More than 6 million visitors are expected at this year’s Oktoberfest in Munich, which got under way Saturday in the German metropolis. For locals and tourists alike, this year’s celebration marks the 184th celebration, which runs through Oct. 3.

Sounds like the line for beer will be very long. Save the expense of airline tickets and hotel rooms and celebrate the myriad brews and chews associated with this annual event, much closer to home. Here’s a look at some area celebrations (FYI, Chicago ranked 14th on the list of best places to celebrate Oktoberfest, according to

Oktoberfest at Hofbräuhaus Chicago: The Rosemont eatery is directly affiliated with its iconic original in Munich, so the fare and the festivities promise to be quite authentic. It will be a sea of giant beer steins filled with Oktoberfestbier, plus a host of daily food specials such as Paprika Hanchen (savory pulled chicken smothered in a spicy paprika sauce, served with house-made spatzle, sauteed broccoli and crispy onion straws) and the HB Smokehouse Platter (roasted smoked pork belly and grilled smoked Kassler pork chop served with bacon sauerkraut), as well as an “oompah band” direct from Germany, traditional keg tapping ceremonies, and on Friday and Saturdays you can test your stein-hoisting skills in the weekly “Masskrugstemmen” stein-holding competition in which contestants see just how long they can hold a one-liter filled stein parallel to the floor using only one arm.  (5500 Park Place, Rosemont;

Just some of the Smoketoberfest fare at Smoke Daddy. | FACEBOOK

Smoke Daddy’s “Smoketoberfest,” runs through Oct. 3, and features specialty menu items such as a smoked German sausage sandwich served with potato salad; smoked corned beef Sandwich with potato salad; giant pretzel served with beer cheese and caramelized onion mustard; and the Smoketober Giant Pretzel Platter (served with beer cheese, smoked German sausage, smoked brisket, sauerkraut, potato salad, and caramelized onion mustard). Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest pints and Two Brother’s Atom Smasher pints will also be featured. (1804 W. Division

Berghoff Oktoberfest: Running through Oct. 31 at 17 W. Adams, this is pretty much Chicago’s granddaddy of Oktoberfest celebrations. Menu items include their world-famous pork shank, bratwurst and that time-honored classic, weiner schnitzel. Wash it all down with a pint of Metropolitan Brewing’s Afterburner Marzen-style bier. Live music on weekends. (

Revolution Brewing Oktoberfest: The $5 donation at the gate gets you into the street party Sept. 29-30 (on Milwaukee between California and Fullerton) and benefits the neighborhood school programs of Friends of Goethe School. Live music and plenty of traditional Oktoberfest bier (and more) will be featured. (

St. Alphonsus Oktoberfest: The fun runs Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at 1429 W. Wellington, and boasts two stages of live music, craft beer tasting (more than 40 varieties featured in the church’s German Beer Hall; separate tickets available for purchase), and plenty of handmade bratwursts and cold beer. A “Kinderfest” will keep the kiddies entertained. Admission: $5-$10. (

No long beer lines, no crowds. Take home some Old Style Oktoberfest beer from area Jewel/Ocso and Mariano’s stores. | COURTESY OLD STYLE

Old Style favorite: Want to skip the crowds altogether? Then head over to Jewel or Mariano’s for a fourpack of Old Style’s Oktoberfest Märzen-style brew ($5.99 suggested retail price). The beer is being brewed at City Brewery in La Crosse, marking the return of Old Style beer production to its Wisconsin hometown. The limited-edition beer is “brewed with traditional German malts and hops to give the brew a complex, full body with a clean finish.”  (

Dovetail Brewery and Begyle Brewing Company “Oktoberfestiversary”: The fun takes place Sept. 23-24 outside Dovetail’s Tap Room, (1800 W. Belle Plaine) featuring Dovetails official Festbier and Begyle’s Maybe Next Summer (both beers will also be available at Begyle 1800 W. Cuyler). Dovetail’s signature beers include “unfiltered German-style lagers, traditional Hefeweizen, Rauchbier and Lambic-style sour beers. Live music and food trucks are part of the festivities. ( and

The bratwurst sandwith at Portillo’s. | COURTESY PORTILLOS

Portillo’s Oktoberfest: Through Halloween, the hallowed hot dog (and so much more) purveyor is serving up its Usinger bratwurst sandwich, topped with Bavarian-style sauerkraut and classic stone-ground German mustard, served on a special brat roll. In addition, the eatery is offering $1 off all regularly priced beer. (

The special beer and cheese soup at Chez Moi. | COURTESY CHEZ MOI

Oktoberfest at Chez Moi: The tony Lincoln Park eatery is serving up Oktoberfest specialties through Oct. 3, including beer and cheddar soup; beer-braised pork belly and sausage with green lentil ragout; and seafood choucroute in IPA Beurre Blanc. Dishes are the creation of Chef Dominique Tougne. (2100 N. Halsted;