6 kid-friendly restaurants with actually good food

It’s family dinner night out—where do you go? You shouldn’t have to settle for mediocre food just because you have kids, or maybe you’re just not in the mood for chicken nuggets. Luckily, Chicago has a ton of high-quality restaurants that just happen to be kid friendly. These spots offer the best of both worlds: Parents can feel like they’re getting a good night out, and kids don’t have to feel like they’re trapped.

Hit the patio for fun and food at Honey Butter Fried Chicken
Fried chicken and fluffy corn muffins—what could be more kid friendly? Well, how about a huge outdoor patio suitable for running around on, and a giant 20-foot steel wall filled with magnets, guaranteed to keep your little ones occupied for hours. And for the adults, there’s a craft cocktail menu. There’s also incredible vegetarian sandwiches and sides, for those who aren’t so into the birds.

Early dinner means free dinner for kids at Browntrout
This award-winning haven for sustainable food in North Center is committed to making sure kids eat healthy food, too. How committed? Every day between 5 and 7 pm, kids eat free. And to make sure they do eat—and eat well—there’s even a special menu with organic chicken tenders, house-made mac and cheese, and a burger made with local beef and housemade ketchup.

Sunday is family feast day at Gather
While Gather always has a kid-friendly vibe, to max out the fun head there on Sunday. The Sunday Dinner is a family style feast with a menu specially designed to be accessible to kids without giving up sophistication, including things like handmade spaghetti and meatballs, creamy polenta, and fresh-baked sticky buns. Best of all? Kids under 10 eat free.

The Parthenon offers the best of Greektown for all ages
How could you possibly talk about kid-friendly food without including Greektown? And when talking about Greektown, The Parthenon is the place to go—and possibly the most fun for kids. With huge piles of flaming cheese to keep their attention, a loud dining room where no one is bothered by a little chatter, and plenty of space to move around, this is the perfect spot for a family adventure. Plus it’s a chance to get your little ones to try some new treats: olives, feta cheese, or lamb.

Urban Belly makes ramen and dumplings as kid-friendly as spaghetti and meatballs
It’s never too early to start introducing your kids to ethnic flavors, and Urban Belly is a perfect place for it. While junior might not yet be ready for spicy ramen with braised pork belly, there’s a special mild ramen just for kids, a small portion of edamame for only $3 and—to start them on the dumpling bandwagon nice and young—burger dumplings with Cheddar.

Healthy Fare for Kids menu at Uncommon Ground.
This casual, comfortable neighborhood spot serves surprisingly high-end cuisine, based around local & seasonal ingredients including many just-picked treats from their certified organic rooftop and sidewalk farms. Farm tours are available at the Edgewater location on Saturdays at 11 AM to take the kids upstairs to see a wide variety of veggies, including tomatoes and green beans, before they sit down to a great kids meal with organic, healthy-but-they-won’t-know-it fare. Uncommon Ground also has great brunch, lunch and dinner menus along with a bar that serves Uncommon Ground's own certified organic Greenstar Beer plus luscious, local, and seasonal cocktails.

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