16 Unique Family Restaurants in Grand Rapids

Interesting Kid Friendly Restaurants in Grand Rapids

Dining at family restaurants is always an adventure, whether intentional or not.

Here in west Michigan we have free & cheap spots, our favorite spots and summer time outside dining.

And now we have the best intentional adventures for kid friendly restaurants.

Play pinball, eat inside an old firehouse, watch the boats arrive … and that’s just the beginning of the best family restaurants in Grand Rapids.

16 Family Restaurants in GR That are a Little Zany

There are lots of kid friendly restaurants around West Michigan.

But we wanted to find places that capture the imagination and add a little interest to dinnertime.

Here are 16 spots that our kids love.

1 – Hancock

1157 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI, 49506

Don’t let Hancock’s hot chicken fame keep you from bringing the kids – they’ve got “regular” chicken, too!

If you need some southern comfort food, this is the place to go. Fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, baked beans, pimento macaroni and cheese–and the mouthwatering list goes on and on.

Their great outdoor space with lots of yard games is perfect for keeping kids entertained.

Hancock summer outdoor dining

2 – Ada Village General Store

7430 River St. SE, Ada, MI 49301

Ada Village General Store is inside an old school house!

While known for their delicious ice cream and other sweet treats, Ada General Store also offers hot dogs, quiche and a few sandwiches, which we thinks qualifies as a family restaurant.

Of course, the sweet treats are the main draw here. There’s both hard and soft ice cream by the scoop, cookies, macrons and donuts.

3 – Stella’s Lounge

53 Commerce Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

This one is for you and your big kids.

Stella’s is supposedly the best burger in Grand Rapids, if not Michigan,

But you’ll also love their retro arcade and pinball games. Only a quarter a play!

Bring your big kids for specialty burgers and some competition at Ms. Pac-Man.

Stella’s Lounge

4 – Yesterdog

1505 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Gourmet hot dogs? Yes, please!

Coupled with their cool vintage decor and simple 6-option menu, Yesterdog is a Grand Rapids icon.

This family restaurant is the place for kids and their parents who are still kids at heart.

5 – Downtown Market

435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

If you have a family of varying taste buds, Downtown Market is the place to go.

With various vendors offering cuisine such as Thai, Poke, BBQ or tacos, everyone is sure to find something they like.

Round off your meal with a trip to one of the amazing dessert options like Love’s Ice Cream, Rak Thai boba, candy, cake or cookies.

Plus, enjoy it all as you sit at tables upstairs and watch the bustling market from above.

Watch for special events like Kids’ Cuisine where the venders offer special “kid friendly foods” like chicken tenders, mini waffles, grilled cheese and cookies.


6 – Food Trucks

Family restaurant vibes outside? – Track down one of Grand Rapids’ best food trucks.

Grab a great meal like tacos, burgers, pizza or paella.

Or have dessert for dinner and go with ice cream, donuts or crepes.

And that’s just a few of the dozens of food trucks around Grand Rapids!

Watch for special events where many food trucks gather together like at the airport viewing area, Riverside Park and various festivals.

7 – The Score

5301 Northland Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Summertime at The Score means you can enjoy a pizza while watching a sand volleyball game.

Let your kids play in the sand while you wait for your food…just be prepared to take them for a hand wash before you settle in to eat.

The pizza here is quite good quality, and the closeness to water helps keep the temperature down to reasonable on hot days.

The Score Grand Rapids kids family restaurants

8 – The Ice Cream Caboose

6300 Alden Nash Ave SE, Alto, MI 49302

Near Boulder Ridge Animal Park, Ice Cream Caboose is a great little ice cream shop.

AND they’ve got popular kid items like burgers, hot dogs, fries, onion rings and chicken tenders.

Open during the summer hours, this little shop is in a train car!

9 – Boatwerks

216 Van Raalte Ave., Holland, MI 49423

Located on Lake Macatawa, if you dine at Boatwerks in the summer, you can watch boats arrive as you eat.

Boats can park at the dock just as easily as cars can park in the parking lot.

Because of this there’s a lot of boat activity to keep you and your littles entertained!

10 – Mitten Brewing

527 Leonard St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Located in historic Engine House No. 9, The Mitten is a vintage baseball-themed microbrewery.

Food-wise, they are known for their amazing pizza. They even offer a flight of six different pizzas.

Enjoy the second story taproom or dine al fresco on the bi-level outdoor decks.

11 – Bagger Dave’s

2817 Kraft Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

While not completely unconventional, kids are mesmerized by the trains that run overhead at Bagger Dave’s. They even get train stickers at this family restaurant.

Check out the the specialty sodas, which you can get in ‘flights.’ They come four at a time with an upgrade to a full size glass of any soda you choose.

I tried the green apple soda once (seasonal flavor) and it tasted like sour apple lollipops.

12 – Chapbook Cafe

Schuler Books, 2660 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Eat lunch at Chapbook Cafe, read some books, buy some books at Schuler Books.

The quiche here is amazing.

The sandwiches are really quite good as well as coffee and desserts.

The children’s department here is pretty fun and very well stocked.

Chapbook Cafe kid friendly restaurants

13 – Sandy Point Beach House

7175 Lakeshore Drive, West Olive, MI 49460

Sandy Point Beach House has a great outdoor patio and areas to play bocce ball in the sand!

Special bocce ball sets are provided for families with supervised kids.

14 – Woody’s Press Box

5656 Clyde Park Avenue Southwest, Wyoming, MI 49509

Located inside Spectrum Lanes, Woody’s Press Box is not your usual bowling alley cafe.

Sure they have pizza and hot dogs like you’d expect, but they’re also a full service restaurant.

Woody’s offers a comprehensive menu including scrumptious sandwiches, appetizers, salads, soups, wraps, Tex-Mex, and of course, pizza.

15 – Fuji Yama Japanese Steakhouse

1501 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Have you been to Fuji Yama? It’s a show!

As you sit around the grill the chef mesmerizes you with his cooking skills and flames.

We took our eldest when he was just 3.

It may have been a bit of a mistake…the flames freaked him out.  

It might be time to take him again, though, now that he’s older. It’s a pretty awesome show.

Fuji Yama family restuarants

16 – Craig’s Cruisers

5730 Clyde Park Ave SW, Wyoming, MI 49509
651 Chicago Dr, Holland, MI 49423
1551 E Pontaluna Rd, Norton Shores, MI 49456

You may not think of Craig’s Cruisers for dining, but their pizza and salad buffet is pretty good!

While you’re there you can enjoy some arcades, mini golf, go carts, and laser tag. Multiple locations throughout West Michigan!

craig's cruisers buffet

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