Alright, so you’ve picked up the frozen turkey and the usual staples — stuffing, pickled beets, and the like — but what’s for dessert? The relatives are arriving in just a few days but you’re still wrapping up projects at work, preparing the house, and there’s simply no time to add another item to the laundry list of things to cook for the big holiday feast.
Fortunately, Chicago boasts a reputable lineup of highly rated and beloved pie shops. From classic to eclectic, these sweet purveyors of delectable desserts will not only save you precious time during the Thanksgiving crunch, but may even save the day.
Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits
For the boutique take on homemade classics, look no further than Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits. With locations in Logan Square and Ravenswood, North Siders have options for a pre-Thanksgiving pickup. To keep things simple for Thanksgiving, Bang Bang is only offering five pie varieties: apple, pumpkin, chocolate pecan, key lime, and chocolate caramel. Hurry and place your orders though, as Bang Bang is already gearing up for the holiday rush.
Hoosier Mama Pie Company
With locations in Chicago’s West Town community and Evanston, Hoosier Mama specializes in seasonal pie selections made from scratch. Making fresh pastries and desserts daily, Hoosier Mama offers 10 varieties of sweet pies every single day. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving orders for the Evanston location are closed, so you might be better off arriving first thing in the morning to grab what is readily available.
Bittersweet Pastry Shop
If you’re really looking to impress your guests, consider grabbing a picture-perfect pie from this Lakeview bakery. Seriously though, take a look yourself — Bittersweet’s pies truly are magazine-quality pieces of confection-perfection. Thankfully, there is a spread of different pie, cake, and cookie options available for Thanksgiving orders. For those who want to go all out, consider the equally impressive and adorable Thanksgiving gingerbread house.
Jimmy Jamm Sweet Potato Pies
Nothing says Thanksgiving like turkey and sweet potato pie. If you’re located in or around Beverly, you’re in luck as this beloved staple offers a plethora of pie options — so long as sweet potato is the main ingredient. An old school spot, it doesn’t have an online order form or directions for calling orders in. Instead, you might want to just swing by the store as soon as you can and see if there’s any unclaimed pies waiting for you.
Justice of the Pies
When you order your Thanksgiving dessert from Justice of the Pies, you can not only feel good knowing that you’ve got a delicious baked dish coming your way, but also know that you’re doing good by supporting a mission-based business. All of the bases are covered when it comes to classic varieties: orders are open and available for pumpkin, sweet potato, key lime, and several others. And in the meanwhile, you can drool over the pie pictures posted to their Instagram.
Sweet Mandy B’s
The old fashioned pies and desserts from Lincoln Park’s Sweet Mandy B’s are sure to delight holiday guests. After feasting on turkey and stuffing, try snacking on a sweet apple-cherry streusel, banana cream pie, or pumpkin cheesecake. Or maybe cap off dessert with one of Sweet Mandy B’s classic cupcakes.
The kitchen is undoubtedly one of the busiest areas in the home during the holiday season. Between being the site of delicious meal preparations to hosting your family and friends, it is sure to see a fair amount of foot traffic over the next few months. As you begin mentally preparing for the busyness of the holidays, make sure to give your kitchen a little love. Quick and easy fixes to get your kitchen ready for the holidays include swapping out old linens for new ones, clearing off unnecessary counter clutter and adding stylish and functional pieces throughout the room.
Here are some of our favorite items for sprucing up your kitchen for the holidays:
Place small appetizers or the main course on a platter that will wow your guests and complement your food. Look for unique colors and textures to add more interest to the dish’s overall presentation.
- Crate & Barrel – Marin Matte Black Oval Serving Platter
- Macy’s – Matisse Blue 15.85” Serving Platter
- Birch Lane – Jepsen Oval Platter
Salt and Pepper Sets
Salt and pepper sets make it easy to add that pinch of salt or dash of pepper. They are also a small but simple way to accessorize your countertops without adding too much clutter.
- Target – Thirstystone Marble Salt and Pepper Pinch Set
- Crate & Barrel – Hayes Marble and Wood Salt and Pepper Set
- Williams Sonoma – Marble & Copper Salt Keeper
Wood Cutting Board
Whether you use it to prepare food or as a rustic charcuterie board, a wood cutting board is a subtle and durable accent piece. Be sure to look up proper care techniques, as some woods may require maintenance for lasting function.
- Crate & Barrel – Teardrop Acacia Wood Serving Board
- West Elm – Marble + Wood Cutting Board
- Sur La Table – Mango Wood Board
Protect your countertops and dining room table with a trivet suitable for the hottest of dishes. Marble is a versatile material and has alternative uses as a cheese board or as a stylish place to organize cooking oils, seasonings or a vase of flowers on your countertop.
- Target – Thirstystone Marble Trivet
- Crate & Barrel – French Kitchen Marble/Graphite Trivet
- Food52 – Marble & Metal Trivet
Swapping out your kitchen linens is an inexpensive and quick way to refine your space. Opt for neutral linens with stripes to add an understated accent to your kitchen.
