While slowly introducing new tastes and foods to your kids, expand your own palate with a trip to these locally owned restaurants that welcome families. With healthy eats, play areas and spacious patios with misting fans and room to wiggle, Dallas’ thriving culinary scene is more child-friendly than you might think. If you’re on a tight budget, don’t miss our kids eat free guide.
Of course, we know this is one of the best grocery stores, but did you know they have three locations with outdoor seating and a play area? After stocking up on groceries, grab some food at the cafe, and take the kiddos outside to eat and play. The Plano, Fort Worth and Southlake locations all have playgrounds. All of them have picnic tables nearby as well as covered seating.
4651 West Fwy, Fort Worth; 817/989-4700
320 Coit Road, Plano; 469/241-8300
1425 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake; 817/310-5600
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After listing the full selection of menu items based on a farm-to-table practice, the Company Café has a kid’s menu packed with easy options, such as chicken tenders, grilled cheese, granola and pancakes, sweet potato fries. There is an outdoor patio space as well as colorable menus and highchairs available; it’s a great spot for families, too. On the weekends, the café serves dinner from 5–9pm, and with a gluten-free bakery (that is also an online bakery), how could you say no to the jalapeño corn bread?
Lower Greenville, 2104 Greenville Avenue, Dallas; 214/827-2233
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A menu of vegetarian and organic ingredients, an Austin-like atmosphere and other family-friendly perks give Dream Café the edge young moms are looking for. Come for a pleasant breakfast or brunch under the shade trees, and get a table close by the playgrounds: a jungle gym and playhouse at Uptown. Running low on supplies in your diaper bag? There’s also a changing table with flushable wipes.
Uptown Dallas, 2811 McKinney Ave, Dallas; 214/954-0486
Hat Creek Burger Company
Grab a bite of classic American food and let the kids to run around at Hat Creek Burger Company, which has covered outdoor seating and an outdoor playground at every location in Dallas-Fort Worth. They’ve got turkey, chicken and vegetarian burger options for even the pickiest of eaters. Plus, the menu has an easy to read warnings about potential allergens, such as egg, soy and peanuts. For a treat, indulge in the “dirt worm” shake for a mixture of Oreos, gummy worms and chocolate. On Family Night every Tuesday, you’ll get $1 off kids meals and $2 off other combo meals after 5pm.
11 locations across Dallas-Fort Worth
Katy Trail Ice House
Located just across the street from Uptown’s Company Cafe (see above), this outdoor restaurant draws the sports-loving crowd to its barstools and beer garden. The massive outdoor area with picnic tables under shade trees, however, makes it a great destination for young and hungry families looking for a casual lunch out. Get free valet parking and then take a seat near the Astroturf patio to play a game of beanbag toss before ordering ballpark favorites with fries and juice from the kids’ menu. A separate restroom sits at the edge of the outdoor patio for easy access, and the indoor bathroom has a changing table. But there’s no need to venture to the heart of Dallas; check out Plano’s Katy Trail Outpost, which is off Park and Preston.
Uptown Dallas, 3127 Routh St., Dallas; 214/468-0600
Plano, 4700 W. Park Blvd., Plano; 972/599-9000
After all that hearty food, what better way to satisfy your sweet tooth than with a healthy snack? Monster Yogurt boasts more than 80 nonfat frozen yogurt flavors including Greek yogurt and even more crumbly toppings, which extrapolates to a zillion combinations. There’s always something wacky and tasty to try, such as honey cinnamon lavender, and enjoy the complimentary coffee while the kids get some playtime inside the Monster Cove indoor play place for ages 3 and up. The Richardson location has an outdoor patio as well.
East Dallas, 9540 Garland Road, Suite 394, Dallas; 214/321-6363
Richardson, 1360 W Campbell Road, Suite 101, Richardson; 972/234-4966
Nico’s Cocina Mexican Grill & Bar
When you’re craving Tex-Mex (and when are we not?), Nico’s Cocina Mexican Grill & Bar offers your Taco Tuesday goodness every day of the week, plus brunch with an omelette bar and waffles on Saturdays and Sundays. After filling your plate, walk out onto the covered patio outdoors where you’ll have full view of the playground, mostly enclosed with a perimeter fence and a mulch floor for easier falls. The playground includes two playsets (one for big kids and one for toddlers) to slide and climb, and NASA-inspired bouncy plane.
3065 N. Josey Lane, #24, Carrollton; 972/395-3663
Photo courtesy of Hat Creek Burger Company