Best Traverse City Restaurants for Kids? Dessert Spots & Restaurants Face-Off and YOU Could Win a $500 Getaway!

Traverse City Restaurants for Families

TC Family-Friendly Food Frenzy

16 Dessert Places & Restaurants in Traverse City Compete for Top Honors

Get ready for a culinary showdown as 16 family-friendly restaurants in Traverse City go head-to-head to see who will come out on top.

All of the dessert and food stops on this list are top-notch – that’s why they’re included. But who is the best of the best?

These yummy destinations in Traverse City are hoping you’ll crown them Best Family-Friendly Restaurant for 2023 – and you could come out a winner too, with a $500 Traverse City Tourism Getaway Voucher up for grabs!

Whether you’re in the mood for pizza, burgers, or ice cream treats, these restaurants have something for everyone.

The kids will love the fun atmosphere and delicious food, while the adults will appreciate the diverse menu options and quality ingredients.


With so many great choices, it’s hard to pick just one favorite.

Vote for your top pick and you’re entered to win this fabulous prize!

About the Prize

One lucky winner will receive $500 in Traverse City Tourism gift certificates good for lodging at any of the properties listed here.

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*This giveaway is sponsored by Traverse City Tourism

This giveaway will close on March 09, 2023, at 12 pm and the winners will be notified via email. The winner will have 24 hours to respond by email accepting the prize. No purchase necessary to enter the contest. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to and not to Facebook. Entrants will release Facebook from all liability. Entrants must be at least 21 years of age and reside in Michigan. Only one entry per household or IP address. Grand Rapids Kids’ liability is limited to the value of the prize.

Traverse City for Spring Break!

Experience the beauty of Traverse City all year round, but don’t miss the chance to visit in the spring.

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of activities such as biking, hiking, skiing and dune climbing. Food lovers will appreciate the diverse selection of delicious food. PLUS, for those who love to shop, downtown TC offers a wide range of options from toy stores to boutiques.

Not convinced? Check out our guide to all things TC in the spring.

PRO TIP: Sign up for TC’s FREE Northern Michigan Scavenger Hunt Pass before your visit.

Use the pass as a guide to your Traverse City adventure, and don’t forget to check in along the way.

Checking in gets you closer to earning prizes!

List of Dessert Spots & Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Traverse City

Here are the contenders!

A & W

21 Lake St, Frankfort, MI 49635

Introduce your family to A&W Rootbeer and make frosty mug memories.

Our signature rootbeer float is still made fresh. Kid’s Meals come with choice of fries or applesauce, a kid’s size drink and a very special prize from our good friend, Rooty!

A&W Traverse City
📷 TC Tourism

Bardon’s Wonder Freeze

1100 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49686

It’s an institution, a fixture, and it should be in the National Register of Historic Places.

Bardon's Wonder Freeze Traverse City
📷 TC Tourism

Blue Tractor

423 S Union St, Traverse City, MI 49684

With menu items like kids-little squealers and Whole Hog Quesadillas, its no wonder why the Blue Tractor is a family favorite BBQ spot.

Blue Tractor Traverse City
📷 TC Tourism

Camp Critter

Inside Great Wolf Lodge Water Park
3575 US-31, Traverse City, MI 49684

Are you hungry as a wolf? Camp Critter has pizzas & pastas the whole pack can share. For dessert, enjoy a souvenir bucket layered with soft serve ice cream, brownies, cookies, candy pieces, topped with chocolate sauce & whipped cream.

Camp Critter Traverse City Restaurant
📷 TC Tourism

Cherry Hut

211 N Michigan Ave, Beulah, MI 49617

A Northern Michigan tradition since 1922. The smiling face of Cherry Jerry was cut into the crust of their pies and to this day it is the distinguishing sign of the Cherry Hut and its products.

The Cherry Hut Traverse City
📷 TC Tourism

Cherry Republic

154 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684

Nothing this unique happens overnight, Life, Liberty, Beaches & Pie. It’s our mantra. While you sample the wine, the kids can sample some of our seven cherry soda pops with handfuls of chocolate everything.

Cherry Republic Traverse City
📷 TC Tourism

Peace Love & Little Donuts

441 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49686

You can’t go wrong with little donuts! Flavors vary, but there’s always a small treat for the whole family.

📷 TC Tourism

Flap Jack Shack

3980 US-31, Traverse City, MI 49684

Sweet Cherry, NY Cheesecake and Cinnamon Swirl are just three of the reason you will flip over our flapjacks. If a Santa Fe skillet is more your style, don’t fret, you get flapjacks with that too.

Flap Jack Shack Traverse City
📷 TC Tourism

Grand Traverse Pie Company

525 West Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49684

Calling all sweet tooth’s! Pies, cookies, muffins, brownies, turnovers, sweetbreads and cakes all round out your Traverse City experience. Simple and Yummy they are baked fresh every day.

Grand Traverse Pie Company Traverse City
📷 TC Tourism

Red Mesa

1544 U.S. 31 North, Traverse City, Michigan 49686

Bring on the chips and salsa! Kids will love the colorful décor and flavorful Latin American cuisine. Fan favorites include quesadillas and fried ice cream.

Red Mesa Traverse City
📷 TC Tourism

Mama Lu’s – A Modern Day Taco Shop

149 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684

A modern taqueria with tacos, side dishes and churros as well as a menu designed for our small diners.

Mama Lu's Traverse City
📷 TC Tourism

Milk & Honey

240 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684

Vegan options, check. A quick bite, check. Milk & Honey Café and Ice Creamery is a family ice cream shop and espresso bar serving products made with high quality ingredients from local sources. Its naturally yummy!

Milk & Honey Traverse City
📷 TC Tourism

Moomer’s Homemade Ice Cream

7263 N Long Lake Rd, Traverse City, MI 49685

Things that a make a kid say MOO. This ice cream parlor close to Traverse City is the perfect stop for a northern Michigan sweet treat. Step out on the beautiful terrace and have an amazing view of the neighborhood farms and the cows.

Moomers Traverse City
📷 TC Tourism

Roman Wheel Pizza

116 N St Joseph St, Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Located in the heart of Suttons Bay, the Roman Wheel is nostalgia, deliciousness, and perfection, all in one. Best pizza in existence for just $3.98 a slice or find lunch time happiness with one of our 10 delicious submarine sandwiches for $9.95.

Roman Wheel Pizza Traverse City
📷 TC Tourism

Sleder’s Family Tavern

717 Randolph St, Traverse City, MI 49684

Try our Slabtown burger, a heap of shrimp or Randolph’s twist on the tater, moose chips, served plain, with cheese or with chili and cheese. They will make you want to smooch the moose – (AKA Randolph)

Sleder's Family Tavern Traverse City
📷 TC Tourism

The Little Fleet

448 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49686

The kids will love choosing their own food truck experience. From parmesan fries and burgers to awesome Happy’s tacos. Pizza, hot dogs, sushi and edamame round out this kid-friendly fare.

The Little Fleet Traverse City
📷 TC Tourism

Traverse City is for Foodies, Big and Small

No matter your age, Traverse City has a restaurant or dessert spot that is sure to delight.

Leave a comment and let us know which foodie stop hits the spot for your family!

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13 thoughts on “Best Traverse City Restaurants for Kids? Dessert Spots & Restaurants Face-Off and YOU Could Win a $500 Getaway!”

  1. Brandy Sypniewski

    Oh Cherry Republic!! There’s just nothing like it.. a great 😌 place to grab an amazing bite to eat, wine and let your kiddos grab a sweet treat. My 12 yr old always says it’s like entering Cherry Heaven!!
    Would enjoy another visit to TC.

  2. Everything seems so beautiful I have 3 little girls who enjoyed Great Wolf Lodge last year for the first soo worth the 2 hour drive can’t wait to go explore more this year!!

  3. My family of 8 spent every summer camping at the state park until I was 16….. I am now 68 and want to discover Traverse city with my grandkids..the best memories !!!!!!

  4. My Grands and I would love the Little Fleet followed with Milk and Honey. We wouldn’t go wrong with the Flap Jack Shack either.

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