Chicago with Kids -Recs for Eating Out and Otherwise...
We will be staying in Logan Square 12/14-12/17 with our two children, ages 5 and 9. We will not have a car but are using public transit and we are willing to travel a bit for good food. We love just about everything, but especially ethnic and quintessential Chicago pizza and hot dogs.
Also, any recommendations for activities or things to see and do with kids are much appreciated. Will report back...
You'll want to take a Blue Line train downtown and then transfer to a bus to the Museum Campus, which includes a natural history museum, an aquarium, and a planetarium. While downtown, hit Pizano's for pizza. The kids will also enjoy the Christmas windows at Macy's.
Near Logan Square is the quintessential hot dog place, Hot Doug's, but hit it outside of peak hours. (My 9-year-old recommends the duck fat fries available Friday and Saturday.)
Pizano's is indeed good for deep-dish; there's a location on Madison near the Art Institute. Another deep-dish option not too far from the Museum Campus is Lou Malnati's at 8th and State.
One more food option near the Museum Campus that kids will love is Bongo Room at Wabash and Roosevelt (12th), for breakfast/brunch. They specialize in creative pancakes, such as pretzel pancakes with white chocolate caramel sauce. The standard portion size consists of three GIGANTIC pancakes, but you can order one-third or two-thirds portion sizes at reduced prices, either for smaller appetites or for adults who want to try more than one item.
Hot Doug's has a wide selection of various dogs and sausages, but it's not where I'd go for the classic Chicago-style hot dog. Theirs is nothing special - they're known for their more exotic offerings - and it's also not very easy to get to (it's not *that* near Logan Square - it's over a mile, and there's no direct public transportation), and even outside of peak hours, you may be waiting over an hour.
Options for Chicago-style hot dogs close to Logan Square include Mr. G's Beef and Little Mel's. A little further are Red Hot Ranch and Al's Beef, both on Western.
Portillo's is another food option. Of "Chicago pizzas" I like Lou Malnati's. The Field Museum and the aquarium are great with kids.