Chicago's Christkindlmarket Named Best Christmas Market in U.S.

Pass the baked cheese, spiced wine and stuffed pretzels, please


Love visiting Chicago's annual Christkindlmarket during the holiday season? You aren't alone.

Global travel site Big 7 Travel just released its list of the best 25 Christmas markets in the USA for 2021, and Chicago's Christkindlmarket is on it — in the number one spot.

This year's top Christmas markets were ranked on several factors, the travel site says, including vendor variety, entertainment, local traditions, social media popularity and Big 7 Travel writer suggestions and previous awards. 

Here are the top 10 Christmas markets that made the list:

  1. Christkindlmarket Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
  2. Koziar’s Christmas Village– Bernville, Pennsylvania
  3. The Great Dickens Christmas Fair — San Francisco, California, USA
  4. Christkindlmarkt – Leavenworth, Washington
  5. Union Square Holiday Market  – New York City, New York
  6. Atlanta Christkindle Market – Atlanta, Georgia
  7. Christkindl Market– Arlington, Texas
  8. Charlotte Christmas Village – Charlotte, North Carolina
  9. Victorian Christmas Market – Nevada City, California
  10. Peoples Gas Holiday Market– Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Chicago's Christkindlmarket has two locations this year.

The traditional downtown Chicago location at the Daley Plaza, located at 50 W. Washington St., will remain open through Dec. 24.

The market's second location, at Gallagher Way in Wrigleyville, at 3635 N. Clark St., will run through Dec. 31.

Downtown Chicago Christkindlmarket hours:

  • Nov. 19 - Dec. 24
  • Sundays – Thursdays: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Fridays – Saturdays: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Christmas Eve holiday hours: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Closed on Christmas Day

Wrigleyville Christkindlmarket hours:

  • Nov. 19 - Dec. 31
  • Saturday, Nov. 20: 4pm – 10pm
  • Mondays – Thursdays: 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Fridays – Saturdays: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Sundays: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve holiday hours: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Closed on Christmas Day

In 2020, the popular holiday market went online only due to the COVID pandemic.

The holiday markets feature traditional German and European live music, shopping and food and drinks, including stuffed gourmet pretzels, spiced wine, schnitzel and Belgian hot chocolate.

For a sit-down meal, people can reserve an alpine-themed Stammtisch table in the heated Timber Haus at the downtown Chicago location for up to eight people for 90 minutes.

Here's a list of food and shopping vendors, and a map of each location.

The Christkindlmarket will also offer a virtual marketplace for shoppers to find their iconic goods, including the popular souvenir mugs, online. This year, the souvenir mug design is a boot shape, accompanied by a dark emerald green color to match the logo and a Chicago skyline. The Peppermint the Penguin mug is also back for the market's 25th anniversary this winter,

Admission to both markets are free. Visitors are encouraged to wear face masks while not eating or drinking.

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