Watching the World Float by from
The outdoor cafes along the banks of the Chicago River's main branch,
between Wabash Avenue and Wells Street, are run by restaurants that
change from year to year, so we can't recommend specific restaurants or
dishes. But food is almost an afterthought: Kids will thrill to the parade of
schooners and speedboats cruising along the Chicago River on their way
to Lake Michigan. Open seasonally.
1942. Kid highlights include spaghetti, beef stew, rice pudding, German choco-
late cake, and the occasional special, from franks and beans to chop suey. Adults
can grab a tray and navigate the fast-moving line. Even if they go for more stan-
dard fare, kids will be awed by the carving station known for its enormous
corned-beef sandwiches (about half a lb.), Reubens, world-class hot pastrami,
and steamship rounds the size of VW Beetles. Gruff yet friendly staff in paper
hats take their métier seriously, and the effect—and the food—is absolutely reas-
suring. Seat yourself and snarf down knishes, borscht, liver and onions, meat-
loaf, tongue, and stewed prunes. Introduce your kids to the old-fashioned joys
of cream soda and Green River.
1141 S. Jefferson St. & 312/939-2855. www.mannysdeli.com. High chairs, boosters. Reservations not
accepted. Main courses $4.95-$8.95. No credit cards. Mon-Sat 5am-4pm. Subway/El: Red Line to Roosevelt.
Mrs. Levy's Delicatessen SANDWICHES Should you be planning a trip
up the Sears Tower, here's the perfect place to stop and fortify your family first.
This retro deli displays signed photos of famous patrons and offers up deli sta-
ples such as knishes, blintzes, and homemade soups. Sandwiches are piled high
and include corned beef, beef brisket, and pastrami; soup of the day might
include sweet-and-sour cabbage, chicken matzo ball, or mushroom barley.
233 S. Wacker Dr. (Sears Tower), 2nd floor. & 312/993-0530. High chairs. Reservations not accepted. All
main courses under $8. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Mon-Sat 11am-5pm. Subway/El: Brown Line to Wells/Franklin.
Potbelly Sandwich Works SANDWICHES Ask a Chicagoan where
to go for a great sandwich, and he'll invariably point the way to Potbelly. Yes,
there's a potbelly stove inside, as well as a player piano and other Old West
saloon-type memorabilia, but go here for the mouthwatering made-to-order
sandwiches. (That's all they serve.) Prepared on homemade sub rolls stuffed with
turkey, Italian meats, veggies, pizza ingredients, and more, and layered with let-
tuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and Italian seasonings, they're warmed in a coun-
tertop toaster oven. Even with all the fixin's, each is around $5. Tempting
milkshakes keep the blender mighty busy. Potbelly has nearly 20 other locations
throughout the city, including one in The Shops at North Bridge, 520 N.
Michigan Ave. ( & 312/527-5550 ), that is convenient for Loop and Magnifi-
cent Mile sightseers and shoppers.
190 N. State St. (at Lake St.). & 312/683-1234. High chairs, boosters. Reservations not accepted. Main
courses $3.50-$5.50. No credit cards. Mon-Fri 10am-9pm; Sat 10am-7pm; Sun 11am-6pm. Subway/El: Red
Line to State.
Tufano's Vernon Park Tap ITALIAN Taking the family to the United Cen-
ter to suffer along with the Chicago Bulls? Here's a great spot to fortify your fam-
ily for the long evening ahead. Located on the eastern edge of Little Italy,