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As the weather turns colder with each passing day, we Chicagoans need a little something to keep us warm. Look no further than these city and suburban spots to warm up your soul and your belly this winter.

Cleo's Southern Cuisine 

A traditional dessert gets a seasonal twist with the Pumpkin Spiced Bread Pudding ($9.95) featuring Cleo's signature bread pudding with a special holiday spice.

Spirit Elephant

Two favorites come together in a 100% vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake ($11). The cashew-based cheesecake features a housemade gluten-free graham cracker crust, pumpkin puree, whipped cream, and sea salt caramel. 

The PSL gets an upgrade with the Smashing Pumpkin ($14). A housemade pumpkin spice coffee vodka is paired with coffee liqueur, Bailey's, and Aquafaba for a fall drink. 

Virtue Restaurant + Bar

Every day is pie day with Virtue's We Finally Got a Piece of the Pie ($11), a sweet potato pie with whipped cream. Chef Becky Pendola roasts the sweet potatoes so the sugars begin to caramelize and purees until silky. 

When was the last time you had a yammin' good cocktail? Our puns might need some work but Virtue's cocktail game doesn't. The Yammin' ($13) features rum, yams, lime, and maple syrup.

Mustard Seed Kitchen

Mustard Seed Kitchen (49 East Cermak Road) is a new American Takeout concept created by James Beard-nominated Chef Erick Williams of Virtue Restaurant. The restaurant is takeout only and focuses on everyday eats that are approachable and affordable. Bring home the best of Mustard Seed Kitchen's items for a cold night including:

- Chicken Alfredo ($16.99): featuring spaghetti cooked with broccoli and English peas, topped with Parmesan cheese, and served with a creamy alfredo sauce and garlic bread.

- Chicken Gumbo ($7.99): with Cajun chicken, Andouille sausage, and gold rice.

- Creamy Tomato Soup ($5.99): with basil oil and croutons. Pair it with Garlic Bread and dip to your heart's content.

- Fried Chicken Sandwich ($11.99): fried chicken thigh sandwich topped with lettuce, pickles, and seasoned mayo served on a Brioche bun. 

- Say Cheese ($13.00): nothing beats a good ol' cheeseburger on a cold night! This particular number is a double cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, and seasoned mayo.

Mustard Seed Kitchen is open Monday - Saturday from 11am - 8pm (closed on Sundays!). For the full menu and to place an order, visit https://mustardseedkitchenchic...

Bar Goa 

Bar Goa mixologist, Allie Kim, embraces the cold while keeping the influences of India and the beach-y vibes of the coastal town of Goa. For $15 each, guests can order the following seasonal cocktails: 

  • Shimmering Sands - Illegal Mezcal, Apricot Liqueur, Pickled Lime Cordial, Pineapple 
  • Midnight Mass in Panjim - Tanteo Navidad, Giffard Pamplemousse, Garden Party Basil, Lime
  • Sur La Mer (Hot Cocktail) - Brugal Anejo, Amass Vodka, Coconut, Lime, Nutmeg 

Time Out Market Chicago 

Beverage Director Jonathan Kahn keeps it fun with his ingredients and festive cocktail names at this West Loop food hall.

  • Oaxaca in A Winter Wonderland - Uruapan Charanda Rhum, Pomegranate Amaro, Appel's Cardamom Syrup, Bolivar & Angostura Bitters, Lime
  • White Spritzmas - Trakal, Genepy de Alpes, Rosemary Infused Riesling, Mediterranean Tonic, Silver Glitter Dust
  • Not My Gumdrop Buttons! - DCD Blue Line Gin, Spiced Pear Liqueur, Gingerbread Rooibos Tea Infused Falernum, Rhine Hall La Normande Pommeau, Lemon
  • Fa La La Llama Catan - Pisco, Appel's Vanilla Cola Syrup, La Fuerza Blanco Vermouth, Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters

Cobblestone Restaurant

Velvet Revolution - Nitro cold brew from local roaster, Hexe, is combined with vodka, chocolate liquor, Irish crème, chocolate bitters, and peppermint. The frothy, velvety foam on top of the cocktail is finished with peppermint dust.

