The Walnut Room, Macy’s, Chicago, Illinois
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The world-famous Walnut Room, a Chicago tradition since 1905. The Walnut Room was the first restaurant ever opened in a department store. With Circassian wood paneling imported from Russia and Austrian chandeliers, the 17,000 square foot dining room is both elegant and comfortable. Conveniently located in the heart of the Chicago theatre district, the Walnut Room is an excellent choice to take a break from shopping or for a meal and a glass of wine before the show.
The Walnut Room is best known for classics like Mrs. Hering’s Chicken Pot Pie and French Onion Soup as well as more contemporary menu offerings created by some of the country’s best-known chefs as members of the Macy’s Culinary Council.
My family has been going to the big ol’ city of Chicago every year (32 years and counting) every Christmas season to what was formerly called Marshall Fields (now Macy’s) to visit Santa at Santa Land and to eat at the Walnut Room. We’ve done everything in our power to never miss (even Lover Boy, who has been along for 15 years worth of Dobberfuhl Traditions!) We always used to visit on Black Friday (before Black Friday was even a thing) but in recent years we’ve had to change up our dates and sometimes go closer to Christmas because of our travel schedule coming in from North Carolina. Even though we are over 800 miles away, we plan on never missing a year!
The room is absolutely gorgeous and has so much character! The woodwork is amazing and all of the crown molding and finishing touches are just stunning. Being someone who loves detail like this, I just love being in this room!
The tradition of the Great Tree in the Walnut Room has been going strong for 110 years! The tree is decorated differently every couple of years. The theme of the tree used to coincide with the Windows on State: a story told throughout the outdoor windows of the building.
In more recent years, a Fairy visits each table and grants wishes! She sprinkles fairy dust and gives out little marbles from the North Pole. This particular fairy is the Fairy Snow Queen and has become famous by writing a couple of children’s books (that my mom has even bought)! In fact, this fairy has visited our family since 2008 – and we’ve seen her every year since then! The Fairy Snow Queen has even started hosting her very own annual Flightless Fairy Ball!
There are several classics on the menu like Mrs. Herring’s Pot Pie, but the Butternut Squash Tortellacci is my favorite!
Our wait staff this year was out of the park! Obviously with 32 years of eating at the Walnut Room, we’ve had our fair share of servers who were great to less desirable.
This definitely needs to be a must-do stop when visiting Chicago! Regardless of the time of year, just go and soak up the beautiful atmosphere!