Chicago visit with 3 kids - restaurant suggestions?
We are planning a trip to Chicago in early August with our three kids (ages 11, 9, 6). We will be staying just west and north of Millenium Park - near Lake St. and Michigan Ave. Looking for suggestions within walking distance for dinner ... we'd like something with decent food, but where we won't have to worry about bringing three kids. Thanks!
Presumably you're going early-ish so bringing kids who are well behaved is generally not a problem almost anywhere within a 15 minute walk of hotel. The nicer the place, the nicer I'd expect your kids to be acting and dressed, but you could go to a steak house at 5:30 - 6PM with kids. I've eaten at Chicago Cut with kids early.
Here are suggestions of places I like at which I've eaten with 2 - 5 year olds in the last two years.
- Lou Malnati's on Wells Street - my favorite deep dish, get "The Lou" with buttercrust.
- Picolo Sogno Due on Clark Street - my little niece would point out the table where the Obama's ate one night
- Shaw's Crab House - solid fish and seafood place and the kids love the mini desserts
- The Park Grill - under "the Bean" in Millinium Park; make sure to reserve at the restaurant not the cafe/beer garden, standard american but nice atmosphere
- Grand Lux Cafe -- OK, it's not a foodie destination, but its' the big sister of Cheesecake Factory and has a broad menu in a space that kids like.
- Davanti Enoteca - great small plates place that's part of local Italian empire
- Disagree with Ginos and Walnut Room in other posts -- food at both is below average
Off the top of my head
Walnut Room at the top floor of the Macy's store on State St
Heaven on 7: 111 N Wabash. Lunch only, I don't think they take credit cards either. This is their original location. They serve New Orleans style food.
Pizano's: deep dish pizza. 61 E Madison
Chances are, since you're staying close to a tourist area, most of the restaurants you'll encounter will also be tourist/family friendly. Are there certain foods your children would like to avoid or would prefer?
I wouldn't go to Gino's with anyone, including children.
But trying Chicago's deep dish pizza is a must. I would go to Uno's (nothing - I mean nothing - like the chain or the frozen monstrosity of the same name), Due's, Lou Malnoti's or Pizanos. Uno's was the originator in the 1940s and the others were family members.
I would also go to Portillo's on Ontario for your choice of a genuine Chicago hot dog, an Italian Beef (another Chicago specialty) or lots of other options.
I would also go to Big Bowl, a pan-Asian option on E. Ohio St.
The Park Grill, just outside Millennium Park would be good also.