Feb 7, 2024 - Food and Drink

How to celebrate Mardi Gras in Chicago

Illustration of Mardi Gras beads with an Axios logo pendant

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Mardi Gras is next week, but true revelers know that the celebration has been raging since last month.

The big picture: There are tons of parties popping up across Chicago this week. Here are seven to check out.

ğŸŽ‰ Every year, the biggest party in town is located at the massive 115 Bourbon Street bar in Merrionette Park.

  • This Tuesday marks the 25th anniversary of their New Orleans-themed celebration. Crowd-favorite Hurricane Gumbo will take the stage at 8pm, but there will also be jugglers, magicians and face painting.

🍤 Ina Mae's in Wicker Park is celebrating all week leading up to Fat Tuesday. The Four Star Brass Band is the draw, but drink and food specials are rampant at this Southern restaurant in the old Beachwood Inn space.

🥁 A pop-up collaboration with Lizzy J Cafe and Everything Countz will take over Time Out Market Chicago this weekend, featuring live music, decorations and cuisine designed to take you to the French Quarter.

  • On Fat Tuesday, they're offering a New Orleans-inspired dinner ($75) complete with a drum line celebration.

💃🏽 The Cauldron Chicago is throwing a Mardi Gras Variety Show on Tuesday, featuring performances from live musicians, comedians and dancers.

  • Plus, special cocktails (think Hurricanes and Sazeracs), and food (jambalaya, beignets, you name it).

ğŸŽ¹ Terrapin Flyer, Chicago's premiere jam band, is back with their annual Mardi Gras celebration at Martyr's in Lakeview on Friday.

  • The band is a favorite among the Grateful Dead community here and around the country.

ğŸŽ¨ Celebrate Fat Tuesday by getting out your paint brush and partaking in some Mardi Gras Madness at the Bottle & Bottega paint studio in Lincoln Park. Book for $40 per person (includes necessary paint supplies and a reception beforehand) and BYOB.

🍰 If you're looking for king cake on Fat Tuesday, head to Hyde Park and sample the delicious desserts from Virtue pastry chef Becky Pendola at Daisy's Po-Boy and Tavern. The New Orleans po' boy shop is also serving up $10 hurricanes.


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