The Smashing Pumpkin Spirit Elephant
The Smashing Pumpkin cocktail at Spirit Elephant (Photo courtesy of Spirit Elephant)


Pozole Verde - Chef Guillermo Reyes combines slow-cooked pulled chicken, hominy, and an herbed green chili broth to create Chikatana’s fresh take on the classic Mexican soup.


Ricotta Dumplings - Chef Ben Truesdell surrounds pillowy dumplings with a blend of caramelized onion broth, sauerkraut, turnip, apple, and caraway seed.

The Bristol

Mulligatawny Soup - Chef Larry Feldmeier’s version of this curry-based soup features a seasonal blend of piquillo pepper, green apple, and lentil.

Hannah’s Bretzel

Alpine Soup - Returning to the Hannah’s Bretzel menu for the season, this European winter options is a traditional, hearty mountain soup native to Switzerland. Based on an original Swiss recipe called "Graubündner Suppe", this stew features organic whole grains, french ham, double smoked bacon, organic carrots, celery, Yukon potatoes, organic yellow onions, garlic, dill, parsley, and cream.

Soul & Smoke 

Chicken Gumbo - Soul & Smoke’s Cajun influences shine in the BBQ and Soul Food concept’s traditional take on Chicken Gumbo. The hearty stew features chicken andouille sausage and is layered on a bed of Carolina Gold Rice topped with scallions.

Queenie’s Supper Club

French Onion - Chef Aaron Browning’s french onion soup features caramelized onions, port, crouton, and Jarlsberg cheese.

Maine Lobster Bisque - Another supper club staple, the main lobster bisque with celery root is a light start to your meal at Queenie’s. 

Rye Deli + Drink

Sourdough Tomato - You weren’t the only one who experimented with sourdough during the pandemic. Rye’s new sourdough tomato soup blends roasted tomatoes and za’atar sofrito and is served with a homemade bagel baguette grilled cheese for dunking.

Matzo Ball Soup - This isn't your average Matzo Ball Soup, it’s crafted with blue corn masa and local grains, seasonal veggies, and a lil' bit of patience.

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The Matzo Ball Soup at Rye Deli + Drink (Photo courtesy of Neil Burger)

Epic Burger 

Candy Cane Shake - Vanilla ice cream blended with crushed candy canes and peppermint syrup. Topped with whipped cream and more crushed candy canes.  

Goddess / Eggy’s on Superior 

Crunchy Nutella French Toast (V) - Eggy’s french toast in a crunchy bran flake batter, stuffed with nutella, peanut butter and bananas. 

Private Label Moscow Mule - 375ml bottle CH Vodka, fresh lime, ginger juice and carbonation. 24.99 (serves 2-3)

Liquid Chocolate Flight - Four servings of their winter sipping chocolate; straight up, chai, salted caramel and peppermint.

The Goddess and Grocer 

Cardamom, Rose & Almond Latte 

Short Rib Grilled Cheese - beef short rib with butterkäse cheese, arugula, pickled red onion and horseradish sauce on grilled challah

Festive Holiday Cookies (6) - Christmas themed iced sugar cookies 

Sunda New Asian

Tuna Truffle Pizza - roti prata, black truffle, foie gras aioli, red onion, truffle vinaigrette

Chicken Inasal - lemongrass, tomatoes, red onion, achiote glaze, chili lime vinaigrette, grilled lemon

Miso Cauliflower - garlic, chilies, sweet miso butter

Older Old Fashioned - Woodford Reserve, butternut squash/spiced apple syrup, dashes angostura bitters, dashes orange bitters. Available December 2021 only.

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Photo courtesy of Epic Burger

El Che Steakhouse & Bar

Winner Winner After Dinner - Averna Amaro, Yellow Chartreuse, Coffe and Hand Whipped Cream

Farm Bar 

Rum Rum Reindeer - Chicago Spirits Rum, House Made Cranberry & Lemongrass Syrup, Lime, Mint, and Soda Water

Raised | An Urban Rooftop Bar

Lake Effect - Empress 1908 Gin, Italicus, Lavendar-Vanilla Syrup, Earl Grey Crema, Whipped Topping 


At Jaleo, which opened in Chicago’s River North neighborhood in July 2021 – order Spain’s most iconic dish: Paella. Served by the whole pan for a group of two to four, try any of the five varieties with your favorite protein, from chicken to oxtail to fish, or opt for the vegetarian option. The Bomba rice from Valencia or Calasparra from Murcia absorb all the flavors and to keep its texture. 


