Top 10 Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Grand Rapids

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.

RELATED: Where Kids Eat Free or Cheap in Grand Rapids

GRKIDS READERS’ TOP 10 FAMILY RESTAURANTS

#1 Russ’

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!”

russ-restaurant-910630

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.”

TexasRoadhouse

#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.”

the old goat-exterior-patio

#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.”

#6 Houlihan’s

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.”

Houlihans

#7 The Score

Also making our Unique Dining List, The Score is a great spot for dining with kids in the summer. This place is known for pizza, burgers, and sand volleyball. Reader’s say:

  • “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.”

The Score Restaurant

#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.”

Uccellos

RELATED: Tips for Healthy Teeth During the Holidays

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

 

By | 2017-05-12T14:42:25+00:00 December 2nd, 2015|Categories: General|Tags: |24 Comments

About the Author:

Betsy B
Mom to two busy little boys, Betsy is constantly on the chase. When she's not corralling her boys she enjoys catering, food experimentation, crafting and naps. And most recently, is a published author on Amazon!

24 Comments

  1. Tia March 25, 2016 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Where is Mr. Burger??? Locally owned, many kids options including breakfast all day!!!!

  2. Kim May 24, 2015 at 9:23 am - Reply

    I can’t believe San Chez is on the list. It was an awful experience for our children, and was pricey to boot! The only saving grace for kids is the quick service, but they were not happy with the menu selections. We only go there for an adult evening now, because for that it’s perfect.

    • Betsy B
      Betsy B May 25, 2015 at 10:22 am - Reply

      Kim,
      This post was based on information gathered from our readers. We plan on redoing this post again in the fall – again based on information gathered from our readers. Please stay tuned so you can get your favorite kid-friendly restaurant on the list! Everybody has a different opinion, we’d love to hear what your favorites are in at that time!

      -Betsy

  3. Sandra Fernandez-Tardani March 12, 2015 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    I like The Mitten Brewery, Big Bob’s pizza and the Harmony Brewery. The last one has an extensive library for kids who love to read while they wait. Any place that offers beer, kids menu is good and it will make everyone feel happy 🙂

  4. Janie February 10, 2015 at 7:19 am - Reply

    I find Arnie’s (the west side location) to be very kid friendly – it’s spacious, welcoming, friendly staff, has a kids menu and the yogurt machines

    We really like Gus’s Original. It’s a laid back atmosphere. He enjoys the fireplace seating in the winter and outdoor seating in the summer. And the Mooville ice cream.

    Our favorite place to take him is the Downtown Market. There’s plenty of space to walk around, lots to see, and many food choices all in one spot. We can walk right to the park after, and still use the 90 min of free parking.

  5. Angela January 19, 2015 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    Try Pizza Ranch on 28th street. It recently opened and is great for kids. It’s big with lots of space and is a buffet. I sometimes think buffets are easier for kids because you can get up and get different things throughout the meal so they don’t have to sit for so long. They have “kids eat free” night on Tuesdays. They also have a soft serve ice-cream machine!

    They have delicious food and a clean space with friendly/helpful staff!

  6. Nick Bergakker via Facebook November 21, 2014 at 11:13 am - Reply

    Rachel Demmink, Adam Bergakker

  7. Sarah Gommesen via Facebook November 20, 2014 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    I guess other parents have different priorities than I do when choosing a good kid-friendly restaurant, because I disagree with a lot of the ones on this list.

  8. Erin November 20, 2014 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    I’m actually surprised to see Brann’s on the list. We went there for the first time a couple weeks ago and said we’d never go back with kids. REALLY slow service (not fun with a toddler and baby), toddler’s food was served extremely hot, and we never were given a “coin” or told anything about a candy crane. There weren’t any other kids in the restaurant and we felt really out of place. Maybe others have had a better experience at a different location than the one we went to.

  9. Kelli Williams via Facebook November 20, 2014 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    I second the Big Bob’s mention! Awesome craft beer for the parents too! 😉

  10. Kelli Williams via Facebook November 20, 2014 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    I second the Big Bob’s mention! Awesome craft beer for the parents too! 😉

  11. Anne Elizabeth Olsen Thomas via Facebook November 20, 2014 at 11:17 am - Reply

    We love Electric Cheetah with the kids!!! Watermark Country Club is great in the summer on the patio. My kids also love Rose’s.

  12. Anne Elizabeth Olsen Thomas via Facebook November 20, 2014 at 11:17 am - Reply

    We love Electric Cheetah with the kids!!! Watermark Country Club is great in the summer on the patio. My kids also love Rose’s.

  13. Katie Moser via Facebook November 20, 2014 at 10:50 am - Reply

    Happy to see Omelette Shoppe on here as they do a wonderful job! We also love Big Bob’s Pizza (popcorn while you wait is a bonus)!

  14. Tiffany Altman via Facebook November 20, 2014 at 9:44 am - Reply

    I have never taken my 7-year-old to any of those places.

    Then again, she doesn’t like burgers, pizza or eggs.

  15. Tiffany Altman via Facebook November 20, 2014 at 9:44 am - Reply

    I have never taken my 7-year-old to any of those places.

    Then again, she doesn’t like burgers, pizza or eggs.

  16. Beki Rendulic Mucci via Facebook November 20, 2014 at 9:11 am - Reply

    For a truly adult environment and great food, try Bistro Bella Vida, free wifi, noisy so a child isn’t disruptive and excellent food choices!! Our toddler and teen equally do great there!

  17. Beki Rendulic Mucci via Facebook November 20, 2014 at 9:11 am - Reply

    For a truly adult environment and great food, try Bistro Bella Vida, free wifi, noisy so a child isn’t disruptive and excellent food choices!! Our toddler and teen equally do great there!

  18. Cara November 20, 2014 at 9:11 am - Reply

    While I love to support local restaurants, many of the ones I’ve taken my kids to didn’t even have high chairs or boosters, the tables were too close together, and the menu too eclectic for my picky eaters. I’m not paying $7 for my kid to refuse to eat the gourmet grilled cheese because they thought they were getting “normal” grilled cheese.

  19. Chris Mccarthy-Kragt via Facebook November 20, 2014 at 8:54 am - Reply

    Love Twisted Rooster!!!!

  20. Sharon Toth Thurston via Facebook November 20, 2014 at 8:46 am - Reply

    My kids love the Electric Cheetah, Green Well, Mitten Brewery, Johnny B’z, Brick Road Pizza, and the Corner Bar. Support local restaurants and not chains.

  21. Megan Rae Vetitoe via Facebook November 20, 2014 at 8:28 am - Reply

    Buffalo Wild Wings

  22. Lacie Heethuis-Roy via Facebook November 20, 2014 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Denny’s ,mcdonalds, bk,

  23. Sharon Toth Thurston via Facebook November 20, 2014 at 8:15 am - Reply

    Too many chains listed. Focus on local!!!!

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