Whether your selective eater takes two bites and pushes the plate aside, or you have to dine and dash because your toddler won’t stay seated, eating out with kids can sometimes be a challenge. Thankfully, there are some awesome LA eateries that will actually feed your little food critics for free, so you can try new things or feed the picky without worrying about paying for wasted bites. Here are the best spots across the city where kids eat for free!
photo: Meghan Rose
Obica Mozzarella Bar
Some eat free deals take place at places where your goal is to get fed, and inexpensively. It’s pretty rare that it’s in a gorgeous spot, where service is impeccable, and you get to enjoy food imported directly from Italy. Specifically, mozzarella that’s flown in twice a week direct from Campania. So, combine that with perfect pasta and wonderful wine, and parents are pretty happy. But the kids? Ecstatic. Choosing from a mac and cheese that will ruin them forever for the boxed stuff, the gooiest grilled cheese with the silkiest tomato soup for dipping and several other choices, you may find you’re sneaking bites of their meals. And theirs was actually free! Amazing.
The Deal: Kids eat free on Sundays. It’s the perfect way to end the weekend, fortified for a fantastic week.
This deal is good at the Culver City and Santa Monica locations. Check the website for hours and details.
photo: Taste at the Palisades Facebook page
TASTE at The Palisades
This cozy, casual eatery is just hip enough that you won’t feel uncomfortable dining with kids, but you’ll actually be excited to browse the menu that includes things like Cumin Spiced Pork Chops and White Truffle Oil Mac n’ Cheese. From burgers and pasta to pizza and salads this spot offers something for everyone to enjoy.
The Deal: Every Sunday enjoy a family pizza party when you purchase any large gourmet pizza, you’ll get two kid’s pizzettas free.
538 Palisades Dr.
photo: Shahrzad Warkentin
Mexicans eats with an old Western theme make for a fun family night out. In addition to traditional dishes like enchiladas and tacos, they also offer burgers and pizza so you’re sure to please everyone in your party. Though not free for kids over 4, their Sunday Brunch complete with a chocolate fountain and live mariachi music is definitely worth checking out.
The Deal: On Tuesdays kids get a free meal with the purchase of an adult entree. The restaurant’s Kid’s Club also offers fun entertainment and activities the same night starting 5:30 p.m. Kids under 5 eat free at Sunday Brunch.
23527 Calabasas Rd.
photo: Il Picolo Verde
Il Picolo Verde
This cozy Italian spot offers wood fired pizzas and snacks like Mozzarella sticks (with homemade mozzarella you can watch them make) that the whole family will love. The menu also features plenty of elevated dishes and an extensive wine list to keep things interesting for the grown-ups. There’s even a healthy menu featuring gluten-free pizza. Grab a seat on the patio for a view of the Brentwood Village or watch the pizza tossing from a table inside.
The Deal: Monday-Thursday from 4-6 p.m. kids 12 and under eat free with the purchase of an adult entree and beverage. The only catch is that you have to like one of their social media pages to earn a coupon for the deal.
140 S. Barrington Dr.
photo: Jason H. via Yelp
Morels French Steak House
The words “French steak house” don’t automatically equate with kid friendly, but at Morels you can have your steak and eat a free kids meal too. The patio is the perfect spot to watch the fountain and trolley passing by while you enjoy your selection of burgers, pasta and of course, steak. Hop on the free trolley after dinner, and your evenings meal and entertainment are quite the deal!
The Deal: Kids 12 and under eat free from the children’s menu Thursdays & Saturdays with the purchase of an adult entree.
189 The Grove Dr.
The Small Cafe
This local favorite is the perfect spot to swing in for an easy diner-style dinner. From meatloaf and mashed potatoes to burgers and milk shakes this is the place to be when you’re craving a comforting home-cooked meal that you don’t actually have to cook yourself. The kids eat free deal is only during dinner, but the breakfast is well worth a full-priced visit, too.
The Deal: One free kids meal with each adult entree purchased on Wednesdays after 5 p.m.
5656 E. 2nd St.
photo: Dickey’s Facebook page
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Ribs, mac & cheese and waffle fries: need we say more? In case the smoked meat sandwiches dripping with barbecue sauce aren’t enticing enough, dining in this super family-friendly joint comes with some great free perks, even for the grown-ups.
The Deal: Kids eat free on Sundays, but the whole family wins every day with free soft serve ice cream that you can serve yourself into a classic cone or cup.
Various locations including Woodland Hills, Pasadena, Northridge, Long Beach, and Redondo Beach
photo: Rey L. via Yelp
El Segundo Fish Company
From fresh grilled seafood to golden, deep fried fish and chips this casual, rustic spot offers something for seafood lovers of all varieties. Just in case the little eaters aren’t big on fish, the kids menu features staples, like mac and cheese and pizza along side the popcorn shrimp. Grab a seat on the outdoor patio for a little extra wiggle room.
The Deal: On Wednesdays get a free kid’s meal with a purchase of an adult entree.
210 E Grand Ave.
Not all subshops are created equal. With it’s sliced to order deli meats and fresh baked cookies, Jersey Mike’s is definitely a slice above the rest when it comes to a tasty lunch stop.
The Deal: Kids meals are free on Sundays with any purchase of a regular sized sub, chips and fountain drink.
Multiple locations across the city; check the website for details.
Want more free kids meals? Here’s a list of even more awesome spots to dine:
El Torito: On Wednesdays, get one free kid’s meal with each adult meal purchased.
Maria’s Italian Kitchen: On Wednesdays get one free kids meal with each adult meal purchased (limit two children).
Cafe 50’s: Free kids meal from “Under 10” menu with each adult meal purchased on Wednesdays. If you’re feeling “wacky” the last Wednesday of every month show up with the whole family in PJs (they must be traditional two-piece button down) and you can all eat free from 5-9 p.m. with a beverage purchase.
Ruby’s Diner: On Tuesday nights, kids 12 and under eat for free from 4 p.m. until closing with a purchase of an adult entrée.
Denny’s: Kids eat free on Tuesdays from 4-10 p.m.
Marie Callender’s: Kids eat free Tuesdays & Saturdays with purchase of adult entrée.
Please note: Be sure to confirm specials with the restaurant before you go! As of publication (March 1, 2017) all of these deals are current, but offers are subject to change.
What are your family’s favorite spots for a free kids meal? Share any great ones we missed in the comments.
main image of girl eating is courtesy of charamelody via Creative Commons