The 12 Most Grandchildren-Friendly Restaurants For A Tasty Meal

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Taking the grandkids out for a meal is one of my favorite things to do, as it gives me a chance to show off how cute they are, and it gives us a chance to make fun new memories!

However, I have discovered that one of the biggest caveats is when the kids get bored and antsy because the restaurant isn’t kid-friendly enough. Have you experienced this?

If you have, fear not, as there are these 12 grandchild-friendly restaurants that are perfect for a tasty meal:

1. Rainforest Cafe 

Flickr/duncan cumming

If my memory serves me right, the Rainforest Cafe was easier to come by when my kids were young. Sadly, this is no longer the case, though you can still find this tropical-themed restaurant in dozens of cities around the U.S. When it comes to child-friendly, there is no place like that Rainforest Cafe with its lifelike animatronic animals and kid-approved menu.

2. Planet Hollywood 

Whether or not you or your grandchild are movie buffs, you will love your visit to the iconic Planet Hollywood! Featuring 3 locations, Planet Hollywood boasts movie memorabilia, themed rooms, and an extensive menu with kid-friendly options that will keep you all coming back for seconds. (Planet Hollywood can be found in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Orlando.)

3. Hard Rock Cafe 

Like Planet Hollywood, the Hard Rock Cafe is a pop culture enthusiast’s dream come true, except instead of movies, the Hard Rock specializes in music. Featuring a lively ambiance and a menu chock full of childhood favorites, the Hard Rock is one of those places that are truly unforgettable! Even better? Hard Rock Cafe locations are much easier to find than Planet Hollywood and the Rainforest Cafe.

4. Red Robin 

Red Robin… Yum! This is another casual chain we used to frequent when the kids were little, as my littles would get the biggest kick out of the TV in the floor. When you visit today, you will find tons of various memorabilia on the walls, with many locations also offering balloons and other surprises for their youngest guests.

5. Mellow Mushroom 

Mellow Mushroom in Richmond, Virginia
Flickr/Ronnie Pitman

Since Pizza Hut buffets, jukeboxes, and arcade games are no longer the norm, I present the Mellow Mushroom: Another pizza chain (albeit smaller) with psychedelic decor that will transport you back to a groovier time. While the ambiance is rad enough, the tasty, kid-approved pizzas make the experience even more far out. 

6. Friendly’s 

With a name like Friendly’s, you know it has to be an excellent place for kids and families! Located along the East Coast, Friendly’s has served its famous burgers, sandwiches, entrees, and ice cream for 80+ years. (With a nearly 100-year legacy, you know it has to be good!)

7. Bubba Gump Shrimp 

While your grandkids probably won’t get the Forrest Gump references, they WILL get the kids’ menu perfectly curated for their refined (AKA picky) tastes. Side note: The kids’ menu is very reasonably priced for what you get – my 5-year-old grandson ordered a rack of ribs and enjoyed every bite.

8. American Girl Cafe 

If you have a granddaughter, taking her to an American Girl Store and Cafe is an absolute rite of passage! I’m not going to lie: it is expensive, but if there was ever a dining experience created with little girls in mind, it is the American Girl Cafe. If you go, have your grand bring her favorite doll, as she will also be seated and catered to. 

9. Crayola Experience Cafe 

Crayola Cafe in Kansas City
Flickr/Wesley Fryer

Crayola and childhood go hand-in-hand, so it should come as no surprise that the Crayola Experience Cafe is one of the best places to take them to eat! Boasting a vibrant, colorful, and Crayola-inspired atmosphere, the Cafe – attached to a Crayola Experience amusement center – specializes in PB&Js and chicken fingers, making it an all-around no-brainer. 

10. Dave and Busters 

Playing tons of arcade games and eating burgers and fries… Is there anything better? (No – the answer is no.)

11. The Old Spaghetti Factory 

Quite possibly one of my favorite spots on this list (with or without the grandkids, wink), the Old Spaghetti Factory will transport you and your family to a simpler time of carousels and trolley cars – so much so that there is an actual trolley car inside the restaurant!

12. Joe’s Crab Shack 

For classic under-the-sea vibes with traditional seafood fare (plus some other kid-friendly picks if your grandkids are anything like mine and won’t touch fish), I recommend taking the grands to “Eat at Joe’s”! 

There you have it – my favorite places to take the grandkids! While not all of them are huge national chains, you should be able to find one or two in a town near you. Let me know how it goes – I always love hearing from you, my grandma friends!

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