Restaurants in Chicago


Address 615 W. Randolph St, Chicago Map, Tel 31-377-2002 Call, Hours Open daily from 3:30pm Website

So you've hired a sitter for the evening, but didn't have a chance to make dinner reservations? Avec is the perfect place for busy parents who need a grown up meal. The restaurant doesn't accept reservations, but serves a nice selection of wines in a standing bar area on the sidewalk. The food here is some of the best in the city, and every dish is meant to be shared. The menu has a mix of homey but creative small and large plates influenced by Mediterranean flavours. We especially loved chorizo-stuffed madjool dates, but less adventurous eaters will find comfort in the excellent salads and wood-fired pizzas. more

Fox and Obel

Address 401 E Illinois Street, Chicago Map, Tel 312-410-7310 Call, Hours 6am-Midnight Daily Website

Fox and Obel, Chicago's premiere food market, is the perfect place to pick up a picnic lunch. In the cafe you'll find cold and hot sandwiches, salads and pizza. You can pick up a variety of sides in the market too. more

Frontera Fresco

Address 111 North State Street,Chicago, IL 60602 Map, Location 7th floor of Macy's State Street, Hours Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Closed Sun, Cost Everything is priced under $7.50

Celebrity chef Rick Bayless makes his award winning Mexican food available to families with this casual restaurant located inside Macy's food court. Our Cuban pulled pork sandwich was flavorful and packed huge chunks of fresh avocado. The corn chowder was hearty and had the slightly sweet flavor that only fresh corn can impart. If Mexican food isn't your child's style, you'll also find a La Brea Bakery and a gourmet hamburger stand here. In contrast to much of the food you'll eat in Chicago, Frontera's Mexican food is light and healthy, and everything here is bargain priced. more

Frontera Grill

Address 445 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60610 Map, Tel 312.661.1434 Call, Transit El Red Line to Grand, Hours Lunch & Dinner Tues-Sat Website

Celebrity chef Rick Bayless makes his award winning Mexican food available to families with this casual restaraunt. In contrast to much of the food you'll eat in Chicago, Frontera's Mexican food is light and healthy. Expect to find dishes like Enchiladas de Chivo (goat mole enchiladas) and Poc Chuc de Puerco (lime-marinated pork shoulder). Tired after a long day? Try a Margarita more

Garrett Popcorn

Address 26 West Randolph, Chicago, IL 60601 Map, Tel 312.201.0455 Call, Open Daily Website

Garret Popcorn sells fresh hot-air popped premium-quality Popcorn, CaramelCrisp and CheeseCorn. This delicious popcorn is no secret. It has been featured twice on Oprah's "Favorite Things" and you should expect to wait in line for a bag. Order a mix of CaramelCrisp and CheeseCorn for a sweet and salty treat. more

Gold Coast Dogs

Address 159 N. Wabash, Chicago, IL Map, Tel (312) 917-1677 Call, Website

Gold Coast Dogs routinely wins awards as Chicago's Best Hot Dog restaurant, and since Hot Dogs are one of the foods Chicago is known for, you won't feel like you are taking the easy way out by bringing them here. I particularly like the Gold Coast Char Polish Sausage, fully loaded chicago style with a selection of vegetables and pickles. more

Heaven On Seven - Rush Street

Address 600 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611 Map, Tel 312.280.7774 Call, Hours Brunch Sat & Sun; Lunch & dinner daily, Entrance Rush & Ohio; 2nd floor Website

This well-known Cajun restaraunt serves a wide variety of po-boy sandwiches and other delicacies like fried green tomatoes and grits. The kids menu continues the Cajun theme without straying too far from childhood standards. The atmosphere is casual enough for kids and carry-out is available more

Heaven On Seven - Wabash

Address 111 N. Wabash, Chicago Map, Tel (312) 263-6443 Call, Hours Breakfast and Lunch Mon-Sat Website

This popular and casual Cajun restaurant is a great place to bring kids. The Po Boy sandwiches are a delight for grown-ups, but there's also a fun children's menu including items like mini-corn dogs and cheese grits. Our kids also loved the eclectic decor more

Hot Doug's

Address 3324 North California, Chicago, IL 60618 Map, Hours Mon-Sat 10:30-4pm; Closed Holidays Website

One of the things I love about Chicago is that the local foods I am "supposed" to seek out and eat are exactly aligned with the types of foods my kids love. Hot Doug's, which bills itself as "The Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium," is no exception. Hot dogs are made by a culinary arts school graduate are delicious enough to satisfy almost any adult (vegetarian options are available). Expect to find Hot Dogs, Corn Dogs and duck-fat fries (Friday & Saturday) meet my needs as a gourmand and my kids needs as... well... kids. more


