Guess what, food lovers? It’s San Diego Restaurant Week! That means that San Diegans can try out some of the city’s best places to eat and enjoy fabulous meals at greatly discounted prices. While you certainly can take your whole family out during Restaurant Week, not all participating eateries are completely child-friendly. Furthermore, the prix fixe menus might not be the best fit. While we wouldn’t discourage you from exploring, we also wanted to offer up some great local eateries that are kid-friendly year ’round. These San Diego restaurants offer one of more of the following: great kids’ menus, reasonable or free kids’ food, entertainment and a great family-friendly atmosphere.
Coronado Brewing Company
Just a short drive from Downtown San Diego, Coronado Brewing Company is a local favorite. It might be known for its locally brewed beer, but trust us, this kid-friendly restaurant is always full of families. There’s never a shortage of booster seats or high chairs, the volume level is high and the staff is happy to accommodate your stroller or carrier. Kids eat free on Tuesdays and even better, the “balloon man” twists balloons into just about any character, object, shape or animal your child requests. While kids’ meals are free one day a week, the prices are so reasonable, it won’t break the bank if you stop by any time.
170 Orange Avenue
San Diego, Ca
If you’re in the mood for a mouth-watering burger, stop by one of San Diego’s many Smashburger locations. This fast(er) food — that boasts much higher quality and better tasting food than a drive-through — eatery caters to families. In fact, Smashburger founder Tom Ryan hosted a local group of San Diego moms at the downtown location not too long ago and said that one of the company’s goals it to make families and kids always feel welcome. Don’t worry — if you have young children and hamburgers aren’t a part of their diet just yet, there are other kids’ menu options. A highlight, according to my children, is the chocolate milk.
8 local restaurants
San Diego, Ca
Mama ‘N Papa’s Pizza Grotto
Ask a child to name his three favorite foods, and you’re likely hear pizza as one of his answers. While many pizza joints are kid-friendly, we’ve heard great things about Mama ‘N Papa’s Pizza Grotto. The low lighting might give you the impression that you’re entering a local date night restaurant, but Mama ‘N Papa’s is extremely family friendly and the staff goes above and beyond to cater to kids. Even better, and especially for large families, this San Diego area pizzeria offers low prices and large portions.
988 Civic Center Drive
Corvette Diner practically screams family-friendly. This old-school style diner has a game area, where you can buy tokens and have a blast. The employees come to work to have a good time — who doesn’t love doing The Chicken Dance?! Your kiddos scream for Corvette Diner’s ice cream sundaes or shakes and if you’re there at the right time, they’ll enjoy watching a magician perform tricks. Plan for a wait on the weekends, but remember you can pass the time in the arcade.
2965 Historic Decatur Road
San Diego, Ca
Image credit: Coronado Brewing Company Facebook page
— Laura Willard