Top 5 new Chicago restaurants for families in 2012

Butcher & the Burger Allen Sternweiler’s adorable burger joint doubles as a butcher shop. It’s a DIY affair: Customers pick their meat, their bun, their spice rub and their toppings before the burger is made to order–meaning picky-pants kids can go as plain or weird as they like. 1021 W Armitage Ave, 773-697-3757

Crosby’s Kitchen Valet stroller parking, stools so your tykes (who eat free from 4–6pm daily) can reach the sinks in the bathroom, a bar with a lovely selection of craft beer and wine … (good) food aside, Crosby’s may be the best thing that’s happened to weary Chicago parents in a long time. 3455 N Southport, 773-883-2525 

Lao Sze Chuan (Uptown) Finally, good Chinese on the North Side. That delivers. We can’t get enough of the string bean spicy black bean sauce (orderd not-so-spicy for the rugrats), eggplant in garlic sauce and Tony’s chicken with three chili. Now on hectic weeknights, we sing Tony Wu’s praises with full and happy bellies. 4832 N Broadway, 773-293-4653 

Glazed & Infused Scoff if you will at our pick of the latest fancy doughnut shop, but this one’s got multiple locations, seating and less crazy hours than the others, meeting you’ve got a legitimate opportunity to bring your kids and pretend you’re buying all those fabulous apple fritters and crème brulee Bismarks for them. 1359 W Taylor St, 312-226-5556

Bel 50  We love a food trend that the whole fam can get behind.  This one, both sweet and savory waffle sandwiches made with a recipe that's low-ish in carbs and fat, hits the mark. 738 N Clark St, 312-202-0600

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)