Sunday, December 11, 2016

Chicago Christkindlmarket

One of my favorite discoveries since moving to Chicago is the annual Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza. It's an open-air German market with tons of little shops selling cute traditional ornaments and gifts, amazing/carby/meaty German food vendors, and two biergarten-like tents. Last year, Jeff and I waited to go until right before we left to visit our respective families for the holidays, but this year, I was ready to go on Day 1.

christkindlmarket chicago
As a seasoned Christkindlemarket professional after last year, I knew to wear something with plenty of stretch, so I went with my leopard Vixen wiggle dress. Given how much we ate, this was the right dress for the occasion! I ended up sticking the belt in my purse after the first bratwurst. Bonus: since it's a wiggle, it fit comfortably under my enormous down winter coat!

Drinks tent #1
Drinks tent #2

Sometimes when I sit down to write about all the things Jeff and I ate, it feels like I'm rewriting The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the Midwestern palate. Our trip to the Christkindlmarket is no exception: we ate so many different bread/potato/meat things that I wasn't hungry till the next afternoon! One of my favorite dishes was the potato pancakes, but I also loved the Leberkäse Jeff got and the pretzels we had.

The highlight of the Christkindlmarket for me, though, is the Glühwein (mulled wine), which comes in cute little souvenir mugs. Since November/December are cold months in Chicago, it's practically a necessity to have a mug of hot wine while you browse the stalls. Otherwise, your hands get very cold very quickly! I'm also a huge fan of souvenir everything, so the mugs are a nice touch. Last year's mugs were shaped like little boots, and this year's version had the cutest pictures on them.

Glühwein, potato pancakes, bratwurst, and super festive tablecloths!

It was so much fun to walk around and peek at all the gorgeous handmade wooden toys, glass ornaments, and textiles, but what really caught my eye was the cuckoo-clock stall! They're incredibly detailed and each one is so unique-looking. If only I had a few hundred dollars lying around, I'd've taken one home. (Jeff is probably glad I didn't: I make enough noise on my own without a clock that also makes noise to egg me on!)

The Christkindlmarket runs from mid-November through December 24, so there's still time for all you Chicagoland folks to check it out! Jeff and I are off on our honeymoon trip today, so I'll only be posting once more this week. I can't wait to tell you all about our trip after we return! 

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  1. I think Denver is doing something just like that! Those pretzels look HUGE and delicious!! XO

  2. This looks great, I love a German Market. I think I'd go to this one if I was nearby just for those huge pretzels to be honest! Haha

  3. I am SO jealous of this experience!! I am dying to someday go to the real German markets but this would also be quite fun! Those souvenir mugs! I love when stuff comes in things you can keep! HAHA I am being ridiculous but seriously, so fun!

  4. Ah! I went past this a few years ago and wondered what it was! Now I'm sad that we didn't walk over! This is amazing ... and those pretzels!!!

  5. Looks like a fun market to go to! All that German food sounds amazing! <3 I hope I get to see a German Christmas market one day. :) Hope you have a great trip on your honeymoon and hope you have a wonderful holiday season!