- World Market – Black Villa Stripe Kitchen Towel
- Crate & Barrel – Farmhouse Grey Stripe Dish Towels
- Magnolia – Camille Cotton Striped Kitchen Towels
If apple picking is a fall tradition for you, here are some options for a day trip or to include in your itinerary for your weekend about to Lake Geneva or Harbor Country. Predictions are that early October will make for good Fall Foliage road trips. [Read more…]
See what’s happening around town this month!
It’s time to break out that Michael Bublé album and immerse yourself in the magic of the holidays. Fortunately for us, nobody does holiday fun better than Chicago. With that in mind we’ve compiled a list of 10 of the most festive events in Chicago this holiday season.
Randolph St. Market Festival | Chicago Plumber’s Hall (West Loop) | December 15th & 16th
Head to the Randolph Street Market Festival to find the most unusual and stylish mix of vintage and modern fashion, jewelry, decorative objects, housewares and hostess gifts available.
Memorable and exciting treasures in all price ranges await you at the Randolph Street Holiday Market.
Frosty’s Christmas Bar | Goose Island | Until January 6th
If you’ve ever dreamed of grabbing a drink with Santa, then boy do we have the bar for you. Frosty’s pop-up Christmas bar in Goose Island is the ultimate destination for festive fun, and lively libations, featuring wall-to-wall decorations across three levels, a holiday themed soundtrack and Singing Santa shows every hour on the hour.
Put on your favorite holiday sweater, grab a festive holiday punch from one of the four bars and get ready to dance the night away.
Plan your trip to Frosty’s here.
37th Annual Holiday Treasure Hunt and Tea Party | Art Institute of Chicago | December 9th
Learn about select works and enjoy an array of family-friendly activities as you visit five stops within the museum’s galleries and the Ryan Learning Center.
Your tour will culminate with a stop by the historic Stock Exchange Trading Room for a tea party featuring delicious refreshments, live entertainment, and a gift bag for each child.
Head here for more information.
Ugly Sweater Party/Beginner Salsa Dancing | Duet Dance Studio | December 14th
If you’re looking to burn some calories, check out Duet’s Ugly Sweater Party to wear your ugliest holiday sweater and get your salsa dance on.
The event includes a 45-minute beginner salsa class, Duet’s student and teacher performances, as well as open dancing and mingling. Guests must be 21+ for this event.
Head here for more information.
Christkindlmarket | Daley Plaza (Chicago Loop) | Until December 24th
There are few events that evoke the holiday spirit more than the annual Christkindlmarket in the Chicago Loop. Shop iconic German items like nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, and hand-blown ornaments.
Along with traditional toys and holiday-themed items, you can find a bevy of delicious authentic German cuisine like sausages, potato pancakes, beer, and assorted sweets.
Head here for more information on Christkindlmarket.
A Christmas Carol | Goodman Theater (Chicago Loop) | Until December 30th
If you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit via theater, this is the event for you.
Head to Chicago’s Goodman Theater to catch the annual run of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This is an event for the whole family, with a message of hope, charity and kindness towards others.
Head here for more information.
ZooLights | Lincoln Park Zoo | Until January 6th
A tradition in Chicago, Lincoln Park ZooLights is something you do not want to miss this wintertime. This is a family-oriented holiday celebration, so you’re sure to enjoy at any age.
Enjoy the luminous displays as well as the holiday-season activities throughout the zoo. ZooLights is free, but be sure to check the schedule before you plan your visit since some nights are special themed events that may require a ticket.
You can find the schedule here.
Christmas Around the World | Museum of Science and Industry | Until January 6th
This holiday season head to the Museum of Science and Industry to explore holiday traditions from around the globe. The museum’s annual celebration features a four-story grand tree surrounded by a forest of more than 50 trees and displays decorated by volunteers to represent the holiday traditions from cultures across the globe.
On the weekends you can even enjoy live holiday performances and photos with Santa.
Head here for more information on the exhibit.
The Polar Express Train Ride | Chicago Union Station | Until January 1st
If you’re looking to recreate the magic of The Polar Express, look no further. This holiday season, head to Chicago’s Union Station to board The Polar Express Train Ride.
This is a magical one-hour trip through the neighborhoods along the Chicago River that includes all the bells and whistles. Literally, as each passenger gets to take home a keepsake sleigh bell.
For more information on The Polar Express Train Ride, head here.
Winter WonderFest | Navy Pier | Until January 6th
The ultimate destination for indoor family fun, Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest is a favored Chicago holiday tradition spanning across 170,000 square feet of attractions for the whole family, with rides, giant slides, ice skating, and lots of festive decor.
Buy tickets online or at the Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest box office until January 6, 2019.
Head here for more information on Winter WonderFest.