Best Chicago Restaurants for Kids & FamiliesBy Amber Gibson
Blue Door Farm Stand’s Almond Butter and Jelly (AB&J) Sandwich (Photo: Courtesy Blue Door Farm Stand)
Even in a city with as many culinary options as Chicago, savoring meals with kids in tow can be tricky business. The best family restaurants welcome young diners as VIPs, accommodating picky tastes and food allergies alike. Below, four of Chi-town’s best kid-oriented foodie joints:
Perennial Virant’s House-made Doughnut (Photo: Courtesy Perennial Virant)
If the kids are still hungry after exploring the Green City Market on a Wednesday or Saturday morning, this is the perfect al fresco brunch spot. House-made doughnuts and sticky buns are sure to be a hit; but for a complete meal, try the sausage, cheesy grits and farm fresh omelets.
Blue Door Farm Stand’s Sprinkle Cookies (Photo: Courtesy Blue Door Farm Stand)
Coloring books are always on hand at this Lincoln Park neighborhood café, and you can purchase games and toys like sticker pads and jigsaw puzzles. The “little sprouts” menu here pairs fun sandwiches like grilled cheese or almond butter and local raspberry jam with seasonal vegetables as a healthy side. Well-behaved little ones can pick out a baked treat from the deli case on the way out.
MK’s Strawberry Shortcake (Photo: Courtesy MK)
It’s rare that a fine-dining restaurant is so welcoming to families, but Chef Michael Kornick believes children can experience MK just as their parents do. While there is no special printed kids menu, the kitchen is more than happy to alter any dishes to fit a picky eater’s palate or make something entirely different, like a small burger or simple pasta. And instead of wine, they’ll create colorful non-alcoholic drinks so kids can be part of the beverage pairing fun.
Kids eat free every day from 4-6 pm at Crosby’s, where they’ll enjoy this casual restaurant’s burgers, rotisserie chicken and buttermilk biscuits. Extra-wide doors make maneuvering strollers easy, and there are even kiddie sinks in the bathrooms. Singer Pink brought her daughter here last year when she was in town and tweeted about how much their family enjoyed it. Encourage your little ones to clean their plates with the promise of a cast iron skillet cookie topped with vanilla ice cream for dessert.