Whether you like Italian, Greek or American food, FTF has some great ideas for restaurant stops in Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago, Illinois is a blue-collar city famous for its blue-collar foods such as pizza, steak and beefy bratwurst. A much lesser part of Chicago's culinary reputation is based on its family restaurants and cafés, many of which don't come with expensive price tags. Here's a few ideas
565 W. Jackson Boulevard
If your family is hungry for a breakfast with extra large portions try the omelets, French toast and Belgian waffles at this popular neighborhood restaurant
726 W. Webster Street at Halstead
Great pancakes and waffles covered in fruit, yogurt or powdered sugar.
Pizza and Italian Food
410 West Huron
Come on Sundays between 4 and 5pm for a pizza-making workshop for kids (reservation suggested for the activity), or come anytime for great pizza and other specialties.
Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
439 N. Wells Street
In a city famed for the best deep dish pizza in the world it's difficult to single out individual eateries, but Lou Malnati's dishes up one of the best thick crust pizzas of any chain in the Windy City.
633 N. Wells Street
Another deep-dish palace, also serving pasta and salads.
516 N. Clark Street
New York's "Little Italy" is recreated at this popular eatery, where huge portions of pasta, chicken and other Italian specialties are served family-style.
6 East Cedar Street
60 East Ohio Street
International menu includes dishes from China and Thailand. The separate kid's menu offers chicken noodle soup, crunchy chicken sticks, chicken pot stickers, kid's satays, stir fries and specialty drinks
314 S Halsted Street
Located in Greek Town, this bustling resturant, which claims to have invented saganaki, or flaming kaseri cheese, serves up very inexpensive, excellent "Family Style Dinners" (including one for vegetarians), complete with spinach cheese pie, taramosalata, Greek salad and a choice of entrees and Greek pastries. "OO-PA!"
Gold Coast Dogs
222 S. Riverside Plaza
All-beef "tube steaks" are the specialty, and who can resist?
The Signature Room
The John Hancock Center, 95th floor
Hungry for a meal with a view? Enjoy lunch (with kid's menu), dinner or Sunday brunch with an amazing view of Chicago's famous skyline from every direction, as well as views of Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin.
333 W. Kinzie Street
A virtual museum of baseball memorabilia (including several seats from the original Comisky Park and Sammy Sosa's bat), serves excellent steaks and Italian specialties to baseball lovers of all ages.
American Girl Place
111 E. Chicago Avenue
Who's your favorite American Girl doll? After shopping for Molly, Felicity or Addy, head to The Cafe for chicken, macaroni and cheese, or salads. Top it off with a chocolate pudding filled flower pot for dessert, and sip pink lemonade or hot cocoa while sharing a table with your new-found friend.
House of Blues
329 N. Dearborn Street
This spacious restaurant dedicated to the history of the blues in Chicago serves a popular version of Cajun/Creole cuisine. Although the front door often swarms with clientele, the energetic atmosphere inside makes up for the wait, especially for teens. Two of the restaurant's celebrity sponsors are Chicago personalities Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi, who occasionally appear in person to perform as the legendary Blues Brothers.
The Rain Forest Cafe
605 N. Clark Street
This extensively decorated restaurant is part of a chain which recreates a tropical rainforest environment with sound effects and a combination of live and animated wildlife. While the family peruses a menu that includes adequate pastas, signature sandwiches and salads, they are serenaded by cascading waterfalls, caged tropical birds and thunder and lightning. Little animal lovers will enjoy the large salt water fish tanks, surrounding lush vegetation, animated crocodiles, primates and even talking trees.
The Original Rock 'n' Roll McDonald's
600 N. Clark Street
At one time the most frequently visited McDonald's in the world (until the opening of their Moscow location), this historic fast food restaurant is still the most visited in the US. Treat the kids to their favorite fast food while surrounding them with one of the largest collections of authentic rock 'n' roll memorabilia.
The Hard Rock Cafe
63 W. Ontario Street
A pop culture icon, this high-energy restaurant plays well-known rock tunes, has an extensive souvenir shop, rock memorabilia and a good kids menu. If you haven't been to a location in Bangkok or Tokyo, you might as well try it. The cuisine is centered around the good-old-fashioned burger. Although prices can sometimes get a little high, kids love the rock n' roll atmosphere and gaudy decor.
901 N. Rush Street
Retro 1950's diner serving burgers, fries and fountain sodas.
1960 N. Western Avenue
An old-fashioned candy and ice-cream shop with home-made chocolates and incredible hot fudge and butterscotch sundaes. Yum!
For other recommended Chicago area restaurants online try www.metromix.com.
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