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three days downtown with kids and a tight budget

pbplus | Mar 8, 201503:42 PM

I'm incredibly excited to introduce my kids to Chicago in June and have been reading through many discussions looking for restaurant ideas. I'm a serious foodie and international traveler, but our kids haven't traveled much yet. They're adventurous eaters though and have enjoyed a lot of the great ethnic food that Philly has to offer. Our limiting factor for the trip isn't taste buds; it's a tight budget. We currently can't afford to splurge on pricey meals and still stay for several days.

Based on what I've read so far, I'm trying to come up with a list of places that would give us a delicious and authentic Chicago experience without breaking the bank. Below is what I've come up with so far. I'd love to hear comments on the current list as well as additional suggestions. I'm sure I'm just scratching the surface.

Pizza - Lou Malnati's/Pizano's

Italian beef - Johnnie's/Al's

Portillo's - I really don't get the hot dog obsession. I was totally against the idea until I read that Portillo's has cheap hot dogs AND great chocolate cake. Now I could be convinced.

Little Goat Diner - I read that they're inexpensive, but I'm nervous because they don't list prices on their menu. I usually only expect high end places to omit prices.

Xoco - for churros & chocolate - Is it worth having a full meal there?

Bongo Room - I've seen it mentioned several places, though the menu doesn't look particularly fascinating to me.

Snacks: Garrett's popcorn - Do-Rite donuts

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can offer!

Garrett Popcorn Shops,
Lou Malnati's Pizzeria,
Little Goat Diner
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