Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Family-Friendly Dining
Chicago has come into its own as
a major dining destination, and that 's not
limited to the chic, see-and-be-seen spots.
Plenty of options await families, too . I n
addition to those stylish restaurants, you'll
find an amazing array of steakhouses,
family-style I talian r estaurants, and just
about ev ery kind of ethnic cuisine y ou
could possibly crave. You'll be surprised at
the number and range of r estaurants that
welcome kids in Chicago. Even restaurants
that don 't offer a specializ ed kids ' menu
often will pr ovide half-siz e por tions for
children. Whether y ou're looking for a
restaurant for y our family's big night out
or simply a no-frills spot to dig in, in this
chapter you'll find places the locals go to
when they want to eat w ell.
It's not easy to narr ow down the list of
impressive r estaurants in this city . F or a
thorough listing of those budget-busting
spots that routinely make national best-of
lists (Charlie Trotter's, Alinea, and M oto
come to mind), y ou should check out
Frommer's Chicago . I' ve listed a fe w of
these special-occasion r estaurants in case
you get a sitter , but the focus her e is on
places that hav e wonder ful food at mor e
palatable prices, such as the wine bar Avec
(which has attracted a lo yal follo wing of
local foodies), Riv er N orth's O steria Via
Stato, and Bucktown's homey Hot Choco-
late—all of which ar e attracting diners b y
focusing on simple pr
attitude-free) restaurants still thrive in the
city's original immigrant neighborhoods—
Greektown, Little I taly, and Chinato wn.
For more on ethnic food, see the “E thnic
Dining near the Loop” box on p. 114.
nately, Chicago is no longer the budget-
dining destination it once was, but just
because prices have risen doesn't mean that
attitudes hav e. R estaurants in Chicago
might have become trendy, but they're still
I've divided r estaurants in this chapter
into thr ee price categories: “Expensive”
indicates that most entr ees run from $18
to $25 (and sometimes mor e); “Moder-
ate” means that most entr ees ar e $20 or
less; and at an “Inexpensive” place, they
cost $15 or less.
Whether you're looking for a restaurant
where y ou can blo w y our dining budget
for the month, or simply a no-frills spot to
dig in, these ar e the places the locals go
when they want to eat w ell. To find out
more about r estaurants that hav e opened
since this topic went to pr ess, check out
the Chicago Tribune 's entertainment web-
site ( ), the w ebsites
for the monthly magazine Chicago ( www. ) and the w eekly Time
Out Chicago ( ),
and the enter tainment/nightlife w ebsite .
Note to smokers: The Chicago City
Council has banned smoking in all restau-
rants; those with a separate bar ar
eparations and a
fuss-free ambience.
Chicago's ethnic restaurants appeal to
any price range, and ar e a highlight of
the city's dining scene. Affor dable (and
ea can
allow smoking, but only if they hav
installed an air-filtration system.
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