cocktail kits and more. Be forewarned that everything may look cute, but is potently strong. Delicious, as it should be. 

Vanille in Lincoln Park offers authentic French pastries, desserts, and cakes by chef Sophie Evanoff. While they have an array of pastries, macarons, cakes and more all year round, the particularly comical Covid Cake is a winner for Christmas in 2020.

Marshmallows in all sorts of flavors for dunking into hot chocolate, desserts, or eating them by themselves! Watch out for the inventive Christmas tree shaped marshmallows for winter.


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