Smile Politely

The kids’ menu at Hamilton Walker’s is on point

Kids deserve a little treat after the long, exhaustive year they’ve had. I wanted to take my oldest out to dinner on an outdoor patio before school starts. His only request? A place with crispy fish. Hamilton Walker’s had fish and chips on the kids’ menu, so we went out.

On a silver table at Hamilton Walker's in Champaign, Illinois, there is a kids' menu with a plastic wrapped set of crayons. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

We asked for (and were sat at) a table outside and served by masked staff. It felt like a nice, safe way to celebrate my kid. There’s a lot to love about the kids’ menu here including the provided crayons. The choices include meatloaf, cheeseburger, fish and chips, mac and cheese, grillled cheese, and a three ounce filet. Plus, everything comes with a kids’ drink and a scoop of ice cream for dessert.

A white boy colors on his kids' menu on a silver table outside in Downtown Champaign. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Almost every restaurant has a kids’ menu, but this one came with crayons. My kid practically squealed with joy. It has been probably two years since he’s been out to eat at a place with a coloring menu, and the novelty was exciting.

On a circular white plate, there is a fried piece of fish and many long, thick, steakhouse fries beside a small silver cup of ketchup. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

My son ordered the fish and chips ($12), and he proclaimed it the best fish he’s ever had — but you don’t have to take his word for it. The fish was crispy and salted well. I thought it was great, especially with the side of fries. The piece was large, and it made a filling, delicious dinner. 

On a silver table, there is a glass of Mamie Taylor cocktail with a yellow tint. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

My son had a blend of half pineapple juice and half orange juice included in the price of his meal, and I enjoyed my favorite cocktail at Hamilton Walker’s: the Mamie Taylor ($9). Made with Cutty Sark blended scotch, lime, ginger, and soda water, this cocktail just hits. It’s fruity, boozy, and tasty. 

On an outdoor table at Hamilton Walker's, there are three plates full of food. The front white plate has a filet mignon with a circular piece of bread and a long parsley piece. Behind is a smaller white plate with fries, ketchup, and fried fish. Beside is a big dish of yellow macaroni. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I ordered the filet mignon with a side of macaroni. I mean, when you’re with a kid, you have to get the mac. The macaroni at Hamilton Walker’s is deliciously creamy, cheesy, and topped with seasoned bread crumbs. My filet was cooked a perfect medium rare, and it was a great way to spend an evening talking with my son about the upcoming school year (and Pokémon, too).

The outdoor seating at Hamilton Walker’s is pretty plentiful, but I would suggest making a reservation and adding a note about your preference for sitting outside. The kids’ menu offers lots of options for kids, but worst case scenario, just order them a bowl of that macaroni.

Hamilton Walker’s
201 N Neil St
W-Su 4 to 8 p.m.

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.

Food + Drink Editor

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