In a city renowned for culinary expertise (i.e. Restaurant Week), there are surprisingly few restaurants that do family-style dining, and even fewer that do it well. Leave it to local families to reveal the best of the best establishments to eat out, be gastronomically entertained, and leave with full bellies and little smiling faces. Enjoy our short-list of restaurants, which get high marks from both adult and juvenile dinners:
Indian Garden, an award-wining restaurant is perhaps a surprising choice for your average family with young kids, but our local scouts swear by the milder spice options, the savory garlic naan, the delicious vegetarian samosas, and the mango lassis. After all, why should you deny your taste buds these exquisite flavors just because you have kids? (Some of the popular items on the menu were even features in Chicago’s Restaurant week!)
2. Belly Q
This Pan-Asian hot spot is kid-friendly with a menu that’s never boring and a do-it-yourself grill top experience to boot! (You can also BYOB, with a corking fee, which is always a treat for those of us who know our grapes). Plus, comfy outside seating is available if you’re so inclined.
3. Big Jones
Come for the southern hospitality and stay for the home cooked meals, kid-approved menu, and simple but masterfully executed food. Try their outstanding fried chicken, mashed potatoes, collard greens, and other classic fixings that look fine on the table and fill you up ‘til tomorrow! The after dinner cocktails are also no laughing matter.
If you love tapas and a lively ambiance than this Spanish/Mediterranean restaurant will not disappoint. From pintxos to paella to chorizos and tortilla Española, both the kids and you will have plenty to choose from. The desserts and sangria are also worthy of tasting and will have you saying “¡delicioso!”
Try something different with the kids and take them to Chicago’s best (Michelin-starred) Ethiopian restaurant. Here you can take a break from an overly carnivorous meal, and enjoy savory vegetables and legumes. Take for example the sambusas stuffed with lentils or spinach, the messob, a savory veggies dish combo and the injera (traditional flatbread of Ethiopia) – perfect for dipping in the sensual sauces on your place.
6. Lula Café
A true farm-to-table joint; but without the too-cool-for-school vibe, your family will enjoy fresh tasting and seasonally conscious menu items. Plus, the servers are extremely knowledgeable on where their ingredients come from and why. Ask a few questions and let your younger ones soak up a more conscious and responsible way to prepare and consume food.