Top 10 Family Friendly Restaurants in Austin

Dining with the little ones in tow can be tough sometimes. We spend a lot of time trying to shape our kids into calm little humans, but sometimes, you just want to relax and let them run around and play. Lucky for us, Austin has a lot to offer when it comes to dining out with children.

Top Family Friendly Restaurants in Austin:

–> Hat Creek Burger Company is the ultimate family friendly burger joint with unique play yards at all of their four locations. (Westlake, Burnet Rd., Georgetown, and Round Rock). With great menu options such as burgers, chicken, sweet potato fries, milkshakes and even breakfast tacos and pancakes, there’s something appealing to taste buds of all ages. But the best part is letting the kids play in enclosed areas while you can sit back with a beer and relax with friends. FullSizeRender


–> Ski Shores Cafe is a gem on Lake Austin. Down the long and windy City Park Rd. lies a cute little place with mostly outdoor seating. They have a gated playscape, a sandy zone, and kids spy turtles and fish in the water. THey also have a little indoor game room with air hockey and a few classic video games. Plus, on Fridays they have Family Movie Night where they show a kid friendly film, projector style, right by the picnic tables outside. (They show at dusk, check their Facebook page for details as the info is not on their site.) The menu includes burgers, wraps, fries & onion rings. Read our review we posted in June 2013 and see why it’s a hit for families!



–> Phil’s Ice House is another of Austin’s dreamy spots for burgers, playtime, and fun. It also helps that Phil’s is paired next to Amy’s Ice Creams at all three of their Austin locations (Burnet Rd., South Lamar, and North Austin on 183). The menu offers up kid-friendly basics like burgers & fries, corn dogs, chicken tenders, etc. But the playground areas at each location are the big draw for happy families. Kids can go nuts on their colorful playscapes while you enjoy some comfort food. Just don’t forget to save room for ice cream!



–> The Midway Food Park offers several local food trucks in a park-like setting, complete with picnic tables, a playscape for the kids, plenty of room to stretch out or play, restrooms and parking. And it’s BYOB! The Midway Food Park opens at 11 a.m. for lunch and stays open through the evenings, until the food trucks close up. You can purchase delicious bites from a variety of food trucks offering lobster rolls, tacos, cheesecake & much more. Click here to view the list of trucks. Also, The Midway often has live music on weekend, make it even more of a fun night out with the family.



–> Central Market North is a great choice when you want something besides burgers! A diverse menu with items from Asian salmon salad to pork vindaloo offers something good and good for you too. Yum! With live music, a playscape and a duck pond, your kids should have a great time while you relax and enjoy lunch or dinner with the whole family.



–> Nutty Brown Cafe is very kid-friendly. With a sandpit, chatty Macaws and a patio covered by tall oak trees, your little ones will be able to relax in this chill Austin location while you kick back with a delicious margarita. You’ll find the menu features Tex-Mex, chili, burgers, sandwiches, catfish and salmon. And of course, this is a great place to check out live music. Click here to view their concert calendar.



–> Twisted Root Burger on Burnet Rd. includes a nine hole mini-golf course for customers! How cool is that? Everyone will love the delicious and creative selection of burgers on the menu (even vegan ones), but you get to play free mini-golf with the purchase of one of their milkshakes, which makes a dinner out all the more exciting for the kids.



–> Contigo is pretty amazing. It’s gorgeous for one, and the menu is so much more than your basic kid’s burger norm, making it a great option for kids with a more adventurous palate. They don’t have a playscape, but they have a cool sand play area type of thing that kids are drawn to. The dining area is outdoors with large community-style picnic tables. You’ll find a menu that includes mussels, rabbit & dumplings, fancy grilled cheese and amazing lavender ice cream.



–> Waterloo Ice House has three locations where the kids can play outdoors (360/N. Capital of TX Hwy, Southpark Meadows, Slaughter Lane & Escarpment Blvd.). Playscape, sandpit, outdoor and indoor seating with cute decor and plenty of tables. Waterloo Ice House has been in Austin since 1976, and offers up a huge menu of salads, burgers, sandwiches, & Tex-Mex options.  waterloocollage (1)


–> Austin’s Pizza in Westlake offers a deck shaded by gorgeous old oak trees and a play area surrounded by a little fence that’s away from the street so your kids can play safely. Plus, pizza and a playscape equals children in restaurant heaven. Pesto-a-Go-Goat is a must try. Read our review to learn all about Austin’s Pizza’s dedication to quality ingredients and see why it’s a must-do with the family.


What’s your favorite place for dining out with the kids? Let us know if the comments below!

* This post was updated on Oct. 7, 2015.

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27 Responses to Top 10 Family Friendly Restaurants in Austin

  1. I love Contigo. But it is not a place for kids, unless your kids like foody (read “weird”) food and the company of adults. The sandy area is not a sandbox, and if you let your kids run around kicking up dirt just because they happen to be outside, you give the rest of us parents a bad rep. My husband and I go to Contigo on our date nights–when we aren’t worrying about our kids. It’s not a place to avoid with your children, but it is not in the same category as the other restaurants mentioned in the article.

