The spirit of Oktoberfest can be summed up into a single word– Gemütlichkeit. It essentially means being in a place that makes you happy, relaxed, social, and feel accepted. This must be why Oktoberfest revolves around beer and friends. There is no shortage of Oktoberfest Chicago activities, but some of the best ways to truly celebrate in German fashion– post up at a German bar with your mates.


Oktoberfest Chicago Activities:


German American Festival – Community Event
The German American Festival and Von Steuben Parade takes over Lincoln Square on September 5, 6, and 7. This festival is an all out dedication to Germany. On top of a parade, there will be a plethora of things to do. Live music and dancing always fit when taking down delicious German beers, and traditional food. The cultural programs will give insight into a little of the history, as well as allow you to intake and participate in traditional German celebrations.

Lincoln Plaza is located at Western, Lincoln and Leland.

Oak Park Oktoberfest – Community Event
Oak Park is throwing their annual Oktoberfest bash September 19-20. This free event boasts entertainment for all ages. Live music will set the mood, while craft beer flows from cups, and food is dished out from local restaurants. Kid’s will even have their own root beer garden, so they will have a greater level of participation. There will also be many other kid friendly activities to keep them enjoying all day. This may not be a traditional Oktoberfest celebration, but it is a fantastic community event where you can take the family, enjoy a bratwurst and some quality craft beer.

Marion Street and North Boulevard, South of Lake Street

Dank Haus – Heritage / Learning Center
Dank Haus is Chicago’s German American Cultural Center. You do not have to wait until Oktoberfest to find out about the German heritage in Chicago, but being knowledgable of their presence may help you appreciate the Oktoberfest festivities even more. Here, you can learn to speak the German language, as well as intertwine yourself with German art in the museum and a plethora of knowledge in the library. They have special events throughout the year as well.

Lincoln Square
4740 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 561-9181

The Berghoff – Pub $$
The Berghoff Oktoberfest Chicago
via Flickr :: John Picken Photography
Creative Commons

The Berghoff is holding their Oktoberfest celebration September 10-12 from 11am-9pm. This is the longest running Oktoberfest Chicago celebration. Beer, brats, and live music will take over the venue for a German celebration that would make the motherland proud. They have been serving up German food and beer since 1898. Their Oktoberfest celebration technically goes from September 4- October 31 with specialty lunch and dinner menus–which are loaded with traditional German cuisine. You can find full details about their 3-day outdoor festival on their website: The Berghoff Oktoberfest Celebration

The Loop
17 W Adams St
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 427-3170

The Bavarian Lodge – Pub $$
The Bavarian Lodge is the perfect place for Gemütlichkeit. Their menu boasts many traditional and German inspired items, and a beer list that may drop your jaw. The list boasts a multitude of German beers, along with other selections. Their list changes, but they currently have almost 40-beers on tap, over 150 in bottles, and a handful of cans. The Bavarian Lodge feel precisely what the name hints at–that is why this is a must stop. It is completely worth the trip.

1800 Ogden Ave
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 241-4701

Schnitzel Platz – Restaurant $$
Schnitzel Platz is a fully-hearted German restaurant. The entire venue has an atmosphere of a German cafe. They are very family-friendly. Their specialty Oktoberfest menu is overwhelming– in the sense that you may want to order everything. Even their regular menu is spot on with German food. They even have a massive feast that can be ordered. It feeds up to 6-people and is served family-style–what is more German than that? Their beer list accompanies the food nicely with plenty of traditional German options available. For a feast like no other- Schnitzel Platz takes over.

729 North Ave
Glendale Heights, IL 60139
(630) 942-9900

Resi’s Bierstube – Pub $$
Bierstube translates to beer hall, which is precisely what Resi’s is– with a fantastic kitchen to compliment. They are one of the true German restaurants left in the area. Their menu is loaded with traditional dishes, which they have seemed to perfect each and every one of them. Their schnitzel may blow your tastebuds– so be forewarned. The beer list has a plethora of authentic brews to choose from as well. They opened their doors in 1965, and to this day it feels like you have stepped into a slice of 1970’s Germany– I find that to be a pretty stellar atmosphere. Resi’s Bierstube is one of the last best around.

North Center
2034 W Irving Park Rd
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 472-1749

Hüettenbar – Pub $$
Huettenbar is a North Side classic for good beer, conversation, and activities. They mix old-world Germany with modern touches to honor the past and stay fresh with the future. They have all of the German beers available that you will need, and they are always looking to make new patrons and new friends. Their Oktoberfest Chicago celebration is just another excuse to bring the neighborhood together to socialize. The cozy atmosphere is accentuated by the large windows in the front of the building– it makes you wonder why people are strolling by rather than indulging inside.

Lincoln Square, Ravenswood
4721 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 561-2507

Chicago Brauhaus – Pub $$
The Chicago Brauhaus likes to treat everyday as if it is Oktoberfest–which means that they have been celebrating for over 40-years. The beer is always flowing, and the kitchen is always pushing out traditional German cuisine. Their dance floor is rarely empty and the stage is home to the Brauhaus Trio. The atmosphere is spilling over with Bavarian flair. You will truly feel like you are in a little slice of Germany whenever you step into the Chicago Brauhaus.

Lincoln Square, Ravenswood
4732 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 784-4444

Fireside Restaurant – American Restaurant/Bar $$
Fireside Restaurant is holding their First-Annual Oktoberfest celebration this year on September 20-21. This event is aimed towards all ages. They will be having constant entertainment in the form of live music, theater performance, games, raffles and more. Food will be cooked up in various forms by Fireside, Chef Martin, and Fortune Fish Company. Beer will come into play thanks to four breweries pouring Oktoberfest and seasonal brews. Partial proceeds go toward WEAR Community Garden Enhancement and the greening of Ravenswood.

5739 N Ravenswood Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 561-7433
Revolution Brewery – Brewery $
Revolution is throwing an Oktoberfest Chicago bash on October 3, from 6pm-10pm at their Kedzie Production Brewery. Tickets are $30, but early bird tickets will be for sale through September 7 for $25. The price includes a huge one-liter commemorative glass stein and one beer ticket. There will be food tucks and their brewpub chefs will be preparing some special German delights for the event to satisfy any appetites. Also, live music to entertain the ears. One of the cool attractions of this event is that they will be giving a sneak peak of their expansion to the brewery. The new area will be done-up in the styling of a traditional German beer hall– it is hard to not want to experience that.

3340 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 588-2267