Chicago's Family-friendly Restaurant Scene Appeals to Kids and Adults

Families dining in Chicago aren’t limited in options. Restaurants in this town offer kids flavorful dishes that adults would happily order for themselves in an environment that doesn’t include a playground.

Time-strapped families appreciate restaurants that go out of their way to include their children in the dining experience by taking their palates and interests into consideration. From Chinese to Greek, pizza to tapas, many restaurants still offer a kid’s menu but ordering off the regular menu is becoming all too common.

Families are more than welcome at Crosby’s Kitchen in Lakeview where kids can nosh on monkey bread while adults sip Bloody Mary’s. Café Ba-Ba-Reeba! makes it easy to try several dishes since it serves up tapas while the flaming cheese appetizer at Rodity’s in Greektown is always a hit.

Kid-favorite pizza plays a starring role in a pizza-loving town like Chicago. Pompei Bakery in Little Italy serves up its own version of pizza while Coalfire Pizza cranks out brick-oven pizza that has diners drooling as soon as they walk in.

For a bit more kitsch, families love SuperDawg for its drive-in and Ed Debevic’s for its retro music, décor and Ed’s Mom’s Meatloaf.

The key to family-friendly dining in Chicago is to find those places where everyone feels comfortable, from the tiniest diners to the adults. The hard part isn’t finding those restaurants in this city, it’s deciding which one to make reservations.



This cafeteria-style restaurant has a well-deserved reputation for putting out some of the area's best pizzas, breads and desserts. The menu includes appetizers, soups, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, pastas and desserts. Start with a Marie's...  Read More

Iron Horse Ale House
Photo courtesy of Megy Karydes


The northwest may not be known as a trendy neighborhood according to some Chicagoan's standards but those who live in Norwood Park don't mind. They benefit from being able to get in some of the best places to dine and imbibe without the hassle...  Read More



Outstanding Mediterranean and Lebanese food consistently comes from the kitchen of this longtime Andersonville favorite. The large menu includes a mix of meat and vegetarian options (vegan options too). Roast lamb with couscous, Moroccan chicken...  Read More

Market District


Don't come here for health food! Come for Southern-style soul food, full of flavor and served in a casual, relaxed environment. The quirky, funky warehouse-style space (abstract paintings of chickens and eggs adorn the walls) offers breakfast on...  Read More



Caf� Ba Ba Reeba! may be Chicago's first tapas bar but that alone isn't what keeps people coming back. It's one of the best places to find authentic tapas and sangria (it's a bit on the sweeter side). Patatas bravas come with generous...  Read More



The place is called Coalfire Pizza because its super thin crust style pizza is cooked in a brick oven at over 800 degrees. For those who prefer more of a traditional Neapolitan style pizza, Coalfire does the trick. It makes its dough fresh daily...  Read More



Family-owned since 1948, this hot dog drive-in is a local institution, not only for its great menu but for its enormous, roof-top wiener mascots. An indoor dining room is available, but most folks take advantage of the retro carhop service. Hot...  Read More



Strollers are aplenty along Southport Avenue so it's no surprise that Crosby's Kitchen is a haven for tikes in this Lakeview neighborhood brimming with young families. The best part is that it's not just friendly for the young ones, it's also...  Read More

Vito & Nick's Pizzaria
Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Vito & Nick's


A South Side institution, the old school Vito & Nick's restaurant has specialized in thin crust pizza for nearly a century. It's been featured on Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," among other shows.

Gayle's Best Ever Grilled Cheese
Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Gayle Voss


The restaurant's name says it all. After massive popularity at local farmers markets, owner Gayle Voss now has a permanent home for her famous sandwiches. Located in the new Block Thirty Seven mall, right off the Red Line and near many major...  Read More


Meet Megy Karydes

Megy Karydes has spent more than 20 years as a professional writer and most of her life in Chicago. While she’s traveled extensively internationally, visiting each of the 50 states is on her...  More About Megy