Good food near aquarium - OK with kids?
Going to Chicago (actually Oak Park) for the 1st time ever! Plan to be in Chicago for one day, taking the little kids (4 and 2) to the aquarium. Don't trust my mom and her new husband to find a decent place to eat that's near the aquarium. Have heard great things about Chicago food and would love to have a tiny taste of it. Any suggestions?
Nothing worthwhile walking distance from the Shedd Aquarium. Here are a few options that will surely make your visit memorable.
Greek Islands at Halsted and Adams is excellent and very kid friendly, plus very reasonably priced.
Tufano's Vernon Park Tap: 1079 W. Vernon Park just off of Racine and North of Taylor Street. Great old school traditional Italian in a neighborhoody atmosphere. Large outdoor pation. CASH ONLY. Stop by Mario's on Taylor Street for an Italian Ice afterwards.
CHINATOWN: Many worthwhile shops as well.
Lao Sze Chuan: 1331 W. Ogden
Emperor’s Choice: 2238 S. Wentworth Avenue
Phoenix: 2132 S. Ogden
PIZZA: Lou Malnati's is the best Chicago Deep dish Pizza.
Manny's Jewish Deli is great but I wouldn't stop here for your only Chicago Meal.
There are two dining options inside the Shedd, but both are a little pricy. Sounding is the sit down restaurant upstairs. Downstairs is a food court with kid friendly food. The only places with in walking distance are 1) the Field Museum with a Corner Bakery and a McDonalds; 2) the take away stand between the Field and the Shedd; or my recommendation 3) the Adler Planetarium restaurant.
Of the Museum Campus eateries, this is the best and also boasts the best views of the city and the lake.
There are plenty of places to picnic on the Museum Campus, another reasonable option is to pack a lunch in a cooler and leave it in your car.
Remember that the Museum Campus is on a long spit of land, across Lake Shore Drive from the rest of the City and not with in walking distance (with two little kids in tow) of anything else.
I don't know of any decent food within walking distance of the Shedd Aquarium, but there's good grub in neighborhoods within a couple of miles.
Roosevelt Road: Manny's is a Jewish cafeteria right out of Glengarry Glen Ross. Big menu, hearty food, closes in early afternoon.
Taylor St., Chgo's onetime Little Italy, west of U of I at Chgo: Al's Beef for a quintessential Chgo Italian beef and then Mario's Italian ice across the street. I'm also one of the few 'hounds partial to Pompei Bakery, actually an Italian cafeteria w/ everyting from their trademark strudel pizza (which I am not partial to) to salads (which I like) to pasta (which my friends like). A good place for kids. Almost to Ashland Ave. on the south side of Taylor. Park behind it.
Greektown: Artopolis is a hip cafe-bar-bakery, casual w/ quick service. For sitdown with waiters lighting saganaki on fire and shouting "Opaa!," try Parthenon or Greek Islands
Grand Ave. west of the Kennedy Expwy: Bari Foods is a small Italian grocery with great subs from the meat counter in back; next door is Damato's Bakery for excellent Italian bread; Drip (or is it Sip?) is on the other side of the street down a block or two. It's a coffeehouse w/ a wee garden in back the kids might enjoy cooling off in.
If by near you mean walking distance, there really aren't many options. Since you'll be with kids, probably best to hit Giordano's or Lou Malnati's for some pizza...you'd have to drive/take a cab though. If you're looking for dinner recommendations in Oak Park and like Mexican, definitely go to New Rebozo!