by Kimberly Peiffer - 51 Reviews - 84 List
Enjoying Chicago's dining scene can be challenging with diaper bags, toys and the children that go with them. Fear not; plenty of Chicago restaurants offer great food, a fun atmosphere and a welcoming attitude towards kids. Check out our list of Chicago's best kid-friendly restaurants. (Photo: Rainforest Cafe)
Updated: May 26, 2010
The traditional diner fare at this brash 50s-style eatery is not healthy, but it's sure to keep tantrums at bay. The menu reads like a childhood fantasy: grilled cheese, macaroni, chicken tenders and burgers, plus miniature hot fudge sundaes. Singing servers, who sport brazen attitudes with their bobby socks and poodle skirts, dish out meals with a side of good-natured ribbing.
Situated in family-friendly Roger's Park, this Italian comfort food favorite is a kid's dream and a parent's salvation. While waiting for fettuccine Alfredo, restless kids can busy themselves with a coloring book and crayons, or wander into the playroom to check out the big-screen television. Occasionally, there's even a roving magician doing card tricks and balloon animals.
The young and young-at-heart flip over morning specialties like jelly doughnut pancakes stuffed with the homemade jelly flavor of the day and topped with citrus butter. This sunshine-hued spot caters especially to the wee ones with a kids-only menu that includes fruity pebble-studded pancakes and the perennial tyke favorite, grilled cheese.
This massive entertainment complex lures kids with Skee-Ball and Ms. Pac-Man and fills their bellies with pizza, burgers and fried cheese sticks from its spacious eatery. Adults can set up shop at one of two bars. Consider purchasing the budget-friendly Eat & Play Combo, which delivers a $10 game card and one entree for $15.99.
Join a casual crowd of loft-dwellers for southern comfort fare. The interior is adorned with lively paintings, and a pile of crayons on each paper-topped table keeps the little ones busy while they wait for their potato chip-covered Thunder (chicken) Nuggets.
Let the kids prowl amongst chirping birds and chest-thumping mechanical gorillas while you wait for your table at this jumbo, jungle-themed restaurant. The food--American fare with tropical flair--pleases kids and has enough novelty to keep adults happy. Expect a few thunderstorms while you eat your Rasta Pasta: They're just part of the show.
From massive sandwiches with french fries to the giant slabs of cheesecake, the menu--and the scene--at this Gold Coast restaurant is kid-approved. During warmer months, families can hang outside and soak up some sun in the lower level plaza while waiting for a table.