Thankfully as a parent there are so many fun things to celebrate with your kids: birthdays, graduations, losing a first tooth, learning how to ride a two wheeler….the list goes on and on. And if you’re like me, I like to have a special meal with my kiddos to commemorate these events.
I find that when I go out to eat with my kids, there are two options: places with tons of entertainment for the kids but awful and overpriced food, or places with yummy food but bore them leading up to the meal so that we are shoveling food in as fast as possible so we can leave the restaurant before they make a scene. Does any of that ring a bell? I’m glad I’m not alone. But based on my extensive research, there are some AWESOME restaurants that are both delish and entertaining for everyone in the family. So here are some suggestions for special meals out with kids in Chicagoland:
Looking for dinner and show? Then look no further than your local Hibachi restaurant—Ron of Japan, Benihana, the list goes on and on. Your own personal chef cooks your entire meal in front of you through an interactive show that kids absolutely LOVE. I must admit that it took my skittish boys a few years to not be so scared of the fire involved, but we learned that if we asked the chef to not use big flames they happily accommodated us and there was no problem at all.
Want to take a step back in time and eat at a drive in? Then head over to my favorite hot dog spot, Superdawg. Kids will love the dawgs, burgers, shakes….and of course, the dancin’ hotdogs on the roof! And if your kiddo only likes ketchup, don’t worry they won’t kick you out. There is a new Wheeling location to check out as well….but since I’m stubborn I stick to the original location.
The American Girl Café
As a boy mom, I must admit that they currently have zero interest in anything that the American Girl Café’ has to offer, but if they ever change their minds, I am all about the one of a kind dining experience there. Enjoy tea time, brunch, or any other meal alongside your doll if desired. They even have special party packages to make your experience even more unique.
Trains and Planes themed restaurants
Ever since I was a little girl, every special event has been marked by a meal on wheels. Seriously. My personal favorite is the Choo Choo restaurant, but another great one is 2 Toots Grill. No matter which restaurant you choose, your food is delivered by train and the memories will last a life time, as I can attest to. Have a plane lover instead? Then Pilot Pete’s in Schaumburg is perfect for you. Enjoy great food, plane themed décor, as well as a view of planes coming in and going out for a one of a kind meal experience.
Dim Sum in Chinatown and Beyond
Have an adventurous eater on your hands? Then feast your eyes and tummies on some of the best dim sum restaurants in Chinatown and Beyond. Our favorites? Ming Hin and Joy Yee. My boys especially love picking out their own food—and mine. Needless to say, we all try something new with each and every Chinatown outing.
Have an airplane lover on your hand? Then head over to Pilot Pete’s where you can enjoy a delicious meal, watch planes and helicopters take off and land, and learn all about aviation.
No celebration is complete without a sweet treat, right? And the most kid friendly and delicious ones are without a doubt Molly’s Cupcakes (just don’t swing too high on those swings!), Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits, and Margie’s Candies for the most decadent hot fudge sundaes imaginable. Looking for something sweet in the burbs? Then I recommend Spunky Dunkers for the world’s best red velvet donuts or Capannari’s Ice Cream for drool worthy ice cream flights.
Where was your favorite restaurant when you were a kid? I’d love to reminisce along with you! Mine was a tie between Ed Debevic’s and Superdawg (the original location, of course!).