clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
A child feeding an adult from across the table.
Kid-friendly restaurants are beloved by parents.
Shutterstock

The Best Places to Eat With Kids in Chicago

No matter how good the food tastes, if a restaurant’s staff doesn’t make you feel welcome that leaves a sour taste

View as Map
Kid-friendly restaurants are beloved by parents.
| Shutterstock

Hunting for food on an empty stomach while dealing with an “enthusiastic” group of kids is enough to cause a serious headache. When folks want to leave their house without a plan, everything will go wrong. Don’t subject yourself to that nonsense and find a restaurant that actually believes that children and their guardians are worthy of good service. No one’s asking for a night Alinea while wearing a Baby Bjorn. This is for caregivers with picky kids who want to do something different. Some of these restaurants are for a quick bite. Others may have children’s menus. Others might just be good restaurants that are welcoming.

Because no matter how good the food tastes, if a restaurant’s staff doesn’t make you feel welcome that leaves a sour taste in your mouth.

Read More
If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Superdawg Drive-In

Copy Link

Who doesn’t like a trip to a drive-in? And while watching two giant anamorphic hot dogs wink at you with neon glances? Superdawg is a Chicago classic thanks to their special sausages, a minimalist take on the Chicago-dog with pickled tomato and a bed of crinkle fries. If hot dogs don’t satisfy junior, the burgers and grilled cheese will do just fine. Customers can enjoy their meals in their car which means the kids don’t even have to power down their Nintendo Switches. 

A carhop with tray of food hanging from a door and drive-in menu. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Luella's Southern Kitchen

Copy Link

Luella’s in Lincoln Square is a casual spot where customer order at the counter. Darnell Reed doesn’t offer a kid’s menu, but his menu, which includes chicken and waffles, mac and cheese, is kid-friendly, and service is quick in case folks find themselves in a rush.

Old Irving Brewing Co.

Copy Link

Brewpubs are surprisingly some of the best places to bring kids due to their laid-back atmospheres, daytime hours, and menus full of sandwiches, burgers, and fried finger foods — not to mention all beer for adults. Old Irving Brewing has all that and more in a neighborhood full of families, plus a kids menu with mac and cheese, chicken tenders, and ice cream made on-site.

Smoque BBQ

Copy Link

Barbecue is messy and hands-on, which are helpful tools to get kids excited about a meal at one of Chicago’s best barbecue spots. A special kids menu features tiny brisket and pulled pork sandwiches, along with macaroni and cheese. Indoor seating hasn’t yet resumed but staff have opened a covered outdoor patio that’s also BYOB.

Crosby's Kitchen

Copy Link

Crosby’s Kitchen is one of the most popular restaurant for kids in the stroller-saturated Southport Corridor. With a children’s menu stacked with grilled cheese, chicken fingers, and PB&J, management pulls out all the stops to make a meal for the whole family. Finish it all off with a skillet cookie topped with ice cream.

lowcountry

Copy Link

Seafood may not be the first thing people think of when many think “kid-friendly,” but what better way to introduce the kids to a good crustacean than by (literally) cracking them open on the table and getting their hands dirty with bags of seafood dressed however they’d like. There’s also a South Loop location of this popular Wrigleyville/Lakeview spot.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Copy Link

Fried chicken and mac and cheese are shoo-ins with most kids, but Honey Butter Fried Chicken goes even further with a kids meal that includes chicken tenders, mac and cheese, and a sticker sheet for a little entertainment. The restaurant is back open at full capacity.

Superkhana International

Copy Link

Superkhana is an Indian-style restaurant that serves pizzas, grilled cheese, and butter chicken calzones. But for folks who want to brunch with kids, there might not be any finer restaurant in town. Service is friendly and accommodating, there’s plenty of room. And the menu is diverse from French toast to Indo Chinese noodles.

The dining room features limewashed brick paneling, wood accents, hanging lights, and booth seating. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Second Generation

Copy Link

The Mott St folks have created a bistro for the next generation. Second Generation is a comfy restaurant, right off Logan Square Park, with a fun menu (including the legendary Mott St burger), Korean-style steak frites, and more. The service is accommodating, and there’s enough on the menu that can be adopted for younger customers. Adults and children can pretend to dine in harmony. 

The exterior of a restaurant with a sidewalk patio and plants.
Second Generation is from the Mott St crew.
Chris Peters/Eater Chicago

Lula Cafe

Copy Link

Chef Jason Hammel’s acclaimed neighborhood restaurant takes care of hungry little ones with an unfussy kids’ menu of baked mac and cheese or chicken tenders, a vegetable side, and a cookie for dessert. Lula is currently open for takeout.

