These kid-friendly restaurants go way beyond coloring pages. Think ride-on trains, hula dancers, custom balloon twisting, a spy-themed spot where you need to know the passcode, and even a stroller valet. We’ve rounded up our favorites, from local gems to over-the-top theme restaurants, to help make your family dining experiences extra-special. We hope this list helps your family form memories around the table (especially since someone else will be doing the dishes).
Fun Restaurants for Kids in Chicago’s West Suburbs
Train Restaurants in Chicagoland
2Toots Train Whistle Grill
Locations in Bartlett, Glen Ellyn, and Naperville
Every seat is along the train track at this grill that serves up grass-fed beef burgers and hot dogs. Sign up your kids up for the birthday club to get a free meal and dessert!
All Aboard Diner
1510B 75th Street
Downers Grove, IL 60516
Enjoy the classic diner feel and working train track that delivers food and dessert by toy train. There’s also a model train with buttons kids can press to activate different parts of the scene. Be sure to toot the horn on your way out!
The Junction Diner
7401 Madison Street
Forest Park, IL 60130
Kids will enjoy having their meal delivered to them via model train chugging around the counter. Kids can also play at a large train table.
The Choo Choo Diner
600 Lee Street
Des Plaines, IL 60016
Burgers, hot dogs, and other classic diner fare, all delivered via train at this diner that harkens back to the 1950s. It’s a block north of the Metra station in Des Plaines if you’d like to ride the train there. The diner is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays and is only open for dinner on Thursdays, so check before you go. No credit cards accepted.
Tyler’s Tender Railroad Restaurant
350 East U.S. 30
Schererville, IN 46375
This train restaurant adds to the experience with a big ride-on train that goes around its own track, an interactive O-scale model train, and an arcade room. Classic American favorites are delivered via model flatbed train car.
130 South Clow International Parkway
Bolingbrook, IL 60490
For your plane-loving kiddos, enjoy good food and a great view of planes coming and going!
905 Irving Park Road
Schaumburg, IL 60193
Watch the planes take off while dining at this aviation-themed eatery, located at the Schaumburg airport.
Special Restaurants by Chicagoland Family Attractions
Gingko Restaurant and Cafe
Located in The Morton Arboretum
Lisle, IL 60532
Beautiful views of Meadow Lake coupled with family-friendly dining. Note: you have to pay for admission to the Arboretum in order to visit this restaurant.
Located on the grounds of Cantigny Park
1 S 151 Winfield Road
Wheaton, IL 60189
After a fun afternoon exploring, the kids can feast on family-friendly dining options at one of the Cantigny restaurants.
Mary’s Morning Mix Up
9110 Broadway Ave
Brookfield, IL 60513
Really great breakfast and lunch options and a fun, kid-friendly atmosphere make this a great stop on the way to or from Brookfield Zoo.
2001 N Roselle Road
Schaumburg, IL 60195
The family can enjoy a four-course medieval style meal while watching knights on horseback joust and compete. A very entertaining dining experience!
2056 N Lincoln Park
Chicago, IL 60614
Right by the Lincoln Park Zoo, you’ll find the first-ever Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant and its famous salad bar. Kids are treated like royalty with a stroller valet, kids’ meals on cafeteria trays with crayons and animal crackers, and fun milkshakes.
Locations in Bolingbrook and Schaumburg
After meandering through the Ikea store (and testing out the toys), the kids are sure to enjoy some Swedish meatballs in the restaurant. Grown ups will enjoy the very affordable prices and free coffee with a free IKEA Family Card. There are activity stations in the cafeteria, plus a family restroom.
Islamorada Fish Company
Inside Bass Pro Shop
709 Janes Avenue
Bolingbrook, IL 60440
The outdoorsy family will love exploring the store and then dining beside a large fish tank great for viewing underwater adventures.
Suburban Restaurants with Games for Kids
5525 S. LaGrange Rd.
Countryside, IL 60525
Great casual pizza spot perfect for families with arcade games and a jukebox that the kids are sure to enjoy. Head to Andy’s right down the road for a tasty frozen custard afterwards!
6326 Cass Avenue
Westmont, IL 60559
A pizza buffet on weeknights. Monday through Wednesday, kids get free tokens to play games in one of the two arcade and game rooms.
7 Oakbrook Center
Oak Brook, IL 60523
Italian-American dishes combined with bowling/bocce ball at this fun restaurant. On weekday mornings, kids can bowl for $3/hour (plus $3 shoe rental) and parents bowl free.