Address 875 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1330, Chicago Map, Tel 312.337.0691 Call, Hours Open Daily, Location Bottom floor of John Hancock Tower Website

This small deli boasts some of the best italian sandwiches in the city. With options like pizza and pasta it also makes a great choice for kids. The fast service makes this a good choice with kids too... just at the counter and then bring your food to one of the indoor tables to eat. more

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria - Bucktown

Address 1520 N. Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622 Map, Tel 773.395.2400 Call, Hours M-Th Dinner only F-Sun lunch & dinner Website

Many consider this the "gold standard" for Chicago style deep dish pizza. Your best bet is the cheese and sausage pizza. Delivery is also available. more

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria - Lincoln Park

Address 958 W. Wrightwood, Chicago, IL 60614 Map, Tel 773.832.4030 Call, Hours Lunch F-Sun; Dinner daily Website

Many consider this the "gold standard" for Chicago style deep dish pizza. Your best bet is the cheese and sausage pizza. more

Mon Ami Gabi

Address 2300 N Lincoln Park W, Chicago, IL 60614 Map, Tel 773.348.8886 Call, Website

This classic French Bistro, just at the edge of the park, is a good choice for well-behaved kids and grownups. Crepes and quiches or french fries work well as menu choices for kids. The steak dishes are very popular for adults. more

Mr Beef

Address 666 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60610 Map, Tel 312.337.8500 Call, Closed Sunday, Tranist El Red Line to Grand

Mr Beef is basically a fast-food stand, which makes it perfect for kids. Don't let the atmosphere fool you thought, Mr. Beef serves slow-roasted beef drenched in natural gravy worthy of its Chicago roots (and the stars whose pictures hang on the walls). Restaraunt reviewers fawn over the Italian Beef sandwich (essentially a french dip). Unimpressive burgers and hot dogs are available for picky eaters. more

Nookies, Too

Address 2114 N. Halsted Street, Chicago IL 60614 Map, Tel 773.327.1400 Call, Locations See website for Lakeview and Old Town locations, Hours Open 7 days for breakfast and lunch; 24 hours on Friday and Saturday Website

This casual restaurant focuses on simple, but excellent food. My ricotta stuffed french toast was light and fluffy, and covered in fresh berries. Waffles and pancakes too were far better than average diner fare. This is the kind of restaurant that makes you feel like you've joined the neighborhood. Brunch is served until 3pm, and eating breakfast items at lunchtime can be a great way to help kids have fun in a restaurant. more

Portillo’s Hot Dogs

Address 100 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL Map, Tel Various Call, Locations Visit website for other locations Website

So, you’re longing for a plump, juicy dog with all the toppings, and good, old Oscar Mayer isn’t cutting it? Portillo’s Hot Dogs is a safe bet to satisfy your cravings and simultaneously keep little appetites at bay. The burger and dog joint boats the atmosphere of a 50s diner and is certain to delight younger patrons with its array of jukeboxes, classic music and fun (albeit caloric) foods. The chocolate cake shake is a mouthwatering addition to your meal, which could potentially feature anything from Italian beef to a char-grilled Maxwell Street-style Polish. Don’t worry; there’s also an incomparable chopped salad for folks searching for liter fare. You’ll end up spending about $5 to $7 per person, but there’s basically no wait time (and really no wait staff, except for the workers who take your order before directing you toward the pickup counter). The kids’ menu isn’t extensive, yet there are some pasta selections designed specifically for smaller guys and gals. more

R. J. Grunts

Address 2056 N. Lincoln Park, Chicago Map, Tel 773.929.5363 Call, Open Lunch and Dinner daily Website

This popular restaraunt serves huge hamburgers, onion rings and milkshakes. The salad bar has an incredible selection, and the decor, which hasn't been updated since the restaraunt opened in the early 70's is a step back in time more

Whole Foods Gold Coast

Address 30 West Huron St, Chicago, Illinois 60654 Map, Website

Whole Foods Markets are always a great place to pick up healthy snacks and breakfast items at grocery store prices (instead of concession stand prices). I also enjoy the selection of local cheeses, baked goods and other items... as a parent, it's hard to make it out to all the restaurants or bakeries that might feature these items, and I might otherwise miss them now that I travel with the kids. An in-store dining area makes this an easy place to have a quick meal. more

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All Aboard Diner

Address 1510B West 75th Street, Grove Shopping Center, Downers Grove, IL 60516 Map, Tel 630.322.8960 Call, Website

