18 Jun

Kid-friendly Al fresco dining at Lincoln Park Zoo

Now that the weather is finally nice in Chicago (and monsoon season is over??), it’s a great time to get out of the house, hit up the zoo and eat Al fresco! Not a fan of the zoo, but craving a kid-friendly spot to eat Al fresco with the family in peace? The Patio at Cafe Brauer is a great spot to eat with kids for brunch, lunch or dinner. Need a cocktail with a beautiful view in a garden-like setting? The Patio at Café Brauer is perfect.

The P atio at Cafe Brauer
Café Brauer Ashley Gilday

While there are several snack stands and a few casual sit-down concepts throughout Lincoln Park Zoo, The Patio at Café Brauer is more of a full-service dining experience that caters to adults and the little people in our lives. I mean, brunch starts at 9 am….they get it! Head around the side of Café Brauer to the patio that overlooks North Pond. You will find convenient stroller parking right as you check-in with the host or hostess. The airy patio, has quite the view of the pond, the lush nature boardwalk and the beautiful Chicago skyline. We had a reservation, so our table was ready immediately upon our arrival (which is clutch with impatient toddlers!).

kid friendly chicago
Stroller Valet Ashley Gilday

We went for brunch in early June. The patio was hopping! Our son (4) was seated with a kids menu, crayons and an activity sheet. He got his own paper cup with water and an eco-friendly paper straw. Drinks for us included a nice mix of alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea and a few other non-alcoholic options.

There is wine by the glass, along with wine by the carafe (lunch and dinner only). Wine is also offered by the bottle if you’re looking to get a little buzz on (I don’t judge!). There is a great variety of cocktails, and craft beers. A few standouts form the cocktail list include The Peach Old Fashioned $10, Sangria by the Carafe $18, and the Peach Margarita $10 (can you tell I like peach?). Sadly, I wasn’t drinking, so I didnt have a chance to taste all of the peachy goodness. However, my hubby ordered a Tom Collins and enjoyed it, along with the beautiful view from our table. I opted for a half-caf coffee. Lame, I know.

Tom Collins Ashley Gilday

For brunch I ordered a Greek Salad and a side of fries with ranch. My husband ordered the Chilaquiles, which were fantastic! My son ordered the Sourdough French Toast from the regular menu and ate all of it – no joke.
We ordered a side of whipped cream for the French Toast and it came with a tasty strawberry syrup. The kids menu was pretty basic – pancakes, French toast, eggs. We’re big eaters so ordered off the adult menu for our son. We finished the meal with a warm cookie skillet. It was good, but they over-cooked the cookie slightly. I’d definitely give them another shot at it.

If you are vegan, the Chilaquiles were great (order without eggs and cheese). They have the IMPOSSIBLE burger and a falafel pita sandwich as well. Check with your server for other vegan options. There are a host of tasty-sounding vegetarian options though! The lunch and dinner menu offer more vegan and vegetarian options that sound delicious. We will definitely be heading back this summer to try it out, and catch some live music on the patio (Tues-Thurs 5:30-7:30pm).

Greek Salad, Chilaquiles, Sourdough French Toast @ The Patio at Café Brauer Ashley Gilday

I was comped our meal in exchange for this review. However, all of my opinions are genuine and we will be heading back for dinner with live music this summer! Want to join us?

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