The great food and restaurants in Chicago is one of the highlights of the city in my opinion and just because you may be dining with tiny food critics more often now, doesn't mean you have to miss out on good food and service! My husband and I certainly missed dinner dates with just the two of us this past year, but we didn't miss out on great dining just because we had a 9 and 4 year old joining us. I asked them to give me feedback on some of the places we tried and have narrowed down the list to the ones we can't wait to visit again! I should note that we are in no way raising "foodie" kids. Their palates are about as basic as they come, but several of these restaurants inspired our pickiest of kids to try a few new dishes.
The following restaurants are ones that we have tried and can recommend based on good service, good food and the ability to pivot in a landscape of ever-changing requirements due to COVID. Some are able to offer a dine-in option (weather permitting of course), but they all are available for pick up ordering to enjoy at home.
Do you know of a local restaurant your family loves? Drop me a line at email@example.com so Macaroni Kid Chicago can share the information!
Here are where Chicago kids will be happy to dine (in no particular order):
1401 E 53rd Street, Hyde Park 60615 (at SOPHY Hotel)
One look at their menu and you will find something for just about every preference, but the real winner is their brunch! The eggs, pancakes and oatmeal are personal faves in our family. Now you can dine in while sitting comfortably in their exclusive dining space - The Sanctuary - perfect for winter dining.
Make a reservation here.
Beatrix - River North
519 N Clark Street, Chicago 60654
During the past year, once we felt comfortable dining out Beatrix was a spot we visited multiple times. While we went to the one in River North because it was a convenient walk from home, there are locations in Streeterville and Fulton Market too! Great menus for brunch, lunch and dinner alike, but if you go for weekend brunch then be sure to order a Honey Butter Cinnamon Roll the minute you sit down - they go fast!
Extra bonus is a kid menu that kids genuinely like to eat from.
Make a reservation here
501 N Ogden, Chicago 60642
Currently open for take out and delivery only. Twisted Spoke has one of our favorite patios in the city and one day we will be up there again, but until then they have their amazing burgers and wings available to pick up (or have delivered) to enjoy at home.
Tuco & Blondie
3358 N Southport, Chicago 60657
Casual and fun, this Mexican spot was a fave for family dining and meeting friends for brunch. Not only do they sometimes offer family events on their patio, but the servers must have all been screened by kids because mine left feeling as if our server was their new best friend. In our experience the servers ask the children for their orders instead of the parents, they get down to their eye level and engage in conversation with them. They know that happy children is a key to an enjoyable dining experience.
Open for dine-in, pick up and delivery.
The Perch Kitchen & Tap
1932 W Division Street, Chicago 60622
The Perch is one of the newest additions to the 4 STAR Restaurant Group and since they have never disappointed our family before we decided to give this one a try. When I say they have something for everyone in the family I mean it - including Fido with a special Dog Menu. If you are only taking your two-legged children out to eat, then the Kids Menu is a welcome read - priced right and a variety for even the pickiest of eaters.
Dine In reservations can be made here, or you can order and pick up your food to enjoy at home!
938 W Webster, Chicago 60614
Great tasting food in a casual setting is always a win for our family. The pizza is what brought us in the first time, but we have discovered that they make everything taste good! Favorite non-pizza food at Homeslice includes the meatball, hummus plate (it's huge) and they will turn any of their great salads into a wrap for you. Favorite pizzas include Bennett's Beauty, Mac Diesel and the kid-friendly cheese.
Dine-In (brunch, lunch and dinner) reservations can be made here, or you can always order and take it to go!
51 W Hubbard Street, Chicago 60654
We loved HUB51 for brunch/lunch as a family. This was actually were we remembered that for many in Chicago that working in the restaurant industry isn't just a "job", but a passion or career with a path. The service was always outstanding and the food was always exactly as promised. You can dine-in or order online for take out and delivery currently. If you dine with HUB51, our family recommends the pancakes, chicken tenders, breakfast burrito and salmon.
233 N Canal Street, Chicago 60606
Gibsons Italia was a celebration meal for us as a family. We went for a lunch to celebrate my husband's birthday back in October. It was a brisk but beautiful day and this is one of the rare occasions we sat indoors and that was simply because other than the staff, we were the only ones there. They do offer a cozy and heated outdoor dining option, as well pick up or delivery for at home dining. For the youngest it was pasta and meatballs, but the rest of us indulged in melt in your mouth steak and we left that day planning our next visit, so I definitely recommend if you have a special occasion or just want a really nice meal together.
317 N Clark Street, Chicago 60654
Italian is always an easy choice with kids, as is pizza and Pizzeria Portofino was an exceptional choice for our family. Seated along the Chicago River makes for a great backdrop to a wonderful dining experience, no matter the season. The menu is small but full of wood-grilled pizzas and fresh pastas that will make your mouth-water, and their meatballs were dubbed "The Best of the Best" by our son. To make a reservation they do require a deposit, but the amount is deducted from your final bill. To make a reservation, click here, or you can also order take out for pick up at the restaurant or curbside.
Our restaurants need support more than ever and are an integral part of what makes Chicago so special.
Not ready to dine out? See if your favorite spots have a take out or delivery option.
Not ready for restaurant dining at all (yet)? Purchase gift cards to use at a later date, or to gift someone.
Other ways to support are to follow your favorites online, check out if they are selling merchandise, recipes, meal kits etc and purchase those as well. You can also make a donation to organizations, such as The James Beard Foundation Relief Fund or One Fair Wage Emergency Fund, to help provide support to restaurant workers.
Please note: As pandemic circumstances change, please check directly with the businesses to make sure this information reflects their most up-to-date offerings.