Little Owl Social Pub
3747 Grand Blvd
Brookfield, IL 60513
This “social pub” brings everyone together in Brookfield with tons of board games, shuffleboard, and good food. It’s a pub like you might find in Europe, where families come together and kids are right at home during the day.
Local Family-Friendly Favorites
Blueberry Hill Breakfast Cafe
Locations in Aurora, Darien, Homer Glen, Oak Brook, Plainfield, La Grange, Tinley Park, and Homewood; addresses and contact info here.
Always a favorite spot for breakfast out with the family, and they offer a fun kids menu.
7930 W 26th Street
North Riverside, IL 60546
Parents can enjoy tropical drinks and the whole family will be dancing along to the live entertainment at this Asian-fusion restaurant with an island feel! Check online for select evenings with hula dancers and a fire show.
Locations in Algonquin, Aurora, Naperville, and St. Charles; see here
I have memories of Colonial Cafe from my own childhood! The creative kids’ menu and inventive ice cream sundaes make it a family favorite. Come Monday nights from 5:30–7:30pm, when kids eat free and a balloon twister twirls up custom creations for each child. (Bring a small cash tip for the balloon twister.)
Black Rock Bar & Grill
2740 W 75th Street
Naperville, IL 60564
You won’t want to miss the volcano dessert piled high with brownie, ice cream, waffle cone, chocolate, caramel, marshmallow, and a sparkler on top.
Everdine’s Grilled Cheese Co.
24 W Jefferson Avenue
Naperville, IL 60540
An entire restaurant in downtown Naperville dedicated to grilled cheese sandwiches, from basic to gourmet! Head right up the street to Naper Nuts and Sweets to let kids pick a few treats from the candy bins afterwards, too.
Mojo’s East Coast Eats
2758 Maple Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Kids’ meals are delivered on a take-home frisbee at this neat spot that specializes in cheesesteaks. (If you’re from the east coast, this will give you a dose of home!) Kids eat free on Tuesdays.
White Fence Farm
1376 Joliet Road
Romeoville, IL 60446
There are carryout locations, too, but the original restaurant is your destination. This longtime local favorite specializes in fried chicken and all the fixings on a huge property with its own farm animals to visit.
Wok N Fire
Burr Ridge, St. Charles, South Barrington, and Wheaton
Kids will enjoy the neat background of color changing lights while enjoying sushi, stir-fry, and noodles.
Special Chicago Restaurants for Kids
American Girl Place
835 N Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
AG doll-loving kiddos will love bringing their dolls along for a special meal or afternoon tea. They even have high chairs for their dolls.
Hard Rock Cafe
63 W Ontario Street
Chicago, IL 60654
For the rockin’ and rollin’ family, enjoy walls adorned with all sorts of Hollywood memorabilia for a fun meal out in the city!
5500 Park Place
Rosemont, IL 60018
Authentic German food, including delicious giant soft pretzels, as well as live music for kids to sing and dance along.
Italian Village Chicago
71 W Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603
You can’t beat a moonlit meal and great atmosphere that feels as though your family has been transported to the heart of Italy. A tradition in Chicago since 1927!
189 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Nutella-loving families unite at the Nutella Cafe for all things Nutella in a casual, kid-friendly environment.
605 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654
Unfortunately, the Schaumburg location closed at the end of 2019. Now you’ll have to head to Chicago for this theme restaurant with giant saltwater tanks, beautiful fish, rainstorm ambiance, and kid-friendly fare. There’s rampant speculation that the Chicago location won’t renew its next lease — so if this is on your bucket list, go soon!
60 E Ontario Street
Chicago, IL 60611
A fun, kid-friendly restaurant where you can pretend you are a spy! Go earlier in the evening, before the bar crowd takes over. There’s a spy-themed escape room next door, too.
6363 N Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60646
A classic drive-in hot dog stand with fantastic Chicago-style hot dogs that are made to order. You’ll see it coming by the giant hot dog statues on top!
Downers Grove, Naperville, and Schaumburg locations
Older kids will delight in dipping all kinds of delicious fondue-style food into hot pots of cheese, chocolate, and broth. Naperville location, too.
Locations include Naperville, Countryside, Joliet, and Tinley Park
Kids will get a kick out of line-dancing with the staff! (Allergy parents: Be aware that peanuts are everywhere inside.)
Uncle Julio’s Mexican
Lombard and Naperville locations
Don’t miss the chocolate pinata, which kids can whack open at the table for a perfect birthday treat. Sometimes they will hand out homemade tortillas to kids who are waiting for a table, too.