the lakefront and Loop skyline. It's a great vantage point for Wednesday- and Fri-
day-night fireworks, too. The Navy Pier location is handy for sightseers; kids will
like the burgers, meatloaf, and, maybe, the chicken potpie. The original location in
Lincoln Park triumphs with a wonderful beer garden, which is welcoming to fam-
ilies. (The restaurant says everyone is welcome—except dogs!) It's spacious, sur-
rounded by tall ivy-covered brick walls, and buzzing with activity and good vibes.
The Lincoln Park restaurant is at 1224 W. Webster Ave. ( & 773/871-1440 ); take
the Red Line to Sheffield.
700 E. Grand Ave. & 312/595-1440. Kids' menu, high chairs, boosters. Reservations accepted only for par-
ties of 15 or more. Main courses $11-$17; kids' menu $5. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Mon-Fri 11am-midnight;
Sat-Sun 11am-1am. Subway/El: Red Line to Grand/State; transfer to Navy Pier's free trolley.
Corner Bakery BREAKFAST/SANDWICHES In case of emergency hunger
meltdown, it's a good idea to locate the nearest Corner Bakery ahead of time. A
very popular destination (and justifiably so), there are about 40 outlets in
Chicago and its suburbs. It's easy to get addicted to the coffee and sweets here:
In fact, when my former office mates and I counted up our visits each week, we
decided to dub our local branch “Corner Bankruptcy.” Sandwiches, salads, fruit,
and amazing baked-good desserts are highlights. (Try the lemon bars dusted
with powdered sugar, or the peanut butter brownie, or the mini caramel Bundt
cake—try anything!) The homemade chips sprinkled with Parmesan are impos-
sible to resist. Grilled panini with turkey, bacon, and cheese, or homemade mac
and cheese will appeal to kids. Some of the main locations include one in River
North at 516 N. Clark St. ( & 312/644-8100 ), attached to Melman's Mag-
giano's Italian restaurant; and a location east of Michigan Avenue at 676 N. St.
Clair St., at Erie Street ( & 312/266-2570 ).
1121 N. State St. (at Cedar St.). & 312/787-1969. High chairs, boosters. Reservations not accepted. Menu
items $7-$10. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Mon-Thurs 7am-8:30pm; Fri-Sat 7am-9pm; Sun 7am-8pm. Subway/El:
Red Line to Clark/Division.
Flapjaw Café BURGERS This down-home bar and grill is quite a find just
off the Mag Mile: a low-key place serving burgers and grilled turkey sandwiches
in baskets with fries. The bar-in-the-round with outlying tables and stools has a
comfortable atmosphere. Although many young professionals come here for
lunch and for a drink after work, it's a bustling, friendly place where kids are
welcome. However, because tables are high—most seats are bar stool height—
this restaurant is better suited for kids over age 3, who can comfortably sit in a
booster. The menu is very simple and straightforward: California-style pizza,
grilled sandwiches, salads, soups, and appetizers—all fairly cheap. Sit outside for
a nice view of street life around the Loyola University campus.
22 E. Pearson St. & 312/642-4848. High chairs, boosters. Reservations not accepted. All menu items under
$10. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Mon-Fri 11am-10pm; Sat 11am-6pm. Subway/El: Red Line to Chicago/State.
foodlife ECLECTIC Yes, another successful concept courtesy of
Lettuce Entertain You's Rich Melman: a food court with a healthy twist. Located
on the mezzanine of Water Tower Place, just outside the entrance of the Mity
Nice Grill, foodlife consists of a dozen or so kiosks offering both ordinary and
exotic specialties—a total of 700 different items. Four hundred seats are spread
out cafe-style in a very pleasant environment under realistic boughs of artificial
trees festooned with strings of lights in the shapes of grapes and other fruits.
The beauty of a food court, of course, is that it tries to offer something for
everybody. At foodlife the burger-and-pizza crowd will be satisfied, but so will