September signals a few essential things: fall is officially here, the weather will start to cool down, and Oktoberfest makes its official return to Chicago. Oktoberfest is an annual celebration that originated in Munich. Running from Saturday, September 17th to Monday, October 3rd, the festival was established in 1810 to celebrate King Louis I’s marriage.
With a heavy focus on drinking, eating, and merriment, Oktoberfest has since transformed into a chance to enjoy lots of beer for two whole weeks.
Here are the top Oktoberfest events happening in and around Chicago!
1. Enjoy An Extravagant Meal At The Publican’s Annual Oktoberfest
Located at the heart of Fulton Market, the Publican’s modern beer hall is getting a makeover, turning it into a space to honor the Bavarian tradition. With two events falling on Sunday, September 18 and again on October 2nd, the bar’s annual Oktoberfest celebration includes four courses of hearty meals by Chef Paul Kahan, a nine-time James Beard Award-winning and One Off Hospitality executive chef, and plenty of beer too! With two seatings per night at 4:30 and 7:30 PM, reservations and tickets ($120) can be purchased here.
Address: 837 W. Fulton Market
2. Dress Up At PB&J West Loop
Starting September 18th and going through October 3rd, PB&J brings Oktoberfest to Chicago with traditional German offerings and beer!
Order the ‘German Trio’ which includes a giant pretzel, house beer cheese, and mustard, bratwurst with sauerkraut, and German streusel cake. Head out to the ‘bier garden’ patio to take part in games like stein hoisting, cornhole, jenga and a beer puppeteer.With five specialty Oktoberfest beers served in various steins, it’s a can’t miss opportunity to celebrate. Plus, staff will be dressed to impress in traditional Lederhosen and Dirndl.
Address: 205 N. Peoria St. Chicago, IL 60607
3. Celebrate At St. Al’s Oktoberfest Chicago
Celebrate Oktoberfest Chicago at St. Alphonsus as they return for the 19th year! Taking place both inside and outside of the iconic church, from Friday September 23 to Sunday September 25th, enjoy live performances, local vendors, photo ops, plenty of food choices, and more. Take part in a craft beer tasting on Friday, September 23 from 6 PM to 9 PM and Saturday, September 24 from 4 PM to 7 PM. With 15 rounds of tastings, admission to the overall event, and a souvenir tasting glass to take home, admission goes for $40 in advance or $50 at the door. Located in Chicago’s West Lakeview neighborhood, admission to Oktoberfest Chicago is $10. Grab tickets here.
Address: 1429 W Wellington Ave. Chicago, IL 60657
4. Keep The Tradition Going At Berghoff’s
The Berghoff has been hosting Oktoberfest celebrations since 1984. Known for its German-American fare, this year the celebration continues inside Adam Street Brewery, the recently renovated bar and in-house brewery. Enjoy live entertainment and try out the Brat and Knockwurst or the Sous Vide Pork Shank. Whether you enjoy a traditional Märzen-style Oktoberfest Bier or go for a Liter Stein to wash it all down, you’re sure to have a ball celebrating with friends.
Address: 17 W Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603
5. Grab A Beer At Old Town Pour House
Bring in Oktoberfest at Old Town Pour House from Wednesday, September 17 to Sunday, October 3, stop by to enjoy a German-inspired menu including currywurst, pork belly, schnitzel and more. With plenty of incredible beer options on tap, you’ll be sure to leave the restaurant happy and full. They have a primary location in Chicago, as well as locations in Naperville and Oak Brook.
Address: 1419 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610
6. Enjoy Live Polka Music At Brookfield Zoo’s Beer Garden
From 11 AM to 5 PM, Brookfield Zoo hosts a free Oktoberfest celebration on October 24th at their East Mall. Complete with live music, traditional garments, and beer a plenty, the general admissions event is not to be missed.
Address: 8400 W 31st St. Brookfield, IL60513
7. Prost! In The Park At The Chicago Gourmet
The annual Chicago Gourmet Festival is celebrating Oktoberfest with a Chicago-style take with a brand new event hosted by Monteverde chef Sarah Grueneberg. Complete with beer, chef-prepared food, and plenty of drinks from a bevy of different chefs, like Kevin Kickey, Leigh Omilinsky, Bailey Sullivan, and more. Tickets go for $95 with the event taking place on September 24th from 1-4 PM at the Harris Theater Rooftop. Grab tickets here.
Address: 205 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601
8. Celebrate On Division Street
Oktoberfest on Division Street is back on Thursday, September 29th. From 6 PM to 10 PM, the annual event features food from local favorites She-nannigans and The Lodge Tavern. Take part in fun events like a German word pronunciation game, stein holding competitions, and German musical chairs! Enjoy live music from Die Kellerknaben Polka Band, and more, along with plenty of beer like Founders Oktoberfest, Goose, Shiner, and Spaten.
Address 1: She-nannigans, 16 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60610
Address 2: The Lodge Tavern, 21 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60610
9. Play Games And Enjoy A Beer On Emporium’s Patio
Emporium, the fantastic bar-cade in Fulton Market is bringing in Oktoberfest with a ‘Prost! On the Patio’ event. On Thursday, September 29th, enjoy beers from your favorite breweries like Goose Island Oktoberfest can, Douchebag Breweries Bok Lobster can, New Belgium Brewery’s Atomic Pumpkin brew, and more. Participate in giveaways, enjoy delicious eats, and much more surrounded by traditional Oktoberfest decor! Starting at 5 PM and going to 11 PM, convene at the wide communal tables, and take part in a beer tasting at this one-day-only event.
Address: 839 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
10. Try the new Oktüberfest Sandwich At Hannah’s Bretzel
Enjoy a German sandwich and help the environment at the same time at Hannah’s Bretzel– one of Chicago’s most sustainable restaurants! They just announced their new Oktüberfest Sandwich, a modern take on the traditional fare, made with Gene’s Chicago Pork Bratwurst, Grandma Nina’s Bavarian Style Sauerkraut, whole grain honey mustard, and caramelized onions all on a delicious homemade pretzel bread. They’re also ringing in fall with butternut squash soup, and kale and white bean bratwurst soup! Honestly, nothing sounds better!
Address: 400 N La Salle St, Chicago, IL 60654
Enjoy the season and to all: Prost!