My family loves to eat out. Before my husband and I had kids, we made a pact to continue living life with kids as closely as possible to the days when we were just a twosome. Obviously, many things have changed, but we try not to let it slow us down. One thing we haven’t stopped doing is enjoying the amazing local restaurants we have in the greater Scottsdale area. We definitely use a sitter if we want to try a fancy steakhouse, but we prefer to bring the kids along whenever possible. I think all parents know how hard it can be to eat out with kids, especially antsy toddlers. If it were up to my kids, they would probably choose places like Peter Piper and Chuck E. Cheese, but we only go there on special occasions. While they may lack ticket dispensing games, I definitely prefer supporting local restaurants with menus geared toward the adults.
I’ve developed a list of places that we frequent on a regular basis not only because the food is amazing, but they are actually fun for the parents and the kids. All of the restaurants below have an area that allow the kids to get out of their seats and play. Anytime our little ones aren’t forced to spend an hour strapped into a high chair, they are obviously much happier. This makes it instantly more enjoyable for the parents as well. Here are eight local restaurants that are fun for everyone in the family.
- Isabella’s Kitchen (8623 E. Thompson Peak Pkwy. Scottsdale AZ) – Isabella’s is our go-to restaurant anytime we have family visiting from out of town. It is located on Grayhawk Golf Club and has some of the best sunset views in the valley. The outdoor areas are surrounded by grass where kids are always sprawled out on blankets, playing with balls and running around laughing. There are also fire pit tables, rocking chairs and a rooftop patio. I recommend calling ahead for a reservation because this place is always packed! After dinner order an extra glass of wine and wander out onto the driving range where your little ones can run around and throw golf balls into sand traps to their heart’s content.
- O.H.S.O. Paradise Valley (10810 N. Tatum Blvd. Phoenix AZ) – O.H.S.O. also has locations in Arcadia and North Scottsdale, but the PV location at Tatum and Shea is my family’s favorite. The shaded outdoor area features corn hole boards, ping pong tables and other games that allow the kids some room to run around while waiting for their meals or the check. We typically request one of the outdoor tables closest to the games so we can sip on a locally-brewed beer from their great selection while our kids play nearby. All of the O.H.S.O. locations are pup-friendly as well, so your furbaby can join too.
- OdySea Center Restaurants (9500 East Vía de Ventura, Scottsdale, AZ) – There are several new restaurants in the Odysea Center that are worth trying with your family. Plus with so much to do and weekly attractions in the OdySea center, you could spend a whole day there.
- Culinary Dropout (Scottsdale Quarter) – The Scottsdale Quarter Culinary Dropout is huge, has an amazing patio and yard games. Be sure to bring your splash pad bag and towels because the kids won’t want to leave the Quarter without running through the water.
- The Yard (5632 N. 7th St. Phoenix AZ) – The Yard is amazing because you have three restaurants (Culinary Dropout, Little Cleo’s Seafood or Barrio Urbano) surrounding a giant adult play area that does double duty for the kids. You can choose a restaurant based on the type of food that sounds best, then let the kids enjoy the many games, including corn hole, ping pong, foosball, shuffleboard, life-size Jenga and more. The Yard does attract a bit of a bar crowd later at night, but it is perfect for kids during the day or for an early dinner.
- The Vig (various locations) – It is too bad the Scottsdale location at McCormick Ranch doesn’t feature a play space, but all of the other locations (Uptown, Arcadia and Fillmore) do. A game of bocce ball or corn hole is always fun for the kiddos. It also doesn’t hurt that I’ve never had a bad meal at The Vig and half price bottles of wine on Sunday make for a nice afternoon.
- Barro’s Pizza (8940 E. Indian Bend Scottsdale AZ) – Who doesn’t love pizza? Barros is a local family-owned favorite serving up pies all over the Valley. The Barro’s at Indian Bend and the 101 has a children’s area with a kids table, play kitchen and even a TV reserved for the little ones.
- Chestnut (4418 E. Osborn Rd. Phoenix AZ) – Chestnut is open 8am – 4pm (Sunday-Tuesday) 8am – 9pm (Wednesday-Saturday). The menu is a foodies delight with yummy breakfast options, fresh salads and savory sandwiches.
If you are looking for a few additional restaurant recommendations, check out these previous Scottsdale Moms posts for restaurants with healthy kids meals and restaurants that offer kids eat free. Any other fun family-friendly restaurants we are missing? Let us know so we can add to the list!
These are GREAT! Thank you!
Family restaurants are great for families with kids but I think those families need to remember that not everyone who eats in those restaurants has kids. There are lots of different kinds of families and everyone who is paying to enjoy a meal has the right to enjoy it. If a family restaurant has a play area that’s great. If it does not then it is rude and selfish of the parents to let the kids run around the restaurant without supervision or discipline. And if a baby is screaming, parents need to take it outside until it stops crying. It is not true that when you have kids you can still live your same lifestyle. Your life is different now and young kids will greatly benefit from learning to behave and be respectful of others trying to enjoy their meals too. If parents are not willing to teach this to their kids then takeout food is a great option for them.
Wah Wah Wah!! If you want a fancy dinner go to an upscale restaurant.
LOLOL…someone has a stick up their butt.
Thanks for this list! So helpful for planning our vacation in a few weeks!
Also Joan–why are you even reading a mom’s blog?
This is a great list for us parents who’d love to get out of the house once and a while and go out to dinner with kids!! Thanks for sharing it with us local moms! 🙂
Joan–not sure if you have ever had children, but maybe try to look at the joy and zest for life that children bring! My kids are almost all grown and gone, but I enjoy seeing little ones as they bring happy memories of when my kids were little. If you didn’t have children, my condolences. Perhaps the young parents could use encouragement instead of criticism.
I’m a big fan of Doughbird after visiting in February with my toddler. The food options are all things that kids love – rotisserie chicken, pizza, hummus, and guacamole, but with a sophisticated flair that parents will appreciate too. Happy Hour deals are great (and a perfect time to come with a little one – before meltdowns and crowds). You can read more here: https://thelittlestpassport.com/blog/2019/4/30/phoenix-scottsdale-kid-friendly-restaurants-activities
I am a new parent via a five year old step daughter and this blog is great for those of us thrown in the deep end without any prep time. I am constantly trying to find things that we can entertain the little one and still be a couple. It’s difficult to find that balance when kids take so much time, but with that being said there is always a middle ground.
Joan, I agree with your thoughts and parents should be mindful, but perhaps the delivery of your message could be more polished and also you would do well to remember that kids, though small are people and people are not to be controlled. Embrace the energy, it’s infectious and so is the laughter and joy.
Thanks for the awesome ideas!!!
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