The 50 Most Kid-Friendly Restaurants in America List: OpenTable Releases Its 2019 List

Best Kid Friendly Restaurants in America_Wolfgang's Steakhouse Waikiki

Wolfgang's Steakhouse, Waikiki


Among my favorite childhood memories are attending business dinners with my father. As a single dad he often brought me along on his evenings out—even as young as age 6—to many different kinds of restaurants. There were upscale places, casual chic eateries, Chinese Lauriat banquets, multi-cuisine buffets, Korean barbecues, and even hotel jazz bars. Yes, hotel jazz bars. (It was the ’80s in Manila and age restrictions were merely a suggestion.) And I'm forever grateful. Not only did I start absorbing business lessons before I could swim a singular lap, I also learned how to behave (and eat) like a grownup, dissect a menu, order politely, and otherwise navigate the very adult world of restaurants.

Some 30 years later, restaurants have caught up to the needs of parents. These days, there’s almost always a children’s menu and something artsy to keep kids occupied while the grownups have a meal. But not all supposedly kid-friendly restaurants are made equal. What makes a restaurant appealing to young ones has more to do with the friendliness and patience of the staff than the chicken fingers and spaghetti with meatballs on the menu. It’s all about that sense of warmth and welcome.

Simple things like that are lifesavers for those who seek out restaurants that cater to families, particularly when traveling. So OpenTable—the popular restaurant reservations platform—has simplified the process with its 2019 list of the 50 Most Kid-Friendly Restaurants in America.

“When you’re dining out with kids, you want to find a restaurant that has something for everyone—a menu that appeals to younger diners, great cocktail options for the adults and, of course, the ambiance to match,” Caroline Potter, chief dining officer at OpenTable, said in a statement. “Whether you’re a family of foodies celebrating something special or you’re avoiding doing dishes on a weeknight, these restaurants have a fun family-friendly vibe and fare that’ll hit the spot.”

OpenTable releases several lists over the course of a year. But I do think this is one of the more important rosters—because it isn’t easy to find exceptional restaurants that won’t look at children with disdain. A few chichi places don’t even allow for children under the age of ten. Such is the world we live in now, at least in America. So I do have to wonder: How are children supposed to develop palates when they can’t even get in the door? How do you teach your children the wonders of uni? How will they learn to be comfortable in a restaurant setting?

Well, you can start with this list of 50, which is, by the way, a completely user-generated list—making it very democratic, as is OpenTable’s way. The data is analyzed from more than 12 million verified reviews that include 30,000 restaurants across all 50 states.

But only 50 made the cut: It features establishments across 16 states and the District of Columbia, with Florida and New York coming out on top with seven honorees each. Hawaii, with six, comes in second—while California and South Carolina boasts four each. Georgia, Illinois, and Washington, D.C. have three.

To view the full list, click here—or scroll down.


50 Most Kid-Friendly Restaurants in America for 2019

Aquarium Restaurant (Multiple Locations)          

Becco (New York, New York) 

Benihana (Multiple Locations)

Bill’s Bar and Burger (New York, New York) 

The Boathouse (Lake Buena Vista, Florida)

Buddy V’s at The Venetian (Las Vegas, Nevada) 

Cap City Fine Diner & Bar, Grandview (Columbus, Ohio)

Carmine’s (Multiple Locations)

Cattle Company Steakhouse (Pearl City, Hawaii)          

Columbia Restaurant (Multiple Locations)

The Dead Fish (Crockett, California)

Farmers & Distillers (Washington, D.C.) 

Farmers Fishers Bakers (Washington, D.C.) 

Fire + Ice Boston (Boston, Massachusetts)

Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar (Charleston, South Carolina)

Founding Farmers (Multiple Locations)

Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Restaurant (Frankenmuth, Michigan)

Hard Rock Café (Multiple Locations)

Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Palace Las Vegas (Las Vegas, Nevada)     

Henry’s Louisiana Grill (Acworth, Georgia)

House of Blues Restaurant & Bar, Orlando (Lake Buena Vista, Florida)

Keoki’s Paradise (Koloa, Hawaii)

Kobe Japanese Steakhouse (Multiple Locations)

L. Woods Tap and Pine Lodge (Lincolnwood, Illinois)         

Little Goat (Chicago, Illinois)

Loveless Cafe (Nashville, Tennessee)     

Maggiano’s (Multiple Locations)

Mama’s Fish House (Paia, Hawaii)

Max Brenner (Multiple Locations)

The Mill House (Waikapu, Hawaii)

Monkeypod Kitchen (Multiple Locations)

Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner (Buena Park, California)

Ninja New York (New York, New York) 

Old Lady Gang (Atlanta, Georgia)

Old Oyster Factory (Hilton Head Island, South Carolina)  

The Pirates’ House (Savannah, Georgia) 

Raglan Road Irish Pub (Lake Buena Vista, Florida)

Rainforest Cafe (Multiple Locations)

Sea Captain’s House (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)

Skull Creek Dockside Restaurant (Hilton Head, South Carolina)    

The Smith at Lincoln Square (New York, New York) 

Sugar Factory (Multiple Locations)

Tavern on the Green (New York, New York)

Tony’s Di Napoli, Midtown Manhattan (New York, New York) 

True Food Kitchen (Palo Alto, California)

Ulele (Tampa, Florida)

Uncle Julio’s (Multiple Locations)

Virgil’s Real BBQ (New York, New York)

Wolfgang's Steak House, Waikiki Beach (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth (Frankenmuth, Michigan)     

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Among my favorite childhood memories are attending business dinners with my father. As a single dad he often brought me along on his evenings out—even as young as age 6—to many different kinds of restaurants. There were upscale places, casual chic eateries, Chinese Lauriat banquets, multi-cuisine buffets, Korean barbecues, and even hotel jazz bars. Yes, hotel jazz bars. (It was the ’80s in Manila and age restrictions were merely a suggestion.) And I'm forever grateful. Not only did I start absorbing business lessons before I could swim a singular lap, I also learned how to behave (and eat) like a grownup, dissect a menu, order politely, and otherwise navigate the very adult world of restaurants.

