Today we’re checking out the Christkindlmarket, an open-air market in Daley Plaza inspired by the Christmas markets that you’d find in Germany and other European countries. You’ll find an array of food, drinks, souvenirs, and displays to put you in the holiday spirit. And if that wasn’t enough to take in, they’ve got choirs, orchestras, bands, and other live performances scheduled throughout the month. There’s also an indoor sheltered space for when it gets unbearably cold or you just want to take a minute and relax before you keep walking and shopping.
There’s something for everyone here, and below, you’ll find our list of things you have to try at the Christkindlmarket.
Mulled Wine (or Hot Coco)
No visit to a Christmas Market would be complete without a hot beverage, and even before setting foot in this space, we had heard a lot about mulled wine. Quick overview: mulled wine is a common European beverage made with red wine infused with numerous mulling spices. It’s served hot or cold, but we’d recommend getting it hot for that authentic Christmas Market experience.
And if mulled wine isn’t your thing, hot coco is also available! It’s available in regular and spiked versions, with a nice large serving of whip cream.
The souvenir mug (sold at a separate cost) is a must – they change designs every year and vendors serve your drinks in them right away.
Nuts Nuts Nuts
Chicagoans are nuts about nuts! It’s a mystery we didn’t get to solve in the short amount of time we were here, but we did see multiple food vendors embracing this nut craze and immersing themselves with new flavours and combinations. From traditional candied nuts to the new sweet and savoury fad – there’s an option for everyone.
While we didn’t get around to trying this one ourselves, we did meet a woman who was clearly enjoying her sausage while waiting for her husband to come back. (Literally. That’s not a metaphor.) She decided to try the spicy kilometre sausage which protrudes out of the bun on both sides and was topped with a German staple – sauerkraut.
Potato pancakes – sometimes known as latkes – actually have their origins in Jewish cuisine. This treat can be found all over Europe and each country has their own way of making them. At Christkindlmarket, you’ll easily find the German style. These can be served either sweet or savoury and the possibilities are endless!
Now these were only a handful of the things that made it to the list but trust us, there is a lot more to discover and eat your way through! Make sure you go with an empty stomach and bring a foodie friend, because there is a lot to try! Make an entire morning or afternoon out of it (when crowds are much calmer) and be sure to explore some of Chicago’s many other attractions and neighbourhoods – check out the video above for some inspiration!
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