Tips for Visiting Pilot Pete’s

The Chicago Air and Water show tends to give airplanes a bad wrap, as far as this Chicago mama is concerned. I mean, when extremely loud jets and other types of planes are flying overhead, exactly IN THE MIDDLE OF NAPTIME, moms might be so angry they shake even harder than their windows. But here’s the thing—planes are so incredibly neat to little kids so don’t let one extremely loud weekend cause you to curse every time you see a plane. Go out and have some plane themed fun! Head over to Pilot Pete’s in Schaumburg to get your fill of everything aviation all while filling your bellies with comforting food.

Pilot Pete’s in a restaurant that overlooks the Schaumburg airport. So that means that while you enjoy your meal, you can watch airplanes take off and land. That is, if you follow these three tips for visiting Pilot Pete’s.


DINE AT AN OFF TIME. Pilot Pete’s is a popular restaurant. Why? Maybe it’s the food. Maybe it’s the décor. Maybe it’s because it is a hang out for local pilots and aviation enthusiasts. Whatever the reason, visit at an off time (weekdays for an early or late lunch or an early dinner while the sun is still shining) so you have a better chance of getting a window seat and not having to wait long for a table (unfortunately they do not take reservations). Oh, and don’t forget that planes don’t fly on stormy days so come back another day if you have your heart set on seeing some real airplane action.

BE PREPARED. I know, I know, most parents head out to eat with a bag bursting with diapers, snacks, toys, and whatever else will keep their little ones from being difficult and having a tantrum in public. But what I’m talking about is brushing up on your aviation knowledge before heading to Pilot Pete’s. There are tons of model airplanes hanging throughout the restaurant, so my boys and I like to bring our airplane books and have a real life I-Spy competition for the planes and jets that we are reading about.

The waiting area for the restaurant is filled with TONS of memorabilia to look at, so don’t worry if the host tells you that there is a 15 minute wait because you will spend it checking everything out. I mean, how often do you get to sit in old airplane seats that are actually large and comfy enough to take a nap in? Those were the days, I tell ya… Also, each child can have a complimentary foam airplane from the bowl on the host stand. I recommend picking out an airplane after you order so your little plane lover isn’t antsy while waiting for the food to arrive.


COME HUNGRY.Pilot Pete’s isn’t one of those unique family friendly restaurants that you only go to once a year on special occasions because the food is nasty. Everything that we have tried on the menuis fresh and tasty, from the hand battered chicken strips to the flavorful lobster roll and the wide variety of salads. Just know that sometimes they will sell out of an item early in the day because it is so popular, but rest assured that you will find other delicious options on their vast menu.

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Lastly, spend some time in the party room if it isn’t occupied to get the best view of the runway. The floor to ceiling windows and beautiful décor make it perfect for a birthday, shower, or other private party.

Looking for other fun restaurants to try with your family? These are our favorites for delicious meals, great service, and just plain fun atmospheres.


Bon appetite and fly safely!
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