The All Aboard Diner pulls out all the stops when it comes to its family-friendly atmosphere. It’s a train lover's paradise the minute you step through the door. An elaborately modern, yet old-timey-style interactive train set is conveniently located in the waiting area, while another train runs along a suspended track providing plenty of high-flying entertainment. Though we were seated in less than five minutes, we weren't able to score a coveted counter, where a black locomotive circles around delivering food fresh from the kitchen directly to hungry guests. The 100% peanut-free environment scored big brownie points for us, while the big screen TVs that play Thomas & Friends DVDs on a continuous loop were winners for the kids. And, as a practically popping pregnant gal at the time, I was ecstatic to find that the roomy booths gave my blooming belly more than ample space to slide into my seat. more

All Aboard Diner

Address 1510B West 75th St., Downers Grove, IL Map, Website

This is a small, train-themed restaurant for families with children. There is a diner bar to sit at where children will order and be delivered their food (kid friendly, of course!) in a traincar! There are also a variety of trains and train models all around. more

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba

Address 2024 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL, 60614 Map, Tel 773-935-5000 Call,

While not kid-friendly in the evening (packed, long waits for tables, lots of sangria drinking), this popular spanish restaurant is excellent for lunch or weekend brunch w/ kids. Great kids menu (only $4) and my kids loved the wiki sticks they got w/ the normal kids menu/crayons. Because this is a tapas restaurant, food comes quickly and throughout your meal, and the smaller portions are great to share with littler ones who don't eat a whole kids meal anyway. Loud enough so that no one notices a cranky toddler and wait staff was very friendly and accomodating for kids. Visit Oz Park right down the block before or after your meal to burn off energy on the large play structure. more

Curio Cafe

Address 3400 North Lawndale Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618-5302 Map, Tel (773) 463-2233 Call, Website

Curio Cafe is off the proverbial beaten path, but it is a great little cafe that serves healthy, delicious, inexpensive dishes (not just sandwiches and bagels), often with local and organic ingredients. They also have a dedicated play area for kids with a little table and chairs and toys, so it is a great place to meet with other parents of little ones. It's family-run, family-friendly, and easy on the budget! more

Fat Willy’s Rib Shack

Address 2416 W. Schubert Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647 Map, Tel 773.782.1800 Call, Website

With a name like “Fat Willy’s Rib Shack,” you know you’ll be getting a sampling of only the best BBQ and the kind that makes the city of Chicago so famous. Start off with the jalapeno corn fritters and an ice-cold house-made lemonade and then dive into anything from the rib tips (messy but well-worth the sauce on your fingers) to the pulled pork sandwich. Whatever you do, however, remember to leave room for a serving of the New Orleans chocolate pecan pie. As for the kids, they can choose from their own extensive menu (think burgers, hand-dipped corn dogs and chicken legs) and can wile away their free moments coloring on the joint’s chalkboard wall or studying the cute pig décor throughout the eatery. Best of all, though BBQ isn’t normally ranked up there with yogurt and granola in the way of health food, you can dine easier knowing that the owners only select meats that are hormone- and antibiotic-free. more


Address 2005 w Roscoe, Chicago IL 60618 Map, Tel (773) 248-7372 Call, Website

Just heading back to LA from Chicago, my 4 year old wanted to do brunch here everyday! He was obsessed with the green eggs and ham (pesto/spinach) scramble. The bright colors, the cool adds and the fact Roscoe Village has become mommy Mecca, definitely made this a highlight of our day! more

Salonica Restaurant

Address 1440 E 57th St, Chicago, Illinois Map, Tel (773) 752-3899 Call,

This place is a wonderful family-friendly restaurant/diner in Hyde Park on the south side. Inexpensive meals with Greek, American and Mexican dishes - you just can't go wrong. They specialize in breakfast, which is served all day. Parking is on-street and therefore a bit hard to come by, but that's true everywhere in Hyde Park. more

The Choo-Choo Diner

Address 600 Lee St., Des Plaines, IL Map, Tel 847-391-9815 Call, Website

This place delivers kid-friendly food via miniature train (if you sit at the bar) and has a great atmosphere for train-loving kiddies. It is a great place to grab lunch after taking the Metra train to suburban Des Plaines and if you get there before 11 you might not have to wait in line! The seating is limited, but the menu is extremely kid-friendly and nothing on the menu is really too grownup. We love making an adventure out of taking the train and then eating at the Choo-Choo! more

Yolk (South Loop)

Address 1120 S Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605 Map, Tel 312.789.YOLK Call, Website

Yolk in South Loop is a great place for breakfast thanks to their variety of healthy and delicious menu options. They have everything from all different kinds of eggs, to yogurt, granola and fresh fruit and even waffles with bacon cooked into the batter! What makes it great for kids, other than the delicious food that they arrange in fun ways, is the patience and willingness of the staff to help. They are always willing to substitute or move things around to help parents eat in (relative) peace. more