How to Celebrate Fat Tuesday in Chicago


Mardi Gras is around the corner, one last day (and night) of great food and drinks before the start of Lent. Here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate Fat Tuesday in Chicago.

Jokers Cajun Kitchen

30 years ago, in a kitchen of a family-owned restaurant, an idea was born. Joker’s dishes represent years of studying and perfecting Cajun, Creole, and Low Country style cuisine.  Come in and indulge in gumbo, etouffee, jambalaya, po’boy sandwiches or muffulettas. Make sure to order a fitting drink as well: hurricanes, voodoo punch or a NoLa Abita beer. Located in the French Market in the West Loop. 

Roser’s Bakery

This bakery is known to sell out quickly. With flavors such as PB&J and iced lemon and 15 other flavors on their Paczki’s, it’s easy to understand why. Make sure to preorder your Paczki’s before Fat Tuesday.

Quality Crab and Oyster Bah

Celebrate Mardi Gras with a Shrimp Boil which includes sweet corn, spicy andouille sausage, Yukon gold potatoes and creole butter. The Shrimp Boil is available for one for $22.95, plus tax (gratuity not included). You can also pre-order it family-style for four people for $68.95, plus tax with reheat instructions to cook at home. Add on salad, cheesy bread and coconut cake to round out your Mardi Gras meal. This special is available for dine-in and carryout from Friday, February 25 – Tuesday, March 1. 

Café Selmarie

In 1983, Cake Selmarie a tiny bakery café in Lincoln Square started to emerge. The first café in the neighborhood with the first espresso machine quickly became a pit stop for coffee, pastry, soups, and sandwiches. This year, the bakery is partnering with Evanston’s Bennison’s Bakery to create flavorful paczki flavors such as lemon, raspberry, praline chocolate mousse. Pre-order boxes come in two, four, or 12.

Virtue Restaurant

This Southern restaurant is dedicated to showing hospitality and kindness when one steps into this hidden gem. Located in Hyde Park, Virtue is committed to daily Fat Tuesday specials. Classic dishes such as blackened catfish, andouille jambalaya, to name a few. Stop by and enjoy some New Orleans food to celebrate Fat Tuesday. Do not forget to save room for dessert. 

Luella’s Southern Kitchen at Time Out Market

Ready to celebrate Mardi Gras? Chef Darnell Reed of Luella’s Southern Kitchen is ready to transport your truck taste buds to New Orleans at Time Out Market Chicago, where he’s hosting a pop-up restaurant from February 25 until Fat Tuesday (March 1). You’ll be able to enjoy classic Southern dishes like chicken and sausage gumbo, crawfish étouffée, a fried catfish po’ boy and muffuletta. Plus, there’ll be homemade king cake for dessert!

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