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10 Kid-Friendly Restaurants That Go Beyond Chicken Fingers and Crayons

The Twin Cities’ best places to bring the little humans

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There’s a radical belief that kids can and should dine out with their bigs. Not all restaurants understand this, but the ones that embrace the smaller humans and their particular needs can pay off big time. Adults get precious time with their special small people and kids get the particular joys of discovering new experiences.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Convention Grill and Fountain

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Load up the kiddies for an old fashioned burger and malt experience. This place hasn't changed much since opening in 1934. Dining here feels like stepping into a simpler time when the milkshakes were served with two straws.

Pizzeria Lola

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Kids love pizza and adults appreciate the nuances of truly great pizza. Throw in warm cookies, olive oil topped soft serve and a photo booth for fun memories and this is the makings for a perfect family night out.

Everybody likes pizza
Pizzeria Lola/Facebook

Restaurants run by parents get how important it is to take care of the little ones, so everyone gets to enjoy a meal. Tilia has a fantastic little collection of activities to keep the young ones busy, plus chef Steven Brown’s original restaurant remains one of the best places to dine in the Twin Cities.

fig + farro

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This vegan eatery inside Calhoun Square has a whole play house area for kids to explore while adults can sip a glass of biodynamic wine. Order a little hummus and some cruelty-free comfort food and everyone is happy.

Hello, adorable play area
Katie Cannon/Eater Twin Cities

This elegant cafe inside the American Swedish Institute has a fantastic wine list and food that are both recognizable for kids and sophisticated for the discerning adult. Scarf a cardamom bun and wander the next door museum/mansion space - which is particularly fun for those that like to imagine what it’s like to live in a castle.

Fika/Facebook

Hot Plate

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Never run out of things to look at inside this South Mpls breakfast and lunch spot that’s covered in kitsch. Let the kids take a round of Rock Em Sock Em Robots while waiting for a plate of hearty comfort food.

Rebecca Zenefski

Brasa Premium Rotisserie

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Lead by example while dining at a restaurant that cares about where the ingredients are sourced. Not only are the mostly gluten-free dishes delicious, but they're served super fast. It's useful when your table mate might be coming up on nap time.

Hazel's Northeast

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This family run spot takes classic dishes, gives them a little twist and serves them up deliciously. Whether you're looking for biscuits and gravy, French toast or a legendary Rueben, this is the spot to bring the whole crowd.

Keg and Case Market

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The new market on West 7th Street in Saint Paul is an edible wonderland. Give the kids a taste of the creative flavors of cotton candy (with a shockingly low amount of sugar) at Spinning Wylde. The stand caters to the delights of small people with a chalkboard wall and ever-changing displays. There are also doughnuts, ice cream, coconut rice, and fantastic barbecue for snacking while wandering around. Check out the whole case of mushrooms growing.

Spinning Wylde/Facebook

Red Cow

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This burger-centric mini-chain has several locations around the Twin Cities. Not only do they get the food out fast, before kids hit that scary hangery thing they do, but the menu items also comes with a little bit of beautifully prepared veggies. Some kids do appreciate a little broccoli now and again.

Convention Grill and Fountain

Load up the kiddies for an old fashioned burger and malt experience. This place hasn't changed much since opening in 1934. Dining here feels like stepping into a simpler time when the milkshakes were served with two straws.

Pizzeria Lola

Everybody likes pizza
Pizzeria Lola/Facebook

Kids love pizza and adults appreciate the nuances of truly great pizza. Throw in warm cookies, olive oil topped soft serve and a photo booth for fun memories and this is the makings for a perfect family night out.

Everybody likes pizza
Pizzeria Lola/Facebook

Tilia

Restaurants run by parents get how important it is to take care of the little ones, so everyone gets to enjoy a meal. Tilia has a fantastic little collection of activities to keep the young ones busy, plus chef Steven Brown’s original restaurant remains one of the best places to dine in the Twin Cities.

fig + farro

Hello, adorable play area
Katie Cannon/Eater Twin Cities

This vegan eatery inside Calhoun Square has a whole play house area for kids to explore while adults can sip a glass of biodynamic wine. Order a little hummus and some cruelty-free comfort food and everyone is happy.

Hello, adorable play area
Katie Cannon/Eater Twin Cities

Fika

Fika/Facebook

This elegant cafe inside the American Swedish Institute has a fantastic wine list and food that are both recognizable for kids and sophisticated for the discerning adult. Scarf a cardamom bun and wander the next door museum/mansion space - which is particularly fun for those that like to imagine what it’s like to live in a castle.

Fika/Facebook

Hot Plate

Rebecca Zenefski

Never run out of things to look at inside this South Mpls breakfast and lunch spot that’s covered in kitsch. Let the kids take a round of Rock Em Sock Em Robots while waiting for a plate of hearty comfort food.

Rebecca Zenefski

Brasa Premium Rotisserie

Lead by example while dining at a restaurant that cares about where the ingredients are sourced. Not only are the mostly gluten-free dishes delicious, but they're served super fast. It's useful when your table mate might be coming up on nap time.

Hazel's Northeast

This family run spot takes classic dishes, gives them a little twist and serves them up deliciously. Whether you're looking for biscuits and gravy, French toast or a legendary Rueben, this is the spot to bring the whole crowd.

Keg and Case Market

Spinning Wylde/Facebook

The new market on West 7th Street in Saint Paul is an edible wonderland. Give the kids a taste of the creative flavors of cotton candy (with a shockingly low amount of sugar) at Spinning Wylde. The stand caters to the delights of small people with a chalkboard wall and ever-changing displays. There are also doughnuts, ice cream, coconut rice, and fantastic barbecue for snacking while wandering around. Check out the whole case of mushrooms growing.

Spinning Wylde/Facebook

Red Cow

This burger-centric mini-chain has several locations around the Twin Cities. Not only do they get the food out fast, before kids hit that scary hangery thing they do, but the menu items also comes with a little bit of beautifully prepared veggies. Some kids do appreciate a little broccoli now and again.

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