The Foobooz Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Being Merry at Philly’s Christmas Village

There’s a lot to enjoy at the 2023 Christmas Village. Here are your must-eats and must-drinks.

Christmas Village in Center City / Photography courtesy of Christmas Village

Like pretty much everything crowded and Christmas-y this year, Christmas Village is back and better than ever. There’s a Ferris wheel, there’s a double-decker carousel, and there’s (of course) ice skating at Dilworth. But most importantly, there is SO MUCH to eat and drink. Here’s our guide to the best food and drink at Christmas Village this year.

The market is open Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Its final day will be Christmas Eve, open from noon to 5 p.m. 

Schvenkgrill Bratwurst
There are two German-style swivel grills in the market, one in the City Hall courtyard and one in LOVE Park. It’s a pretty impressive operation: Huge, circular grill grates hang over a charcoal fire, layered with sausages and buns. Add a little spicy mustard for the full effect.

New for this year: Vegan Vurst Wednesdays! Christmas Village’s first-ever Vegan Bratwurst will be featured every Wednesday after 5 p.m. This is a ticketed experience, though limited walk-ups will be available.

Belgian Fries
Thick, double-fried Belgian frites served with a variety of toppings, including cheddar cheese, bacon, or classic ketchup. Need we say more?

French Toast Bites
One of our favorite local businesses, French Toast Bites has become a mainstay of Christmas Village, with Charisse McGill serving up her signature breakfast-treat-turned-anytime-treat with your selection of toppings like fruit, chocolate and whipped cream. Vegan French Toast Bites are available … or if you want to go in another direction, they’ve also got snacking bacon on a stick.

Raclette Stube
Raclette is a Swiss cheese that is served in perhaps the most appealing style ever: Half-wheels of the cheese are placed under heating elements that melt and lightly toast the top layer of the cheese. All that melty goodness is then scraped directly onto your carb of choice (in this case, bread). It’s like the most epic grilled cheese sandwich ever.

Spaetzle Haus
Think of spaetzle as Germany’s take on macaroni and cheese. Thick egg noodles are coated in a cheese sauce and topped with fried onions. Choose between classic cheese, caramelized mushroom sauce, and a spinach sauce topped with breadcrumbs. Spatzle Haus will also be serving the ever-important giant soft pretzel.

Christmas Village

Spaetzle at Christmas Village

Dutch stroopwafels are a classic European Christmas treat, and the Lancaster Stroopie Company will be on-site selling its take on the cookies both for snacking right there or packaged for gift-giving. This version is two layers of crisp, cinnamon-flavored cookie filled with homemade caramel, ideal for pairing with coffee on Christmas morning.

Mulled Wine
After years with Chaddsford Winery, Mazza Wines are the new official wine of Christmas Village. (Don’t worry: You can still get Chaddsford’s signature blends at Dilworth’s hut across the street.) They’ve got stalls throughout both parts of the Christmas Village this year, serving warm, traditional mulled wines featuring Victorian Holiday and Honey Mead blends, and served in adorable keepsake mugs. The winery will also have bottles for sale for last-minute gifts.

Hot Beverages (Spiked and N/A)
If mulled wine isn’t your style, opt for an Irish coffee, hot chocolate spiked with whiskey, or a rum-spiked apple cider from one of a handful of stalls throughout the village. All boozy beverages are spiked with Boardroom Spirits this year. (Christmas Village will also be hosting Thirsty Thursdays, with exclusive spirit tastings of local liquors from Boardroom.) Get it in a regular to-go cup, or go for the incredibly delightful boot-shaped keepsake mug. Of course, you can also get all these cozy drinks alcohol-free … y’know, for the kids.

The Alm Beer Garden
Beer lovers can enjoy locally brewed craft beer made by Brewery Techne at “The Alm”, the traditional beer garden located in LOVE Park and presented by the German Consulate General in New York. And, yes, this includes the much-anticipated return of the beloved Christmas Village Kölsc, a Christmas Bock crafted by Philly’s own Mainstay Independent.