The Best Chicago Restaurants To Ring In The New Year

With all the Michelin-star restaurants and James Beard award-winning chefs in Chicago vying for your reservation, there's a myriad of appetizing establishments to celebrate New Year's Eve. Whether you're craving caviar when the clock strikes twelve or you want to keep it simple with a smoked brisket platter, Chicago's restaurant scene is jam-packed with mouthwatering options. Most restaurants require advance reservations or have limited seating, so you'll want to make your selection sooner than later.

While some people want to dance the night away in a loud and sweaty crowd, others may prefer to cozy up with their better half for an intimate fine-dining experience. Either way, Chicago is the perfect city to ring in the new year. The hard part is in deciding where and how to celebrate, which is why we made it easy for you to sift through the plethora of options by providing you with all the information you'll need on cover charges, musical line-ups, and special holiday menus. Before you decide where to book your holiday reservation, check out our roundup of the best Chicago restaurants to ring in the New Year.

Bub City

If you're a whiskey-drinking, country music-loving, denim-wearing, smokey barbecue-eating cowboy or girl, then ringing in the new year at Bub City is the scene for you. Owned by the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group, the 5,500-square-foot space in the River North neighborhood of Chicago is known for serving up 125 different types of whiskey alongside platters of brisket, Chicago-style baby back ribs, and hickory-smoked chicken wings.

New Year's Eve festivities include a live country band, private booth reservations, and bottles of Champagne for guests who are 21 years or older. For the low price of $20, partygoers can head straight to the dance floor to join in the action. Alternatively, splurge on a booth that seats four to six people if you're planning on spending a minimum of $450 on food and drinks, which also comes with a bottle of prosecco. Larger booths that include two bottles of prosecco can be reserved for six to eight guests. The minimum check must reach $600 plus tax. Reservations can be made in advance online on OpenTable.

BLVD Steakhouse

For a 1950s Hollywood throwback type of vibe on New Year's Eve, look no further than BLVD Steakhouse in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood. The swanky American steakhouse is known for its glamorous décor with features like glittering chandeliers, luxurious and oversized booths, and a lush, year-round atrium bar. Much like old Hollywood, BLVD Steakhouse offers next-level opulence with a palatable menu that fits the ambiance.

To ring in the new year, celebrity head chef Joe Flamm is offering a three-course prix fixe menu that features tuna crudo, crab cakes, or steak tartare for starters, and entrées like risotto Milanese, dayboat scallops, and blackened salmon, plus upgrades like bone-in New York strip steak and a special caviar service that can be had for an additional price. The first dinner seating starts at $95 per person. The second seating starts at $135 and includes festive party favors and a midnight Champagne toast. Reservations are recommended, and per the restaurant's standard regulations, proper attire is required.

Carnivale Chicago

With a built-in party atmosphere that is bursting with vibrant colors and festive ambiance, Carnivale Chicago is an obvious choice for any holiday, especially New Year's Eve. Under the direction of Executive Chef Carlos Garza, the Latin fusion restaurant is known for its locally sourced ingredients and seasonally-inspired menu. Located in Chicago's West Loop, Carnivale has been open for nearly two decades and is a dining destination in a neighborhood known for its acclaimed restaurants.

This year's theme is Copa Carnivale, a Latin-style disco party offering three showtimes that each feature a 90-minute performance with a live band, a DJ, Brazilian samba dancers, and an aerialist. Tickets cost $75 per person, and customers must also meet a $75 minimum on food and beverages per table. The main dining area and bar are expansive and can accommodate small parties and large groups, with plenty of space to move around and dance it out. The showtimes start at 4 p.m. with the last seating at 10 p.m., leaving some wiggle room to head to another spot for the final countdown.


For a Michelin-endorsed New Year's Eve celebration, check out Chef Andrew Zimmerman's exclusive four-course menu at Chicago's Proxi restaurant. The menu is designed to highlight fine-dining global cuisine in a family-style plating for the first and second courses, which includes dishes like oysters with caviar and lamb shoulder sate. The third course features your choice of entrées like seafood pozole and braised Wagyu beef cheek, followed by a shared dessert course curated by the restaurant's acclaimed pastry chef, Erin Kobler.

