We Austinites enjoy a city filled with amenities including an impressive range of dining options.  I enjoy trying new places, but I am always am interested to know, “Is it kid friendly?”  What I mean by “Kid Friendly”  is that my family can relax and enjoy a healthful meal together, all of us. 

You may know from past blogs that I am passionate about healthy food for everyone, and especially for children.  It’s important that we are offered alternatives to the standard side of fries.  Thankfully, more and more restaurants are providing healthier kids menus.  My list of Kid Friendly Favorite Places to Eat was narrowed down to ten and is based on having one or more of the following criteria knowing that your family can effectively navigate making healthful meal choices:

– attraction (playscape, water feature, animals/fish, etc.)
– area to move around, inside/outside feature
– a ‘better/more varied’ kids menu
– doesn’t take a long time to get your food, yet, it wasn’t fast food

Tip:  Don’t automatically order off of the kids menu.  Your child might better enjoy something from the adult menu.  Consider splitting a meal, it will save money and likely be more healthy.

Tip:  Lean towards fresh, fast, and healthy when it comes to picking spots to eat with kids.  What you pick becomes their favorites and they’ll request it!

Santorini Cafe    11800 N Lamar Blvd., Austin, Texas  78753

An unknown to some, a love of mine! Large outdoor seating area with picnic tables, to give those kids room to move around some without having to keep quiet voices. Kids can enjoy pizza and a Greek salad. Adults enjoy house wine, maybe some fried cheese, and kabobs or Gyros, with a Greek Salad. Family owned and operated and their staff is very friendly.

Kid Favorites: Pizza and Fizzy Drinks

Blue Corn Harvest  700 E Whitestone Blvd #204, Cedar Park, TX 78613

Authentic southwestern cuisine, Blue Corn Harvest has indoor and outdoor seating.  Outdoor patio seating offers an area for kids play.  Enjoy delicious farm-to-table food and cocktails with fresh local ingredients in a relaxed environment without the long table waits. If you arrive with a wait time, there is an outdoor space for kids move around too!

Kid Favorites: Tacos, Rice & Beans, Pancakes & Eggs with Fruit Bowl

Kerbey Lane Cafe   3704 Kerbey Lane, Austin, TX 78731 (+ more locations)

With seven locations, Kerby Lane is always in our back pocket for a family friendly with healthy menu options for kids and adults.  And who doesn’t love a place that serves breakfast all the time?!

Kid Favorites: Breakfast items, Hamburgers, Sweet Potato Fries, Grilled Chicken and Veggies

Hat Creek  5400 Burnet Road, Austin, Texas  78756   (and five other locations)

Hat Creek includes great play areas for kids,  is quick on food delivery and won’t bust the pocket book.  You may choose to enjoy a juicy cheeseburger, but know they also offer a selection of salads, turkey and grain burgers as alternatives.

Kid Favorites: Hamburger! You can also get a salad with protein on top.

Flores Mexican Food   8300 North FM 620, Austin, TX 78736

Located in the Trails @620 shopping center near to the Movie House and Eatery, Flores has indoor and outdoor dining with a patio overlooking a play area complete with playscape and swings.  Order some fajitas for the whole family, relax and enjoy.

Kid Favorites: Ordering fajitas for one is usually enough for 2-4 in my family. And of course, guacamole, salsa, and chips!

Whole Foods   

525 N Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78703       11920 Domain Drive, Austin, TX 78758

Great place with lots of variety to curb anyone’s taste.  Kids want a taco and some fruit off the salad bar? They have that!  You want a custom stir-fry bowl and a yogurt, they have that too! Grab just about anything off the extensive salad bar and add a cold beverage from the cooler. Everyone gets what they want and then you can all sit down to eat together. The location at the Domain has a playground right out the front. And, the Lamar Flagship store offers an outdoor eating area and playscape (sometimes ice skating too in the winter!) upstairs.
Kid Favorites: Salad bar with boiled eggs, salad, and fruit. Pizza. Chocolate Milk.

North by Northwest   Stonelake, 10010 N Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78759

NXNW offers a menu that works for an everyday meal or even a special occasion.  It is kid friendly in that NXNW has outdoor seating, a large dining area including booths, and a kids menu that doesn’t compromise on food quality for kids.

Kid Favorites: Grilled meats and veggies. Fruit Cups.

Chuy’s Tex-Mex  11680 North Research Blvd., Austin, TX 78759 (+more locations)

Although now a chain spreading quickly – Chuy’s is an Austin original.  We like the North Research location, again, because of it’s outdoor seating option.  Outdoor seating does several things for you when eating out with the family.  1) Kids have a little more room to ‘spread out’  2) Fresh air sometimes does wonders for fussy babes  3) You can usually get seated more quickly if you request outdoor dining.

Kid Favorites: Fajitas, Chicken Tacos, Quesadillas, Rice and Beans, and the Kids Coloring Sheet!

The Shady Grove   1624 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX  78704

Known for its laid back outside/inside casual eating – where they ask you to stay awhile.  It’s been our family spot for lunches just before a ride on the train at Zilker or a swim at Barton Springs. Fun place to hang out on a pretty day while you wait for your table.  My kids own a T-shirt from here too!


A house favorite here – The Hippie Chick – the mushroom/veggie sandwich
But, I’m pretty sure my kids always get hamburgers here.

Homeslice Pizza   1415 South Congress, Austin, TX

A neighborhood pizza joint offering NY style pizza pies.  Homeslice gave the 3 kids we were dining with (2 of them mine) a ball of pizza dough to play with while adults had ‘adult conversation’. It was a great addition for the kids, on top of being able to order their own single slice of pizza to their choosing!

Kid Favorites: Pizza!

If you have a favorite kid friendly eat place in the Austin area, and I missed it, please let me know so I can check it out. Thanks!

There are a ton more guides written by local food bloggers – check out the 2017 Austin City Guide.