Best Restaurants for a Holiday Dinner Near—But Not In—The Loop

Best Restaurants for a Holiday Dinner Near—But Not In—The Loop

by Alia Dalal

With extra days off work, family in town, and a general feeling of festiveness in the air, December is the perfect month to gather loved ones for a holiday dinner at a great Chicago restaurant. The Loop makes a convenient dining spot for coordinating with friends after work or meeting family taking the Metra, but you are often stuck with options that are crowded, pricey, and touristy.

As a chef and the guest host of a TV show about Chicago restaurants, I try to steer my dining companions off of that beaten path. Looking at Loop-adjacent neighborhoods for convenience, I put together this list of 6 restaurants perfect for fun, unconventional holiday dinners. The best part? All of them are less than a 15-minute Lyft ride from the Loop!

Click on an image for more:

Did I miss any of your favorite Loop-adjacent restaurants? Tweet me @urbanchickpea with your recs.

Bio: Alia Dalal is a Chicago-based chef and TV host with a passion for vibrant, sustainable, and healthy food. She loves sharing this city’s dining and food scene so much that she worked as a food tour guide in Chicago for years as she was building her own culinary business. You catch her teaching cooking classes at The Chopping Block, hosting episodes of Chicago’s Best on WGN, or posting recipes and more on her website at

Instagram: @aliadalal Twitter: @urbanchickpea

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