9 Kid-Friendly Restaurants and Breweries in Dallas | Dallas Observer

7 Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Dallas That Parents Won't Hate, Plus 2 Breweries

The most kid-friendly restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth, most equipped with playgrounds and plenty of booze for frazzled parents.
Don't make me put this beer down!
Don't make me put this beer down! Amy Meyer
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Taking kids out to eat can be challenging. It’s in their nature to want to run around, play and explore, but sit-down restaurants often go against that nature. (It’s in their name, after all.) You could shell out money for a babysitter, provided you have one you can trust. You could choose the path of least resistance and hand your kid an iPad to shut them up during dinner, but research suggests this quick fix has consequences on kids' long-term mental health. That impatience and lack of social awareness won’t get any better.

Luckily, there are plenty of restaurants that accommodate kids and give them things to do other than squirm in their seats. And, as a bonus, adults can still have a high-quality meal and enjoy a relaxing sit-down dining experience.

Here are some North Texas restaurants that are suitable for the whole family.

click to enlarge the courtyard at birdie's eastside
Birdie's Eastside combines a killer patio, a restaurant and a chill adults-only lounge into one establishment.
Chris Wolfgang

Birdie’s Eastside

6221 E. Mockingbird Lane
Anywhere with a spacious patio is an automatic win for kids. At Birdie's Eastside, parents are free to sit and enjoy the desert-themed ambiance with a clear view to watch over their playing children. The kids’ menu offers picky eater staples like chicken tenders and cheese quesadillas and, in case the kids get tired of running around, a simple maze and coloring page to keep them occupied.

click to enlarge table and tent at B-Side Coffee
In the back is a tent for kids to chill.
Courtesy of B-Side Coffee

B-Side Coffee

2105 S. Edgefield Ave.
Coffee shops serve many purposes, whether as a spot to meet up with friends or a quiet environment to get some work done, all things that parents need to do as much as anyone else. The newly opened B-Side Coffee in Oak Cliff gets this and has an adorable corner with a tent and toys for kids to play with while their parents hang out. The shop has been open for just a couple of weeks and is already a vibrant social spot for families.

click to enlarge mural at cane rosso
Children of DFW: Does this mural at Cane Rosso not dazzle you?
Chris Wolfgang

Cane Rosso

Multiple Locations
Pizza, patios and pop culture-packed art to peruse? Cane Rosso is a triple threat when it comes to keeping its child patrons entertained. The beloved chain also has a history of standing by its family-friendly atmosphere, going so far as to renovate one of its patios to make it safer for kids to play on. In other words, you won't hear them saying anything to the effect of "eff them kids." Well. Maybe.

Dallas Grilled Cheese Co.

5319 E. Mockingbird Lane
Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. may not have a designated kids’ menu (though select menu items offer child-sized portions), but does it really need one? The menu is loaded with all things cheesy, messy and fried. Even the pickiest eaters could find something that suits their fancy. If the numerous variations of grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers and fried sides can’t satiate your family, the desserts, which include milkshakes, blueberry pound cakes and root beer floats, will do the trick.

click to enlarge
Hat Creek Burger Company sells beer and wine.
Nick Reynolds

Hat Creek Burger Company

Multiple Locations
Since the pandemic, many restaurants have shied away from having play places. The main reason given is that these playgrounds proved to be non-conducive to social distancing during the pandemic. This makes sense, though we suspect it also has to do with the sleek, modern redesigns fast food restaurants are currently favoring. (They have to justify raising those prices somehow.) Regardless, this is not an issue at Hat Creek Burger Company. In addition to serving beer and wine, all locations have an outdoor playground so that kids wear themselves out playing, have a hearty, filling meal and then fall asleep in the car on the way home. Just as God intended.

click to enlarge the courtyard at Lakewood Brewing
In addition to outdoor spaces, there are indoor areas where kids can play and chill.
Lakewood Brewing Co.

Lakewood Brewing Co.

2302 Executive Dr., Garland
You have to verify that you’re over the age of 21 to enter Lakewood Brewing’s website, but the physical location lacks that barrier of entry. In addition to kid-friendly menu items like flatbread pizzas, there's a large yard where kids can play. And play they do as their parents partake in craft beer. The world sure did get whacky after hipsters started having kids.

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Serious Pizza's pepperoni pizza is big enough for the whole fam damily.
Lauren Drewes Daniels

Serious Pizza

Multiple Locations
Anyone who has frequented Deep Ellum the past decade or so has warm, greasy memories associated with Serious Pizza, most likely involving drunkenly stumbling in for some grub after a show. Though the original in Deep Ellum will continue to cater to these late-night crowds (who can cope with the recent remodel, that is), newer locations in Fort Worth and Grand Prairie are more family-oriented, even posting photos from kids’ birthday parties on their social media. Who needs an iPad when you can marvel at a slice of pizza that’s bigger than your head? Parents can join in on the fun by sharing stories about how back in their day, they stood in line for almost an hour after midnight to order a giant pizza just to carry all the way back to their car because there was no room to sit. (And liked it!)

click to enlarge cheeseburger and shake at shady's in dallas
The burgers and shakes are sure to be crowd-pleasers.
Shady's Burgers

Shady’s Burgers and Brewhaha

Multiple Locations
Co-created by Larry Levine of Chili’s fame, this bar and grill gives families in Richardson and Lake Highlands a neighborhood spot to grab dinner. Both Shady's locations are always packed with families, so there’s no need to worry about it if the noise your kid is making is bothering other customers. Everyone is too bothered by their own kids to notice. Both spots also boast kid-friendly patios, and the Richardson location offers games and chalk for kids to use.

Vector Brewing

9850 Walnut Hill Lane, No. 405
Like Lakewood Brewing, Vector Brewing is another unlikely kid-friendly spot but it certainly takes it in stride. There's a yard where kids can play, toys for them to play with and a kids’ menu with pizza and spaghetti. Here’s the kicker, though: There's a curfew.

“Parents deserve a break and adults should be able to be themselves without young eyes and ears around,” the Vector website reads. “After 8 pm, we ask that young children go home.”

You read that right. Instead of creating a vague free-for-all in an undefined space where both parents and the childfree are somehow always unsatisfied, all in the name of not alienating anyone, Vector Brewing has set clear boundaries for when the best time is for either camp to be there. Everyone wins.
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