When you have kids below age 10 – dining out can be a chore (both for you and those sitting around you). In my family we believe that if a restaurant has a kids menu – then people in there should expect to have kids around them. Restaurants must have a specific kids menu for me to believe they are kid-friendly – with a specific menu for little ones – this means they actually expect you to bring your kids.
Having had both great triumphs and tremendous failures in this area – I thought I would share my top 10 spots to dine with kids under 10 around Dayton.
Disclosure: Special thank you to our sponsor, Bagger Dave’s, for helping make this fun local resource possible.
This delicious family favorite is especially friendly to those little ones on Wednesdays and Sundays when the kid’s meals are only $2.95. There are so many yummy options here… Mac ‘N’ Cheese, Cobb Salad, Southwest Chicken Dip, Prime Rib Recipe Burger, hand cut fries (fresh daily), local craft beers and so much more! Go for a family-friendly early dinner time and take advantage of the $4 happy hour, Monday-Friday 2-6pm or one of the $4 Bagger Cocktails.
- Centerville, OH
- You know a place has actually thought about kids and planned for them when they invest in the square crayons – you know the ones that will not roll off the table a 100 times!
- Other than the crayons – they also have a train that runs around the top of the restaurant and killer milkshakes.
- Save room at the end for a local cupcake from Go Love Cupcakes.
- Go on a nice day and sit out on the patio.
DMB Tip – Check out their new Great American Day promotion on Tuesdays, where guests can purchase a Great American Cheeseburger with fries or Sweet Potato chips for $5.95
- Centerville, OH
- Have you seen the kids menu!?! It is amazing! The stuff mom and kid dreams are made of…
- The casual atmosphere makes it easy to pop in wearing shorts/jeans or you can get more fancy
- You will not be the only one in there with kids – generally on most of my visits there is even an infant someplace in sight
DMB Tip – They do not take reservations unless you have a party of 6 or more – so go early or invite friends to join you.
- Beavercreek, OH
- There are pizza places…and then there are pizza places with great pizza, delicious salads and fun kids accommodations.
- Kids will love playing with a blob of dough from the kitchen – in fact most of the adults in our party like it too!
- Go on a night when they have a band – its a festive atmosphere and the food is GREAT!
DMB Tip – They have an ever-rotating beer selection – order a flight you’ll want to sample a few!
4. Ele Bistro
- Miamisburg, OH
- Yes – its the same people who make the delicious cakes and other sweet treats- which is reason enough to go.
- Besides the kids menu – if you’re kids like mac n’cheese (and who’s don’t) you must get the Fried Risotto as an appetizer.
DMB Tip – Sit outside on the patio if you can – the kids will love looking/listening to the fountains.
- Miamisburg, OH Beavercreek, OH
- Tex-Mex = chips on the table = kids happy from the moment we sit down.
- Its also pretty loud in there -so any screams (or announcing loudly that they have to poop – as my kids do) will not be heard by surrounding tables
DMB Tip – Here are a few a)If this is your 1st visit there – ask for the “Sauce Tour” – they will bring you a sampling of all of their sauces. b) make sure your kids stop by the tortilla making area – its fun to watch c) if you are waiting on a table, head into the bar to grab some chips and toppings for your family to munch on during the wait.
- Kettering, OH
- It’s a family joint and it feels like it. Both the staff and waiters are likely to love on your kids.
- There is a lot of activity in the small space – so your kids will have people and waiters to watch moving about.
DMB Tip – the portions are large, so you could order a dish and parcel off some for your child.
- Lebanon, OH
- They specialize in vegan and vegetarian food – but also have tons of options for meat eaters!
- Their menu is amazing and everything is homemade – salads, sandwiches, soup, pitas, pizza, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, hummus, shakes, smoothies…much much more!
DMB Tip – the garlic sauce they make is unbelievable and come with nearly everything (they even bottle it now) – but if you are a 1st timer – you may want to order it on the side just to make sure you’ll like it!
8. Rusty Bucket
- Dayton, OH – near the Dayton Mall
- Kids will love the menu & parents will love the elevated menu options (and fantastic cocktails!)
- You can get in and out quickly – which is why we go there a lot for lunch.
DMB Tip – We love the patio in Summer or Winter – during Winter months they have a big fireplace with chairs around it.
9. Sunrise Cafe
- Yellow Springs, Ohio
- After a hike in Glen Helen – have lunch or dinner here – what’s best about the menu is that it’s all Organic all the time!
- Kids will feel at home and be appreciated in this little but mighty place.
DMB Tip- They do not take reservations – but they do call ahead seating. After dinner head down the street to Young’s Dairy for dessert!
10. TJ Chumps
- Englewood :: Miamisburg :: Fairborn :: Huber Heights
- Any one of these locations as a fun atmosphere….and a great patio!
- Most of their locations have a game room – Hallalujah!
DMB Tip: Sit on the patio – its boisterous enough to drown out the chaos your kids may be weaving.
This is my list – but I am sure I’ve missed – some! So what other hidden gems around the Miami Valley are welcoming to hungry parents & kids?