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 locations. 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.
–> Ski Shores Cafe
A gem on Lake Austin! Down the long and windy City Park Rd., lies this lakeside eatery with mostly outdoor seating and tons of space for play. They boast a gated playscape, a sandy zone, and kids can enjoy watching turtles and fish in the lake. Ski Shores also has an indoor game room with air hockey and several classic video games. Head out on special Fridays for Family Movie Night with a projector style kid-friendly film screening outside. They show at dusk, check their Facebook page for details. The menu includes burgers, wraps, fries & onion rings, and you can finish with shaved ice.
–> Phil’s Ice House
Phil’s is one 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 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. And take note that they have Parents’ Recess, which is basically happy hour Monday – Friday from 3-7 p.m. with discounted beer and wine specials. 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!
–> Central Market North Lamar
This is a great choice for relaxing in a fun, outdoor setting. A diverse menu with items from Asian salmon salad to fish tacos, soups, pasta, and more offers something good and good for you, too. 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. It’s a bonus that you can pop into the Market to pick up some groceries while you’re there, too.
–> Home Slice Pizza – North Loop
Those of us north of the river had been anxiously awaiting the opening of beloved Home Slice Pizza’s second location, and boy did it not disappoint! The outdoor patio with children’s play area is equipped with a unique space to run off some wiggles and play some games of corn hole with mom and dad. It’s super cute! Of course, like the South location, kids are offered a big ball of dough to play with before the meal to keep those little hands busy at the table. We also love that this Home Slice has a cool full bar and also features menu items like square Sicilian-style pie and Buffalo chicken wings.
–> Cosmic Coffee & Beer Garden
This delightful South Austin spot has a terrific patio vibe that includes a sweet little pond, chicken coop, and garden. Part coffee shop, part bar, this is a kid and dog-friendly venue for easy hangs. Here you’ll also find food trucks Leroy and Lewis Barbecue, Tommy Want Wingy, and Pueblo Viejo.
–> Brentwood Social House
This charming North/Central Austin neighborhood cafe makes you feel like you’re entering a friend’s home, where you can explore its many rooms, back patio or front porch to find a cozy spot to settle into. There is also a room designed for families, equipped with a train table and a selection of books, toys and board games. And bonus, there is a pirate ship playground in the back yard! Brentwood Social House offers a big variety of community events, so keep track of their calendar for activities.
–> Waterloo Ice House
On the scene in Austin since 1976, Waterloo Ice House offers up a huge menu of salads, burgers, sandwiches, & Tex-Mex options. They have three locations where the kids can play outdoors (360/N. Capital of TX Hwy, Southpark Meadows, Slaughter Lane & Escarpment Blvd.). Kids can enjoy a playscape, sandpit, outdoor and indoor seating with plenty of shaded tables.
–> Kerbey Lane Cafe
Even the pickiest little eaters can find something delicious to enjoy at Kerbey Lane Cafe. This kid-approved Austin classic has 8 area locations, you can stop into any Kerbey Lane Cafe for huge pancakes in a great variety of flavors, even with vegan options. And take note that there are little playscapes at both the Kerbey Lane in Westlake and in Round Rock, and the Mueller location is just a short distance to the Mueller Lake Park. Also note that on Tuesdays, kids ages 12 & under eat free all day with the purchase of an adult entrée.
— The Triangle
Not just one restaurant, the Triangle Park is surrounded by many restaurants serving up a wide variety of cuisines including Maudie’s Tex-Mex, Mama Fu’s Asian House, Hopdoddy’s Burger Bar, and Mandola’s Italian Market. After enjoying your meal, head over to the Park to let little ones play, then finish with fro-yo at Yogurt Planet. No matter what you’re in the mood for, The Triangle has got you covered.
What’s your favorite place for dining out with the kids? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!