Top 5 loveliest kid-friendly alfresco dining spots

Summer isn’t really open for business until the restaurants are donning their weather-proof patio sets and twinkle lights. There’s something magical about munching on your favorite foods with a warm breeze rustling your napkin. The following are the best spots to take your little for a lovely alfresco-style adventure. Note: all of these hot spots are BYOK (bring your own kid).


29 E. First St., Hinsdale

Let’s start by swooning over the charming lights and hanging stars on this adorable patio in Hinsdale. We can’t even. All of this cuteness lives in the refurbished historic Hinsdale Theatre, an idyllic scene for kiddos to indulge in the “Para Chicos” menu that includes mini burgers, mac and cheese, kids’ tacos and more.

Dunlay’s On The Square

3137 W. Logan Blvd.

Not only does this spot in the oh-so-hip Logan Square offer a “kids eat free” special every day from 4:30-6:30 p.m., but brunching it up on this patio is also hard to beat. Fresh juice for the young ones (and delectable Bloody Mary and Mimosa options for you) complement their yummy Housemade Monkey Bread, must-try French toast and insanely tasty omelettes. Enjoy it all while basking in the chillaxing heart of Logan. And if you’re ever dining with dessert on the brain (always), the Skillet Cookie and Chocolate Nutella Brownie totes speak for themselves.

Waterfront Cafe

6219 N. Sheridan Road

Beachfront dining is always a huge win in a Chicago summer, especially when some of the menu items are made just for kids. After a day of splashing and sand castle-building, nothing will taste better than chicken tenders or PB&J for them and a Waterfront Wrap or Lobster Roll for you. Crank that lakeside living up a notch with one of their specialty cocktails, and you’ll forget that Chicago even has a winter.

El Cid

2645 N. Kedzie Ave.

El Cid is where you go when you’re longing for a chic urban vibe with equally kid-tastic options. This spot is picky-eater heaven because every delicious morsel of Mexican cuisine is completely customizable, and kids will have a blast dancing in the backyard space to live musicians throughout the summer. With affordable prices and a laid-back but delightfully fun atmosphere, El Cid scratches the itch for a night in the city without the stress.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

3361 N. Elston Ave.

I probably had you at honey butter—no shame if you’re already drooling—so rest assured that the crave-worthy chicken lives up to every amount of hype. Add in corn muffins, Chocolate Toffee Cookies and maybe an extra side of honey butter, and your food baby will start being as precious to you as your real one. As if a cool patio was even necessary with all that goodness, the outdoor magnet wall at HBFC is all your kids will want to play with. But eventually, they’ll have to de-magnetize themselves for their Honey Buddies Meal, complete with chicken strips, mac and cheese, stickers and coloring pages.

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