Where to Eat and Drink Gingerbread in Chicago This Year
Gingerbread is one of the utmost harbingers of the holiday season, permeating menus in everything from cocktails and pancakes, to (of course) desserts. In honor of the merry season, here’s your gingerbread dining and drinking guide for Chicago restaurants, bars and bakeries.
Beacon Tavern: One of the coolest renditions of gingerbread this year can be found at Beacon Tavern, where the Can’t Catch Me cocktail features a cookie. The base is butter-washed bourbon, nice and rich, mixed with allspice and lemony demerara.
Uncommon Ground: The wholesome mainstay, with locations in Wrigleyville and Edgewater, doubles down on holiday flavor by serving gingerbread pancakes this month with eggnog creme anglaise.
Vanille Patisserie: This adorable French bakeshop has a knack for seasonal confections, especially those with a holiday accent. This time of year, that means spicy-sweet gingerbread macarons are back in action.
Foodlife: Even though you’re not allowed to eat this one, it’s certainly worth mentioning that Foodlife has put together an entire Santa’s Gingerbread Village for the season, made entirely of gingerbread and frosting. Smaller gingerbread houses are available for purchase, or you can just gawk at the display at Foodlife. There’s also another gingerbread version of the Chicago skyline in the Foodease Market, too.
Public House: Earlier this year, we raved and swooned over the new cake shakes at Public House. Well, they just outdid themselves with their latest holiday-inspired innovation, the gingerbread cake shake. The drink/dessert is made with ginger beer, vanilla ice cream and topped with a whole slice of gingerbread cake. The outside of the glass is adorned with whipped cream and gingersnap crumbles too. And in case that wasn’t ample enough, each shake comes with two gingerbread cookie men.
North Pond: A far cry from your average gingerbread fare, North Pond has an elevated version that pairs the spice cake with squash and coffee. The dessert consists of a Japanese squash chibouste and kabocha squash brulee, along with ginger spice cake, coffee ice cream, delicata squash pepita brittle and lime.
Belly Up Smokehouse & Saloon: Another spot where you can drink your gingerbread, Belly Up Smokehouse & Saloon gives the festive dessert the martini treatment by blending Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur with Baileys and butterscotch schnapps. It’s all poured over caramel and the glass is lined with cinnamon.
Baker & Nosh: It’s raining gingerbread at this beloved Uptown bakery and cafe. Mini gingerbread cakes make for a great holiday gift to take to parties, as they come wrapped and tied with a bow. And don’t forget the gingerbread cookies, sold three for $2.