Chef w/ Child (2yr)
I am a chef from St. Louis traveling to Chicago with my wife and 2yr. old daughter. I have just recently been to some greats:
All of these by myself. My daughter is well behaved but she is still two so we do not want any fine dining. I am looking for amazing food in casual environments. Does this exist? I would appreciate any advice anyone has to give. We hate getting stuck eating mediocre food. Thank you in advance. I should mention that this will be on a Monday and Tuesday.
One option is Lula Cafe; I think it is casual enough to bring a small child, and I've seen some there on weekends during brunch. This is more of a neighborhood spot, located in Logan Square.
It is open on Mondays, and also offers a "farm dinner" prix fixe special on Monday evenings along with regular menu options....though they are closed Tuesday for a break day.
Info & current menus found here: http://www.lulacafe.com/
You could consider heading down to Chinatown for some great Chinese food. Having eaten there this past weekend (Shui Wah), it seems to me that kids are widely accepted and that your little one would be fascinated by all the colors.
Our daughter is a year and a half, and here is a list of places we have gone with her recently with no issue. A couple of the places we went @ lunch time, or for an early dinner as to not bother other diners.
Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak, & Stone Crabs, a few visits, never and issue when we have dined early. My favorite steak in town, plus stone crab claws that are still in season.
Saloon Steakhouse, another great early dinner, no issues.
Honey 1BBQ - best bbq I have had in Chicago, & byob
2241 N. Western
Smoque - decent bbq
3800 N. Pulaski
Sun Wah BBQ - for some great Chinese food on the north side, cooked duck, and other food hanging in the front window, my new favorite for Chinese in Chicago.
1134 W. Argyle
Coalfire - for one of Chicago's best pizzas, New Haven Style
1321 W. Grand Avenue
Frontera Grill was also ok with kids
San Soo Gap San - Korean BBQ
5247 N. Western
Semiramis - Lebanese food
4639 N. Kedzie
Enjoy your visit.
I have a 2 year old and 4 year old and they go out with us fairly regularly. I like Wishbone for casual southern food (they do a brunch but I prefer their dinner menu). They have one of the only children's menu we order off and it they girl's favorite restaurant. I would second Lula, though I haven't been there for a few years. West Town Tavern and May Street Market would also probably be okay, at least earlier in the evening. Have fun!
You might be okay at Shanghai Terrace because it's in a hotel but not any of the others on your list. You could go to Follia in Fulton Market, which has very good food and pizza for kids. I've brought my 3 and 2 year olds there before but on the early side. De cero on Randolph Street is creative Mexican and would work also.