A trio of Chicago restaurants to hit this spring

Spring weather is right around the corner (I hope!), so I thought it would be the perfect time to check in with a few Chicago restaurants that I have recently enjoyed. My mission? Map out ideas for warm weather visits when I finally come out of hibernation and rejoin the land of the socially inclined. Sit back and relax as I share why these spots rocked to begin with and tips for foodie families to visit this spring. 

Son of a Butcher by WHISK

Reasons I enjoyed it

I stopped in for a Taco Tuesday date with my husband Walter and liked the eclectic/hipster/rock ‘n’ roll vibe. I do not consider myself a fish taco fan, but for some reason the Seared Ahi Tuna Taco called my name, and I could not get enough of its refreshing flavor. For dessert we opted for the Sopaipilla Nachos, a dish that combines the crunch of tortilla chips with the cinnamon sweet goodness that you want to end a meal. 

Ideas for a spring meal

Son of a Butcher recently launched a kid’s menu and the drumstick has been a hit with the (chicken) littles. Bonus: You don’t have to worry about shushing your kiddo crew. Chef and co-owner Rick Rodriguez has three children, so he gets it: “Some advice to parents coming in with kids, don’t be afraid to let your kids be kids. Too many times I have seen parents worrying about the mess or about their children’s behavior, let them be kids,” Rodriguez said. The patio will be opening in warm weather, which is where I would opt for a meal with my toddler Isaiah, because spills and poignant yelps do not seem like such a big deal outdoors. 

2934 W. Diversey, Chicago

Bryn Mawr Breakfast Club

Reasons I enjoyed it

This North Park eatery had me at the hello with the funky vintage farm stand feel. The omelets are top notch, and I always find myself experiencing a bit of food envy over my dad’s Salmon Plate Club. My dad loves this place and he really does not get effusive over many restaurants, but he gave this place a whopping fives stars. That is tops on the dad-o-meter, btw. Isaiah hearts it too. I usually do not order full entrees for him as he tends to nibble on a bit of this and that, but he really goes to town on the kid’s breakfast platter with bacon, hotcakes and “eggies,” as he calls them. I feel comfortable with my little guy here because servers are friendly and there are usually other kiddos around. On our last visit, Isaiah and a nearby tot took turns showing off their delectable dishes to each other. 

Ideas for a spring meal

Look out for apricots making a guest appearance this spring. Perhaps on French toast? Or you can just fast forward to summer with an item already on the menu: the Summer Peach French Toast. Now that sounds like a treat I need to try, like yesterday. In mama dreamland, I envision myself peacefully savoring a cortado al fresco when the weather is warm enough to sit on the patio. In reality, I will probably be making sure my toddler doesn’t dump a beverage on his grandma or grandpa and chuckling every time he loudly announces “hello” to every single server and customer who walks by. Sometimes reality actually beats mama dreamland. Just a word to the parent-wise, I would highly suggest a weekday visit with kiddos as there is often a line out the door on the weekends and who wants to wait with restless kiddos? Nobody, that’s who. 

3348 West Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago

Stella Barra Pizzeria

Reasons I enjoyed it

You might not think of brunch when you hear the “pizzeria” in the name of this spot, but the buffet brunch game is strong on the weekends. My hubby and I had a relaxing date sampling everything from the savory enchiladas to sweet treats like pancakes with all the fixings. The Bloody Marys were delish, mine was sans booze, because I am expecting baby number two. I guess technically it was fancy tomato juice with garnishes, but it was tasty nonetheless. While we savored grown up time on our last visit, I would totally bring my toddler back as he tends to go wild for all things brunch. Parents, heads up, all kiddos 10 and under eat gratis at the brunch buffet. 

Ideas for a spring meal

Stella Barra changes things up seasonally, so look out for spring ingredients on both the brunch and dinner/pizza menu. Speaking of pizza, I definitely need to sample a pie or two on my next visit and the other dinner dishes sound enticing, too. The white pizza with Avocado & Arugula Pesto and the Heirloom Spinach & Sweet Pea Salad are definitely screaming spring to me. Looking further ahead to warm weather bliss, Stella Barra will be offering lunch (Memorial Day – Labor Day). Lunch timing could be ideal for meals with munchkins who might be more likely to melt down at dinner. 

1954 N. Halsted St., Chicago

Happy spring noshing! 

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