Chicago Archived Features
Bringing Out Baby
Wendy & Julian
You used to go out. "Used to" being the operative words. You
used to have a life. The truth is that you miss going out. You miss your old
life. Ever since you've had your baby, you've been trapped inside of your house
longing for the days when you would people watch and eavesdrop on fascinating
conversations. More importantly, you crave interesting dishes that dazzle your pallet.
And now that you've more or less settled into your role as a new
parent you're wondering where you fit in? Where can you go where you won't
intrude on the parentless? Is there a place where you can order a real glass of
wine? Where can you go to feel like your old self with a new addition?
Finding a restaurant in the city of Chicago is not very hard. Now, finding a
restaurant in Chicago
that welcomes children? Well, that's considerably harder. Now while searching
for a casual dining place where you can have a truly lovely dining experience
with your little one may seem daunting, it isn't. It is definitely possible.
Luckily there are eateries in the city where the number of
adults significantly outweigh the number of children. There are places where
you won't slip on oily French fries or trip over plastic balls. There are real
restaurants where you won’t get nasty looks from other patrons when your baby
cries for a minute or two. They do exist. I promise you.
is one of the most family friendly restaurants in Chicago. Their walls are
adorned with colorful and interesting childlike artwork featuring farm animals.
They offer a tasty southern influenced menu for adults and a rather extensive
list of libations including several types of beer, wine, and specialty
cocktails. They accommodate children by giving them an activity sheet
accompanied by a set of crayons. Although Wishbone is rather large with two
dining rooms, it’s best to avoid during brunch time on the weekends unless you
don't mind the wait to be seated. At any other time of the week, Wishbone is
filled with a mix of dating couples, mentors and mentees, and friends. There
would be a serious void in parents' lives if Wishbone weren’t around. Luckily,
they are here to stay.
Happy mom and kids.
many a family because it is modern, spacious, tasty, and as a bonus they love small children.
This Italian restaurant is located in the heart of Wicker Park
on the highly trafficked Milwaukee
Avenue. They offer a children's dinner menu, which
features pasta, pizza, and chicken as well as a children's brunch menu which
features pancakes and French toast. The food
is relatively inexpensive, and the drinks are reasonably priced, but what
really makes this spot great is how creative the menu is. They offer items like
the Panettone, which is Italian French Toast with sweet Mascarpone cheese and
fresh berries or the Tegame which is an amazing breakfast skillet not to be
missed. These are so good that you might just have to order both. Bring your
children here for brunch on the weekends and let them try some of your food.
This is the best time to go as there is usually ample seating and the service
Another great restaurant to bring your children to is Dinotto
It is a neighborhood, rustic Italian restaurant in the heart of Old Town
across the street from the Pipers Alley Movie Theater. It has a very beautiful
old world, romantic vibe to it. There are two dining rooms with ample space and
they also welcome children. They do not have a set menu for children, but will
accommodate them just as well. Be sure to ask the waiters and waitresses for
their suggestions. They are very helpful. The service here is extremely
attentive and the wait staff is pleasant. Dinotto has an extensive wine list,
specials, and excellent tiramisu.
Russian Tea Time
Is there anything more interesting or exotic than going on an adventure
downtown to have tea time? Russian Tea Time
, a restaurant catering to all
things Russian offers just that--a time to indulge in relaxation and conversation
weekday afternoons from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. Your server will bring you a tower
of sweets and savories which includes scones, sandwiches and sweets. They will
also bring you any kind of tea that your heart desires as long as it's within
the confines of their menu. There is one tea that isn't listed on the menu, but
one that you should try--it's a spicy, traditional Russian black tea served in
an interesting silver and glass goblet. This restaurant has a very traditional look
to it as there are tiny chandeliers hanging above as well as several Russian
vases and dolls. And though you would think that a place such as this wouldn't
be child friendly, it is. Enjoy yourself and remember no ball gown is required.
Bin Wine Cafe
is a lovely place with fantastic artwork, tasty
food, decent service and an excellent selection of wine. This is another great
restaurant where you should feel comfortable bringing your newborn or well
behaved child. Although this isn't a restaurant that many people would consider
child friendly, I have dined next to a child or two on occasion and it was
perfectly fine. This place is just too beautiful to pass up. In the summer time
they open their windows and you can sit outside and people watch. And trust me;
there is a ton of people watching to do in Wicker Park.
You should not pass up Bin Wine Cafe.
With the exception of Wishbone, these restaurants aren't places
that people would typically classify as good for kids. But as long as you respect
these restaurants and you have your children under control, most Chicago eateries will
welcome your children and your business with open arms.
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