Oktoberfest in Chicago
Updated April 10, 2018
Find Gemütlichkeit in Chicago
While many think Oktoberfest is in October, the traditional Bavarian festival runs for two weeks beginning in September. The Munich festival begins with a parade and tapping of the first keg on a Saturday in mid-September, with closing ceremonies on a Monday two weeks later, usually the first Monday in October. Check out these Oktoberfest events and deals in Chicago.
Oktoberfest Events Around Chicago
German American Fest occurs in September, beginning with a parade and ending with German Mass on Sunday. During the festival all ages can enjoy traditional music and dance performances, games and refreshments, with beer and wine available for those of age.
Expect to find fun at The Radler, where they've even given away trips to visit Oktoberfest in Munich:
You can have pretzels, brats and brews at Kaiser Tiger any time of the year. However, Oktoberfest is a special occasion.
Every year Kaiser Tiger has an Oktoberfest bash that usually involves live polka music in the 200 seat beer garden with several Oktoberfest beers on tap.
Head to Hyde Park’s Brews, Brats, and Brass in mid to late September.
Big Shoulders Brass Band is headlining on Friday and Low Down Brass Band on Saturday.
The Dawson will be celebrating in River West:
Save the date! Oktoberfest is on its way and we've got #allthethings for you. Live music by the @thepolkaholics , plenty of brew from @revbrewchicago , PLUS a buffet ($25pp) all on Saturday, Sept 17, 2p-5p. NO COVER! You got that date saved yet? #chicago #eeeeeats #drinks #beer #music #party #revbrewchicago #picoftheday
Bohemian House may be slinging soft pretzels and special German beer flights to celebrate Oktoberfest. BoHo is also the host of Chicago's Schnitzelfest, a 3 day schnitzel extravaganza in late September:
Band of Bohemia has also organized a Caravan Festival for opening day of Oktoberfest:
Band of Bohemia's first-ever Caravan Art Festival will be taking over our private parking lot on Sunday, September 18th, from 11:00 AM-7:00 PM for a day of beer, food, music and general folderol -- a perfect way to mark the end of summer, and somewhat coincidentally, the beginning of Oktoberfest. Can't go wrong with that! What you can expect: Beers & festival food from the Band! More beer! Featuring a @halfacrebeer collaboration, the Sunday in Saigon thai-basil lemongrass saison! Coffee and wild antics from our friends at @darkmattercoffee! Music! A gypsy-jazz lineup includes Alfonso Ponticelli & Swing Gitan and the Gipsy Stringz Quartet from 2:00-6:00PM! Frivolity! A growler ring toss! A magician! The list goes on! All are welcome! $5 gets you in, with food, drink and entertainment tickets available for purchase upon entry. Come party with us!
Begyle Brewing has partnered with Indie Wed to throw Wedtoberfest, a unique combination of wedding planning and Oktoberfest, taking place September 22nd.
Revolution will be throwing an Oktoberfest party in the back lot of their Kedzie Brewery September 23-24. Tickets are available here.
Chicago Oktoberfest at St. Alphonsus Church is the longest-running and most well-known celebration in Chicago. This family friendly festival runs September 23 - 25 and is packed with brats, brews, live music and entertainment.
Laschet's Inn always has German bier on tap, but expands their selection during September and October and hosts live German bands and a pig roast.
Chicago Brauhaus has their own Brauhaus Oktoberfest Band, nightly yodeling contests, and seasonal Spaten brews. If you haven't witnessed an Alphorn performance here's your chance!
St. Benedict's is a family-friendly fest and runs September 30th through October 2nd.
If you prefer to do all things on a boat, there's an Oktoberfest cruise for you too on October 7th, departing from Navy Pier.
In the suburbs, check out Itasca Oktoberfest, Palatine Oktoberfest, Villa Park Oktoberfest, Havana Oktoberfest, Rauetoberfest in Crystal Lake, Belleville Oktoberfest, Manteno Oktoberfest, Plano Oktoberfest, Vernon Hills Oktoberfest, Naperville Oktoberfest, Galena Oktoberfest, Mount Prospect Oktoberfest, St. Mary’s Oktoberfest in Alton, Batavia Oktoberfest, and Maeystown Oktoberfest.
Special Deals for Oktoberfest
If you find yourself near Soldier Field or McCormick Place, Kroll’s South Loop is running an Oktoberfest special for $15 Leinenkugel Oktoberfest steins. Atom Smasher, an Oktoberfest release from Two Brothers Brewing, is September's beer of the month and $5 on draught until the kegs are tapped.
Check Kroll's Facebook page for updated game day, weekly, and Oktoberfest specials.
The Berghoff Restaurant got the party started early and will be offering specials with a side of fun for a month:
If you’re flying in or out of O’Hare, get a dose of Oktoberfest at Berghoff Cafe's terminal 1 location:
Live music @ Berghoff Cafe (C26) until 1p.m. Stop by and enjoy an authentic #Oktoberfest experience!— O'Hare Intl. Airport (@fly2ohare) September 8, 2016
Laschet's Inn has also tapped the special brews:
List of German Bars in Chicago
If you just want to bask in the essence of Bavaria, here is a list of Chicago German bars.
Kaiser Tiger - West Loop
Prost - Lincoln Park
The Radler - Logan Square
The Berghoff - Downtown and Chicago O'Hare Airport
Resi's Bierstube - Irving Park
Laschet's Inn - Irving Park
Hofbrau Haus - Rosemont
Gene's Sausage Shop and Delicatessen - Lincoln Square
Huettenbar - Lincoln Square
Himmel's Chicago - Lincoln Square
Chicago Brauhaus - Lincoln Square
If you're wanting to go whole-hog and have the money to commit to it, why not book a flight and celebrate Oktoberfest in Germany? Check out Viator for deals and an easy way to plan your trip!