8 Treats You Must Eat, Drink & Buy at Christkindlmarket 2021
After going virtual in 2020, Christkindlmarket is once again welcoming visitors to its Daley Plaza and Gallagher Way locations (next to Wrigley Field) this winter. If you’ve never been to the German-inspired holiday market before, you’re in for a treat, actually several different kinds of treats. We stopped by the Daley Plaza location on opening day to browse the different stalls and vendors, exploring all of the different food, drink and freebies that are being offered this year. Looking for some inspiration for Christkindlmarket? Here is what we recommend.
RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Christkindlmarket
1. Glühwein ($ 8 with mug, $ 7 refill) from beer and wine vendors (stands # 1, # 28, # 28, # 54)
If you come to Christkindlmarket and are of legal drinking age, you will likely end up grabbing a commemorative mug of the market’s iconic mulled wine. This year’s Glühwein container is a large mug that celebrates the 25th anniversary of the event.
2. Krampus Dance Ornament ($ 29) from Bavarian Workshop (booth # 33)
The horned beast known as Krampus was apparently invented to provide a mythical figure to do Santa’s dirty work, punishing (and scaring) children who misbehave. But the furry monster with big fangs and a really long tongue isn’t that scary when it turns into a cute ornament that throws up its arms and legs when you pull a string.
3. Gyulai with sauerkraut ($ 10) from traditional German cuisine (stands # 18, # 38)
Are you looking for a sausage that is a little more spicy than the traditional German bratwurst? This smoky and spicy Hungarian sausage will do – the spice is sweet, but it adds a burst of flavor to every bite. We recommend that you top it with sauerkraut (it’s $ 1 more) and a dollop of brown mustard from the dispenser.
4. United Chocolate Works “The Trainee” Hot Chocolate ($ 13) (Booth 35)
Quickly get your photos of these decadent hot chocolate creations with chocolate wrenches and tongs sticking out of the mug! The steaming drink quickly melts the molded tools, turning them into a melted slime at the bottom of your cup, under the mound of whipped cream and toasted marshmallows. These are a bit more expensive than the standard hot chocolate you’ll find at Christkindlmarket, but we felt the extra gooey chocolate was worth the price.
5. Tee advents kalender ($ 30) from Tea Gschwender (booth # 40)
If you’re looking for an interesting way to count the days until Christmas that doesn’t involve little chocolates, this Tea Advent Calendar should do the trick. Each box contains 25 tea bags, a different tea to be enjoyed each day before the December holidays. Of course, you can also just buy the box and dig into it whenever you’re in the mood for something outside of your regular tea-drinking routine.
6. Almond Apricot Strudel ($ 9 per piece, $ 16 per box) from Helmut’s Original Austrian Strudel (stand # 8)
Helmut’s isn’t the only vendor selling strudel at Christkindlmarket, but we believe this stand offers the best value when it comes to delicious toppings wrapped in a puff pastry crust. If you only eat one strudel from Helmut, make sure it’s the apricot almond variety, which balances the sweet fruit filling with robust nutty flavors. Go ahead and buy the box of strudel, you can always take some home!
7. Plastic Outdoor Illuminated Star ($ 30) from Gift & Candle Palace (booth # 21)
The Gift & Candle Palace is still one of the prettiest stalls in Christkindlmarket, filled with twinkling lights that are especially stunning when the sun goes down. You can bring some of the warm glow of the holiday market home with you by grabbing one of these illuminated stars. We’re fans of the plastic version of the star that can be displayed outdoors – if you don’t feel like turning on some lights this year, hanging this star outside your home seems like a way simple (and relatively affordable) to embrace the holiday spirit.
8. Donermen’s Currywurst ($ 9) (stand # 3)
Chicago’s Donermen is back at the Christkindlmarket with its usual menu of German fare, including doner kebab served on a bed of fries or on a salad. Everything is delicious, but if you’ve never tried the currywurst before, you must try it on your next visit. Donermen’s interpretation of the dish is simple and tasty, consisting of pork and veal sausage coated in a tangy curry sauce and fries sprinkled with curry powder.