The six-time Michelin Bib Gourmand winner in Northalsted is a spot to order a warm, hearty dish this winter. Diners can choose from a Mushroom & Onion Flatbread featuring creamy mornay sauce, caramelized onions, glazed mushrooms, baby arugula, and grand cru alpine cheese. Also on the menu, Wood offers a variety of housemade pastas including the Porcini Radiatore featuring house-made pasta, wood oven-roasted maitake mushrooms, tuscan kale, roasted garlic truffle butter, parmesan cream, fines herbes, and topped with mushroom bread crumb.


At Funkenhausen, Chef Mark Steuer draws on his German heritage and Charleston, South Carolina upbringing to create dishes that reimagines his fondest meals and memories from childhood. The modern beer hall serves a mash-up of Southern and German flavors in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood and dishes including Pretzel French Toast, Summertime Spaetzle, Riesling Steamed Mussels, and more.

The Dearborn

Located in the Loop and Theater District, diners can choose from a variety of Tavern Style pizzas, The Dearborn’s signature burger, Parmesan Truffle Fries, Famous Fish & Chips, and many more.


Located in the heart of Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, PB&J serves a variety of pizzas including the “Loaded Baked Potato” featuring Ricotta Bechamel, Sliced Potatoes, Bacon, American Cheese, and Chives. Other menu items include the Country Chicken Sandwich featuring Crispy Cornflake-Crusted Fried Chicken, Creamy Slaw, Chipotle Aioli, Kosher Pickles, on a Brioche Bun.

The Press Room 

At this West Loop speakeasy, Chef Noah Zamler has got guests looking for comfort food covered. Nestled under The Publishing House, diners can choose from a variety of housemade pastas including the Cocoa Carmelle featuring shiitake mushrooms, parsnips, ricotta, fried shallots, and saba while transporting themselves to the 1920’s. Additionally, guests can order the Sourdough Cavatelli with a cacio e pepe sauce. 

The Smith

Along with their full menu, The Smith has got diners covered with a comfort food special, Red Sauce Sundays. Priced at $45.00 for two, diners will receive a Chicken Parmesan, Caesar Salad, Rigatoni alla vodka, Parmesan garlic flatbread, and finish the meal out with rainbow cookies. 


Priced at $14.50, Chef Kim’s Ramen comes with braised pork belly, radish, scallions, cilantro and mushrooms. Vegetarians can also choose urbanbelly’s Shoyu Mushroom Ramen for $15, which comes served in a spiced shoyu broth with tofu, a soft-boiled egg, bean sprouts, scallions and cilantro. Winter is also a time for Pho, and urbanbelly offers Coconut Curry Pho for $13.50 with rice noodles, ground lemongrass chicken and cilantro bean sprouts served in a coconut broth. 


Chef Amanda Salas has completely revamped the menu at Recess. The patio is currently decked out like a lodge with comfy furniture, games and a heated tent to keep you warm through the winter. Options from Chef Salas’ menu include The Quilted Hog — a giant, exaggerated and elevated pig in a blanket. Recess also offers more childhood favorites like the new Big Boss Grilled Cheese, which is a huge and hearty grilled cheese and pairs with the new Chicken and Waffle Fries. 

Rose Mary

Rose Mary in Chicago’s historic Fulton Market District is Chef Joe Flamm’s debut restaurant and an ode to his family and their Italian and Croatian roots. One of the comfort foods from Chef Flamm’s ever-changing menu is his Cevapi made with lepinja, ajvar, kajmak and red onion for $19. But can you get more comforting than pasta? Rose Mary’s Tortellini Djuvec has the carbs you need for Chicago winter with red pepper, eggplant, preserved zucchini, parmigiano and pine nuts for $20. Chef Flamm also offers a fun take on Risotto with his Funghi ($22) — served with grilled, pickled and crispy mushrooms and ricotta. 

