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Deer/Frontier/Ruxbin/Burger Bar/Everest
Deer/Frontier/Ruxbin/Burger Bar/Everest
Photos: Tom Reichner/Shutterstock/Barry Brecheisen

Where to Eat Venison this Christmas Season

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Deer/Frontier/Ruxbin/Burger Bar/Everest
| Photos: Tom Reichner/Shutterstock/Barry Brecheisen

It's doubtful that anyone would be morbid enough to eat reindeer for Christmas. But venison? Sure, why not. Many restaurants in town are cooking interesting dishes with the reindeer's cousin, just in time for Santa's journey. Check out the map to see where to taste them.


Eater Chicago intern Aimee Gasior contributed to this story.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Burger Bar

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1578 N Clybourn Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 255-0055
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This Old Town burger joint dishes up an elk burger decorated with charred pepper-onion relish, smoked gouda, and chili aioli.

2. Frontier

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1072 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(773) 772-4322
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For those looking for a hearty serving of one of Santa's friends this holiday season, head to this game-focused haven. Brian Jupiter is serving up a marinated chimichurri elk flank steak partnered with fried fingerling potatoes and green beans. If a steak isn't your fancy, try the smoked in-house knockwurst made with the reindeer's relative, venison.

3. Spiaggia

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980 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 280-2750
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Two dishes of antlered-creatures can be enjoyed at both the fine-dining Spiaggia or the relaxed Cafe Spiaggia. A loin of "antilope" and "pappardelle antelope bolognese," are certainly ranked high on Santa's "nice list" this holiday.

4. The Gage

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24 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 372-4243
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Fans of the burger should try the venison with smoked gouda, fried jalapeno, and woodland mushroom for lunch. For dinner, take a gander at the grilled rack of elk swimming in a pool of apple-celery emulsion and Demi-glace paired with a crispy kale salad.

5. Chicago's Dog House

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816 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-3647
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Non-stop shopping or delivering gifts this holiday season? Head over to this gourmet fast food joint for a quick bite. Besides enjoying their standard Chicago-style hot dog, this dive serves up specialty game sausages, including Ruldolph's cousin, elk.

6. Russian Tea Time

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77 E Adams St
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 360-0000
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What better way to end an afternoon tea service than with a wild game sausage platter? Kielbasa along with wild venison and wild buffalo sausages are broiled and served over mashed potatoes with the usual reindeer veggie favorites.

7. The Berghoff Restaurant

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17 W Adams St
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 427-3170
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Surrounding a mountain of spätzle and root vegetables, the boar, venison, and duck sausages are the main focuses in this game sausage platter.
222 Merchandise Mart Plz, Ste 250
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 202-0001
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For those ritzier reindeer-seekers, this Michelin-rated restaurant dishes up an eleven course tasting menu that includes a cut of cervena venison sitting on a bed of black trumpet farro and sprinkled with gooseberries.

9. Everest Restaurant

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440 S La Salle St
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 663-8920
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"Up on the rooftop," 39 floors above the Financial District, Everest is dishing up a loin of venison drizzled with huckleberry jus and partnered with braised baby endive and spiced pear.

10. Ruxbin Kitchen

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851 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 624-8509
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Although this eclectic BYO restaurant takes no reservations, the leg of venison is definitely worth waiting for. Served with stewed berries, chestnuts, root vegetable fondant, and horseradish creme fraiche, this hoof can certainly deliver a kick of flavor.

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1. Burger Bar

1578 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
This Old Town burger joint dishes up an elk burger decorated with charred pepper-onion relish, smoked gouda, and chili aioli.
1578 N Clybourn Ave
Chicago, IL 60642

2. Frontier

1072 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
For those looking for a hearty serving of one of Santa's friends this holiday season, head to this game-focused haven. Brian Jupiter is serving up a marinated chimichurri elk flank steak partnered with fried fingerling potatoes and green beans. If a steak isn't your fancy, try the smoked in-house knockwurst made with the reindeer's relative, venison.
1072 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60642

3. Spiaggia

980 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Two dishes of antlered-creatures can be enjoyed at both the fine-dining Spiaggia or the relaxed Cafe Spiaggia. A loin of "antilope" and "pappardelle antelope bolognese," are certainly ranked high on Santa's "nice list" this holiday.
980 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

4. The Gage

24 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
Fans of the burger should try the venison with smoked gouda, fried jalapeno, and woodland mushroom for lunch. For dinner, take a gander at the grilled rack of elk swimming in a pool of apple-celery emulsion and Demi-glace paired with a crispy kale salad.
24 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603

5. Chicago's Dog House

816 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
Non-stop shopping or delivering gifts this holiday season? Head over to this gourmet fast food joint for a quick bite. Besides enjoying their standard Chicago-style hot dog, this dive serves up specialty game sausages, including Ruldolph's cousin, elk.
816 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

6. Russian Tea Time

77 E Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603
What better way to end an afternoon tea service than with a wild game sausage platter? Kielbasa along with wild venison and wild buffalo sausages are broiled and served over mashed potatoes with the usual reindeer veggie favorites.
77 E Adams St
Chicago, IL 60603

7. The Berghoff Restaurant

17 W Adams St, Chicago, IL 60603
Surrounding a mountain of spätzle and root vegetables, the boar, venison, and duck sausages are the main focuses in this game sausage platter.
17 W Adams St
Chicago, IL 60603

8. TRU

222 Merchandise Mart Plz, Ste 250, Chicago, IL 60654
For those ritzier reindeer-seekers, this Michelin-rated restaurant dishes up an eleven course tasting menu that includes a cut of cervena venison sitting on a bed of black trumpet farro and sprinkled with gooseberries.
222 Merchandise Mart Plz, Ste 250
Chicago, IL 60654

9. Everest Restaurant

440 S La Salle St, Chicago, IL 60605
"Up on the rooftop," 39 floors above the Financial District, Everest is dishing up a loin of venison drizzled with huckleberry jus and partnered with braised baby endive and spiced pear.
440 S La Salle St
Chicago, IL 60605

10. Ruxbin Kitchen

851 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
Although this eclectic BYO restaurant takes no reservations, the leg of venison is definitely worth waiting for. Served with stewed berries, chestnuts, root vegetable fondant, and horseradish creme fraiche, this hoof can certainly deliver a kick of flavor.
851 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60642

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