America’s Best Family-Friendly Restaurants Slideshow
June 15, 2012
Makahiki at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa — West O’ahu Hawaii
The relaxed elegance of Old Hawaii reigns at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, thoughtfully designed to please both parents and kids. Its Disney Character brunch at Makahiki — The Bounty of the Islands will delight youngsters and tantalize everyone’s palates with a varied international brunch buffet.
Giggles N’ Hugs — Los Angeles
Giggles N’ Hugs, a "Children’s Restaurant & Playspace," allows kids to work up an appetite clambering around dream playgrounds indoors and outdoors. With extensive adult and kid menus and fresh ingredients, certified organic when possible, this eatery even enjoys popularity with Hollywood families.
Cool-de-sac — Miami and Doral, Fla.
Hip, tech-savvy Cool-de-sac not only serves your kids healthy nosh, it also feeds their minds. The Discovery Station teaches kids about science, and plentiful arts activities and interactive games spur their imaginations.
The Moxie Spot — Brooklyn, N.Y.
Sing-alongs, movie nights, bingo, storytime, arts and crafts, cooking classes, mini-camps — you name it, The Moxie Spot organizes it. (There’s a kids’ fee, however.) Known for "Family Food & Fun," this neighborhood mainstay offers free kid combos nightly with purchase of an entrée off its cosmopolitan menu.
Downtown Aquarium — Denver
A stunning 50,000-gallon aquarium towers over diners at Downtown Aquarium. If 100 species of tropical fish aren’t enough to distract kids through a meal of sea-themed basics (mini-cheeseburgers are dubbed "Barracuda Burgers"), mermaids put on an underwater show, too.
Fire & Ice — Boston
The deft chefs at Mongolian grill chain Fire & Ice prepare your meal in front of you. They wow kids and adults alike with an unbeatable culinary show, flipping fresh foodstuffs and setting them on fire with precision and flair. Don’t try this at home.
The Pilsener Haus & Biergarten — Hoboken, N.J.
The Pilsener Haus & Biergarten serves delicious Czech and German specialties in a casual, open-air setting. Theres space for children to move about, and the boisterous atmosphere lets them make all the noise they want, particularly on the wildly popular Family Fun days, featuring kid-friendly live music.
Park Chalet — San Francisco
Park Chalet in Golden Gate Park transports indoor dining to the great outdoors (and at reasonable prices). The restaurant opens onto a rolling green, where children can run around and where diners can lounge about on blankets, listening to the occasional live band.
Paradise Cove Beach Café — Malibu, Calif.
The airy, casual Paradise Cove Beach Café serves up seafood specialties and tropical drinks two steps from the shore. Sip a mojito and wiggle your toes in the sand on the beach patio while watching your toddler build sand castles.
Wishbone — Chicago
Families enjoy lip-smacking "Southern Reconstruction" cooking at whimsical, friendly Wishbone. Kids can draw with crayons on the butcher-paper table coverings and peruse "Floop the Fly," a children’s book by the owners’ parents — as well at eat for free Tuesday nights at the West Loop branch.
The Pirates' House — Savannah, Ga.
The Pirates’ House, a seafarers’ inn founded in 1753, became a favorite haunt for pirates and thus was formerly not so kid-friendly. Times have changed, however, and this historical establishment will charm families with pirate lore, fanciful décor, and outstanding Southern comfort fare, including a lunchtime buffet.
Vios Café — Seattle
Parents rave about the upscale Vios Café, with its friendly and patient waitstaff, mouth-watering Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, and dedicated play space for kids, stocked with books and games. Enjoy a glass of wine and the succulent chicken souvlaki with the money you saved on a babysitter.
Jam — Portland, Ore.
Jam on Hawthorne — an excellent find by blogger Inward Facing Girl — serves up one of the best brunches in town and features a delightful children’s area, where kids can scribble on blackboard floors with chalk. Inventive tofu scrambles and ample substitution options make it vegan- and vegetarian-friendly, too.
Verandah at The Four Seasons in the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino — Las Vegas
Luxury hotels excel at catering to families, particularly The Four Seasons in the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino complex. At Verandah, its Italian restaurant, parents can savor the upscale cuisine in peace while the youngsters are engrossed in coloring books — or a DVD player the restaurant provides.
Fritz's Railroad Restaurant — Kansas City, Kan.
At Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant, an amazing electric train system (designed by inventor and original owner Fritz Kropf) delivers juicy made-to-order burgers right to your booth. Founded in 1954, this cozy family-run institution offers yummy diner classics, with a kids’ menu and paper hats for "lil’ engineers."
The Peanut Butter & Co. Sandwich Shop — New York City
The Peanut Butter & Co. Sandwich Shop slathers on the peanut-buttery goodness at this cozy comfort food Mecca with bright yellow walls and vintage décor. Kids will adore the creative gourmet variants on the classic PB&J, as well as the generous sundaes.