To start Kick off the crawl by sipping frothy milk teas at Saint’s Alp Teahouse (2131 S Archer Ave, 312-842-1886). Order up the Taiwanese hors d’oeuvres sampler ($4) to expose the kids to sweet and sticky chicken wings, deep-fried shrimp balls and tame hard-boiled
Main course Food that arrives in little boats, more colors than a Crayola box and fresh fruit disguised as yummy shakes make Joy Yee’s Noodles (2159 S China Pl, 312-842-8928) the fail-safe for Chinatown eating with tykes in tow. Pan-Asian staples run the gamut from mild to mad, but even picky eaters are content with grilled chicken on vermicelli noodles topped with an egg roll ($7.50).
Dessert A kid in a candy store is universal happiness, but a kid in Aji Ichiban (2117 S China Pl, 312-328-9998) is akin to Alice falling through the rabbit hole, exposing a magical world of colorful candies sure to spark curiosity and enough samples to start the sugar rush before even dropping a dime.
Toy Trinkets abound at AJ Housewares & Gifts (2125 S China Pl, 312-567-9908), where good-luck kitty key chains can be picked up for a dollar, and corkscrew stalks of bamboo ($5–$20) make an ideal souvenir for fledgling green thumbs.