San Diego Restaurants with Kid-Friendly Play Space

Hey, foodie parents. Skip the dollar menu this weekend. These local restaurants feature real chefs, great food and play spaces for kids.

Officine Buona Forchetta
2816 Sims Rd., Liberty Station
This chef-driven spot for Neapolitan pizzas and pastas offers fresh, authentic flavors and family fun. Sip sangria on the back patio while kids play in a grassy park. They’ll be busy with the teeter-totter, slide and swings while you enjoy your antipasti—but don’t worry—everyone will come running when the pizza arrives. If you’re feeling hungry, try the Pizza Al Metro, a two-foot long pie customizable for sharing. Whatever you do, don’t skip dessert! Chef Francesca’s Cremoso al Cioccolato e Nocciola will make all your chocolate dreams come true.

kid friendly dining4 2036

BO-Beau Kitchen + Garden
8384 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa
Experience casual French fare in charming downtown La Mesa. Request a table in the idyllic covered courtyard, where a decommissioned school bus and chalkboards set the stage for imaginative play. While you await your entrée, indulge in Bo-Beau’s legendary Brussels sprouts, prepared with pancetta and a balsamic reduction. Every selection is a good one on this small, thoughtful menu.

The Patio on 101
345 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas
The Patio on 101 features a special area for kids that includes outdoor games and pint-sized seating for little ones. During daily happy hour (closed Mondays), parents can enjoy drink and appetizer specials while kids entertain themselves in the designated fun area. The Santanico Pandemonium is a delicious cucumber, jalapeño, lime cocktail that won’t disappoint. There’s even an outdoor space for adults nearby, featuring games and comfy furniture. The menu offers a variety of American-style cuisine and share plates. Not to be missed: Crispy Brussels Sprouts with bacon and maple syrup, creamy Mac & Cheese with Andouille sausage and bao buns! That’s right — The Patio on 101 offers menu items from “sister” property, Bao Beach (popular Asian fusion restaurant in Mission Beach), which means North County residents can indulge in Shrimp Bao, bulgogi, Karaage and pork belly right in Encinitas. During weekend brunch, kids can order breakfast from the kids menu. 

Station Tavern
2204 Fern St., South Park
Nothing sets the tone for a relaxing weekend like burgers and beer in the heart of South Park. Station Tavern boasts a spacious “backyard” with picnic tables and dirt floors. The restaurant is dog friendly and offers an enclosed play space for children. The area includes chalkboards and a half-scale wooden trolley. While the kids play conductor, enjoy a remarkably fresh, well-seasoned hamburger, or a marinated chicken sandwich with delightful house-made barbecue sauce. Don’t forget a plate of the restaurant’s famous tater tots—perfectly crisp with a generous dusting of spices.

Waypoint Public
794 30th St., North Park
Come for the beer and stay for the food at this family-friendly hipster hangout in North Park. The play space is enclosed with a mini picket fence, and is often packed with new friends. Kids can lounge on beanbags while they sample an assortment of books, toys and movies. The weekend brunch menu offers a creative selection of benedicts, including the must-try Southern Belle, featuring perfectly poached eggs, a thick slice of bacon-scallion cornbread and a cheesy IPA sauce. Yum!

The Rabbit Hole
3377 Adams Ave., Normal Heights
Check out the back patio at this high-energy sports bar in Normal Heights. You’ll find an inviting patch of turf and family friendly games to intrigue your little ones. Challenge the kids to cornhole, or watch as they compete in a life-sized game of connect four. The whole team will be glad you came, especially if someone orders the otherworldly pork belly tacos.

Corvette Diner 
2965 Historic Decatur Rd., Point Loma
San Diego’s standby for burgers, shakes and poodle skirts is still rocking after three decades. Kids love the 50’s themed diner with onsite arcade. The “Gamer’s Garage” offers more than 60 games from classic air hockey to new favorites like Fruit Ninja and Guitar Hero. Nostalgic décor, do-wop music, and sassy waitresses make the experience complete.

Mendocino Farms 
12873 El Camino Real, Del Mar
This hip spot for next-level sandwiches offers a kid-friendly patio with cornhole, foosball and a toasty fireplace. Try the “Not So Fried” chicken sandwich with free-range chicken, crispy polenta bites, herb aioli, pickled red onions and chipotle barbecue sauce. They offer a quality kids menu, plus gluten-free and vegan options.

The Crack Shack 
Little Italy and Encinitas
Fried chicken gets a huge upgrade at this family-friendly spot. Try the Coop Deville sandwich with pickled Fresno chilies, lime mayo and Napa cabbage on brioche. The outdoor seating area boasts open space for family lawn games like bocce ball and cornhole.

Soda & Swine 
2750 Dewey Rd. #104, Point Loma
It’s all about the meatballs at this grub-food haven. The menu boasts eight flavorful meatball choices—including vegetarian and vegan options. They’re served in a sizzling skillet, over spaghetti, or stuffed in a sandwich. Pair with a craft soda, and finish with homemade apple pie. Family activities include an oversized foosball table and cornhole.

Kid-Friendly Breweries
Want to grab a drink with the kids in tow? No problem! Just remember to pick a designated driver.

Stone Brewery 
Escondido and Liberty Station
Known for its ultra-hoppy IPA and classy kids’ menu, Stone Brewing boasts two spacious locations for gourmet dining and family fun. Both locations offer open, outdoor spaces and lawn games like bocce ball.

