Beachfront restaurants and concessions
On Chicago's lakefront, there's no shortage of sun, sand and kid-baiting treats.
Belly Up at 63rd Street Beach
Belly up at Belly Up, located right in the 63rd Street Beach House, for jerk chicken that’ll give the sun and surf a run for your attention. 6300 S Lake Shore Dr (312-742-4847, chicagoparkdistrict.com).
Caffè Oliva at Ohio Street Beach
This new seasonal outdoor spot at Ohio Street Beach offers a Mediterranean-inspired menu that includes a kid-friendly chicken-mozzarella flatbread. Little beach bums will love it as much as parents love the lake and skyline views. Ohio Street near Navy Pier (773-828-9841, caffeoliva.com).
The Dock at Montrose Beach
With a full bar and a stage set for live music, this beachside grill may not always be ideal for younger crowds. However, we believe sweet potato fries appeal to all age demographics. 200 W Montrose Harbor Dr (773-828-9841, thedockatmontrosebeach.com).
Mmm…Burger at Gillson Beach
Taking a break from the deep-fried goodies usually found at beachside stands, Gillson Beach’s new vendor focuses on fresh, quality ingredients. Kids will especially love the Oh My Bacon Cheddar Burger, featuring applewood smoked bacon and Merkt’s cheese, while salads and mahimahi tacos appeal to parents. Sheridan Rd and Michigan Ave, Wilmette (847-256-9660, wilmettepark.org).
Parrot Cage Restaurant at South Shore Beach
If you’re planning a Sunday at the beach, brunch ($19, kids $12.50) begins at 11am at this Washburne Culinary Institute–operated restaurant. Located inside an old country club at South Shore Beach, the restaurant features a rotating menu, but the morning buffet, including waffles and omelette station, is something to count on. 7059 S South Shore Dr (773-602-5333, apps.ccc.edu/parrotcage/home.html).
Waterfront Café at Edgewater Beach
If the kids are good, treat ’em to a cold apple juice at this spot housed in a historic mansion right in Berger Park. If they’re really good, cool ’em down with one of six different flavored milkshakes. Oreo, please! 6219 N Sheridan Rd, near Hollywood Beach (773-761-3294, waterfrontcafechicago.com)