Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Chicagoland

Enjoy your next family meal at one of these kid-approved eateries.

Romantic date nights for two may be hard to come by with littles in the picture, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a fantastic family meal at a local restaurant. 

For an exciting dining experience, visit a restaurant where entertainment is built into the establishment. Many restaurants offer games, events, activities and more for the kiddos, which means you can worry less about keeping the kids occupied and can focus more on which food and drink pairing you’d like to try. 

Families looking to treat their children to an extra special meal can visit eateries with kid-friendly themes or impressive kids menus. If you just want to kick back and let someone else do the cooking, we’ve found a mix of kid-friendly spots all over the city and suburbs that are sure to fill your family’s bellies. 

Bon appetit! 

City

American Girl Place Cafe

Address: 835 Michigan Ave., Chicago

Spoil your children (and their dolls!) at the American Girl Cafe. Indulge in a fancy afternoon tea, or dine in for brunch, lunch or dinner. The restaurant even has chairs and place settings just for your child’s favorite doll! All-day brunch is offered on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Cheesie’s Pub & Grub

Address: 958 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago and 1365 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

What child could ever say no to grilled cheese? The sandwiches at Cheesie’s Pub & Grub range from the classic “OG” grilled cheese to ooey gooey grilled cheese sandwiches with mac and cheese, jalapeno poppers and more. There are also monthly specials and more filling options with steak, bacon or chicken. Kids can order a grilled cheese, mac and cheese or chicken tender meal off the kids menu. 

Ed Debevic’s

Address: 159 E. Ohio St., Chicago

Bold and adventurous families can eat at the iconic Ed Debevic’s for a classic diner menu with a twist — the snarky staff at this retro restaurant are known to drop their trays and break into song and dance. From all-day breakfast to tasty treats and cocktails, you can guarantee your family’s meal will be served with a side of sass from the quirky servers at Ed Debevic’s. 

Smoque BBQ 

Address: 3800 N. Pulaski Road, Chicago

Enough with the buttered noodles and chicken fingers. When kids eat at Smoque BBQ, they can order the same thing as mom and dad with a kids menu that includes mini brisket and pulled pork sandwiches. Parents will love that the restaurant has an outdoor patio — and that the establishment is BYOB. 

Superdawg Drive-In

Address: 6363 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago

You can find delicious Chicago hot dogs all over Chicagoland, but there’s only one drive-thru joint with dancing hot dog characters on the roof! Plus, your meal is served in a fun box illustrated with hot dog or hamburger cartoons. A limited amount of indoor seating and outdoor picnic tables are available for families who’d like to get out of their vehicles to dig into their super meal. 

North/Northwest Suburbs

2Toots Train Whistle Grill 

Address: 203 S. Main St., Bartlett 

The owners behind 2Toots Train Whistle Grill believe in old-fashioned fun. Their passion for toy trains brings lots of charm to their two suburban locations, and the restaurant is usually decked out in seasonal decor. Make sure to sign your child up for the 2Toots Birthday Club for a personalized letter in the mail, along with a free kids meal and train whistle cupcake.

Dengeos

Address: 3301 Main St., Skokie

Serving up classic American and Greek fare in a casual counter service setting, Dengeos delivers on taste while allowing families to eat out on a reasonable budget. The menu includes kid-approved favorites like grilled cheese, chicken fingers and hot dogs. After your meal, kids will love picking out a balloon to take home. 

Enterrium

Address: 2 Woodfield Mall, Unit A, Schaumburg

Ditch the coloring page place settings and enjoy real family entertainment while you eat. Located inside Woodfield Mall, Enterrium is part restaurant, part video arcade and bowling alley. After kids eat their chicken tenders, cheeseburgers or pizza, they’ll stay occupied for hours while the grown-ups enjoy an extensive menu of craft beer and cocktails with their upscale American dishes like pork chops, pot roast and steak.

Kura Revolving Sushi Bar

Address: 1719 E. Golf Road, Schaumburg

We get it, kids and sushi don’t seem like the perfect fit. However, nothing makes sushi more appealing to littles than by delivering it on a conveyor belt that winds around your table! Embrace new cuisines and try something new by grabbing it off the belt, or use an interactive touchscreen menu to customize your own sushi or noodle dish.

Pilot Pete’s

Address: 905 W. Irving Park Road, Schaumburg

Little ones who are obsessed with all things planes, trains and cars need to dine at Pilot Pete’s. The restaurant is attached to Schaumburg Airport with floor-to-ceiling windows that allow guests to watch the planes and even helicopters as they take off and land. Inside the restaurant, old plane photos, postcards and other aviation memorabilia line the walls. Even model planes hang from the ceiling! The extensive American menu is guaranteed to offer at least one of your family’s favorite snacks and meals. 

Rainforest Cafe

Address: 6170 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee

Welcome to the jungle! The Rainforest Cafe is truly a wild place to eat. While munching on dino-shaped nuggets or Gorilla Grilled Cheese Delight, be entertained by the trumpeting elephants or the wild gorillas. Word of caution: Every so often there’s a storm that may be a little frightful for littles. Don’t forget to get the chocolate lava volcano!

