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Your Guide to Family-Friendly Dining in Chicago

Take the night off from cooking for the family at these spots in Chicago.

There are a crazy number of amazing things to do in Chicago with your family.

kid friendly restaurants in chicago serving pizza

Take the kids on a spin on the Centennial Wheel at the Navy Pier, see the nearly 200 species of animals from around the globe at the Lincoln Park Zoo, or catch a baseball game at historic Wrigley Field.

You and the family are going to get hungry with all that running around, but don’t worry I’m going to share some of the best kid-friendly restaurants in Chicago.

I have no doubt these restaurants will satisfy your and the little ones’ hunger no matter where you visit in the city.


Eleven City Diner

1112 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: 312-212-1112
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Eleven City Diner is the perfect modern twist on the classic family diner. The nostalgia hits you hard when you walk in, but the crisp modern accents to the overall classic feel make this a great place to take the family.

Take advantage of their Mish-Mash Room if you’re throwing a party. The venue is perfect for kids and adults!

This Downtown diner makes a great lunch, but I recommend heading out early and enjoying their tasty breakfast.

They serve delicious Belgian waffles, challah French toast, and buttermilk pancakes. You can get your food plain or covered in a variety of fun and tasty toppings.


Greek Islands

200 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60661
Phone: 312-782-9855
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Greek Islands has brought authentic and family-friendly Greek cuisine to Chicago’s West Loop since 1971.

They import their olive oil, cheeses, seafood, wine, and more from Greece so you know you’re getting a real taste of Greece every time you visit.

They have a perfect Family Style menu option for those looking to easily order a lot of food for the family.

The special meal comes with a variety of appetizers, entrees that include roast lamb, moussaka, and gyros, multiple sides, and a choice of delightfully-sweet desserts and coffee.

They also have a create-a-combo option if you’re looking for something smaller and simple for your pickier eaters.


Honey Butter Fried Chicken

3361 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
Phone: 773-478-4000
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Avondale neighborhood chicken lovers flock to Honey Butter Fried Chicken.

This popular chicken spot has a great weirdly upscale hole-in-the-wall feel that provides good vibes along with great food.

You can eat inside, but they also have multiple covered and uncovered outdoor patios to enjoy the fresh air while you eat.

The chicken strips make this one of the best kid-friendly restaurants in Chicago. They are perfectly cooked with honey butter to delight pallets of all ages.

You can choose from a wide range of dipping sauces from BBQ sauce and honey mustard to candied jalapeno mayo and ghost honey.


Lou Malnati’s Pizza

Multiple locations
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You’ll be hard-pressed to find a corner of Chicago that doesn’t have a Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria.

Lou Malnati came up in the deep dish revolution in the 1940s, eventually opening the original Pizzeria in 1971 in the Chicago suburb of Lincolnwood.

Lou is no longer with us, but his commitment to crafting the perfect deep-dish pizza makes this the perfect place to enjoy a pie with the family.

All I can recommend here is just order the pizza with toppings you like and you’ll enjoy your meal.

They have exclusive providers of tomatoes to create their homemade sauce, have been getting their cheese from the same Wisconsin dairy for more than 40 years, and use a multi-generation crust recipe.


Lou Mitchell’s

565 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60661
Phone: 312-939-3111
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Lou Mitchell’s is an old-school family-owned and operated diner that has served up one of the best breakfasts in Chicago since 1923 – a breakfast you can order all day.

Start with some of the diner’s “world’s best coffee” or fresh-squeezed juice before diving into Lou’s menu.

I recommend going with one of their “fluffy jumbo omelettes” whether you’re there at 8 a.m. or noon.

They have a flavor for everyone from basic ham and cheese to Greek sausage, tomato, green pepper, onion, and feta cheese.

Lou’s cooks some great-tasting pancakes and Belgian waffles too if you’re not an egg family.


Lowcountry

Multiple locations
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Lowcountry provides downhome Cajun flavors in the heart of Chicago. They have three locations in the city, but I’m partial to the South Loop restaurant that’s just minutes away from the lakefront and a multitude of parks.

The combo of great food and great location make this one of the best kid-friendly restaurants in Chicago.

You can’t come here and not enjoy a build-your-own bag. Choose your protein, sauce, sides, and heat level, and watch as they bag it up, boil it, and serve it fresh and piping hot.

Lowcountry serves all the favorites from crab, shrimp, and lobster tail to sausage, corn on the cob, and potatoes. Their spices come hilariously named from “weak” to “ridiculously hot.”


Roots Handmade Pizza

Multiple locations
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Roots Handmade Pizza is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for somewhere to eat in the middle of a family-focused day.

The Lincoln Square location is minutes from the Chicago History Museum, North Avenue Beach, and the Lincoln Park Zoo.

There are plenty of simpler options for those with picky pallets, but I’d recommend trying their Tikka Masala Butter Chicken Pizza if you’re feeling adventurous.

The butter sauce, ginger, curry, and paneer make this pizza a unique favorite. Roots also offers DIY pizza kits to take home and have fun making delicious pizza with your family. 


Smoque BBQ

3800 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60641
Phone: 773-545-7427
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Smoque BBQ is located outside the bustle of downtown in Old Irving Park.

This quiet neighborhood favorite has been serving great BBQ since 2006 and is a popular family-friendly spot for those local residents.

The menu is pretty straightforward, as is the case with most BBQ joints. Meat lovers can choose between brisket, pork, chicken, Texas sausage, and ribs.

Throw in a combo of BBQ beans, slaw, mac and cheese, or cornbread on the side and now you’re talking. Smoque also has smaller kid-friendly options.

Smoque is BYOB for those interested in enjoying their favorite adult beverage with their meal.


