The bar is a Chicago classic, and the cuisine is Italian. The traditional pasta
dishes and Tufano's lemon chicken with potatoes are always good bets. On the
weekends, go for the homemade ravioli and cavatelli. On Friday, regulars choose
the seafood salad.
1073 W. Vernon Park Place. & 312/733-3393. High chairs, boosters. Reservations not accepted. Menu items
$7-$13. Cash only. Tues-Thurs 11am-10pm; Fri 11am-11pm; Sat 4-11pm; Sun 3-9pm. Subway/El: Blue Line
3 The Randolph Street Market District & Greektown
Much of the Market District is about the “scene”—and when traveling with kids,
making the scene ranks pretty low. But you might want to make a trip to the dis-
trict just to dine at Wishbone, or to experience adjacent Greektown, filled with
cheap eats and noisy, boisterous restaurants where kids blend right in. Greektown
sits on the district's eastern border. There's nothing much to do here besides eat—
but if you have a few days in Chicago, try to make it here for at least one meal.
Transportation to Greektown and the Market District is easy, by the way—
it's about a $7 cab ride from Michigan Avenue or a slightly longer trek by bus
(no. 8 or 9) or El, with stops at Halsted and Lake, a block from the restaurants.
The walk from the Loop is very pleasant and totally secure in the daytime, but
at night, save your stroll for Michigan Avenue.
Wishbone SOUTHERN/CAJUN/BREAKFAST This Southern-style
restaurant has much to recommend it for families. First, it's a homegrown
restaurant, not a chain, with a casual ambience. Second, children can be kept
busy looking at the large and surrealistic farm-life paintings on the walls or read-
ing a picture book, Floop the Fly, loaned to diners (written and illustrated by the
parents of the owners). The food is diverse enough that both adults and kids can
find something to their liking, but there's also a menu geared just to children.
The sprawling, loft-style space is quirky enough to be fun (plenty of folk art),
but still relaxed and attitude-free.
Known for Southern food and big-appetite breakfasts, Wishbone's extensive,
reasonably priced menu blends hearty, home-style choices with healthful and
vegetarian items. Brunch is the 'Bone's claim to fame, when an eclectic crowd of
bedheads packs in for the plump and tasty salmon cakes, omelets, and red eggs
(a lovely mess of tortillas, black beans, cheese, scallions, ancho chile sauce, salsa,
and sour cream). Brunch can be a mob scene, though, so to avoid a long wait,
try lunch or dinner; offerings run from “yardbird” (charbroiled chicken with
sweet red-pepper sauce) and blackened catfish to hoppin' John or Jack (vegetar-
ian variations on the black-eyed-pea classic). Variety is Wishbone's strong point:
Every entree comes with a choice of sides, so diners can mix and match to their
hearts' content. The restaurant provides outdoor seating in nice weather.
There's a newer location at 3300 N. Lincoln Ave. ( & 773/549-2663 ), but
the original location has more character.
1001 Washington St. (at Morgan St.). & 312/850-2663. www.wishbone.epagecity.com. Kids' menu, high
chairs, boosters. Reservations accepted, except for weekend brunch. Main courses $5.25-$9.50 breakfast and
lunch, $6.95-$14 dinner; kids' menu around $6. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Mon-Fri 7am-3pm; Sat-Sun 8am-3pm;
Tues-Fri 5-9pm; Sat 5-10pm.
A short cab ride from the Loop across the south branch of the Chicago River will
take you to the city's Greektown, a row of moderately priced and inexpensive