Parents know sitting down to a meal together can be a great family bonding experience. But parents also know it can be tricky to find a dinner spot that has food their kids will like and an atmosphere that will be welcoming to little ones. Here are some surprising spots for your next meal out. For local restaurants offering special discounts for kids, see this guide.
(4709 N. Western Ave. & 230 N.E. 1st St.)
It’s hard to argue that pizza and kids don’t go together. But the same old delivery can get a little boring. If you are looking to step out of that rut, try The Wedge Pizzeria. Every parent knows that the struggle of dining out is in the waiting. The staff helps keep the kids busy with some fresh pizza dough! They can test out their dough rolling and twirling skills while the kitchen cooks up brick oven pies with unique toppings to encourage kids to step out and embrace a new flavor. The Western Avenue location has an outdoor space where kids can move around and make a little noise without bothering neighboring tables too much. For a special treat, finish off your meal with some delectable gelato or sorbet.
(six metro locations)
As families get bigger, they’re challenged with picking a restaurant that has something everyone will eat. Made-to-order places like Coolgreens help make that debate a little easier. Their build-your-own wrap or flatbread options are fully customizable to your specific tastes right in front of you so there is no guilt in special ordering. Plus, it’s pretty easy to work in a few vegetables into your kids’ wrap or flatbread with the wide selection of unprocessed, nutritious toppings. With options like the kids’ tasting plate, kids get full control as they can choose exactly what makes it on their plate (think strawberries, snow peas or oranges). As a bonus, the restaurant offers desserts kids will like that are a bit healthier than traditional treats, like a house-made cookie that’s made with bananas instead of butter and smoothies and frozen yogurt that incorporate fresh fruit.
(1042 E. 2nd St., Edmond)
Muu Shabu offers families a way to experience a unique facet of Japanese cuisine, shabu-shabu also known as Japanese hot pot. Shabu-shabu translates to swish swish, the onomatopoeia for the sound of water and is a cook-for-yourself experience. Best suited for kids 8 and older, diners cook a selection of meats, vegetables and noodles in an individual boiling pot and add seasonings and sauces to each bite, allowing meal time to be a hands-on adventure. Conveniently, the ingredients for this style of cuisine are fresh, healthy and exciting. Who knows what new thing your kids might try if they get to cook it themselves!
(2737 W. Memorial Rd.)
A restaurant with “Brews” in the title owned by two members of the band KISS may not scream kid-friendly. Yet, that is exactly how co-owner Paul Stanley designed the franchise. His first priority in setting up Rock & Brews was to make it a great place for the whole family. The rock-inspired restaurant has become known locally for their menu of American comfort foods and their dog-friendly patio. Adults can enjoy four full-service bars serving up a rotating list of international and craft beers and specialty drinks and kids are sure to enjoy the lively play area. Save some cash and dine in on Mondays when kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée from 4 – 8 p.m.
(5 metro locations)
Is sushi highly requested at your house? If so, Nhinja Sushi & Wok is a great place for families to explore the many flavor options. There are three family-size platters on the menu that include a wide variety of rolls and easily feed a family. Their menu clearly explains which rolls are cooked and which are not. And, you have the option to swap your white sushi rice for brown. Add in some edamame or lettuce wraps and you’ve got a fun, hands-on meal the whole family is sure to enjoy. The restaurant has options other than sushi as well including build-your-own rice or noodle bowls and traditional dishes like Kung Pao or Cantonese Cashew.
(714 N. Broadway Ave)
Cultivar Mexican Kitchen offers a non-traditional take on Mexican cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Enjoy tasty organic salads made with local greens, delicious Mexican street tacos and more. The restaurant offers a family-style taco meal perfect for groups. As their motto says, “a taco is only as good as the shell,” diners can watch the whole shell-making process first-hand. Staff grinds the hominy in-house and makes each shell to order. Kids will be surprised to choose from out-of-the-box options like organic soda and chocolate banana quesadillas. There's a nice area with booths that's removed from the main part of the restaurant for easy dining with kids. The patio area is another good option during the warmer months.
(229 E Main St, Norman)
Das Boot Camp is an off-shoot of the long-time local favorite Royal Bavaria. The smaller location offers many of the same made-from-scratch, traditional German dishes, but the menu features nothing over $10. Large family-style tables and fun appetizers like the Oktoberfest Pretzel and cheese curds add to the restaurant’s family-friendly accessibility. Indulge together with specialties like cheese noodles, schnitzel, spatzle and bratwurst or lighten things up with a salad served with rotisserie chicken.
Even more inspiring ideas from our readers:
Alfredo’s Mexican Restaurant
Cuppies & Joe
Empire Slice House
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
Jo’s Famous Pizza
Louie’s Grill & Bar
Qdoba Mexican Eats
Roxy’s Ice Cream
S & B Burger Joint