Crayons at the table, special menus for food allergies, no loud blaring music, no weird TV shows playing in the background, a fun atmosphere, a place that doesn’t dip into your 401k, and food that is actually palatable for adults, too? It’s the white whale that all parents search for when traveling to a city. Maybe I’m asking for more that possible for restauranteurs; however, since we so rarely dine out, I want to be sure that our entire family has an amazing time when we eat out and that we can still afford shoes for our kids. Here are ten great kid friendly restaurants when you Visit Indy.
1. The Old Spaghetti Factory: I’ve written about how much I adore this restaurant before but it hits several of the above requirements including the food allergies, great “big people” food, atmosphere, and affordability. Read New Family Fun at the Old Spaghetti Factory for more ways to save.
2. Scotty’s Brewhouse: This local chain makes almost every restaurant round up I compile if nothing else for their Kids Eat Free on Sunday & Tuesday policy. All Scotty’s locations including Thr3e Wisemen Brewing Company offer FREE kids’ meals with adult purchase & a trip to the treasure chest. And the adults can definitely find something for their grown up tastes.
3. Punchburger: My oldest daughter (age 11) is on the quest for the perfect burger and chose this downtown Indianapolis restaurant for her birthday. It was ah-mazing! Choose your favorite meat (all local), bun, and toppings to create a mouthwatering meal. There are no crayons or cheapie deals but the flavors are worth it.
4. First Watch: This is one of our favorite breakfast spots. Although the menu is chocked full of healthy options, our girls prefer a big ole Chocolate Chip Pancake and I adore the Bacon and Cheddar Pancakes which were ah-mazing. On my “next time” list is the Bacado Omelet or Carrot Cake Pancakes. I can’t decide!
5. Incredible Pizza: I admit I’m a card carrying killjoy when it comes to the entertainment center restaurant. I’m just not a fan. But if you are all about it, this is the place to hit. Mini-bowling, bumper cars, laser tag, mini-golf, and go karts – all indoors! Plus a buffet to meet everyone’s tastes. There are coupons, too!
6. Creation Cafe: Ok, so this is one of my favorite dining destinations in Indy, so going here is much about the kiddos as it is me (maybe more me). The kids’ breakfast and lunch/dinner menus have plenty of options. Classics like Groovy Grilled Cheese and Kraft Mac-N-Cheese (served in a dino bowl SCORE!) are typically big winners. Save room for the tasty desserts or gelato. You can sit outside on the canal and maybe take a walk or even rent a boat or bike from Wheel Fun Rentals to get some exercise before & after your meal.
7. Subzero Ice Cream: Who needs dinner? Just get dessert with your kids. They’ll never forget the experience, especially if you hit this new tasty destination on Mass Ave. Your favorite ice cream/custard/yogurt/almond milk creation takes its frozen shape right in front of your eyes with the aid of liquid nitrogen. Check in on Facebook or Foursquare to save a few bucks, too.
8. The Flying Cupcake: Even kids know life is better with frosting on it. Not only are there a wide variety of regular, filled, and jumbo cupcakes but the Flying Cupcake makes the experience wonderfully unique by offering kids their own vintage pick to place on top of the treat treasure. With vegan and gluten free options, you can bless your little person who can’t eat every treat.
9. Mug n Bun: As the oldest drive-in restaurant in the city, Mug n Bun has been serving families for nearly 50 years. With an extensive children’s menu, homemade root beer, and out-of-this-world pork tenderloins, Mug n Bun is the perfect place to switch up your family’s routine.
10. I Need Your Favorite Kid Friendly Pick for Indy! Where do you kids beg you to take them? What kid friendly Indianapolis restaurants do you love? Chime in on the comments to share your favorites!