This information was updated for 2015.
Where’s a Kid to Eat Out Around Here?
Parents can be very picky about which restaurants they’ll return to time and time again. Where can you find the restaurants with enough high chairs and boosters, decent kids’ menus, and changing stations? Where can you enjoy eating without fearing that your crew is disturbing everyone around them or that there won’t be enough elbow room? Who has the foresight to provide those precious crayons and coloring pages?
Here is the list compiled by YOU, our readers, full of YOUR favorite kid and family friendly grub hubs. Do you know of any more? Please tell us in the comments below and also tell us why.
There was a lot of data to sort through and a scoring system was set up. Scoring involved how many times a restaurant was mentioned and what amenities were mentioned. Here’s the top ten with reader comments followed by last year’s winners.
GRKIDS READERS’ TOP 10 FAMILY RESTAURANTS
A Michigan chain, Russ’ is uniquely West Michigan. Often a choice for young families, Russ’ won’t break the bank. Here’s what the readers say:
- “I love how my sons always get crayons and coloring pages as well as crackers as soon as we sit down.”
- “It is a relaxing family place!”
Photo courtesy of roadtrippers.com.
#2 Texas Roadhouse
Texas Roadhouse serves up yeast rolls while you wait for your food. This is what the readers say:
- “It’s noisy (music and such), great kid’s menus, boosters, highchairs and slings (for your infant car seat) and the employees line dance every hour! Kids (and adults) are welcome to get up and boogie, too!”
- “There is a jukebox and arcade games in the waiting area.”
#3 The Old Goat
An eclectic new eatery in Alger Heights, The Old Goat is part of the Electric Cheetah Family. Readers say:
- “Their menu is unique enough for adults but also plain enough for kids so our kids usually enjoy our food as well.”
- “(My child) likes the big goat outside and the goat paintings on the walls inside.”
#4 Steak n Shake
Known for fast shakes and burgers, customers can sit at the counter at Steak and Shake and watch their food being made right before their eyes. Here’s what the reader’s say:
- “Meals are only 4 bucks, kids get an activity sheet, we team up and race each other with the word search, there’s a cool car to build and decorate with stickers.”
- “With our big family we don’t go out to dinner much, but this is always where the kids want to go!”
#5 Red Robin
Red Robin is known for burgers and never ending fries. There are currently two locations in the Grand Rapids area- one near Woodland Mall and the other near Rivertown Crossings. The readers say:
- “Gluten-free options, kids can be loud, lots of space, always great service/understanding staff, yummy food!”
- “It may have been a fluke, but they’re the only restaurant so far to cool my son’s meal (mac and cheese) to an appropriate temperature before serving.”
A National chain boasting 60 stores, Houlihan’s is known for “from scratch” cooking. The Grand Rapids store is located at the corner of Breton and Burton. This is what the readers say:
- “They always go above and beyond with kid friendly snacks, entertainment, and understanding.”
- “They are really kid friendly. Especially the wait staff.”
#7 The Score
- “They have a great outdoor area and a small kid’s play area.”
- “The outside area is great for kids to get up and moving and play while waiting.”
#8 Logan’s Roadhouse
Logan’s Roadhouse has three locations in the Grand Rapids area. Serving peanuts and yeast rolls before the meal comes is a Logan’s trademark. This is what the readers say:
- “Crayons and paper to color. Rolls before the meal help curb the starving to death hunger, and their menu is good. Also they’re usually noisy enough to not worry if your kid gets a little loud.”
- “Its usually pretty noisy so no one stares when my two year old son starts acting crazy.”
#9 Famous Dave’s
Famous Dave’s specializes in barbecue chicken, ribs, and brisket, even served in a garbage can lid, if you like. Grand Rapids area currently has one location near Rivertown Crossings. The reader’s say:
- “Lots of choices and cost friendly.”
- “The food, the prices – Famous Daves.”
#10 Uccello’s Ristorante
West Michigan owned Uccello’s serves up pasta and pizza. Here’s what the readers say:
- “Great kids menu, coloring, always have music playing.”
- “My little one LOVES this place! We normally share a pizza together.”
Rewind: 2014 Kid-Friendly Restaurant Winners
If you’re curious how these restaurants stacked up against last year’s list, you can compare here with our 2014 Top Ten Kid Friendly Restaurants:
1. Bagger Dave’s; 2. Red Robin; 3. Russ’; 4. Logan’s Roadhouse; 5. Brann’s Steakhouse; 6. Uccello’s Pizzeria; 7. Twisted Rooster; 8. Texas Roadhouse; 9. San Chez; 10. The Omelette Shoppe