Being a parent is hard but rewarding work, and some nights you just aren’t up for preparing, cooking, serving and cleaning up dinner. That’s ok! You can take the kids out to eat without breaking the bank! Read on to find out where you can take your littles for a guilt-free—and in some cases—kids-eat-for-free (or next to free) dinner.

photo: Keri Logan via Flickr

 

Free

Santa Fe Taqueria
A festive, large, open dining room makes Santa Fe perfect for familias with kids. You order at the counter, which can be fun for niño pequeños to see what they are going to get. Located off of 23rd Ave., this one can be a bit tricky to park at during peak hours. Parents can enjoy a variety of drinks for the attached bar, we love their margaritas! Come back for date night and get 50% off their whole taqueria menu and drink specials 11PM to close in the summer.

When: Thursdays 5 p.m. to close
Favorite menu item: Salvadorian pupusas
Location: 831 NW 23rd Ave.
Phone: 503-220-0406
Online: santafetaqueria.com

Corbett Fish House
Claiming “Enjoy your fish and chips, it’s good for you!” the Corbett Fish House restaurants love their fish and think your family will too. Following the sustainable seafood guidelines of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program, casual family-friendly atmosphere and a variety of foods for kids this spot is great for Portland families. They also offer a completely gluten free menu breading fish in brown rice flour. 

When: On Mondays, with every adult meal purchased, kids under 12 can get one item off the kids’ menu for free.
Favorite menu item: Crabby cheesy penne pasta
Locations:
4343 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
503-548-4434

19206 SE 1st Street Camas, Wa.
360-258-1609

5901 SW Corbett Ave.
Contact: 503-246-4434
Online: corbettfishhouse.com

photo: Corbett Fish House via Yelp

Main Event Sports Grill
A popular place for sports fans and their families, Main Event is a high-end sports spot with a laid-back attitude. Their claim to fame is being the destination spot in Vancouver Washington for sports for everyone from families to attorneys and longshoremen. Moms and dads should know that their happy hour is great for those who work, ending at 7 p.m. (beginning at 3 p.m.).

When: Mon, with every adult meal purchased, kids under 12 can get one item off the kids’ menu for free.
Favorite menu item: The cheeseburger will make big and little kids alike, smile.
Locations:
Downtown
800 Main St., Vancouver, Wa.
Contact: 360-448-7146

East
3200 SE 164th Ave. Suite 204, Vancouver, Wa
Contact: 360-828-8583
Online: mesportsgrill.com

Racoon Lodge
Kids (ages 12 and under) eat free on Mondays with the purchase of one adult entree. This cozy, kid-friendly Raleigh Hills pub has a spot for families upstairs (and a den downstairs when you’ve grabbed a sitter). Critters will love to check out the animal photos on the walls or color on the menu. When the weather cooperates enjoy your meal on the beautiful outdoor patio. On non-Mondays, choose from a menu of kids’ favorites, all under $6.

When: Every Mon.
Favorite menu item: Chicken strips with shoestring fries. Enough to satisfy any appetite.
Location: 7424 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy.
Contact: 503-296-0110
Online: raclodge.com

photo: Dan Haneckow via Flickr

Half-Off

Patton Maryland
Kiddo plates at this historic, Southern inspired spot off of HWY 99 are half off of Mondays. Head Chef Wesley Berger (formerly of Plaey’s Place, Gino’s Laurelhurst Market, and Podnah’s) created a menu inspired by his childhood in South Carolina. He also includes countless vegetarian options and daily specials. Visit during happy hour from 4- 6 p.m. to save on your meal too!

When: Every Mon.
Favorite menu item: Mac n’ cheese, of course.
Location:
5101 N Interstate Ave.
Contact: 503-841-6176
Online: pattonmaryland.com

$1

Vita Café
Veg-friendly favorite Vita Café is also a haven for families. Serving the community since 1999 they pride themselves on offering families wholesome meals at a fair price. They donate 1% of sales to local social and environmental groups too. Their awesome coloring menus and plethora of cool toys make it fun, too.

When: All kids meals are $1 from 5 – 7 p.m. weekly.
Favorite menu item: Ethan’s brown rice, veg and tofu. Yummy and healthy.
Location: 3023 NE Alberta St.
Contact: 503-335-8233
Online: vita-cafe.com

photo: Chin Hsu via flickr

Yakuza
A Japanese pub, this spot is all about Japanese taste with Portland style. They call themselves a “food-lovers bar serving exceptional food and drinks best shared with good friends.” Yakuza’s 1-2-3 Kids Happy Hour Menu let’s little one get in on the foodie fun. Sit outside when the weather’s fine.

When: 5– 6 p.m. every Wed., Thurs. and Sun.
Favorite menu item: Chicken, shrimp or pork katzus.
Location: 5411 NE 30th Ave.
Contact: 503-450-0893
Online: yakuzalounge.com/menu/kid

$2.

¿Por Que No?
This iconic spot for Mexican in Portland caters to all taco enthusiasts. For two dollars ninos get a bean and cheese taco. Or for $2.50, enjoy a beans and rice bowl. Just beans, rice, and your choice of two yummy melty Mexican cheeses. Lines tend to get long around dinner time and especially on weekends.

When: All the time!
Favorite menu item: Bean and rice bowl
Locations:
3524 N Mississippi Ave.
Contact: 503-467-4149

4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland 97215
Contact: 503-954-3138
Online: porquenotacos.com

Do you have a favorite place to dine that lets your kids eat for free? Share with us in the comments below.

—Kris Wilhelmy