Almost every evening parents are perpetually caught between two desires: not wanting to cook dinner and the experience of eating out and, on the flip side, the experience of not eating out with kids. And while there are certain fast food joints that have play areas (though I think those are mostly out in the ‘burbs in my experience), dining out of paper to-go containers doesn’t quite fit the bill, either.
Borelli’s is a family-owned, family-operated pizza/pasta restaurant that offers great food and, for both kids and kids-at-heart, a giant game room in the back complete with a train table, ping pong, foosball, arcade games and more. All the games are free to play (a $5 per family charge is asked for maintenance of the machines). It’s pretty much a family dinner goldmine.
No longer do parents have to worry about being the only family getting side-eyed for kids trying to run around: there are children almost everywhere. And no longer do parents have to worry about the choice between keeping their kids entertained and well-behaved and the guilt of putting a screen in front of them at the restaurant. Both the front and back rooms have plenty of entertainment sure to please anyone in the family and, better yet, it’s 100 percent sanctioned by the establishment.
Now, Borelli’s isn’t winning awards for chic modernist interior design. It’s instead reminiscent of actual old-school pizza places where people went to hang out, have fun and enjoy each other’s company without pretending that everyone used to dine under the glow of Edison light bulbs. There are lots of Illinois and Bears pennants on the walls, delicious huge pizzas to consume, and laughter filling the room. So, pretty much, it’s perfect.
The restaurant has a selection of beer and wine on tap, but it’s also BYOB if you wanted to grab something from Mariano’s just down the road. In the neighborhood it is also becoming quite the hip place to host birthday parties, and personally I love the idea of bringing back the old-school pizza party/play birthday myself. Anyone want to join me for my [File Not Found: Undisclosed Number]-th birthday in May?
- 2124 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago