- Lesli Peterson for The AJC
Foodie families, rejoice!
Atlanta’s culinary scene recognizes that parents are looking for delicious eats, in an environment that works for kids. Happy meals and plastic slides no longer make the cut. Here are 10 restaurants in Atlanta that promise a family-friendly experience with dishes that satisfy a sophisticated palate.
Mary Mac’s Tea Room (Midtown) Mary Mac’s harkens from the 1940s, when it was frowned upon for women to open a restaurant. Businesswomen used a more “acceptable” term- Tea Room. Just like now, the original menu at Mary Mac’s included a meat and two sides such as collards, fried okra or sweet potato casserole. It’s full-on southern fare here. The kids menu offers that same in smaller portions, each under $5. Lunch or dinner with kids at “Atlanta’s Dining Room” is not complete without taking home a package of their signature cinnamon rolls. Free parking in Midtown rounds out this top-pick.
Radial Café (Candler Park) Local, organic fare fills the menu at Radial. Gluten-free pancakes, cheese and bacon grits and pumpkin muffins are brunch favorites. The atmosphere is casual and easy with children. A large patio beckons warm-weather dining. The best part? Kids eat free every weekday!
5 Seasons Brewery (Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Westside) Great brews, locally-sourced ingredients and a delightful kiddo menu merge for the perfect family outing. Forget typical pub fare; duck, rabbit and salmon whet the adult’s appetite. Younger guests fill up on grilled cheese, French fries or grapes. Kids eat free on Sundays.
Osteria 832 (VaHi) This neighborhood restaurant bustles with children in the early evening, with kids of all ages enjoying dinner, friends and a break between school and homework. Osteria 832 offers a wide array of pizza and other Italian favorites. Spaghetti, linguine, rigatoni with pomodoro sauce, crème sauce or pesto sauce. That’s just the pasta. Other options include pizza, chicken or eggplant parmesan and more. Meals off the kids menu are always $4.
Fickle Pickle (Roswell) There’s nothing fickle about the quality of food at this well-loved establishment on the main drag. Don’t miss the fried dill pickle slices, Brie BLT or the peach sweet tea. Kid’s staples include PB&J, grilled cheese or chicken fingers. Pick fries or orange slices as a side. The back patio is relaxing and inviting, and leads to sweet treats at Sugar Shack in the Back.
Bantam + Biddy (Piedmont Heights, Alpharetta, Buckhead) Regionally-sourced chicken, raised without hormones, organic juice and milk and gluten-free options galore, Bantam + Biddy is made for families. Breakfast is served until 3 p.m. on weekends, and includes options like the Build Your Own Garden Scrambler or Fried Chicken on a Cheddar Waffle. “Little Cluckers” pick from selections including chicken sandwich, chicken pasta and chicken tenders. Kids menu prices are higher than other places, but worth it for organic eats.
Tom + Chee (Alpharetta, Buford, Kennesaw) Grilled cheese and tomato soup: there’s nothing more perfect for kids. Tom + Chee ups the ante, with gourmet options that adults will appreciate, too. Try the Turkey Pesto with Mozzarella, or the BBQ and Bacon with American cheese. Don’t feel like a big bowl of soup? Try the Souper Dipper side, just right for a taste of the day’s special. Kids get half a sandwich, plus a side and drink for $3.50, or visit Monday evenings for $0.99 kid’s meals.
Waikikie Hawaiian BBQ (Druid Hills) Waikikie serves tasty Asian/American fusion with traditional Hawaiian BBQ sides like rice and macaroni salad. A casual ambiance with indoor and outdoor seating makes this ideal for families. Enjoy a pint while the kids play with the myriad puzzles in the seating area. Children’s meals are under $4, with options such as chicken tenders or teriyaki chicken.
Pallookaville Fine Foods (Avondale Estates) Pallookaville serves the best of “circus fare” for kids young and old. Kiddos munch on mini corn dogs and tater tots while watching The Munsters on the overhead TV. Adults should try the behemoth chili cheese dog with kraut and sautéed onions. Leave room for treats from the soda fountain, with options for both local-vores and vegans. Kiddos will beg for syrup sodas, milkshakes or egg-creams.
Dakota Blue (Grant Park) Unassuming from the outside, but the perfect dive inside. It’s a neighborhood pub that understands “neighborhoods” have kids. Bring family-friends on the weekend, hang out with a few beers and let your kids have fun under the corner window. There’s a tub of toys and books, and the tables include oversized checkerboards. When you’re ready to eat, try a Cuban or cheeseburger, both with plenty of fries, or opt for fish tacos with a special jalapeno tarter sauce. Kids can pick from a plethora of suggestions including quesadillas, grilled cheese, pasta or burgers.