Yolk

Multiple locations
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Yolk has multiple family-friendly locations throughout Chicago, including spots near Lincoln Park Zoo, Navy Pier, and Adler Planetarium.

This innovative restaurant operates a public test kitchen for community feedback on new dishes and drinks.

You can order their signature blend coffee and other drinks year-round, but definitely check out their seasonal beverage menu for something more exciting that you can’t find anywhere else.

Eggs unsurprising make up the core of Yolk’s menu. I recommend the corned beef hash and eggs or one of their delicious takes on eggs benedict.

They also have a kid’s menu for the little ones.


The Chicago Diner

Multiple locations
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The Chicago Diner has been “meat-free since ’83”. This popular spot near Chicago’s famous Wrigley Field is the perfect place to grab a bite before or after catching a baseball game with the family.

This place doesn’t serve the standard vegetarian fare.

They have put a lot of effort into perfecting delicious meat-free dishes that make this diner a popular spot for both vegans and carnivores.

I recommend trying out their Radical Reuben. You’ll think you are eating meat as you bite into the corned beef-style seitan, peppers, onions, vegan cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island on marbled rye. Their burgers are also popular.

The Chicago Diner also serves a wide variety of vegan cakes and milkshakes, some of which are gluten-free.


Lula Cafe

2537 N Kedzie Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647
Phone: 773-489-9554
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Lula Café was one of the leaders of Chicago’s farm-to-table revolution in the late ‘90s, and that commitment to quality and fresh ingredients is still present today.

I honestly can’t rave enough about the perfect combination of this bistro’s delicious food and relaxed vibe.

This isn’t the fanciest looking restaurant around Chicago, but its menu rivals any place around in quality and depth.

I recommend visiting during brunch, but be prepared to have trouble choosing between their buttermilk pancakes served with local maple syrup and an amazing smoked trout scramble.

Luna also has an extensive beer, wine, and cocktail menu for the adult members of your family.


Little Goat Diner

820 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: 312-888-3455
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Little Goat Diner is located in Chicago’s Fulton Market district, a hip and eclectic neighborhood of restaurants, cafes, and other entertainment spots.

This delightful diner fits right in with the vibe. It features a large, and absolutely-adorable, goat above the entrance.

You come for goat but stay for the food. Breakfast is served all day and with choices like This Little Piggy Went To China.

This lovely creation features scallion cheddar biscuit, Sichuan pork sausage, sunny side eggs, chili garlic chive sauce, and smoke blueberries I recommend considering the breakfast menu any time of day.

Don’t forget to check out their dessert options courtesy of Sugargoat.


Grand Lux Cafe

600 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312-276-2500
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Grand Lux Café is the perfect place to eat if your family is looking to enjoy the full-on Downtown Chicago experience.

The large and fancy restaurant sits on the corner of the busy block, providing you with nice views of the city if you’re seated near a window.

Start with their General Tso’s Cauliflower for a spicy and healthy take on a Chinese classic.

There are many fine-dining options on Grand Lux’s menu, but I honestly recommend going with one of their burgers.

From the Double Smashed Cheeseburger to the Grand Lux Turkey Burger you’re going to find something to satisfy everyone in the family.


Pinstripes

435 E Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312-527-3010
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Pinstripes is one of the best kid-friendly restaurants in Chicago for several reasons. The food is great, but your kids will also enjoy the in-house bowling alley and bocce area.

The restaurant is also an easy walk from the Navy pier if you prefer outdoor entertainment. I recommend heading this way on a Sunday to enjoy Pinstripes Sunday Brunch Buffet.

The buffet features a prime rib carving station, made-to-order omelets, a waffle bar, a rotation of seasonal dishes, and an extensive dessert table.

The ability to pick and choose whatever you want from this large buffet makes it easy to ensure everyone in your family leaves full and happy.


Portillo’s Hot Dogs

Multiple locations
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Portillo’s Hot Dogs began as a hot dog stand called The Dog House in 1963.

Now boasting more than 60 locations in multiple states, and three just in Downtown Chicago, it’s safe to say there’s something about Portillo’s people like.

You can get more than hotdogs at Portillo’s, but if you only have one visit you have to go with one of their dogs.

I don’t know if you’d call a polish sausage on a hotdog bun a hot dog, but I’m allowing it in this case. You have to try their char-grilled Maxwell Street Polish Sausage.

The Makowski’s Real Sausage topped with grilled onions and yellow mustard will have you asking where the nearly Polish deli is.


Final Thoughts

It’s time to see all the Windy City has to offer now that you know where the best kid-friendly restaurants in Chicago are.

Check out the landmarks, plan your trip, and use this guide to help you find the restaurant in the area that both you and the kids will love.

So go out and enjoy everything from burgers to international food from all over the world. Chicago awaits! If you want to experience more of Chicago’s great cuisine, check out these food trucks around town, too!

Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment and we’ll check it out!


Best Kid Friendly Restaurants in Chicago

  1. Eleven City Diner
  2. Greek Islands
  3. Honey Butter Fried Chicken
  4. Lou Malnati’s Pizza
  5. Lou Mitchell’s
  6. Lowcountry
  7. Roots Handmade Pizza
  8. Smoque BBQ
  9. Yolk
  10. The Chicago Diner
  11. Lula Cafe
  12. Little Goat Diner
  13. Grand Lux Cafe
  14. Pinstripes
  15. Portillo’s Hot Dogs

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Written by Rocco Smith

Rocco is a recent graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor’s in Editing, Writing, and Media. With seven years’ experience in the restaurant industry as a cook, server, bartender, and more, he is deeply passionate about intertwining his fondness for food with his love of language.