Top 5 spots to dine with your kids in Lincoln Park

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I remember talking to my mom when my kids were younger and asking her how she ever made it through dining out with children. She looked at me the way you would look at someone that was new to the planet and asking you what the sun was. In two words she said, ” We didn’t.” Then followed with, ” Why would you take kids out it’s miserable?”

I mean, she had a point. I remember that stage, where every outing would end in someone’s tears, usually mine. I wonder, what possesed me to keep trying despite the repeated failure of our family in restaurants. Well, the answer to that is another blog post but suffice it to say as my kids have gotten older, going out to dinner is somewhat, dare i say it? Enjoyable….

Now that the weather is officially warm I am finding myself more and more out and about with the kiddos when it’s time to chow. While dining with kids is never a walk in the park, I’ve rounded up my top 5 neighborhood spots to eat with kids in the city that don’t involve a happy meal or a ball pit. All of these places have food for kids and adults and provide the ambience (cocktails) you need to help you enjoy the restaruant experience with kids in tow!


We love this place for it’s outdoor seating and great cocktails. The kids love it because they can get their own personal pizza. If you’re thinking, “How could there be fights over pizza?” you probably only have one kid.  The L track is right nearby so really, it’s pretty hard to be too noisy if you’re seated outside. They have lots of appetizers that feel “healthy” but are really good and not healthy at all which is my MO for dining out. Who wants bean dip?!  It’s walking distance from our house and we find ourselves here sometimes once a week.

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Derby is so easy and a no brainer with kids. They have great atmosphere, and even a pop-corn machine to keep the kids busy until the food comes. It’s never swamped with kids, so it’s not too loud if you’re the only one there making noise. Are you seeing a theme here?


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2. DropShot 

Ok, so technically this is not a kid place. There are normally a lot of people working there with their laptops or quietly talking. The thing is, their food is really good. Try their cheeseburger. I’ve found that every time I take my kids there, they are sort of freaked out by the silence and sit and eat quietly. I’m not sure how long this phenomenon will last, but I’m up for keeping up the experiment until it fails at least twice. Sorry in advance to all millennials who don’t work from an office, but you should really pay attention because I am your future.

Drop Shot Chicago

4. Jeni’s Ice Cream  

This place is walking distance from our house and I end up taking the kids there at least a few times a week. It’s the best bribe because I always end up getting something myself. Bribes are always better when you get something out of it too, am I right?



The food is good, the atmosphere is great and they have a great kids menu. I would be lying if I said I don’t end up eating half of my son’s grilled cheese every. single. time..

And the cookies that they bake in house on the way out.. I mean I don’t know what kind of portion ideas they have because they are literally the size of my head, but I’m not complaining. It still counts as one cookie as long as it is ONE circle last time I checked..

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Have you checked out these places? What do YOU think?


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