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Nov 20, 2012 11:31 AM

Christmas in Chicago

We are arriving in Chicago on Christmas Day. We had planned on lunch at Purple Pig (they are closed) and dinner at Avec (they are closed too). Any suggestions for restaurants that are open on Christmas and offer regular menus (no Christmas special menus)? On later dates we have reservations at Topolobampo, Takashi, Blackbird, North Pond, Girl and the Goat, Publican, Piccolo Sogno Due and Sable.

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  1. Selection is a bit limited on Christmas and I am not sure I would advise going high end as some key personnel may be off. It looks like Mercat a La Planxa is open for lunch (Spanish Tapas); have not yet been myself but heard good things from friends. For dinner some of the steakhouses are open, Bin 36 (wine bistro), NoMI (contemporary American) are options.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Gonzo70

      >> It looks like Mercat a La Planxa is open for lunch (Spanish Tapas)

      According to Opentable's list of holiday plans, they are doing a special menu for brunch: "Celebrate with our "Brunch de Nadal" for just $35 per person, and taste a prefixe menu selected by the Chef for the holiday! Brunch is from 10am - 3pm." They are also open for dinner; perhaps they will have their regular menu then.

      1. re: nsxtasy

        Thanks nsxtacy. Jose Garces's Amada used to be one of our favorite places in Philadelphia but we have been disappointed the last couple of times we have been there. Any reviews of Mercat a La Planxa being or not being consistent recently that you know of? Thanks again, You have been so much help.

        1. re: babegourmand

          I haven't been there personally recently but I haven't heard anyone complaining lately either. HTH

          Incidentally, that's a great bunch of reservations you've already made, including some that are very tough to snag. Nicely done!

          1. re: nsxtasy

            Thanks! I also called Longman and Eagle and they said they will have a snack type dinner on Christmas evening but are closed for brunch. They is quite a hike for a snack dinner anyway!

      2. Most of Chicago's nicer restaurants accept reservations on which is easy to use to get a list of which are open at any particular date and time. A quick check there for a table for 2 at 7 pm on Dec 25 shows 117 restaurants with availability (out of 926 total in the Chicago area that are on Opentable). The link for the full list resulting from my dinner query is below. You could generate a similar list for lunch. Many are what you would expect to be open on Christmas, including some restaurants in hotels, and some ethnic restaurants. There's no way to tell from the list which ones might be doing special holiday menus; you could check Opentable's list of Christmas plans (see link below), but otherwise you'd have to call. Places that jumped out at me on the dinner list were Mercat a la Planxa (tapas) and Carnivale (Latin fusion). Some of the high-end hotel restaurants are also open (Sixteen, deca, NoMI).

        Most of the restaurants in Chinatown are open, but will be PACKED. It's a problem not just with long waits to be seated, but also with poor service once you're seated. I had an absolutely dreadful experience on Dec 25 last year there at Lao Beijing, which just wasn't staffed to handle the holiday crowd.

        Link for Dec 25 plans shown on Opentable:

        Link of availability for Dec 25 dinner at 7 pm: