20 Memorial Day Specials at Chicago Restaurants and Bars
Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, providing a long weekend to enjoy the weather while drinking plenty of rosé and beer and feasting on the foods best enjoyed outdoors, like burgers and boiled seafood.
It’s also a time to honor and mourn those who have died serving in the US military, and many bars and restaurants combine the fun and somber aspects of the holiday with fundraisers for veterans groups. .
The weekend kicks off festival season while offering picnic packages perfect for more relaxed celebrations in a park or your own backyard. However you want to mark the holidays, these 20 events have you covered.
Do you know of a restaurant or bar in Chicagoland that offers holiday specials? Email them to Editor-in-Chief Ariel Cheung at [email protected].
Drink pink at a terrace party that runs from 2-5pm on Mondays, where you can taste and learn about 50 rosé wines from around the world in hourly mini-courses led by the director Torrence O’Haire wines. The bash also features a DJ and specialty food. Tickets are $35. 730 W. Grand Avenue, 312-243-8955, explorestock.com
The Northman Summer Music Series kicks off with free performances on the covered pergola throughout the weekend with artists such as Greg Jacks & Brother Help (6-8pm Friday), Black Oil Brothers (6-8pm Saturday) and the Noah Brooks Coalition (5-7 p.m. Sunday). 233 E. Riverwalk, thenorthman.com
Welcome summer with a riverside party featuring a four-course crab porridge paired with wines chosen by RPM’s sommeliers. You’ll also receive a spritz to welcome you to the bash, which runs from 1-3 p.m. on Monday. Tickets are $155. 317 N. Clark St., 312-900-9035, explorestock.com
Stop by 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays to pick up a grill set that includes a mix of chicken skewers, beef tenderloin, shrimp, and salmon with roasted fingerling potatoes and corn ($99) or a 28-ounce tomahawk with chimichurri and spring salad ($145). Add a box of empanadas ($36) or enough prickly pear margaritas for a party of four ($52). Orders must be placed before Sunday noon. 118 W. Grand Avenue, 312-222-9700, tantachicago.com
Celebrate outdoors with a Park Pack, offered daily starting Friday, that includes cheese, charcuterie, pickles, fruit, crackers and olives for $12 to $18. 352 W. Armitage Ave, 773-799-8478, alltoowellchi.com
Party for a good cause in the Wrigleyville Bar’s beer garden from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday for a fundraiser that includes all-you-can-eat burgers, cheeseburgers, beer brats, chips, coleslaw and refried beans for a $10 donation to the Wounded Warrior Project. Buy a 22-ounce tankard of Empirical Lager for $8, and half the price will also be donated to the nonprofit. 3441 N. Sheffield Ave, 773-666-5450, graystonetavernchicago.com
The sports bar is hosting a pre-Memorial Day party at 11 a.m. Sunday with $6 Bud Light and Miller Lite stadium cuts with a DJ at 9 p.m. The same special will be offered on Monday, when the bar opens at 3 p.m. 2934 N. Sheffield Ave, 773-770-0700, kirkwoodbar.com
Watch a flamenco and guitar show on the terrace from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturdays. 900 E. Grand Avenue, 872-710-5750, liricarestaurant.com
White Claw is giving away coolers, gift cards and other prizes for the best white outfit at a White Hot Summer launch party featuring White Claw buckets at $25, draft margaritas at $8 and white pizzas at $14 from noon to 4 p.m. Monday. Take part in Memorial Day-themed trivia at 7 p.m. 1925 W. Cortland St., 773-489-0738, lottiespub.com
The seventh annual party hosted by Begyle Brewing and Dovetail Brewery features special beer tastings, food trucks, pop-ups and live music from The Funk Crusaders and Yacht Rock-ettes. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. A suggested donation of $5 benefits local food pantry The Friendship Center. Ravenswood and Belle Plaine Avenues, mayfestiversary.com
Celebrate at Navy Pier on Sundays and Mondays with brand name spirit giveaways and food and cocktail tastings from Offshore’s new summer menu. 1000 E. Grand Avenue, 312-535-6660, offshorerooftop.com
Start the weekend with an all-you-can-eat dinner including chuck tenderloin, brisket, pork ribs and chicken drumsticks from Chef Brian Jupiter and Smoky Soul Barbeque Chef/Owner Daniel Hammond from 7-9 p.m. p.m. on Friday. The $79 meal includes a Kurvball barbecue whiskey cocktail. From 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, the West Town restaurant hosts a Beer, Burger & Bubbles Bash, featuring Wagyu beef, elk and crab sliders, local beers and bubbly tastings for $39. 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave, 773-772-4322, thefrontierchicago.com
Feast on a pound and a half of boiled shrimp, corn, potatoes and punch for $39 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. The bash also features live music, $12 hurricanes, and $9 palomas. 1415 N. Wood St., 773-360-8320, inamaetavern.com
The Wicker Park Bar opens at 11 a.m. all weekend to offer holiday favorites, including $4 watermelon vodka mules, Topo Chico hard seltzers, and $12 Chicago-style Polish sausages served with fries. 1801 Division Street West, 773-782-4400, macswoodgrilled.com
Compete for a $100 gift card in a wing-eating contest at 5:30 p.m. Monday. Admission is $10, but you can also come watch, enter a raffle, and snack on oysters and lobster rolls as part of the summer launch party from 4-7 p.m. 2500 W. Chicago Avenue, 773-697-4413, splitrailchicago.com
Local chefs and restaurants compete to cook the best mole at the annual Pilsen celebration, which also includes an arts and crafts market, lucha libre wrestling and performances by Mariachi Sirenas, Los Gallos and Simantikos Dance Chicago. The event runs from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. A suggested donation of $5 or $10 per family benefits the Eighteenth Street Development Corp. 1801 S. Ashland Ave, 312-733-2287, moledemayo.org
Roscoe Village and West Town restaurants will donate a portion of their Memorial Day weekend proceeds to Homes for Our Troops, a non-profit organization that donates custom homes specially adapted for seriously injured veterans. 1955 W. Addison St., 773-348-9800; 658 N. Ashland Ave, 312-929-4133; bartolispizzeria.com
Active military and veterans receive a 25% discount on Sunday. 124 N. West State St., Geneva, 630-587-2274, burgerandsushihouse.com
Singer/songwriter Mike Hayes performs at a Friday-Monday patio party that includes $4 shots, $15 Miller or Coors buckets, $9.99 pretzels and double cheeseburgers at $11. 1140 E. Higgins Road, Schaumburg; 847-744-5300; thelocalkitchenap.com
Listen to live music on the patio throughout the weekend while enjoying specialties such as $11 double cheeseburgers, $15 buckets of seltzer, $9.99 pretzels and Fireball shots at $4. 56 W. Wilson St., Palatine; 847-934-3000; 3341 Main Street West, St. Charles; 630-443-1664; thetaphousegrill.com