Galit has a James Beard winner, Zach Engel, preparing Israeli and Palestinian favorites with a four-course family-style feast for $79 per adult. This is a great celebratory restaurant, as the management actually won’t deliver death stares at customers for bringing children into the restaurant. Hummus and pita are great for kids, and if customers give the restaurant a head’s up, the staff may even make something a little special for kids. Galit is the kind of restaurant that understands children deserve hospitality, too.

Galit is a friendly choice.
Galit/Sandy Noto

The StopAlong

Copy Link

Kids these days may not know much about the pop-culture glory of the ‘80s and ‘90s, but a visit to family-friendly pizza and burger spot the StopAlong will help fill in that vital knowledge gap. Key references include the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, along with tons of classic toys and arcade games. Check out the wide selection of New York-style pizzas and boozy beverages for grown-ups.

Tortello

Copy Link

During the warmer months, there’s something magical sitting outside Tortello on their patio along Division Street. When there’s music playing, it feels a bit like Stars Hollow from the Gilmore Girls. Pasta is the name of the game here, and few make it better than this small noodle shop in Wicker Park. This is a great option for a small child where you can put a baby carrier on one of the benches and just enjoy a meal.

Lola’s Coney Island

Copy Link

This charming Detroit-style hot dog stand is truly a family affair, as owner and Motor City native Jesse Fakhoury named it after his own daughter, Lola. The iconic chili-smothered Coney Dog naturally gets top billing, but the menu also highlights other regional varieties like Chicago dogs (dragged through the garden) and New York-style dogs (sauerkraut or onions or both, spicy brown mustard). Other hits include burgers, malts, and floats.

Ed Debevic's

Copy Link

The resurrection of Ed’s, relocated from River North to Streeterville, is great news for kids. The faux-‘60s diner has been updated. Punk rock mohawks have replaced peace-loving hippy servers. The dancing on tables and “mean” attitude remain the same. As does the quality American diner menu. It’s dependable and well-executed. Everyone needs a little Ed’s in their lives. 

Rose Mary

Copy Link

Yes, one of the hottest restaurants in town, Joe Flamm’s Rose Mary, is designed for kids. There’s diaper-changing tables in the bathrooms (originally, the tables were only planned for the women’s bathrooms, but co-owner Kara Callero asserted herself). The small dishes of this Croatian and Italian restaurant are good for nibbles — cevapi should be a hit with meat-eating kids. This restaurant is for daring parents who trust their kids in a bustling environment.

An empty dining room Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Greek Islands

Copy Link

A trip to Greek Islands is an adventure in itself, especially for young diners who long for more than chicken nuggets. The restaurant is Mediterranean royalty in Chicago, and an ideal venue for novices to learn about the wonders of flaming saganaki, mini pork and chicken kebabs, and pan-fried calamari.

Lou Mitchell's

Copy Link

This longtime classic diner in West Loop serves breakfast and lunch with Milk Dud pancakes, chicken fingers, and buttered noodles for children. Adults can eat like a kid too, with thick French toast smothered in syrup and fruit for a sweet start to the day.

Roots Handmade Pizza - South Loop

Copy Link

While pizza might be one of the most essential elements of a kid’s diet, the kids menu at this family-friendly pizzeria in South Loop/Printer’s Row location (they have a retractable roof) also lets little patrons choose from fried shrimp, mini corn dogs, and plenty of pastas in different shapes. There’s also locations in Lincoln Square, West Town, and Old Town.

A bowl of green pasta
Big Elbow Alfredo (spinach macaroni, peas, spinach, basil, alfredo sauce)
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Eleven City Diner

Copy Link

Make kids happy at this classic Jewish deli and ice cream fountain in South Loop. An array of sweet treats including shakes, sundaes, house-made sodas and candy. Mammoth sandwiches, fluffy pancakes, and fried staples all add up to a food paradise for most minors.

Joy Yee

Copy Link

This popular pan-Asian spot is best known for its fun and colorful bubble tea and smoothies, and kids can pick out their own fruits and toppings to make an extra-special drink just for them. The food menu features oodles of noodles, as well as protein and rice dishes, soups, and dumplings. Additional outposts are located in University Village and suburban Evanston.

Inside 88 Marketplace in East Pilsen, Holu brings a refreshing vibe to the stale American steakhouse formula. Everything is served family style, from the meats grilled table side to the plates of rice and sides. This proves advantageous for picky eaters. They can take what they want — parents won’t have to quiz the children. Seeing the food cook also gives children a little bit of a show. The smoke will be a problem for some (as well as the tableside grills for energetic kids), but the staff is totally accommodating for stroller and high chair use (at least during off-peak times, come in at 8 p.m. Friday and you’ll deserve what you get). The food is beautifully plated, and might be the closest parents get to fine dining until they’re comfy with a babysitter. 

Antique Taco Bridgeport

Copy Link

Antique Taco, with locations in Bridgeport and Wicker Park, is a great space for gourmet tacos inside a room that’s friendly. It’s a no-nonsense experience where customers are in and out quickly. 