Alesmith Brewing Company
9990 AleSmith Ct., Miramar
This brewery features a kids’ area with toys and puzzles. Don’t miss the onsite Tony Gwynn museum. Food trucks available on rotation.

Plan 9 Alehouse
155 E. Grand Ave., Escondido
If you like pub food with your beer, this brewery is your spot. A cozy corner is stocked with toys and a chalkboard to keep the little ones entertained.

Second Chance Beer Company
15378 Avenue of Science, Rancho Bernardo
Challenge your big kids to oversized Jenga and cornhole at this Rancho Bernardo brewery. Food trucks onsite in case you get hungry.

 

Anne Malinoski is a freelance writer and mother of two boys. Eating out is her favorite hobby.

 

Updated Aug. 2018

----------

 

 

 

Homemade Apple Pie Filling in a Jar

Homemade Apple Pie Filling in a Jar

Now that it’s apple season, why not use those delicious apples to make Homemade Apple Pie in a Jar, featuring sweet cinnamon apples and a caramelized sauce — a perfect gift for neighbors, friend . . .

Read more

Apple Cake with Dulce de Leche Frosting

Apple Cake with Dulce de Leche Frosting

“Fall is one of our favorite times of the year, because it means Halloween and my family’s birthday season is just around the corner. This cake is like our inauguration into fall — when it’s . . .

Read more

Apple Recipe Round-Up

Apple Recipe Round-Up

Nothing says fall like delicious, crisp apples! Whether you pick your own or buy them at a farmers market or grocery store, celebrate the fall season with delights from our bushel of apple recipes. . . .

Read more

Mummy Cupcakes

Mummy Cupcakes

Mummy Cupcakes! This is a really simple but effective design: you just need a piping bag and a couple of different tips. This recipe requires a slightly thicker, whiter frosting than usual to creat . . .

Read more

Apple Blackberry Upside-Down Cake

Apple Blackberry Upside-Down Cake

This upside-down apple blackberry cake looks impressive enough for company, but is so easy to make! Substitute frozen cranberries for a twist in color and flavor. Serves 8 Ingredients1½ cup flour . . .

Read more

Spooky Graveyard Pie

Spooky Graveyard Pie

In addition to making, Spooky Graveyard Pie, the tasty recipe below, here are some other fun ways to turn ordinary munchies into something monstrously yummy. Make a bone-chilling witches brew by . . .

Read more

Ghastly Ghosts

Ghastly Ghosts

Ghastly Ghouls Use a marshmallow and a thick, meringue frosting to hold theseghastly ghouls in place. Once you’ve mastered these cupcakeversions, why not try making a huge one on a full-size cake . . .

Read more

"Pumpkiny" Goodness

If fall is your favorite season, then it's likely that you're an enthusiast of "pumpkiny" goodness! And that's exactly what we have here: pumpkin treats that take you way beyond the traditional pumpki . . .

Read more

Halloween Devil's Dip

Halloween Devil's Dip

Scare up your own good time with a Halloween party for grown up guys and ghouls. Devil's Dip •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• . . .

Read more

Spooky Smoothie for Halloween

Spooky Smoothie for Halloween

Spooky Smoothie 3  cups Limited Edition TruMoo Lowfat Vanilla Milk, orange color1 1/2 cups lowfat vanilla Greek yogurt5  cups ice cubes1/4  cup fat free whipped cream Candy corn for . . .

Read more

Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Mini Pumpkin Whoopie PiesPumpkin treats are perfect for holiday baking and kids will love helping with Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. Makes 3 dozenCookies2     cups all-purpose flour1 &n . . .

Read more

Decadent Latté Recipes

Decadent Latté Recipes

Red Velvet Frappé Ingredients:2 oz espresso or strongly brewed coffee 5 oz milk 1 tbsp cocoa 1 oz red food coloring 2 scoops vanilla ice cream 1 cup icewhipped cream to taste Directions:Combine es . . .

Read more

Healthy Halloween Treats

Healthy Halloween Treats

With the plethora of candy and sugary snacks that Halloween brings, why not balance holiday snacking with a few healthy, low sugar treats? Thank you to Deborah at www.SuperMoms360.com for sharing her . . .

Read more

Snacking With Joy: Frankenstein Pops

Snacking With Joy: Frankenstein Pops

My great grandma always made crisp rice treats for special occasions. As a tribute to her memory, my girls and I created a Halloween treat that everyone will enjoy. See below for instructions on an . . .

Read more

Snacking With Joy: Pumpkin Patch Snack

Snacking With Joy: Pumpkin Patch Snack

Feeding my family allergy-free whole foods inspired these festive Halloween snacks that your kids will love to make and eat. My girls call it delicious and fun. I call it Snacking with Joy. Eat . . .

Read more

"Candy Corn" Smoothies

Don't be fooled -- this smoothie may look like candy corn, but there's no candy in it! This healthy Halloween smoothie contains milk, fruit and a secret ingredient (carrot juice). Serve it in clear . . .

Read more

Snacking With Joy: Friendly Ghost Jicama and Dip

Snacking With Joy: Friendly Ghost Jicama and Dip

This recipe is a great way to introduce kids to healthy, juicy, delicious jicama, which is a healthy alternative to chips and is allergy friendly.IngredientsFresh jicamaBlack olives (or red grapes)P . . .

Read more

San Diego Family Magazine Logo

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!