Four places in Chicago for parents that kids will love, too


Going to a café always is a lovely way to spend an afternoon-until you add children to the mix. But there are a few cafes and special sandwich shops in the Chicago area that are so family-friendly they make those dawdling afternoons fun and lazy again. Even for those of us with squirmy kids.


Overflow Coffee Bar

Kids will enjoy it Once you grab a cup of coffee, you can head over to the adjoining room at Daystar for a little secret-there's a public playgroup that meets there on most Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings. There also are Mom N Tot yoga classes and even Lango classes (additional costs apply, see for info and schedule).

Adults will enjoy it This is a fair-trade, fair-labor, environmentally friendly coffee shop that gives back to the local and distant communities.

The food In addition to a variety of strong coffee and espressos, they have a small number of sandwiches and bakery items.

Details 1550 S. State St., Chicago, (312) 772-2356,


CornerStone Café

Kids will enjoy it They go above and beyond the simple crayons and paper to calm hungry kiddos here. They pull out the big guns to pacify children: Toys. 'Nuff said.

Adults will enjoy it Shockingly enough, there's not as bad a wait here as there is at most brunch and lunch places, even at peak brunch and lunch times on the weekend, and parking is relatively easy.

The food Take a break from eggs for the entire week before coming here, and then order one of their omelets. It's packed with what seems like about a dozen eggs. You won't be able to finish it, but it's incredible.

Details 2753 N. Western Ave., Chicago, (773) 235-1155,



Bon Bon Vietnamese Sandwiches

Kids will enjoy it They've stocked the entire tiny sandwich shop with board games such as Scrabble, so there's a lot to do during your short wait for your food. Even younger kids will enjoy looking at all the games (and the one-person waitstaff on the day we went didn't mind that our 23-month-old and 4-year-old were taking out all the pieces of the games).

Adults will enjoy it The games are geared toward age 8 and up, so there were plenty of games to play.

The food The bahn mi sandwiches were the clear winners for the adults and the children.

Details 2333 W. North Ave., Chicago, (773) 278-5800, bonbon


KnockBox Café

Kids will enjoy it They'll get inspired by the walls-they often hang kids' artwork in lieu of fancy adult art. Recently the owners hung the artwork from a children's art therapy group.

Adults will enjoy it It's still old-fashioned enough to offer bottomless Metropolis coffee-even iced.

The food The panini sandwiches are fabulous.

Details 1001 N. California Ave., Chicago, (773) 360-8325



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