One of our handiest guides? Where kids eat for free in LA. That’s right. From dependable diners to jazzier joints where parents can happily grab a much-needed cocktail, we’ve got you covered on the best free meals for kids all over town. (All offers are subject to change so we highly recommend calling first to make sure they’re still valid.)
photo: The Fields LA via Facebook
When you find yourself hungry at Exposition Park (The California Science Center, Natural History Museum, California African American Museum or the Coliseum), head to The Fields LA—an indoor food hall located just behind these museums that offer must-eat grub from chicken and waffles to pizza (and everything in between. Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult order.
Insider Tip: Sit outside and let the kids play giant games of Jenga, Connect Four and ladder golf.
3939 S Figueroa St
photo: Eli D. via Yelp
Don’t have nonna to cook Sun. dinner? Then do the next best thing and head to this Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills for a family meal that will not only transport you to the old country, but kids under ten also get to eat for free. So let them fill up on all the carbs while you take advantage of Spaghetti Sun. special where for $60, the adults can choose a spaghetti with any sauce of choice from the menu and a wine carafe for two. How do you say winning in Italian?
9960 S Santa Monica Blvd.
photo: Taste at the Palisades via Facebook
Taste at the Palisades
After a day building sandcastles and playing in the waves, hiking one of the trails or even exploring the Getty Villa with curious tykes in tow, treat yourself to some mouthwatering pizza (and a cocktail) nearby at Taste at the Palisades. With its cozy and sophisticated setting, you’ll deservedly take it up a notch from the standard kid-friendly fare. All day on Sun., kids can gobble up a free kid-sized pizza with each purchase of one full-sized pizza. Mangia!
538 Palisades Dr.
photo: Ciara M. via Yelp
If you find yourself on the westside, Culver City’s bustling Rush Street is a super fun dinner option for the whole family. Dad will love catching the Dodgers on the widescreen TVs, mom will dig the fab wine selection and everyone will like that kids (12 and under) eat free on Sun. and Mon. evenings from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. And with a great menu featuring everything from burgers and flatbreads to steak, fish, and pasta, you’re sure to find something that will make even the pickiest eaters happy.
9546 Washington Blvd.
photo: CA via Yelp
If you have a little home shopping to do, why not grab a little lunch while you wait for your new Swedish sofa? On Tues., get up to two kids’ meals for free with the purchase of one adult entrée. And while it may sound surprising, Ikea’s in-store restaurant serves up some truly great food. From chicken tenders and Swedish meatballs to braised beef, pasta, and even salmon, the whole family can devour a truly delish meal for next to nothing. Be sure to double check Ikea’s site for participating locations. And if you join Ikea’s free Family Membership, you’ll also enjoy free coffee or tea at the restaurant anytime you visit.
Burkbank & Carson
photo: Cafe 50’s via Facebook
Delighting families on the Westside since 1982, Café 50’s is the perfect place to bring tykes for a bite. With a festive atmosphere, super friendly service and great food, you really can’t ask for anything better—except maybe free food on Wed! Every week, Café 50’s hosts “Pee-Wee Wednesdays,” where littles get a free meal from the under 10 menu with every adult entrée purchased. Café 50s also features fun specials on others days worth checking out. And then there’s the last “Wacky Wednesday” of every month when the whole family can eat for free from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. if they come in wearing two-piece button down pajamas and purchase beverages. Café 50’s also features free tableside magic from Magic Castle magicians during brunch on Sat. and Sun. from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
11623 Santa Monica Blvd.
photo: Grace E. via Yelp
Norm’s has been a SoCal institution since 1949. With numerous locations around the city, families can easily grab a fab meal on the cheap. On Mon., littles (aged 10 and under) eat free from 2 p.m. – 10 p.m. from the kids’ menu with each adult entrée purchased. With the entire kids’ menu available any time of day, tots can even enjoy French toast and strawberry hotcakes for dinner, while good old chicken tenders and grilled cheese are always at the ready as well.
photo: Rob A. on Yelp
El Segundo Fish Company
One fish, two fish, three fish, free fish! Pint-sized pescatarians will dig Wed. at El Segundo Fish Company when kids eat free with each order of a regular entrée. We’re talking generous helpings of popcorn shrimp and fish n’ chips that’ll make their hearts go pitter-patter. And parents can kick back and relax in a no-stress, casual atmosphere while dining on everything from sole and mahi-mahi to blackened wild ahi tuna tacos and beer.
210 E. Grand Ave.
photo: Los Angeles Public Library via Facebook
Summer Lunch at the Library
With summer’s sweltering heat in full swing, there’s no better spot than the library for kiddos to relax with a good book and now, a free bite to eat! From Jun. 11 – Aug. 3, many LA public libraries around town are offering a free special summer lunch for kiddos aged 2-18, Mon.-Fri. Be sure to check the library site for participating locations and lunch times as they may vary.
Los Angeles Public Library
If you make your way through this list, here are a few other swell spots to check out:
Ruby’s Diner: Every Tues. evening is Family Night at Ruby’s where kids (aged 12 and under) eat for free with the purchase of an adult entrée.
Maria’s Italian Kitchen: Every Wed., enjoy a free kids’ meal with the purchase of an adult entrée. (Limit two kiddos per family, per check.)
La Serenata: From quesadillas and burritos to empanadas, this is one kids’ menu that has you covered for free all day Mon. with the purchase of an adult entrée and two drinks. Be sure to mention offer when ordering.
Denny’s: Kids eat free every Tues. from 4 p.m.- 10 p.m., making dinner easy peasy.
Marie Callender’s: At select locations, kids eat free on Tues. and Sat. One kids’ meal per each adult entrée purchased.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit: Every Sun., free barbecue is the name of the game for kids (aged 12 and under). One free kids’ meal for each $10 adult purchase.
Steak ‘n Shake: All day on Sat. and Sun., kiddos (aged 12 and under) get one free kids’ plate for every $9 you spend —dine-in only.
The Small Café: If you’re in Long Beach on a Wed., snag one free kids’ meal for each adult meal purchased.
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—Shahrzad Warkentin & Jennifer O’Brien