The Scoop: For years now, Carnivale has been a go-to destination for Chicago couples seeking a night of fun and adventure. The restaurant thrills guests with its spirited ambiance and Latin fusion cuisine. Dining here is always an unforgettable event, but, this holiday season, Carnivale is cranking up the joyfulness with themed brunches and decorations to help couples and families celebrate in style.

Chesney F. and her husband had a wonderful time at Chicago’s Carnivale restaurant and left a five-star review on OpenTable to say so. Chesney praised the fast and friendly service, and she said she was impressed by the quality of her food.

“The food is different and interesting, and the steaks were perfectly cooked,” Chesney said. “My husband also really enjoyed the cotton candy birthday dessert.”

Photo of a couple at Carnivale

Carnivale is an entertaining date spot in Chicago’s West Loop Fulton Market.

Carnivale’s signature cotton candy reminded the couple of a time when they were dating and took a romantic getaway to Spain. They shared cotton candy on that trip, and it’s become a sweet memory in their relationship history. Carnivale reawakened those feelings, and Chesney said she couldn’t wait to go back.

Carnivale opened in 2005 to give Chicago residents and visitors a special place where they could enjoy exceptional food, fun entertainment, and good company. The restaurant is a one-of-a-kind date venue known for its eclectic menu and vibrant spirit.

Couples flock to Carnivale throughout the week looking for a special dining experience, and it provides the perfect romantic backdrop for a birthday, anniversary, or date-night celebration.

Plus, this December, Carnivale has brought a lot of holiday cheer to Chicago with its fun decorations and themed events.

If you want to take your date nights to the next level this winter, stop by the Carnivale with someone special and let the holiday spirit sweep you off your feet.

A Fun Restaurant Bursting With Merriment & Laughter

From the moment you step into Carnivale, you’re surrounded by color, laughter, and fun. The restaurant turns dinner into a party, and many couples enjoy this delightfully action-packed scene.

Carnivale plates up Latin fusion dishes smothered in savory sauces. You can start your date on a high note with bacon-wrapped dates, coconut shrimp, or specialty cocktails, savoring each unique flavor in a dynamic and entertaining place.

Photo of Carnivale in December

Carnivale decks its halls in December to put its guests in a holiday frame of mind.

Popular dinner entrees include the oyster-filled Seafood Tacklebox for two and the Gaucho Steak, 45-day dry-aged Ribeye served with garlic roasted mashed potatoes. You can eat like a king and queen with friendly waitstaff at your beck and call.

Whether you’re digging into an indulgent lamb pot pie or a farm-fresh chicken breast with home-cut fries, you won’t be disappointed by the tasty offerings on the Carnivale menu.

In addition to its decadent food, the Carnivale restaurant cultivates an electrifying and high-spirited atmosphere where there’s always something new to discover and enjoy.

Every year, on the day after Thanksgiving, the restaurant transforms into a winter wonderland overnight. Visitors compare it to WhoVille because it is absolutely overflowing with holiday cheer and tons of colorful twinkling lights. One of its most popular (and certainly the most Instagrammable) decorations is the giant Christmas tree, which is filled with ornaments and lights galore.

Santa Buffet Brunches, Holiday Cocktails & Seasonal Delights

Carnivale really shines during the winter holidays. The restaurant decks the halls (quite literally) and gives people many festive opportunities to celebrate the season with their loved ones.

Photo of Carnivale's Santa Buffet Brunch

Carnivale provides a festive place to celebrate holidays with your loved ones.

Each year, Carnivale has Santa Buffet Brunch to kick off the holiday season. This event typically takes place on Sundays in early or mid-December. Mr. and Mrs. Claus join the party for pictures with the families, and they bring some Christmas caroler friends along with them. The joyous event is kid-friendly and often sells out. The brunch is $45 for adults and $15 for kids  ages 5-12.

Anytime you book a table for two at Carnivale this December, you’re in for a treat. The seasonal menu has a few good holiday surprises, and the bartenders can make a holiday cocktail to warm your heart.

Couples can look at the Carnivale calendar to find plenty of opportunities to have a good time throughout the year. Many of its bashes make great date activity.

For instance, at the end of the year, Carnivale gives couples something spectacular to experience together. Its themed New Year’s Eve night features tons of performers and a live DJ. Going into 2020, the theme is Studio 54, so come dressed to impress. Diners will enjoy an upscale prix fixe menu and a champagne toast.

When you count down to your big kiss at midnight, the restaurant will drop balloons to make things even more wild and fun.

Customers Give Rave Reviews on the Food & Service

Diners are consistently satisfied by their experience at Carnivale. After thousands of reviews, Carnivale has 4.5 stars on Open Table and 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor.

“This is an excellent restaurant for celebrations,” said Janet in a review. “I stayed entertained with the live performances as my hubby and I enjoyed steak and garlic mashed potatoes. The mojitos were very good also.”

Photo of Carnivale

The imaginative and colorful Carnivale restaurant keeps diners on their toes.

“We came here for a pre-opera dinner,” one couple said. “The place is lively and colorful, and the food is delicious. Great happy hour specials.”

LisaRay21 said Carnivale is “by far our favorite place to eat in Chicago.” She praised the skirt steak, spicy appetizers, and signature cocktails, adding that the staff is always friendly and efficient.

Foodies in Chicago have a lot of great dinner options available, so it means a lot to the Carnivale team to see so many couples, families, and friends choosing to come here for life’s milestones.

“We loved everything about this place,” wrote Tonya S. “Our table was perfect for viewing the entertainment. Our dinner, drinks and service was outstanding. We would definitely return!”

Carnivale Turns Every Meal Into a Memorable Experience

Chicago’s Carnivale fills people with wonder, and it’s no surprise it’s become one of the most popular date spots in town.

From the New Year’s celebration to the holiday festivities, Carnivale is a truly special place to take a date. Couples can spend a few precious moments relaxing and enjoying the sights, sounds, and tastes of this magical restaurant — and this December there’s even more to love.

“I would hands down recommend this place to any of my friends and family,” Chesney said. “It’s something different that we all seem to crave in an era of cookie-cutter businesses.”