If your family is off for a day of exploring the city, start out on a full stomach by brunching at Markethouse Restaurant in Streeterville first. Its location is key-within walking distance of the lake, downtown parks and Navy Pier-and the newly revamped brunch menu will please even the pickiest eater in your brood.
While I dug into a delicious omelet adorned with various meats, cheeses and veggies with huge slabs of bacon as an accompaniment, I felt slightly out-ordered by my husband, who chose the toasted pecan banana cast-iron waffle. Other interesting waffle flavors foodie parents will enjoy include meyer lemon ricotta and smoked salmon with capers.
My 4-year-old twins opted for Mickey Mouse-shaped traditional buttermilk pancakes, which they reported were "better than Mommy's." Kids who are more adventurous in their pancake-eating might try a griddle stack in flavors such as strawberry rhubarb, blackberry mint, taffy apple or Michigan blueberry and brown butter.
Other popular dishes include the Miller Farm chicken and waffles, the Miller Farm chicken pot pie (worth the 15-minute prep time) and the Slagel Farm smoked brisket.
Executive Chef Scott Walton, a Chicago native, prides himself on sourcing local produce and using the restaurant's massive rooftop garden for his original menu, which he says "marries Heartland basics with fresh, regional specialty ingredients from around the globe."
Linda made it a goal to try out every kid-friendly venue in Chicago, which she chronicles in her Chicago Parent Good-to-Go column.
See more of Linda's stories here.