BLVD Steakhouse

One of Executive Chef Johnny Besch’s menu items at BLVD Steakhouse is his Onion Soup Fondue. Chef Besch’s Onion Soup Fondue is made with caramelized onion, veal stock, gruyere cheese and crostini, and it’s a soup to beat back the cold. The soup itself takes up to 50 hours for prep time. For those in search of proteins, BLVD’s Butcher’s Block features cuts of beef from local Midwest farmers and even A-5 Wagyu from Miyazaki Prefecture in Japan. 

Andros Taverna

Comfort foods come from Chef Doug Psaltis’ family recipes and Andros offers specialities like Wild Boar Macaroni ($27), Phyllo Spanakopita ($18), Prawn Saganaki ($24) and Eggplant Moussaka ($20). One of the options from Andros is Georgie’s Gyros, which is cut from pork neck and shoulder and served on a wood fired pita with tomatoes, cucumber, spiced yogurt and fries.  


Lardon in Chicago’s Logan Square offers up a charcuterie and sandwich program. Their Reuben is like a warm hug on a cold winter day and it comes served with heaps of pastrami, Midnight Moon gouda, fancy sauce, house-made kraut, deli pickles on marbled rye. All meat at Lardon is cured completely on site and utilizes the entirety of the animal. Diners should also jump to order Lardon’s Chef Board, which boasts rotating cured meats from Chef Chris Thompson. 


Nonnina in Chicago’s River North is home to a slew of Housemade Pastas to fill up even the hungriest diners in the city. Available for both dine-in and takeout, diners can choose from pastas like Nonnina’s Gnocchi (ricotta gnocchi, Tuscan kale, roasted vegetables, parmesan broth), Pappardelle (ribbon cut pasta, braised short rib ragu and parmesan) or the Carbonara (hollow spaghetti, house cured pancetta, egg yolk and pecorino Romano cheese). Nonnina also offers amazing main courses like the Chicken Vesuvio, which is served oven roasted with fingerling potatoes and peas in a Vesuvio sauce, or the Salmon — pan roasted and served with spinach, artichoke, San Marzano tomatoes, fregola and pistachio pesto. 


The recently reopened Petterino’s in Chicago’s Theater District features a new chef-driven menu of classics and new comfort foods from Chef Ozzy Amelotti. Diners can choose from pre-show or post-show comfort foods like Chef Amelotti’s handmade pastas, sandwiches served with chipperbec fries or Petterino’s new Chicken Pot Pie, served piping hot in a puff pastry and stuffed with garden vegetables smothered in Chef Amelotti’s besciamella sauce. Petterino’s offers diners lunch and dinner specials, as well as an afternoon bar menu and Happy Hour with bites for anyone traveling through Chicago’s Loop. 


Experience farm-to-table dining in the heart of Downtown Chicago at FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar. The American grill with wood-fired cooking, offers a menu featuring meat from the Midwest, freshwater fish and produce. This winter diners searching for comfort food can order Executive Chef Leonard Ventura’s Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwich featuring a house made biscuit, choice of egg any style, sausage patty, cheddar cheese, avocado, arugula and potatoes for breakfast or brunch and Coffee Rubbed Smoked Brisket, smoked almond sauce with tobacco onions and house potato salad for dinner. 

Nobu Restaurant

Who said sushi is just for the summertime? At Nobu Chicago, choose from classic Sushi options like the Salmon Avocado, Yellowtail and Scallion, Spicy Tuna, or try something new with the House Special. Nobu offers a selection of hot dishes that are a comfort on a chilly, Chicago evening such as the Creamy Spicy Snow Crab or the Umami Chicken paired with a side of Roasted Baby Corn.

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Photo courtesy of El Che Steakhouse & Bar

El Bandido Yankee Tequila

Winter is here and that snowy chill is in the air, so what better time to kick off your boots around the fire, and sip on some crisp cold-weather cocktails?

El Bandido Yankee Tequila, the ultra premium, additive-free, 100% blue weber agave tequila founded by former Chicago Blackhawks player Chris Chelios and former NFL player Jim Bob Morris, has created ten winter-weather libations that are sure to fight off the freezing temps and keep you and tipsy and toasting through even the most brutal winter storms!

