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A group shot of different dishes
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Take a bite out of Time Out Market Chicago’s new holiday specials

What to eat and drink during this extra-merry time of year.

Emma Krupp
Written by
Emma Krupp
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It’s December, which means your schedule may or may not be chock-full of visits to Christmas lights, festive markets and other classic holiday events scattered throughout the Chicago area. Looking for even more ways to bring on feelings of holiday cheer? If all that merry-making leaves you hungry, you’ll find tons of exciting new options under one roof this month at Time Out Market Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: The best things to do during the holidays in Chicago

To celebrate the holiday season, chefs from the Fulton Market food hall have created special limited-time dishes available throughout the month of December. Some offer familiar festive flavors (like peppermint hot chocolate) while others (like Mississippi pot roast and pumpkin soup) provide a certain soul-warming quality perfect for cold winter weather. Whatever you choose to dine on, we recommend enjoying your meal beneath the Market’s twinkling holiday lights for a picture-perfect experience.

Want a preview of what’s on offer? Take a look at Time Out Market Chicago’s holiday specials below and prepare to have visions of curry udon, loaded fries and other toothsome delights dancing through your head. 

Takoyaki served in a white platter
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Arami 

In addition to its regular spread of sushi, Arami is cooking up a riff on the classic Japanese street food dish takoyaki ($12). The fried octopus fritters are drizzled with a combination of Japanese mayo, yum yum sauce, salt-pickled ginger, thin-sliced kizami nori and bonito flakes for a tangy, umami kick. 

Pumpkin soup topped with shaved cheese, croutons and bacon
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Avli 

Can’t shake off winter’s chilly weather? Warm your bones with a cup of Avli’s pumpkin soup ($6), which gets its unctuous texture from the addition of Greek yogurt. Shaved graviera cheese, bacon crumbles and housemade croutons add a welcome crunch on top. 

Makhani fries topped with green onions
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Bar Goa

Butter chicken lovers should check out Bar Goa’s makhani-loaded fries ($15). The fragrant sauce is prepared with butter and cream—creating that iconic melange of creamy and rich flavors—then poured over a bed of fries and topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream and sliced green onions. 

Pork and shrimp ramen from Bill Kim Ramen Bar
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Bill Kim Ramen Bar

Avli isn’t the only Market spot where you can slurp soup this month! Head to Bill Kim Ramen bar, where you can enjoy the eponymous chef’s pork and shrimp ramen ($20) loaded with noodles, kimchi, tender shredded pork, shrimp and a showering of fresh toppings to cut through the richness of spicy pork broth. 

Two lattes in mugs
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Bittersweet Pastry Shop 

For a delicious (and festive) jolt of caffeine, visit Bittersweet’s kitchen near the front of the Market for two holiday-themed lattes—available in gingerbread or peppermint white mocha varieties, both $5.50—prepared with housemade syrups. 

Fried shrimp with harissa mayo
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Evette’s 

Add a little bit of spice to your holiday season thanks to Evette’s fried shrimp with smoked harissa mayo ($19). The Lebanese-inspired restaurant pairs ultra-crisp battered shrimp with a drizzle of smoky, spicy mayo topped with parsley and a sprinkling of Aleppo pepper for added heat. Bonus: The dish is served atop a bed of fries so you can sop up every last bit of delicious sauce.   

Lasagna at Gemma Foods
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Gemma Foods

The expert pasta makers at Gemma Foods are whipping up a short rib lasagna ($21) that’s layered with red wine-braised beef and rich basil-ricotta bechamel, then finished with Bordelaise sauce for a border-hopping take on the classic Italian dish. 

A milkshake and hot chocolate from JoJo's shakeBar
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

JoJo’s shakeBAR

JoJo’s is renowned for its over-the-top shakes, and this stunning holiday edition ($15)—a peppermint-flavored creation that arrives decorated with a Christmas tree cookie, snowman doughnut hole and marshmallow made to look like a present—does not disappoint. Too cold for a shake? Try the peppermint party hot chocolate ($10), a minty delight finished with marshmallow fluff, a chocolate s’more and peppermint pretzel. 

Quesadilla from Lil Amaru
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Lil Amaru 

Keep things simple with Lil Amaru’s massive quesadilla ($15) made with soft flour tortillas and gooey Chihuahua cheese. For a little extra heft, opt for the asada quesadilla ($18), which comes loaded with tender morsels of skirt steak. 

Big Kahuna Dog at Lono Poke
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Lono Poke

Take a break from the classic Chicago dog and try Lono Poke’s Big Kahuna Dog ($10), a hot dog wrapped in bacon and topped with Japanese mayo, Bulldog sauce, pickled ginger, blue nori powder, nori strips, bonito flakes and a mixture of fresh and fried scallions. 

Braised beef pot roast on biscuits topped with microgreens and peppers
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Luella’s Southern Kitchen

Freezing temps call for rib-sticking meals, and you’ll find just that in Luella’s Southern Kitchen’s hearty winter roast ($18). The southern restaurant’s Mississippi-style variation stews the tender beef alongside briny pepperoncini (plus a little red wine) for an ultra-flavorful roast that’s served with provolone cheese and a pillowy buttermilk biscuit. 

Bandeja paisa from Polombia
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Polombia 

Polombia brings its unique Polish-Colombian twist to bandeja paisa ($19), a traditional Colombian dish that’s essentially a platter full of hearty food. In this preparation, you can feast upon Polish kielbasa, smoked pork belly, short ribs, yucca potato pancakes, aji pepper and a fried egg. 

Turkey tips from Soul and Smoke
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Soul & Smoke

Thanksgiving turkey doesn’t hold a candle to Soul & Smoke’s succulent smoked turkey dish ($15 or market price), which piles a pound of smoked turkey thigh “tips” onto a plate served alongside herb gravy and your choice of sauce. 

Chicken katsu atop udon with BBQ beef
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Urbanbelly

Urbanbelly will fill your belly this holiday season with phat curry udon ($20), a smorgasbord of chewy udon noodles, chicken katsu, pork dumplings and tangy Korean barbecue beef. 

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