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Mother Hoods: Chicago’s Best According To Amanda Jane Jones

Written by James Kicinski-McCoy

Photography by Photo courtesy of Amanda Jane Jones

Heading to the Windy City any time soon? Why not let Mother profile subject Amanda Jane Jones be your guide? We asked the Hyde Park resident to spill on all of her favorite hotspots in town, from good eats to her favorite beach, most of which are kid friendly!

What are your favorite places in your city to…

Eat with the kids? “We love to take Jane to Plein Air. She loves the quinoa bowls and the chocolate chip cookies. Soo Choi, the owner, always makes a point to make Jane feel included. She’s the sweetest. We also take Jane to Big Star, but we usually get it to-go and have a picnic in the park. They don’t have baby chairs, which is a downside. However, Antique Taco is just as yummy and they have high chairs. We love the cheese curds and milkshakes there. Another kid-friendly spot is Bang Bang Pie. Oh man, those biscuits. Our whole family is crazy for them.”

Eat with just adults? “We haven’t done much of that yet, but Lula Cafe is on our to-go list for our next date night.

Shop for kids?Heritage Littles.”

Shop for yourself?Una Maes and Independence.”

Play with your child?The zoo, the conservatory, the beach, and Promontory Point.”

Play with your adult friends? “There is a new music venue and restaurant that opened in our neighborhood, The Promontory. The food is great and we can’t wait to check out a show. The space is beautiful.”

Get out in nature? “We always go to the 57th street beach. We’re there every other day. We ride our bikes, which Jane adores. Then we just sit and splash and chase seagulls for hours. On the way home, we like to stop and get a lavender lemonade at the cafe down the street from our house.”

Any good flea markets/thrift shops? “To be honest, we haven’t been to any in the actual city yet, but we’ve gone antiqueing along I-80. It seems every town has some sort of antique mall or thrift store. We were like kids in a candy store. So many treasures! I’ve also heard that the Elkhorn Flea Market in Elkhorn, WI, is pretty amazing.”

Any good museums/art installations?Chicago Institue of Art is the only one we’ve visited and we love it! It’s free for IL residents on Thursday nights. Bonus!”

Where do you take out-of-town visitors?UofC. It’s so pretty. The architecture is stunning and the neighborhood is just beautiful. Promontory Point, it’s our little spot. We love it there. The breeze, the smell of the lake, the rocks, the fire pits…it’s a favorite. We usually take people to Valois. It’s super cheap breakfast food/cafeteria and Obama’s favorite. It’s not the classiest establishment, but it’s fun. We also take guests to try some of Chicago’s donuts. There are so many! We still haven’t tried them all, it’s a goal. We’ve heard Donut Vault is the best, but my current favorite is Stan’s Donuts.”

Any tourist-y places that are worth it to visit? “We like The Bean, it’s a classic! We’ve also heard that the boat architecture tour is fantastic. We’ll have to check it out when Jane is a little older. We also always take guests to the Art Institute. We love it there. The modern wing is our favorite—beautiful architecture.”

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