Reservations are required for the special festivities and seating is limited, but the four-course menu is reasonably priced at $95 per person. With a prime location in Chicago's restaurant row in West Loop, Proxi is the perfect place to grab an early dinner before heading out for the final New Year's Eve countdown or to enjoy a late-night meal in an ambiance that is sure to get your new year off to a classy start.

Café Ba-Ba-Reeba

If you're superstitious on New Year's, head over to Spanish-style Café Ba-Ba-Reeba to make 12 wishes on skewered grapes served in a glass of Cava Sangria. The Spanish New Year's superstition around eating a dozen grapes stems from a working-class rebellion in 1886 after a mayor imposed a tax on New Year's Eve partiers who celebrated late in the night. The working-class crowd ate grapes to mock the rich, who were known to pair their grapes with Champagne.

Aside from a skewered grape cocktail and craft brews, Ba-Ba-Reeba will be serving tapas, paella, and pintxos until 11 p.m. at its Lincoln Park location. With menu items designed for sharing and a spacious interior that can accommodate large parties, Ba-Ba-Reeba is the perfect spot for groups looking to dine out on the holiday without breaking the bank. There's no New Year's cover charge or grandiose prix fixe menu, making it the perfect spot for a casual night out.


An art-gallery-meets-fine-dining collaboration, Esmé is a hidden gem in Chicago's Lincoln Park. Every 12 weeks, Chef Jenner Tomaska and his wife Katrina Bravo customize the menu based around entirely new pieces of art that adorn the gallery-style walls inside the one-Michelin-star restaurant. The restaurant is hosting a New Year's Eve celebration that is nothing short of luxurious and opulent.

The restaurant is offering two seats for its one-of-a-kind New Year's Eve celebration, which includes a Champagne toast, plus live music by Peter Jericho and his band and a live art performance from Raspy Rivera. Tickets are still available for the early dinner seating, which starts at 5 p.m. and costs $295 per ticket, but the second seating at 8 p.m. for $350 per person is sold out and available only through a waitlist. The tasting menu has not yet been revealed, but is sure to be a mind-blowing work of art that celebrates Chicago's vibrant art community while telling a story through food as only Esmé can do.


Located between Chicago's St. Ben's and Bricktown in the quaint Roscoe Village Neighborhood, Volo Restaurant and Wine Bar is an easy-to-access spot for New Year's Eve, and there's no cover charge or expensive fixed-price menu to splurge on. Volo is known for its boutique wine list and choice of over 30 wines by the glass, which will be available on New Year's Eve, as well as a full bar, cozy space, and of course, a Champagne selection.

The restaurant is offering heated outdoor seating in its enclosed patio, which Chicago Magazine voted the number one hidden patio in the city, as well as reserved tables in its rustic dining room for its New Year's Eve soirée. The full dinner menu will be available until 11 p.m. when the restaurant will switch over to a selection of desserts and artisan cheeses, which are available until 1 a.m. There will also be live music, holiday party favors, and a Champagne toast at midnight.

Pizzeria Portofino

If your New Year's Eve dream is to be sitting on a sun-drenched beach on the Italian Riviera but you find yourself stuck in the freezing temperatures of Chicago, then Pizzeria Portofino may just be the spot for you to ring in the new year. Located on the Chicago River and offering stunning riverfront views, the restaurant is easy to access with valet parking and boat docking, and it's only one block from the Clark/Lake stop on the Blue Line.

The pizzeria's New Year's Eve celebration includes passed appetizers, a pizza station, and a bevy of signature drinks, plus a DJ and a midnight toast. Limited seating is available, so it's recommended that patrons purchase tickets in advance, and the cost per person is $135 plus tax. There's also a VIP option starting at $1000 for four guests and up to $2000 for parties of eight. The VIP booth option offers a designated server for the table, bottle service, the full Portofino Pizzeria menu, and prime seating on the patio or inside the restaurant.


If you really want to treat yourself this New Year's Eve with an unforgettable dinner, plus a view of the Chicago River where it meets Lake Michigan and the option to stay the night in one of Chicago's most luxurious hotels, we recommend you make a reservation at Miru in the St. Regis Chicago. The dinner menu will be available at all seatings on New Year's Eve and features house favorites like charred octopus, king crab, smoked pork belly, and a selection of handmade rice and noodles.