Some 30 years later, restaurants have caught up to the needs of parents. These days, there’s almost always a children’s menu and something artsy to keep kids occupied while the grownups have a meal. But not all supposedly kid-friendly restaurants are made equal. What makes a restaurant appealing to young ones has more to do with the friendliness and patience of the staff than the chicken fingers and spaghetti with meatballs on the menu. It’s all about that sense of warmth and welcome.

Simple things like that are lifesavers for those who seek out restaurants that cater to families, particularly when traveling. So OpenTable—the popular restaurant reservations platform—has simplified the process with its 2019 list of the 50 Most Kid-Friendly Restaurants in America.

“When you’re dining out with kids, you want to find a restaurant that has something for everyone—a menu that appeals to younger diners, great cocktail options for the adults and, of course, the ambiance to match,” Caroline Potter, chief dining officer at OpenTable, said in a statement. “Whether you’re a family of foodies celebrating something special or you’re avoiding doing dishes on a weeknight, these restaurants have a fun family-friendly vibe and fare that’ll hit the spot.”

OpenTable releases several lists over the course of a year. But I do think this is one of the more important rosters—because it isn’t easy to find exceptional restaurants that won’t look at children with disdain. A few chichi places don’t even allow for children under the age of ten. Such is the world we live in now, at least in America. So I do have to wonder: How are children supposed to develop palates when they can’t even get in the door? How do you teach your children the wonders of uni? How will they learn to be comfortable in a restaurant setting?

Well, you can start with this list of 50, which is, by the way, a completely user-generated list—making it very democratic, as is OpenTable’s way. The data is analyzed from more than 12 million verified reviews that include 30,000 restaurants across all 50 states.

But only 50 made the cut: It features establishments across 16 states and the District of Columbia, with Florida and New York coming out on top with seven honorees each. Hawaii, with six, comes in second—while California and South Carolina boasts four each. Georgia, Illinois, and Washington, D.C. have three.

To view the full list, click here—or scroll down.


50 Most Kid-Friendly Restaurants in America for 2019

Aquarium Restaurant (Multiple Locations)          

Becco (New York, New York) 

Benihana (Multiple Locations)

Bill’s Bar and Burger (New York, New York) 

The Boathouse (Lake Buena Vista, Florida)

Buddy V’s at The Venetian (Las Vegas, Nevada) 

Cap City Fine Diner & Bar, Grandview (Columbus, Ohio)

Carmine’s (Multiple Locations)

Cattle Company Steakhouse (Pearl City, Hawaii)          

Columbia Restaurant (Multiple Locations)

The Dead Fish (Crockett, California)

Farmers & Distillers (Washington, D.C.) 

Farmers Fishers Bakers (Washington, D.C.) 

Fire + Ice Boston (Boston, Massachusetts)

Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar (Charleston, South Carolina)

Founding Farmers (Multiple Locations)

Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Restaurant (Frankenmuth, Michigan)

Hard Rock Café (Multiple Locations)

Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Palace Las Vegas (Las Vegas, Nevada)     

Henry’s Louisiana Grill (Acworth, Georgia)

House of Blues Restaurant & Bar, Orlando (Lake Buena Vista, Florida)

Keoki’s Paradise (Koloa, Hawaii)

Kobe Japanese Steakhouse (Multiple Locations)

L. Woods Tap and Pine Lodge (Lincolnwood, Illinois)         

Little Goat (Chicago, Illinois)

Loveless Cafe (Nashville, Tennessee)     

Maggiano’s (Multiple Locations)

Mama’s Fish House (Paia, Hawaii)

Max Brenner (Multiple Locations)

The Mill House (Waikapu, Hawaii)

Monkeypod Kitchen (Multiple Locations)

Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner (Buena Park, California)

Ninja New York (New York, New York) 

Old Lady Gang (Atlanta, Georgia)

Old Oyster Factory (Hilton Head Island, South Carolina)  

The Pirates’ House (Savannah, Georgia) 

Raglan Road Irish Pub (Lake Buena Vista, Florida)

Rainforest Cafe (Multiple Locations)

Sea Captain’s House (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)

Skull Creek Dockside Restaurant (Hilton Head, South Carolina)    

The Smith at Lincoln Square (New York, New York) 

Sugar Factory (Multiple Locations)

Tavern on the Green (New York, New York)

Tony’s Di Napoli, Midtown Manhattan (New York, New York) 

True Food Kitchen (Palo Alto, California)

Ulele (Tampa, Florida)

Uncle Julio’s (Multiple Locations)

Virgil’s Real BBQ (New York, New York)

Wolfgang's Steak House, Waikiki Beach (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth (Frankenmuth, Michigan)     

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I cover all things luxury lifestyle—with a focus on food, spirits, and travel. I'm the former digital director of the Haute Media Group. Beyond that, I've also done tim

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