Where to Feast on the Seven Fishes in Chicago

Celebrate Christmas like an Italian, with the age-old tradition: the Feast of the Seven Fishes. All over Chicago, Italian restaurants are embracing the holiday pastime in their own unique ways, and there’s lots of fish to be had.  


Acanto; photo by Kira Williams/Acanto

Nico Osteria: For something on the chic side, it doesn’t get much snazzier than Nico Osteria’s riff on the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Available Christmas Eve from 3:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., the rustic seafood mainstay will be serving a five-course meal by chef de cuisine Erling Wu-Bower, celebrating the bounty of the sea with dishes like oven-roasted clams, scallop gnocchi and oven-poached branzino. The prix fixe is $125 per person and reservations can be made by calling the restaurant. 

Acanto: For those who want the flavors of seven fishes without breaking their belts by indulging in a multi-course spree, Acanto has the perfect solution. Courtesy of corporate executive chef Chris Gawronski, the restaurant has created a special stew that captures the flavors and textures of the Italian tradition. Available now through December 22, it features lobster, branzino, clams, mussels, shrimp, octopus and swordfish. 

RPM Italian: This being RPM Italian, one of the sexiest and trendiest Italian restaurants in town, you can expect to be dazzled by their rendition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes. And true to form, the Christmas Eve menu (available from 3:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.) contains stunners like roasted Maine lobster, frutti di mare with pasta and lots more. The cost for the special menu is just $75 per person and reservations can be made by calling RPM Italian or through their website. 

La Storia: There’s just something about dining at La Storia’s cozy, mansion-like confines on Christmas Eve that feels so heartwarming. It helps that the traditional Italian restaurant is also rolling out their own elaborate take on the Feast of the Seven Fishes, available December 16 through December 24. The seven-course tasting menu costs $95 per person and contains baccala fritta, braised baby octopus, charred prawns, tagliatelle with crab, cioppino, gelato and tiramisu. 

Osteria Via Stato: This is the O.G. of Italian holiday feasts in Chicago. Well before any of these newer spots began featuring the Christmas tradition, Osteria Via Stato has perfected the pastime thanks to executive chef David DiGregorio. Inspired by his own family’s traditions, the chef’s special menu contains an abundance of seafood dishes from across Italy, plus desserts and sides. It’s available for dinner on Christmas Eve and costs $59.95 per person. Reservations can be made by calling Osteria.