Find more kid-friendly restaurants in Skokie and Schaumburg

South Suburbs

Burger 21

Address: 14650 S. La Grange Road, Orland Park

Take your next burger night to the next level at Burger 21. Kids bites include burgers, hot dogs, tenders, mac and cheese and milkshakes. Grown-ups can go off the menu and customize their own burger or chicken sandwich, or enjoy one of the delicious loaded burgers that are on the menu. Seafood and vegetarian options are available, as are a number of delicious sides like fries, onion strings and fried pickles. 

Eggheadz Cafe

Address: 16952 Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park

Picky eaters? No problem! Morning risers can enjoy Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes with chocolate chips or Oreos and mini omelets. For lunch or dinner, Eggheadz serves up mac and cheese, chicken tenders and pizza. All kids meals come with juice or milk and are priced under $10. Pair it with a coloring menu and your child is sure to be content.

Ed & Joes Restaurant & Pizzeria

Address: 17332 Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park

Offering the best of both worlds for parents, Ed & Joe’s is the kind of place where your kids can be loud and messy, while at the same time, you can enjoy a delicious bite and much-needed drink. Ed & Joe’s is famous for its gourmet pizzas, offering everything from taco pizza and cheeseburger pizza to junkyard pizza and Caprese salad pizza. Plus, there’s a new, unusual pizza special every month! Nearly 20 craft beers are on tap and the weekly chef’s features provide some upscale cuisine.

Portillo’s

Address: Locations in Crestwood, Oak Lawn, Summit and Tinley Park

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include this Chicago classic. The retro-themed hot dog joint is decorated with unique decor and the menu is filled with Chi-town staples: hot dogs, Italian beef, Maxwell Street Polish sausages, Italian sausage and more — there’s even a veggie dog option! If you happen to visit during a peak hour, you can keep the kiddos occupied by playing i-Spy with all the wall decor while you wait for your order. 

Shake Shack

Address: 4071 W. 95th St., Oak Lawn

This burger chain is growing in popularity in Chicagoland, and for good reason! Kids will love getting to use an interactive touch screen to order their food. Every burger is completely customizable, which means picky eaters can enjoy all the burger and hot dog toppings they love without having to worry about picking off the ones they’d rather skip. 

Have your next family dinner at one of these kid-approved restaurants in Tinley Park

West suburbs

2Toots Train Whistle Grill 

Address: 450 N. Main St., Glen Ellyn

The owners behind 2Toots Train Whistle Grill believe in old-fashioned fun. Their passion for toy trains brings lots of charm to their two suburban locations, and the restaurant is usually decked out in seasonal decor. Make sure to sign your child up for the 2Toots Birthday Club for a personalized letter in the mail, along with a free kids meal and train whistle cupcake.

302 Wheaton

Address: 302 W. Front St., Wheaton

There’s always something fun happening at this casual eatery in downtown Wheaton, and kids are always welcome! On any given day, you’ll find parents enjoying craft beers, boozy shakes and burgers while kids run around the spacious patio. Littles can order the kids slider meal, or share an order of tots, chicken tenders or a giant pretzel with mom and dad.

Colonial Cafe

Address: 8 W. Gartner Road, Naperville

This old-school cafe is a Naperville staple serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and — most famously — creative ice cream sundaes for kids. Kids may be tempted to fill up on birthday cake pancakes, chicken dippers and corn dogs, but be sure to save room for dessert! If your whole family has a sweet tooth, consider sharing the world-famous kitchen sink special – a sundae with two whole bananas, six scoops of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, toppings of chocolate, pineapple and strawberry, covered with whipped cream, toasted almonds and a cherry. Finish the sundae and get a bumper sticker. Kids eat free on Monday after 4 p.m.

Everdine’s Grilled Cheese Company

Address: 24 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville

Grilled cheese, please! This comfort food eatery can serve up your basic grilled cheese for the little ones, but grown-ups can enjoy cheesy sandwiches with bacon, tuna, salami, ham and more delicious options. Every grilled cheese sandwich is served on buttery, crispy Texas toast. Not feeling the menu options? You can build your own ooey gooey sandwich. 

JoJo’s Shake Bar

Address: 5 Jackson Ave., Naperville

There are only five JoJo’s locations nationwide, and two of them are right here in Chicagoland! This Naperville restaurant has an upscale diner vibe with a classic menu of burgers, fried apps and other American eats, but those of us with a sweet tooth know that the over-the-top Biggie Shakes are the real reason to visit JoJo’s. 

The signature shakes on the menu range in flavor from blueberry to vegan banana Oreo, and every shake is topped with a variety of sugary toppings — think chocolate-covered pretzels, giant cookies, cotton candy, doughnut holes and even marshmallow treats like s’mores! Be sure to look out for rotating seasonal shakes around the holidays. 

Looking for more kid-approved eateries? Check out these kid-friendly restaurants in Naperville.


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Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts is the assistant editor on the Chicago Parent team. She is always on the lookout for the coolest and trendiest new attractions, restaurants and events for Chicagoland families. Her newsletters, online family guides and exciting digital content keep families informed on all the latest happenings around town.

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