WEST RIDGE — Sunday, Dec. 6 marks the first day of the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, or the "festival of lights."
A 2010 study of Chicago's Jewish population found that more than 89,000 Jews called the city home.
Of those who participated in the survey, 74 percent said their Jewish faith was "very important" to them — with 78 percent of respondents noting a member of their household usually or always lights candles during Hanukkah.
West Ridge is home to the city's largest Jewish population, but businesses across Chicago are gearing up to serve Jewish residents with everything they need to enjoy this year's holiday.
Check out our non-exhaustive list of kosher bakeries and grocers, where to celebrate with the family and much more:
Wine And Pastries
Eight Days Of Cupcakes, Sprinkles Cupcakes, 50 E. Walton St.: Sprinkles bakery in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood wants you to "skip the gelt" and go right for the cupcakes this year. From Dec. 6-14, order a box of red velvet, dark chocolate and vanilla cupcakes adorned and sealed with a blue Star of David.
Festive Doughnut Specials, Tel Aviv Bakery, 2944 W. Devon Ave.: A West Ridge neighborhood favorite, Tel Aviv serves up kosher festive Hanukkah doughnuts every year.
Kosher Dunkin' Donuts, 3132 W. Devon Ave.: Another West Ridge doughnut shop, this national chain went kosher several years ago and continues to serve up breakfast pastries and sweets for the local Jewish community and beyond.
Sweet Breads, Cakes And More, North Shore Kosher Bakery, 2919 W. Devon Ave.: This kosher bakery offers everything you need to make your Hanukkah meal complete. From homemade challah, rugelach and dinner rolls, North Shore has it in store.
Restaurants and Food
French Hanukkah Menu, Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave.: From Dec. 6-14, Bistronomic restaurant will have available its seasonal Hanukkah menu for a special date night of holiday celebration. At $39 a person, options include menu items like crispy cured duck confit, house made gravlax salmon, glazed beer short ribs, walleye, apple challah bread pudding and farm pear financier.
Kosher Groceries in West Ridge, Kol Tuv Kosher Foods, 2938 W. Devon Ave.: The only exclusively kosher grocery store in Chicago, locals know Kol Tuv is the place to get all your cooking essentials in one place.
Kosher Sausage, Romanian Kosher Sausage Company, 7200 N. Clark St.: Serving kosher meats to Chicago since 1957, Romanian Kosher in Rogers Park is the go-to place for this holiday's meats — all of which are made in-house.
Kosher Barbeque, Milt's Barbeque For The Perplexed, 3411 N. Broadway: Fortunately, this neighborhood barbeque joint is not too good to be true — it's kosher, locally owned and delicious. Milt's barbeque in Lakeview is approved to serve its kosher meats by the Chicago Rabbinical Council.
The United Center, McCormick Place and Soldier Field all offer kosher dining options.
Fun, Celebrations and Gifts
Menorah Making Class, Home Depot, 1232 W. North Ave.: Celebrate the first day of Hanukkah by making your own menorah at Wicker Park's Hope Depot form 2-4 p.m. on Dec. 6. The free event will have refreshments and doughnuts on hand.
Bowl With Champagne, Waveland Bowl, 3700 N. Western Ave.: On the second day of Hanukkah, head to Waveland Bowl for Lights and Strikes, a festive bowling event sponsored by Bucktown Wicker Park Chabad. The event starts at 7 p.m. and is $15 in advance, or $20 at the door. Be prepared to pop champagne at midnight.
Gifts, Books And More, Kesher Stam Judaica Store, 2817 W. Touhy Ave.: This local bookstore and gift shop is literally counting down the days to Hanukkah and offering specials on selected items in the meantime. Located in West Ridge, "Chicago's premier Judaica store" will have a special 10 percent discount sale Sunday, Nov. 29, on items throughout the store, and is extending its hours to 10 a.m.-5 p.m. for the event. Throughout Hanukkah, the store will be offering 20 percent off on selected items as well.
A Cappella Hanukkah Radio Special, Chicago A Cappella Singers, Streaming Classical 91.5 Online: On Dec. 7, singers from Chicago a cappella will be performing Jewish holiday classics like "Lo Yisa Goy" and "I Have A Little Dreidel" online from 12-1 p.m. on Classical 91.5.
Apple Latke Class, The Kids Table, 2337 W. North Ave.: Sign up with your tot for an apple latke-making class, complete with honeyed yogurt to celebrate Hanukkah for $25. Or, for $18 per family member, check out other Hanukkah cooking classes at The Kids Table's Wicker Park and Lakeview locations. The classes will cover classics like sugar cookies and hot chocolate, as well as red and sweet potato latkes.
Hanukkah in the Square, Giddings Plaza, 4733 N. Lincoln Ave.: Be part of the grand menorah lighting ceremony in Lincoln Square's Giddings Plaza at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6. Stick around for hot latkes and doughnuts, live music, children's programming and caricatures by David Sokoloff. The event is sponsored by Chabad Lubavitch.
A Celebration of Latkes, LatkeFest, 3003 W. Touhy Ave.: On Dec. 13, bring the family to Bernard Horwich Jewish Community Center in West Ridge to enjoy delicious latkes from 2:30-4 p.m. Activities will include a Hanukkah sing along, children's crafts, latke bar, sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts), a community candle lighting, and dreidel scavenger hunt. If registered for the event by Dec. 9, the cost is $18, or $25 at the door.
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