I love to eat. It’s been so fun to see the food scene in Orlando develop over the last several years. What has been less fun as I’ve had kids is how stressful going out to eat can be. I don’t pretend to be raising children who have perfect manners all the time and can go anywhere. Sometimes my toddler has a meltdown at the table or throws food or refuses to eat anything except french fries for dinner. Here are my top five spots where that’s perfectly acceptable:
Nine locations throughout Central Florida
On the menu: Burgers, wings, salads, and lots of beer options.
My faves: Lone star burger with fries. They have my favorite fries in all of Orlando (Big statement, I know.)
Why it makes the list: Delicious burgers, hot dogs, and a super relaxed atmosphere. Picnic tables make it easy for the littles to sit, the graffiti gives them lots to look at, and loud music will take the edge off if your kid is rambunctious. Also, tater tots. All the tater tots.
Watch out: In some locations the bathrooms are a little difficult to change a baby.
1103 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803
On the menu: Asian street food, served small plate style.
My faves: Pad Thai, BBQ Pork Char Siu, Bulgogi Beef Skewers, Guo Tie, and Roti Canai
Why it makes the list: This is one of my favorite restaurants since before I had kids. I’m so glad I didn’t have to put it in the ‘date night only’ category. The staff are incredibly kind and patient with kids, the restaurant is casual and industrial not fancy, and the small plate style is great for introducing your kid to new foods.
Watch out: This one might be a little more difficult for picky eaters. There’s not a dedicated children’s menu but with small plates at an affordable price you won’t be out too much if your kiddo hates what you order.
617 Primrose Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
On the menu: Traditional southern comfort foods with a modern twist.
My faves: Check out the specials list when you go and order from there. Make sure you get a side of cheddar chive grits. And their iced tea is out of this world.
Why it makes the list: Aside from the food being out of this world, this place is adorable. Fancy brunch is pretty much out of the question with little ones but this makes it all okay. The down home atmosphere and lovely patio ensures you’ll feel comfortable with the kiddos. All the delicious sweets are a perfect bribe to keep your kid in check.
Watch out: Se7enbites is open for breakfast and lunch until 3pm. Plan your visit right, they get very busy! Most tables are community tables and when it’s very busy it can be hard to find seating. Also, the sweet counter is insanely delicious but try and get your little one to eat their meal before they zero in on the treats.
Several locations throughout Central Florida
On the menu: Classic New York Deli
My faves: Matzoh ball soup, Pastrami, Chopped Liver, and the Banana Dream Cake.
Why it makes the list: Yummy food and a casual deli atmosphere. The staff are always so kind to my daughter. I don’t have to worry about her making a mess and know she’ll eat her dinner so she can have a cookie afterwards.
Watch out: No downsides here. Take your kids and eat deli meats and cookies with abandon!
1035 N Orlando Ave #105, Winter Park, FL 32789
On the menu: Fresh Mexican Grill
My faves: Cali Wrap as a bowl with steak, taqueria style tacos
Why it makes the list: The food is fresh and delicious. Great selection of items outside your standard tex-mex restaurant. The staff told me not to apologize for all the rice and beans we left on the floor. Kids eat free on Monday nights!
Watch out: No downsides here. We’ll see you there!
Bonus Time: Our family’s favorite dessert spots
3114 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Y’all the flavors here are insane. Beyond delicious, beyond creamy, beyond, beyond, beyond. I can’t pretend to choose a favorite but make sure you try the mexican chocolate and blondie. I suggest you order the ice cream flight (four flavors in small waffle bowls) the first time you go and get a good idea of how amazing this place is.
Multiple locations throughout Central Florida
There are tons of tasty flavors. If you get the gelati they’ll swirl some soft serve in with your italian ice. That’s like two desserts in one. Up north the ice shops close in the winter and don’t open until spring. Jeremiah’s is open all year long, there has to be some perk to the Florida heat!
What are your favorite kid friendly places around town? We’re always on the hunt for somewhere new!