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Kid friendly restaurants for vacation in chicago

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Weslaco, Texas...
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Kid friendly restaurants for vacation in chicago

We will be in Chicago for a week in July. We are staying on Michigan Avenue and will not have a vehicle. I am looking for restaurants that are kid friendly (I have an 8 year old boy)....have kid menus and are not super expensive or dressy. I would like to stay around that area but will travel around. We are doing all the tourist things...museums, parks, zoo, etc. so we'll be around town. What restaurants should we try to go too.....I will take any suggestions. Thanks!!!!

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1. Re: Kid friendly restaurants for vacation in chicago

Please start by doing some restaurant research at www.chicagoreader.com and www.chicagomag.com for ideas. You can read restaurant reviews and search by area, cuisine, budget etc.

No need to limit yourself to downtown dining options. We have wonderful neighborhood options to choose from.

chicago
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2. Re: Kid friendly restaurants for vacation in chicago

All restaurants except high end are kid friendly, especially anything in the tourist zone

Pick some restaurants with food and prices you like an then ask us about them

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Kid friendly restaurants for vacation in chicago

There's a kid friendly place to eat on every corner and a few in the middle of every block. The tourist friendly (which always includes families) density of River North may surprise you. There are also a lot of less expensive places in the neighborhoods where Chicagoans take their own kids out to eat. The worst place for family friendly food is probably Navy Pier where an ice cream cone only costs $7.

pgo
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4. Re: Kid friendly restaurants for vacation in chicago

He might like Tempo restaurant, Portillo's, Potbelly's...check out the Austrian Bakery and/or RJ Grunts if you are up by Lincoln Park Zoo. Lots of choices, as others have said. Anything with an outdoor space is usually casual enough, and dining in the neighborhoods will save you money as well as have more local families. Tourist sites, it goes without saying, are full of kids. Avoid the places at the Shedd aquarium, though. For concerts in Millennium Park, consider picking up picnic supplies from one of the high-end groceries in the area.

Edited: 1:22 pm, June 28, 2013
Rensselaer, Indiana
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5. Re: Kid friendly restaurants for vacation in chicago

The most touristy areas are have an extremely heavy presence of fast food establishments. But wouldn't you really want something a little different when you are on vacation?

There are some locations which have very limited options (such as the Museum of Science and Industry and right at Museum Campus).

With the MSI, since it's practically an all-day affair, I'd suggest just getting something at their food court.

With the Shedd Aquarium/Field Museum (assuming you are going there), the Field Museum has a Corner Bakery in the NE corner, immediate to where Sue is located. So, if you are able in that area, your son can eat and examine Sue at the same time.

You could look at the possibility of lunch in the Signature Room at the John Hancock. It's on the 95th floor.

If you are near the Lincoln Park Zoo, LP Conservatory, North Avenue Beach and so forth (and, IMHO, your son is just the right age for the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, if you are interested), here are some options: Pack a picnic lunch. If you are going on a Wednesday or Saturday morning, the Green City Market is held just south of the Lincoln Park Zoo and you could get the items there. I also agree with the suggestion for the Austrian Bakery, close to the Lincoln Park Zoo but also keep in mind these options: Aloha Eats, Fatty's Burgers, Molly's Cupcakes and Deli Boutique.

Which week in July? There are some pretty nice neighborhood festivals happening then, such as the Chinatown Dragon Boat Race for Literacy or the Chinatown Summer Festival, the Sheffield Garden Walk, the Lincoln Square Music Festival, Taste of Lincoln Avenue, et al. And, although I think you could spend your $$ better elsewhere, the Taste of Chicago happens in July as well.

Even if you don't take in a neighborhood festival...

I think that your son might enjoy a trip via water taxi to Chinatown (actually the boarding is at Ping Tom Memorial Park) and then maybe a lunch there.

The Lincoln Square neighborhood is anchored around the Old Town School of Folk Music. Take a look at their calendar because they have many family friendly options. Lincoln Square is an interesting place to explore.

Weslaco, Texas...
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6. Re: Kid friendly restaurants for vacation in chicago

Thank you for some of the suggestions...we will definitely try a few of them. I am not very comfortable traveling around Chicago and do not know much about the different areas. As I mentioned we are staying on Michigan Ave near the Mag mile...is this considered the north side? What areas are we near? I found different restaurants on Clark Street, Wells Street, etc....are they close by?

A few I looked up were Chicago Pizza and Oven, Grand Lux Cafe, The Squared Circle, Bourgeois Pig Cafe, etc.....my hubby is a vegan so I also have to consider that. Are these okay?

Also in looking at the calendar, I found a few events....what is Benfest and is it far away? Also found the Taste of River North.....is that a good one? I am constantly looking on the net for info and have found some good stuff, but since I am not from there, I want to make sure we are in good areas that my son will be okay in.

Thanks for all the help and I will take any other advice, especially since we won't have a vehicle to get around....thanks again!

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7. Re: Kid friendly restaurants for vacation in chicago

Michigan Ave from 400 N to 950 N is called "the Magnificent Mile". Michigan Ave IS the Mag Mile. The Mag Mile is Michigan Ave north of the Chicago River which makes it in the "River North" neighborhood. It's double talk and confusing. Chicago is goofy over honorary titles. You will have plenty of options within walking distance of your hotel which, since you didn't tell us the name of your hotel, would be one of 61 hotels in River North. You will be surprised at how compact and populated downtown Chicago is. River North, The Loop, The New East Side, Streeterville, Old Town, The Gold Coast, Millennium Park, Grant Park are all across the street (or river) from each other. And there are 16 bridges across the river. You have to be here to believe it ( or understand it). Vegan is becoming less of a problem. Your husband won't go hungry.

As far as your restaurant choices... The Grand Lux is a Cheesecake Fat-ctory. There are better pizza places, see the sticky in Top Questions. Relax, the city will surprise you with a plethora of options.

Edited: 11:30 pm, July 04, 2013
Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Kid friendly restaurants for vacation in chicago

Benfest. How did you find that? It's a parish picnic and fun day for St. Benedict's church on Irving Park. Not easy to get to without transport (an "L" train and a bus or two). I think that you are looking too hard if you found that.

Weslaco, Texas...
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9. Re: Kid friendly restaurants for vacation in chicago

We are staying at the Omni in Chicago so I believe we are close to a few attractions. I am more nervous about the transportation and getting around because this is the first time we are not renting a vehicle. So we are more dependent on public transportation to find attractions we would like to go to.

As for finding Benfest, it is on the choosechicago.com website under things to do. It sounded nice, but good to know it is a bit farther away from us. The whole neighborhood thing is what is hard to grasp....just not sure how much distance is between all of them. Like how close are we to old town and grant park?

I do appreciate all of your advice though.....I am a planner so to have a few places in mind is always helpful. Thanks again!

Edited: 12:23 am, July 05, 2013
Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Kid friendly restaurants for vacation in chicago

Grant Park is 2 miles south on Michigan Ave (Millenium Park is closer and they are actually one megapark... It's Chicago. Old Town is less than a couple miles north - not a straight shot which adds to the distance. We often walk to Old Town for dinner. I live a few blocks away from the Omni and wouldn't think twice about walking in either direction. You do not want nor need a car in the city, especially downtown. All public transport converges on the Loop. If your feet get tired, it's a $6 cab ride. There are 7000 cabs in Chicago and they all like to operate downtown and in the lakefront neighborhoods.