Kid-Friendly Restaurants In Philadelphia

Because parents gotta eat.
Kid-Friendly Restaurants In Philadelphia image

photo credit: Thirsty Dice

There are kids’ restaurants (gross), and there are restaurants that work for kids (great). This guide is dedicated to the latter. Whether you’re feeding a little league team or going out on date night with a small and very demanding third wheel, we’ve got you covered.


East Passyunk

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsBirthdaysCheap EatsDay DrinkingOutdoor/Patio SituationKids
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Sure, if you were childless you might come to Cantina on East Passyunk for the customizable tacos and excellent margs. But because you’re saddled with the tiny dictators, you want to head there for the huge outdoor patio—and, you know, the margs. The Mexican spot makes some of the best in the city, and when it’s nice out they’re best enjoyed on the gated patio with nachos and beef quesabirria. And if the weather isn’t in your favor, the main dining room is festive and (just as) kid-friendly.



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Parenthood means a lot of pizza. Unfortunately, it usually means a lot of bad pizza—but it doesn’t have to. Head to Emmy Squared in Queen Village for crispy Detroit-style pizza (we’re partial to the margarita with piles of creamy burrata, but you can’t go wrong here). They also make a solid burger (Le Big Matt) and have tons of snacky options like waffle fries, mozz sticks, and crispy chicken bites for those with a less, ahem, sophisticated palate. It’s a modern, chic space that has a great rooftop for when it’s nice out (and it’s just a few blocks away from John's Water Ice if you have room for dessert).

Sidecar, a corner bar in Graduate Hospital, serves elevated bar food, great drinks, and an impressive draft list seven days a week. There’s something on the menu for everyone—ranging from Detroit-style pizza and hoisin BBQ portobello bánh mì to housemade pasta and brisket birria tacos. It’s packed with families for brunch and early weeknight dinners, usually upstairs within view of the TVs (that play cartoons when there’s not a game on), or outside at the covered seating area.

photo credit: Gab Bonghi



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Parc is a special place—partially because it’s slowly fused into Rittenhouse Square’s permanent architecture, and also because you can pull it out of your back pocket for pretty much any situation. It’s a classic French bistro with a classic French bistro menu (think steak tartare and beef bourguignon), and everything is fresh and delicious. Its massive menu also means there’s something for everyone, including picky eaters. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or (early) dinner, there are often families sharing raclette-topped burgers or macaroni gratin while enjoying the French accordion music or people watching along 18th Street.

You’re gonna want to order at least 10 dishes from this bustling Chinatown classic, so bringing the entire family is ideal. It’s been serving its crispy-skinned Peking duck in the same location since 1980 (it’s the best in the city), but there are kid-friendlier items like spring rolls, dumplings, sweet and sour chicken, and noodle dishes that are (almost) as good. It’s always packed with big, loud groups, so you won’t get any side eye from neighbors if your kid enjoys Ms. Rachel with his fried rice.  

This Pennsport BYOB is as family friendly as they come. From the stacked nachos and thin-crust Mexican pizzas to the epic al pastor, it’ll please everyone from the most adventurous of spicyphiles to those who will only eat things that are white (yes, this is a thing). The casual dining room pumps an upbeat house-meets-Latin bass soundtrack, but if it’s nice out, snag one of the roomy picnic tables out front.

One of the city’s best pizzerias is also its most versatile. In addition to its world-famous pizza, the Fishtown icon serves small plates like Cantabrian anchovies and roasted seasonal vegetables with white miso. But they serve all of this in an airy space centered around a floating cloud lamp, making it as comfortable for toddlers who won’t eat anything but the #1 (topped with sweet tomato sauce and whole milk mozz) as those who mainly come for the house negroni and amari-soaked soft serve.

Little Saigon’s Nam Phuong serves some of the city’s best pho, but it also has a huge menu of other Vietnamese staples like crispy spring rolls, vermicelli bowls, and broken rice platters. The walls are covered in murals of Vietnamese islands, chandeliers light up the endless rows of banquet-style tables, and a TV plays videos of club goers untz-untzing at Patong Beach. If kids aren’t slurping noodles, they’re usually watching this (hey, whatever works).

Sure, it’s worth the trip to Bala for The Landing Kitchen’s shakshuka, fried chicken sandwich, and smoked salmon toast. But the riverside American restaurant also has a huge, contained patio full of garden games and room for kids to make chalk art only a parent could love.

L’anima is an Italian BYOB in Grad Hospital, and on any given night, it’s an easy option. It’s more modern and spacious than most other Italian BYOBs in the city, they serve great pasta, and you can usually get a table without a reservation. The best part? They have a large patio with a ton of tables, and Carpenter Green park is right across the street for a pre-, mid-, or post-dinner game of tag.

Looking to level-up your family game night, but going to rip your hair out if you have to eat another frozen pizza? Welcome to Thirsty Dice in Fairmount. It’s an all-day cafe that serves classic cocktails, beers on tap, and milkshakes (FYI: some are boozy). Grab an order of the crunchy garlic parm wings and shrimp tacos with a cheesy elote breading before you hit the Monopoly board—or any of the other 80 games to choose from.

Philly’s biggest Chinese restaurant, China Gourmet serves a full a la carte menu of Cantonese specialties (get the Hong Kong style lobster with minced pork) in addition to countless buns, dumplings, crepe rolls, and congee from roving dim sum carts. The Mayfair behemoth has tons of free parking, and is always loud and lively with multigenerational families. Bonus points: the kids tend to congregate around the wall of bubbling seafood tanks, allowing parents the briefest of moments to enjoy the feast.

Fishtown’s Frankford Hall is good for groups of all kinds, including those with kids. The enormous beer garden is as useful for those looking to drink beer by the liter as those interested in playing foosball or ping pong. It’s open year round, so you can almost always find parents enjoying drinks and Bavarian pretzels by the outdoor fire pits while tiny children bobble around and bigger kids play off-brand Jenga with wiener schnitzels.

This inviting, two-story Mexican restaurant in Point Breeze has three key factors that make it an ideal place to bring kids. First, it’s large enough to host several family reunions at once. Second, it has a large, wood-fired oven that churns out everything from great pizza to homemade tortillas. Third, and perhaps most importantly, it has a full bar, including an extensive mezcal and tequila collection. El Mezcal Cantina is always busy with couples and families and they don’t take reservations, so there may be a bit of a wait on the weekends. It’s worth it, though, for the excellent aguachiles, al pastor pizza, and TVs playing everything from Mexican farming shows to music videos.

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