How to Enjoy Eataly Chicago with Kids

Any parent knows that taking kids out to a restaurant is anything BUT relaxing. You worry about them being quiet, staying seated, waiting patiently, actually eating the expensive meal you ordered…the list goes on and on. Well, I am here to encourage you to pack your diaper bag, grab your kids of any and all ages, and head out to dine at one of Chicago’s most popular restaurants, Eataly Chicago. Why? Because it addresses all of the things that stresses parents out so that they can actually enjoy a glass of wine and conversation about things other than sippy cups and naptime schedules.

Thanks to Eataly Chicago for hosting my family and I for a complimentary meal. All opinions are my own.

 

So why is Eataly Chicago such a magical place for families? Because it is a feast for the eyes…and the stomach. There are olive oil fountains, gelato and cannoli bars, fresh farm stands…even blocks of cheese that are larger than any preschooler in Chicagoland. I mean, even a ride up and down the escalator was an exciting adventure for my boys. And to top it off, the smells wafting from all of the different stations will undoubtedly make your mouth water and stomach growl.

Once you are done looking around the vast displays of treats and goods located on the multiple floors of Eataly Chicago, take a break by indulging in the new children’s menu at their most popular restaurant, La Pizza and La Pasta. While parents get to choose from delicious handmade pizzas and pastas, kids also get to take a culinary adventure Sundays through Thursdays through their interactive children’s menu. Kids under ten receive a menu to color in their preferred pizza shape (bunny, heart, butterfly, or fish) and toppings (sausage, mushrooms, basil, ham, salami, zucchini). Five to ten minutes later, their whimsical and personalized pizza appears.

My boys absolutely loved that they had so much choice over their meal, especially my picky eater who absolutely HATES cheese on his pizza. There was a bit of a snafu with his order, but within minutes his perfect pizza arrived, sans cheese and in the adorable fish shape that he ordered. The Neopolitan style pizza crust was a hit with my boys and generous enough for leftovers the next day, which made my life so much easier the next day. The price of $9 was just right for the amount of food provided, although we do wish there were child friendly drinks available (our choices were restricted to Italian sodas, which we passed on).

As for the rest of our meal, my husband enjoyed the Tartufella pizza (buffalo mozzarella, black truffle cream, sausage and basil) while I swooned over the Pappardelle pasta with the most flavorful braised brisket ragu I have ever tasted. Additionally, our entire family shared the fresh Insalata di Rucola, consisting of arugula, lemon vinaigrette, and parmesen cheese. And of course, we both enjoyed a glass of wine while catching up and the boys busily coloring their menus and devouring their pizzas. Our waiter was so kind and knowledgeable and gave us wonderful suggestions on not only the most popular dishes, but also his personal favorites.

While looking around the restaurant, we saw that we were not the only family enjoying a meal together…and for good reason. The restaurant is loud and bright, two things I’m always on the hunt for when choosing a family friendly restaurant, and the service is wonderfully quick. We didn’t feel rushed at all and spent the perfect amount of time enjoying our meal as a family, but if your kids get a bit squirrely, take a few laps around Eataly and talk about what type of gelato you are going to enjoy for dessert.

 

Two last things to be aware of when dining and exploring Eataly Chicago: ditch the stroller (baby wearing is so much easier) and make reservations. Because no matter how efficient the service is, no toddler likes to wait to eat…speaking from experience of course.

Hope you enjoy your trip to Eataly Chicago. Caio!
Amanda
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Comments

  1. robin rue says

    We have an Eataly here in Boston, but have yet to make it there. One of these days I will, but luckily my kids are older and well seasoned at eating out 🙂

  2. Jeanette says

    I have not been Chicago in years. I need to get back there because there are so many things to explore this place being one. I know we would enjoy it.

  3. Christy Maurer says

    Quick service is a must with kids! I remember one incident with my son when it took a long time to get our food….NOT fun lol. Those days are long past, but he still doesn’t like to wait to eat lol. Eataly sounds like a great place for families.

    • Amanda says

      Eataly was created by the talented chef Mario Batali…if you love Italian food (who doesn’t?!?!), it is definitely the place for you!

  4. Muna Kenny says

    Look like a nice place to go to! The name is new to me but I will ask hubby to make there one day. It looks busy and that’s a good indication of how delicious the food is.

  5. Jaime Nicole says

    I have not been to an Eataly yet! I generally go to Chicago without my kids but have been thinking about taking them for a long weekend, so this sounds perfect!

  6. Pam says

    I love that the kids have so much control over their order. Perfect for picky eaters like your son…and like both my kids.

  7. Sandy N Vyjay says

    I have not heard of Eataly earlier. We as a family are always looking out for options for a family eat out. Eataly Chicago does seem to be a fun place to dine with family. Kids will love and it is nice to know the service is good.

  8. Victoria Heckstall says

    This place looks kid-friendly and perfect to my nieces! Love their food as well. I’m glad that you had fun with your kids.

  9. My Teen Guide says

    This looks like a really child-friendly restaurant! That pizza looks so good. Do they have other branches? If they do, I haven’t seen any near me.

  10. AnnMarie John says

    I don’t think I’ve dined here before! It sounds amazing and I would love to take the kids here as well. I appreciate that it’s such a family friendly place and you can’t go wrong with that one! The food looks amazing!

  11. Debra J Hawkins says

    You had me at gelato! I think this would be such a great place to bring my kids with me. I actually love taking my kids out to eat!

  12. Sheri says

    We ate a lasagna here when we were in Chicago. I think it is a nice place to eat and shop a little. Different from Italy which we are used to but nice.

    • Amanda says

      Well, Eataly Chicago is unlike any other Italian restaurant so I highly recommend that you try it out for its authentic vibes and cuisine!

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