We have a short list because we are in the big family club – four or more children (my girls in photo with Jen’s girl in the middle). If you have two or less, than you can go anywhere once your youngest is three or so. Here are my top picks, and yes, I’ve taken ALL FOUR of my children to each of these restaurants. Call me crazy, but on a few occasions, I’ve taken all four by myself! My husband would rather stick needles in his eyes than put himself in that situation. But I am a social diva and I do what I have to do.
Two locations, one on Sharon & Fairview Roads in SouthPark. There’s a pretty new one at Carolina Place now as well. My children absolutely love Harper’s. The chicken fingers are the best we’ve ever tasted. Fresh strips with just the right amount of seasoning. The French fries rock and the honey mustard dressing tastes great with both. The kids meals come with a dessert too so you can hang this over your children’s heads if they are misbehaving. Great strategy that works like a charm every time.
Moe’s Southwest Grill
There are 6 Charlotte locations: Dilworth, SouthPark, Promenade, Ayrsley Town Center and more. My kids have grown up on Moe’s. I think their first full sentence was “Welcome to Moe’s!” We love the music, the queso (I am a queso queen and have recently given it up – so miss it!), the moo-moo mr. cow and the mini masterpiece. I always get the “close talker” and crack up every time I order it.
– several locations as well. Check out their website. We go to the John J. Delaney location in Ballantyne Commons. Delish Mexican fare, very loud so your kids can get nutty. I think kids eat free on Sundays– definitely double check that one. Their queso is my fave and the taco salad and burritos are super tasty too. If you’re lucky, you may get serenaded by the dancing sombrero guys. My girls love them, the twins are still a little scared of them but they deal with it ok.
Original Pancake House
Sharon Corners in SouthPark and there was was on South Blvd but it just moved near the new midtown Target, their website has a map. You know this place – guaranteed to have a line stretching around the corner with patrons sunning themselves while waiting for a table. Well don’t try to go on Saturday or Sunday morning or your wait will be hours. And you may just give it all up for that McDonalds drive-through just across the walkway. Why not try it for dinner? Kids love to stir it up and have breakfast for dinner. Guaranteed to find something for everyone and you will for sure see happy faces on your kids.
Luisa’s Brick Oven Pizza
1730 Abbey Place across from Moosehead in Park Road Shopping area. Love their pizza and they give the children dough to play with while waiting for a table. Love this family – it has been a staple in Charlotte for years. In my opinion, best pizza in Charlotte.
There are 7 Bruggers around Charlotte. Cotswold, Park Road Shopping Center, East Blvd/Dilworth, Tower Center Shopping Center/Pineville, North Tryon, Matthews and Cornelius to name a few. We can eat here for any meal and my 6-year-old loves the spicy chili. Kind of nutty because this stuff is made with jalapenos. But she likes me to send it in her school lunch. I love it too.
Five Charlotte locations: Foxcroft Shopping Center, East Blvd/Dilworth, Blakeney Shopping Center, Uptown and Birkdale. Great pizza, salads, beer, outdoor dining, kids meals.
I can’t write about kid-friendly restaurants without mentioning a restaurant that we all frequent at least once a week. There are 19 locations is Charlotte and surrounding area. Great for rainy day playdates (indoor playgrounds in several locations). And remember, we Charlotteans and stay-at-home moms do not consider it fast food. Eat more chicken!
Do you have comments on any of the restaurants above, please share them by commenting!
Oooh, one of my favorite kid places is Red Robins. Delicious!
I too am a mother of 4 (3 1/2, 2, and 5 month old twins) and we too go out to eat occasionally (yes, all 6 of us (dad included)). We really like Zio (old 5 Steps – under Primo). The owner is wonderful, there are plenty of high chairs and they will give pizza dough to ‘older’ children to play with while you wait for dinner. The food is great and very reasonably priced.Another place we have found to be kid friendly is Portofino at Park and Selwyn and during warmer months it is so nice to be able to sit outside – don’t have to worry about food falling on the floor, drinks spilling or kids being LOUD b/c you’re outside!
The Loop, and Jason’s Deli on Park Road are both great and have “Kids Eat Free” nights during the week.
Also try Red Robin in Ballantyne..its like TGI Fridays but nicer, smaller and less smoke-y..great burgers and they sing those silly-but at times-annoying birthday songs the kids love-Melissamommy to Ava (3) and Jackson (3-mo)
Owen’s Bagel and Deli in the South End is WONDERFUL with kids! They have toys, a chalkboard, excersaucers and $2 kids sandwiches. We got a few times a month.
Wize Guys in Ballantyne is also kid-friendly. When we last visited I had 4 teenagers – and they had a table side magician. The food is a bit on the wild side – not standard fare so definitely check the menu before visiting for opinionated eaters!
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