Marz Community Brewing Company

Copy Link

Breweries are usually good calls for customers with kids. Marz’s brewery, the South Side flagship, is especially great because of the video game arcade and unique food selections from Taco Sublime and Eat Free Pizza, the very same folks behind Marz’s Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream. They’ll serve New York-style pies on the weekends.

Ascione Bistro

Copy Link

Diners of all ages get excited about this comfortable yet stylish Italian restaurant in Hyde Park. Thoughtful menu options range from handmade pastas (also available gluten-free) and juicy meatballs to salmon coated in lemon butter. There’s a covered and heated patio plus indoor dining.

Loading comments...

Superdawg Drive-In

Who doesn’t like a trip to a drive-in? And while watching two giant anamorphic hot dogs wink at you with neon glances? Superdawg is a Chicago classic thanks to their special sausages, a minimalist take on the Chicago-dog with pickled tomato and a bed of crinkle fries. If hot dogs don’t satisfy junior, the burgers and grilled cheese will do just fine. Customers can enjoy their meals in their car which means the kids don’t even have to power down their Nintendo Switches. 

A carhop with tray of food hanging from a door and drive-in menu. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Luella's Southern Kitchen

Luella’s in Lincoln Square is a casual spot where customer order at the counter. Darnell Reed doesn’t offer a kid’s menu, but his menu, which includes chicken and waffles, mac and cheese, is kid-friendly, and service is quick in case folks find themselves in a rush.

Old Irving Brewing Co.

Brewpubs are surprisingly some of the best places to bring kids due to their laid-back atmospheres, daytime hours, and menus full of sandwiches, burgers, and fried finger foods — not to mention all beer for adults. Old Irving Brewing has all that and more in a neighborhood full of families, plus a kids menu with mac and cheese, chicken tenders, and ice cream made on-site.

Smoque BBQ

Barbecue is messy and hands-on, which are helpful tools to get kids excited about a meal at one of Chicago’s best barbecue spots. A special kids menu features tiny brisket and pulled pork sandwiches, along with macaroni and cheese. Indoor seating hasn’t yet resumed but staff have opened a covered outdoor patio that’s also BYOB.

Crosby's Kitchen

Crosby’s Kitchen is one of the most popular restaurant for kids in the stroller-saturated Southport Corridor. With a children’s menu stacked with grilled cheese, chicken fingers, and PB&J, management pulls out all the stops to make a meal for the whole family. Finish it all off with a skillet cookie topped with ice cream.

lowcountry

Seafood may not be the first thing people think of when many think “kid-friendly,” but what better way to introduce the kids to a good crustacean than by (literally) cracking them open on the table and getting their hands dirty with bags of seafood dressed however they’d like. There’s also a South Loop location of this popular Wrigleyville/Lakeview spot.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Fried chicken and mac and cheese are shoo-ins with most kids, but Honey Butter Fried Chicken goes even further with a kids meal that includes chicken tenders, mac and cheese, and a sticker sheet for a little entertainment. The restaurant is back open at full capacity.

Superkhana International

Superkhana is an Indian-style restaurant that serves pizzas, grilled cheese, and butter chicken calzones. But for folks who want to brunch with kids, there might not be any finer restaurant in town. Service is friendly and accommodating, there’s plenty of room. And the menu is diverse from French toast to Indo Chinese noodles.

The dining room features limewashed brick paneling, wood accents, hanging lights, and booth seating. Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Second Generation

The Mott St folks have created a bistro for the next generation. Second Generation is a comfy restaurant, right off Logan Square Park, with a fun menu (including the legendary Mott St burger), Korean-style steak frites, and more. The service is accommodating, and there’s enough on the menu that can be adopted for younger customers. Adults and children can pretend to dine in harmony. 

The exterior of a restaurant with a sidewalk patio and plants.
Second Generation is from the Mott St crew.
Chris Peters/Eater Chicago

Lula Cafe

Chef Jason Hammel’s acclaimed neighborhood restaurant takes care of hungry little ones with an unfussy kids’ menu of baked mac and cheese or chicken tenders, a vegetable side, and a cookie for dessert. Lula is currently open for takeout.

Galit

Galit has a James Beard winner, Zach Engel, preparing Israeli and Palestinian favorites with a four-course family-style feast for $79 per adult. This is a great celebratory restaurant, as the management actually won’t deliver death stares at customers for bringing children into the restaurant. Hummus and pita are great for kids, and if customers give the restaurant a head’s up, the staff may even make something a little special for kids. Galit is the kind of restaurant that understands children deserve hospitality, too.

Galit is a friendly choice.
Galit/Sandy Noto

The StopAlong

Kids these days may not know much about the pop-culture glory of the ‘80s and ‘90s, but a visit to family-friendly pizza and burger spot the StopAlong will help fill in that vital knowledge gap. Key references include the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, along with tons of classic toys and arcade games. Check out the wide selection of New York-style pizzas and boozy beverages for grown-ups.