The restaurant has a variety of dining options on New Year's, starting with the early bird dinner at 5 p.m., which will offer the full dinner menu plus a Champagne toast to begin the night's festivities. The next dinner option begins at 6:30 p.m. and features the full dinner menu, Champagne toast, plus a chef-selected trio of appetizers such as Japanese egg salad and caviar on toast and a specialty box of Miru bon bons customized by pastry Chef Juan Gutierrez. There's a $75 charge per person for the second seating, and tables may be reserved for up to two hours. The final seating costs $125 per person and begins at 8:30 p.m. Reservations include the appetizer trio, custom pastry box, Champagne toast, as well as a firework show from the Navy Pier at midnight.


For a rustic and casual Italian dinner experience followed by a live DJ and an open dance floor, Saranello's is the spot for you. Executive Chef Mychael Bonner will be serving up a four-course dinner featuring lobster bisque and a winter chopped salad to start, followed by your choice of either filet mignon or a roasted Chilean sea bass entrée. Dinners will also choose from two desserts — either creme brûlée or chocolate cake — to round out the meal.

The restaurant can accommodate large parties of up to ten people and dinner starts at only $89 per person, which is arguably a steal for a festive four-course dinner in Chicago. The Grand Salon dining room will be open until 1 a.m. for partygoers to dance the night away, plus the full bar will be serving up cocktails, wine, and two Champagne toasts — one to start the night and one when the clock strikes midnight.

Tortoise Supper Club

There's nothing better than a throwback party when you're ringing in the year to come, and Tortoise Supper Club is the place to be for old-school style in a new-age fashion. The timeless Chicago supper club is located in the heart of downtown just steps from the Chicago River in the popular theater district. Paying homage to the jazz era with its vibe and ambiance, the Tortoise Supper Club is everything you'd want in a classy night out on the town.

New Year's Eve festivities include an a la carte menu and live jazz music, with festive flapper girls shooting Polaroid photos of diners to take home as special holiday keepsakes. Guests must spend at least $100 per person, plus a $15 entertainment cost for the jazz musicians and late-night DJ. The event is where downtown Chicago meets Great Gatsby vibes, with a dinner club-style menu to boot. The New Year's Eve menu offers Tortoise Club classics like the famous relish tray and lobster bisque, and a twist on its regular oysters, plus some new dishes to dazzle New Year's diners like twin lobster tails and hamachi crudo.


If you're looking to ring in the new year with the kind of decadence and opulence only a James Beard and three-Michelin-star restaurant can provide, look no further than Alinea in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Voted best restaurant in North America by several different magazines and news outlets, Alinea is known for its open kitchen concept where diners at the restaurant's "kitchen table" can ogle Chef Grant Achatz and his team of culinary masters as they whip up innovative and modern dishes.

New Year's Eve reservations are sold out, but there is a waitlist available for potentially lucky patrons. Dinner options start at $395 per person and vary in price depending on the room, time of reservation, number of diners, and add-ons. The experience boasts an enigmatic "multi-sensory tasting menu" and Champagne toast for the second seating only. There's no telling what the night at Alinea may hold, except to say it will be a night guests will not soon forget.

Ina Mae Tavern

For the bargain price of $79 per person, Ina Mae Tavern in Chicago's bustling Wicker Park neighborhood may be the city's most exciting spot to ring in the new year. The NOLA-style restaurant is named after Executive Chef Brian Jupiter's great-grandmother, Ina Mae, and is known for its busy bar and bustling dining room. Menu staples include NOLA hot sausage sliders, hush puppies, whole blackened chicken, and a wide selection of authentic po' boys.

If a NOLA-inspired party isn't enough to convince you that Ina Mae Tavern is the place to be, then prepare to be persuaded by the Madame Tawdry's New Year's Eve Burlesque Show theme. Featuring four of Chicago's best burlesque babes, including Hot Tawdry, Ms. B LaRose, Freya West, and Ruby Spencer, this show is sure to be worth the $79 charge per person. In addition to burlesque dancers, the price includes 4 hours of endless call drinks, a midnight Champagne toast, and a selection of famous NOLA-style passed appetizers.