    • Thanks for the input, I added a little disclaimer into the Contigo paragraph. I really just wanted to add something with a bit more choices for adults, the other joints are so burger & fries and not every family feeds their kids those items. I’ve seen some kids having a ball there, but it’s not for everyone.

      • We took kids here, and it was the PERFECT venue. Adults got great food &drinks, and the kids played in the sand. Not many food choices for kids, but they ate grilled cheese, fries, and we brought applesauce.

  2. What about Hat Creek Burgers at Bee Caves Rd and 360? It has a great play area. It also has great food. Chicken nuggets and stuff for the kids. Great burgers and beer for the grown ups. And a great outdoor seating area with an awesome deck. And affordable!!

  3. Thank you so much for this GREAT list. So far we’ve visited Freddie’s Place and Waterloo Icehouse. We hope to check out Nutty Brown Cafe and Austin Pizza. We are on vacation and checked out Freddie’s out first night since it is not far from our hotel. If I lived here I swear I’d never cook again. We have 3 children 5 and under and eating out is not something we do often, but we felt so welcome at Freddie’s Place. It got chilly when the sun went down, but the staff got out the table heaters and we were cozy. The kids roasted marshmallows and made smores after devouring their waffles. The hubby and I enjoyed watching the game on one of the many large outdoor tv’s. And the food was great too. I had the portobello sandwich with sweet potato fries – yum! Really folks, you can’t pass up an opportunity to eat here. We will be going again before we leave. As for Waterloo Icehouse, the staff was extremely friendly, the playscape was wonderful, but the food was only ok. Most of what we got was rather bland, but the kids menu was great! Our kids loved the mac&cheese. I’d go here again just to have drinks and conversation with my husband and to watch the kids play, but not for the food. Thanks again for this list!!!

  4. Thanks for this list! We’re always on the hunt for a family friendly spot. Two that didn’t make the list but that we love..even including the drive out are Craigo’s Pizza in Lakeway and our ALL time fave- Verde’s Mexican Parilla out off Hamilton Pool Road.

    We visited Germany/Austria recently. I was amazed how EVERY restaurant we visited had a kid friendly space included. I’m certain this was because we were seeking these types of places out, but they seemed so much more common. Looking forward to getting something cool in Northwest Austin, we’ll be watching for the next list!

  5. I love heading to Phil’s Icehouse off Burnet and S. Lamar and I heard they are now building one 183 and Anderson area!

    We need some playscapes North! There used to be a nice one at Mighty Fine in Round Rock but it closed and they haven’t reopened it :(

      • Reunion Grill in Cedar Park has a nice playscape as well. I haven’t been there yet but looks family friendly and has a great menu. They also have live music.

        • Reunion Grille was great for families, but it closed down. They are planning on reopening soon, it will have a new name and some new features. I think the playscapes will be staying for sure.

  6. The new Maudie’s at the Triangle has a playscape right off the patio that’s fenced off from the street. My kids enjoyed the playground and I appreciated the turf grass for the falls they took.

  7. Dahlia Cafe in Liberty Hill-

    I know a bit out of the way. However, if you need some home-cooked food and great country atmosphere. Great Place. The food is great, has a playscape for the kids, washer pits, and live music. They do have beer and wine only.

    • We love Dahila Cafe in Liberty Hill. Check out the weekend band line up.. My son loves the dance floor and the tables outside by the band is ideal for a smaller child or toddler.

  8. Where is Mandola’s Italian in Bee Cave and Arbor Trails? Both locations have excellent kids menus and wonderful free gelato. They also have great playscape areas that you can sit and eat so you can watch your tots at the same time.

  9. If your welling to drive to the country, the Good Luck grill in Manor,TX off east 290 is very kid friendly! They have a great area outdoors for children, with a very home-y feeling lots of space and table to easily supervise your kids. We have two toddler boys who love the food as well the fun kids area

  10. The Whole Foods Market on Lamar has a great play area up stairs with restrooms close by. Bonus points: you can get all kinds of delicious foods!!

  11. Please check out the Farmhouse Pizza place…….it’s so wide open. We bring the soccer balls and the kids get dirty. Food is also pretty fantastic.

  12. Golf and Guitar is a fun place for both kids and adults as well. It’s off HWY 71 in Bee Cave. 15506 West State Hwy. 71 Bee Cave, TX 78738 Maybe a bit out of the way but def worth checking out :)

  13. Lonestar steak house in Cedar Park (i believe is hope avenue) has a playscape and it also has live music at night, i am not sure is only weekends or only special ocassuons but either way, we love that place.

    Another steak house with playscape is Salt Lick in Round Rock is right next to the Dell Diamond.

  14. County Line on the Lake – great BBQ & the kids can feed the turtles from the deck. Not super-cheap, but a good value as the portions are enormous.

  15. I have a few more ideas to add to the list.
    Mandola’s in Arbor Trails has a playscape in the back, Doc’s Backyard off Brodie Lane has a playscape and Flores Mexican Restaurant off William Cannnon near Mopac has an enclosed playscape.

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