Cup of Cheer - Mixologist: Zach McCabe


  • 1 1/4 oz El Bandido Yankee Reposado Tequila
  • 1/2 oz spiced syrup*
  • 4 oz quality coffee
  • Lightly whipped cream

Build the drink in an Irish coffee glass. Start with the syrup, spirit, and coffee. Gently stir to incorporate. Float the heavy cream and finish it off with some freshly grated cinnamon.

For the spiced syrup toast the following:

  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 1/2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 10 allspice berries
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Once fragrant add 2 cups of water and 4 cups of brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and bottle.

Inside Job - Mixologist: Tyler Brocado


  • 1.5 oz El Bandido Yankee Reposado Tequila
  • 0.5 oz Braulio
  • 0.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 0.5 oz Yellow Chartreuse
  • Garnish: orange twist

Build in glass, add a large cube and stir. Garnish.

Like Sunday Morning - Mixologist: Suzy Tweten


  • 1.5 oz El Bandido Yankee Reposado Tequila
  • 1/2 oz Lairds Applejack
  • 3/4 oz Maple Cinnamon Syrup (Root 23)
  • 3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice 
  • 2 dashes of Ginger Bitters (King Floyd’s) 

Go Fig or Go Home - Mixologist: Suzy Tweten


  • 1.25 oz El Bandido Yankee Reposado Tequila
  • 3/4 oz Fino Sherry
  • 1/2 oz Spiced Pear Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz Rosemary Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz Caramelized Fig Syrup
  • Barspoon Fernet Branca
  • Dash of Cardamom Bitters

Mountain of Light - Mixologist: Suzy Tweten


  • 1½ oz El Bandido Yankee Blanco Tequila
  • ½ oz Leopold Bros New York sour apple liqueur
  • 1 tsp apple brandy Clear Creek Distillery 
  • 1 tsp cane sugar syrup
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 3 drops Scrappy’s Bitters cardamom bitters

Stir in a mixing glass with ice, and strain over clear ice ball. Garnish with an apple fan.

Pear Plunder - Mixologist: Alex Ramirez


  • 2 oz El Blandito Yankee Reposado Tequila
  • .25 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz pear pure
  • .25 oz agave nectar

Muddle 3 slices of fresh ginger. Shake and strain into coup glass and top with tonic.

Hazelnut Horchata - Mixologist: Alex Ramirez

Recipe Horchata base:

  • 1 cup raw rice
  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts 
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks 

Let it sit overnight in fridge. Separate liquid from mix and blend solids with equal amounts of that same liquid. Once all is blended strain with cheese cloth. Now with the horchata strained add:

  • 2 table stools of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups almond milk 
  • 3/4 cup agave syrup

Stir well and chill in fridge. Serves 6 cocktails. To make cocktail add 2 oz of El Bandido Yankee Reposado Tequila. Pour over ice garnish with cinnamon stick and hazelnuts and Nutella drizzle.

Untamed Spirit - Mixologist: Dila Lee


  • 1.5 oz El Bandido Yankee Reposado Tequila 
  • 1 oz Fresh Brewed Espresso
  • .75 Somrus Coffee Liq
  • .75 Licor 43
  • Single Espresso Bean for garnish

Combine all ingredients into a shaker and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a single espresso bean.

Golden Memories - Mixologist: Yelena Anter


  • 1.5 oz El Bandido Yankee Reposado Tequila
  • 1 oz Orange Juice 
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • 0.5 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
  • 1 drop Blood Orange Flavor Enhancer 
  • 1.5 oz Schöfferhofer Passion Fruit Beer

Combine all the ingredients except for passion fruit beer in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to chill and dilute. Double-strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top it off with Passion Fruit Beer. 

Alpine Holiday - Mixologist: Suzy Tweten


  • 1.25 oz El Bandido Yankee Reposado Tequila
  • 3/4 oz Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz Braulio amaro
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Cranberry apple spice syrup (root 23)
  • Egg white
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The Go Fig or Go Home Cocktail (Photo courtesy of El Bandido Yankee Tequila)


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