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Aug 20, 2009 08:26 AM

Lunch near Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium with kids?

Hi - we are going to try and spend a Sunday or Monday at the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium and we are looking for a casual and quick lunch place (kid friendly). Thanks in advance!

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  1. If it's an on-the-way place you're looking for, Chinatown is always a good option. Otherwise if you're just going to be hanging out on the Museum Campus, then Corner Bakery in the Field Museum is a quick, reliable option. If you don't mind a short walk, then the Bongo Room on Wabash & Roosevelt is very good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ferret

      How far of a walk would you say the Bongo Room is from the Field Museum? Also, I know this is off topic but can we bring strollers (double ones!) on the subway/buses, etc..?

      1. re: cbcb

        The Bongo Room is about a mile from the Field Museum (bear in mind that the campus itself is pretty large).

        Head away from the lake to the pedestrian underpass under Lake Shore Drive and turn right. Walk North to Roosevelt (first big street) and make a left. Wabash is the 3rd or 4th street down and the Bongo room is at 1152 S. Wabash (just north of Roosevelt).

        Yes, you can bring strollers (even bicycles - although there's a limit of 2 bicycles per subway car), but be forewarned, if it's a peak travel time nobody's going out of their way to make room for you.

    2. There's a great Chicago-style hot dog cart on the NE corner of the Field Museum (the area overlooking the Monroe St. Harbor) and opposite the entrance to the Shedd . . . and when I'm in that parlticular spot it's where I have a hot dog, or two. They're hot dogs with the casings on - so you'll get the "Chicago snap" when you bite into them, and the people who own the cart prepare the dogs with care. I think you can get a couple of other things at the stand, including soft drinks and ice cream, chips, etc., but it's the hot dogs that draw me. If the weather cooperates you can sit on the lawn near the totem pole and gaze upon Chicago's skyline - one of the very best places to do that in all of the city.

      5 Replies
      1. re: gomexico

        The Aquarium has a very nice restaurant in a lovely setting. You might consider eating there; it's kid friendly. See:

        1. re: lina14

          I would second this recommendation, especially given the lack of nearby options. This isn't a backhanded recommendation either. We had a very solid lunch there a couple of years ago.

          1. re: lina14

            Our family had lunch @ Soundings, the sit-down restaurant @ the Shedd Aquarium. The setting and view were spectacular overlooking the lake. You order your food from a grumpy cashier, pay, and then sit down to wait for the waitstaff to bring out the food.

            It was the worst $30- we spent for lunch ever. The food was expensive and incompetently made. I had the California wrap sandwich with house-made potato chips. The sandwich was probably sitting in the fridge in plastic wrap for days, then unwrapped and placed on a plate for serving. Bland and without texture (sandwich had avocado, turkey, and bacon, lettuce, and tomato)-- everything tasted like it had been pureed in a blender. The "house-made" chips must have been fried over a week ago and left in a bin somewhere to go stale. They were hard and stale, too salty, with no crunch. I tasted the ranch dressing which came with my daughter's carrot sticks in her child's plate, and the ranch dressing tasted spoiled. The Chinese vegetable soup tasted like they boiled water with Asian chili paste, sugar, and soy sauce, then dumped a bunch of canned Asian vegetables and tofu chunks in it. Very salty with limp vegetables.

            We did tell the manager about the spoiled ranch dressing since it was a public health hazard.

            The service was amateurish-- we saw most of the waitstaff, cashiers huddling and chatting. Our food came without any silverware, and we had to remind the waiter to bring us silverware and napkins.

            I realize that there is an inverse proportion of food quality to view in restaurants, but the complete lack of care in their food preparation, particularly with the spoiled dressing in a child's menu item, showed a concerning level of incompetence and indifference.

            1. re: apfb

              Just got back and wanted to let everyone know how we fared! We had a WONDERFUL breakfast at the Bongo Room on Wabash and Roosevelt - it was so tasty and the service was terrific - very helpful to our party of 11 (including 3 in highchairs). Although they don't have a children's menu they were great about giving us smaller orders of anything we wanted at very reasonable prices. I had one strawberry shortcake pancake which just about melted in my mouth and one banana nestle crunch pancake (couldn't pick just one so it's nice that you can order one of two different kinds) which was also delicious. My SIL had the lemon ricotta ones and those were wonderful too. My husband had the breakfast burrito, which I tasted, and we both loved it - it came with great salsa and fabulous potatoes. Really, everything about this place was great! Thanks for the recommendation ferret!

              For lunch we ate at Soundings at the Shedd Aquarium - too bad I didn't see the review by apfb before I went because the food was not good at all - I don't know how you can mess up a caprese panini but they did - I couldn't even eat it - the tomatoes were so mushy (and this is the height of the tomato season in these parts!) and the bread was soggy too. My son had the black bean bacon soup which had next to no flavor. Overall, a big disappointment (although the Shedd was great!). Thank you everyone for taking the time to post - I appreciate it!

              1. re: cbcb

                Glad you enjoyed Bongo. Have yet to walk away disappointed (and I usually just roll away - my wife and I usually get 3 breakfast entrees between us).

        2. 11 City Diner was in easy walking distance. Great service. Varied menu, food and coffee was GREAT! Quick service, friendly, professional staff. The only regret was we were to full to try the deserts! This place is not easy to find by just "googling" on your phone.We found it by walking under Michigan Ave.