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Nov 23, 2013 11:44 AM

Recs for 7 Year Old Vegetarian and Non-Veg Parents

We travel to Chicago a couple of times a year with our son, and the restaurants are one of our favorite parts of these trips. We will be in town for 7 nights and would like to expand on our usual go-to places, adding both some casual spots as well as an upscale place or two.

Our son is almost 7, is used to traveling and dining out, and can handle being in a more grown-up setting very well. Like us, he has a diverse palate and loves everything from sushi to Indian to Vietnamese. The tricky part is that he is vegetarian (eats dairy, eggs, etc, but no meat including seafood). So we are looking for some really great places with good veg options, or where the chef is willing to work with us. We are used to pushing the limits a little bit with non-kid friendly places, but don't want to feel TOO awkward having a young person with us. Recs for all meals are appreciated! We are staying in Near North Side, but are willing to make some trips out a little ways by either cab or ZipCar.

Our current "regular" places, or places we've enjoyed, include Frontera bar (Frontera and Topolobampo menus), Cantina Laredo, Heaven on Seven, Browntrout, Masaki, Friends Sushi, India House, Pizano's, and Yolk.


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  1. You should check out Schwa.

    Even though it's tasting menu only, the chef/kitchen will gladly tailor individualized tasting menus to suit your needs/dietary restrictions.

    I was just there with a celiac and everything worked out fine.

    6 Replies
      1. re: Gonzo70

        Haha, that's what I was wondering! And that's assuming we could even get a reservation…

        But thanks for the suggestion.

        1. re: Gonzo70

          I typically would not recommend a restaurant like Schwa for children but the night I was there there was a party with a young child. Dunno the age but certainly younger than 10.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            That's really good to know. Meals there are usually around 3 hours? I don't think we would be able to get a reservation for our upcoming visit, but I will keep that in mind for next time.

            1. re: girlinjp

              Closer to 4.

              RE reservations: if you have an Amex try the concierge. Never failed me before.

              Enjoy your visit and happy birthday to the little guy!

      2. ok we travelto chicago quite a bit to see my uncle my sister was vegiteran now pesciteran ( thanks to sushi) I dont drive so I may be way off with were these are but
        her favourite
        mediterian- Old jersulem
        Japanese-Union Sushi & Barbeque Bar
        spicy curry-Vermilion

        1 Reply
        1. Hi - in the Near North area, check out Sable Kitchen, Purple Pig, and Quartino. All are delicious, and will all have interesting vegetarian options for your son.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chunker

            I'd love to try to get into Purple Pig at an off time so we wouldn't have to wait too long. Their menu always looked very meat-y, but I just looked at it again and I think we could at least cobble something together for the kid from the appetizers and cheeses.

            We will check out Sable Kitchen and Quartino, too. Thanks!

          2. Mana Food Bar, in Wicker Park, is very tasty. Completely vegetarian but even for a committed omnivore like myself, I've never left unsatisfied. It's a small space so I'd suggest going early or on Saturday (when they open at 12pm). Wicker Park is a great neighborhood, too, if you haven't spent much time there.


            1 Reply
            1. re: danimalarkey

              I love Wicker Park! Thanks, Manna Food Bar looks great!