Tortello

During the warmer months, there’s something magical sitting outside Tortello on their patio along Division Street. When there’s music playing, it feels a bit like Stars Hollow from the Gilmore Girls. Pasta is the name of the game here, and few make it better than this small noodle shop in Wicker Park. This is a great option for a small child where you can put a baby carrier on one of the benches and just enjoy a meal.

Lola’s Coney Island

This charming Detroit-style hot dog stand is truly a family affair, as owner and Motor City native Jesse Fakhoury named it after his own daughter, Lola. The iconic chili-smothered Coney Dog naturally gets top billing, but the menu also highlights other regional varieties like Chicago dogs (dragged through the garden) and New York-style dogs (sauerkraut or onions or both, spicy brown mustard). Other hits include burgers, malts, and floats.

Ed Debevic's

The resurrection of Ed’s, relocated from River North to Streeterville, is great news for kids. The faux-‘60s diner has been updated. Punk rock mohawks have replaced peace-loving hippy servers. The dancing on tables and “mean” attitude remain the same. As does the quality American diner menu. It’s dependable and well-executed. Everyone needs a little Ed’s in their lives. 

Related Maps

Rose Mary

Yes, one of the hottest restaurants in town, Joe Flamm’s Rose Mary, is designed for kids. There’s diaper-changing tables in the bathrooms (originally, the tables were only planned for the women’s bathrooms, but co-owner Kara Callero asserted herself). The small dishes of this Croatian and Italian restaurant are good for nibbles — cevapi should be a hit with meat-eating kids. This restaurant is for daring parents who trust their kids in a bustling environment.

An empty dining room Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Greek Islands

A trip to Greek Islands is an adventure in itself, especially for young diners who long for more than chicken nuggets. The restaurant is Mediterranean royalty in Chicago, and an ideal venue for novices to learn about the wonders of flaming saganaki, mini pork and chicken kebabs, and pan-fried calamari.

Lou Mitchell's

This longtime classic diner in West Loop serves breakfast and lunch with Milk Dud pancakes, chicken fingers, and buttered noodles for children. Adults can eat like a kid too, with thick French toast smothered in syrup and fruit for a sweet start to the day.

Roots Handmade Pizza - South Loop

While pizza might be one of the most essential elements of a kid’s diet, the kids menu at this family-friendly pizzeria in South Loop/Printer’s Row location (they have a retractable roof) also lets little patrons choose from fried shrimp, mini corn dogs, and plenty of pastas in different shapes. There’s also locations in Lincoln Square, West Town, and Old Town.

A bowl of green pasta
Big Elbow Alfredo (spinach macaroni, peas, spinach, basil, alfredo sauce)
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Eleven City Diner

Make kids happy at this classic Jewish deli and ice cream fountain in South Loop. An array of sweet treats including shakes, sundaes, house-made sodas and candy. Mammoth sandwiches, fluffy pancakes, and fried staples all add up to a food paradise for most minors.

Joy Yee

This popular pan-Asian spot is best known for its fun and colorful bubble tea and smoothies, and kids can pick out their own fruits and toppings to make an extra-special drink just for them. The food menu features oodles of noodles, as well as protein and rice dishes, soups, and dumplings. Additional outposts are located in University Village and suburban Evanston.

Holu

Inside 88 Marketplace in East Pilsen, Holu brings a refreshing vibe to the stale American steakhouse formula. Everything is served family style, from the meats grilled table side to the plates of rice and sides. This proves advantageous for picky eaters. They can take what they want — parents won’t have to quiz the children. Seeing the food cook also gives children a little bit of a show. The smoke will be a problem for some (as well as the tableside grills for energetic kids), but the staff is totally accommodating for stroller and high chair use (at least during off-peak times, come in at 8 p.m. Friday and you’ll deserve what you get). The food is beautifully plated, and might be the closest parents get to fine dining until they’re comfy with a babysitter. 

Antique Taco Bridgeport

Antique Taco, with locations in Bridgeport and Wicker Park, is a great space for gourmet tacos inside a room that’s friendly. It’s a no-nonsense experience where customers are in and out quickly. 

Marz Community Brewing Company

Breweries are usually good calls for customers with kids. Marz’s brewery, the South Side flagship, is especially great because of the video game arcade and unique food selections from Taco Sublime and Eat Free Pizza, the very same folks behind Marz’s Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream. They’ll serve New York-style pies on the weekends.

Ascione Bistro

Diners of all ages get excited about this comfortable yet stylish Italian restaurant in Hyde Park. Thoughtful menu options range from handmade pastas (also available gluten-free) and juicy meatballs to salmon coated in lemon butter. There’s a covered and heated patio plus indoor dining.

Related Maps