With school back in full swing, it’s easy to run short on meal prep time. Sometimes finding time to make a good home-cooked dinner for the whole crew in feels impossible. Fortunately, Portland is packed with restaurants that welcome families. If you are low on time in the evening, or just want a relaxing meal out with the kids, try one of these awesome spots. Read on our guide to Portland’s family-friendly restaurants.

Everyday Eats

Pizza

Mississippi Pizza Pub
You can’t go wrong with Mississippi Pizza Pub. Great neighborhood, fantastic pizza, the perfect atmosphere and kid-friendly music. Be sure to check the event calendar on their website and arrive early for the kids’ bands on Friday nights. It always turns into a dance party for the kiddos! And don’t forget to ask for their new, gluten-free pizza!

3552 North Mississippi Ave.
Online: mississippipizza.com

Baby Doll Pizza
This funky-fabulous SE institution has pinball games and welcomes boisterous kids hopping around the checkerboard printed floor.Try the White Pie, featuring house made ricotta, plus a side of garlic knots and a Caesar salad.

2835 SE Stark St
Online: babydollpizza.com

East Glisan Pizza Lounge
There is a family-friendly side of the restaurant, where little ones can watch pizzas being made and cut to order – the cheerful staff will even cut slices up for wee eaters who need smaller bites. All of the Detroit-style pan pizzas are sure to be a hit. If you find yourself there on a Sunday, definitely try the lasagna, too!

8001 NE Glisan St.
Online: eastglisan.com

MOD Pizza
Everyone gets to make their own pizza here! (Kind of like the Subway Sandwiches, but of pizza.) Finally, everyone is happy with the toppings, and it’s a fun process, too. We suggest ordering a 6 inch mini pizza, plus a salted caramel hand-spun milkshake.

204 SW Yamhill St
Online: modpizza.com

Blackbird Pizza
Amazing outdoor space and fun pinball games while you wait! Plus an expansive menu that includes everything from pizzas to sandwiches, plus salads, sodas and cocktails.The Everything Bagel Pizza includes a healthy dose of lox for a unique flavor, and the beet salad with candied pistachios is always a fan favorite.

6214 N Interstate Ave
Online: blackbirdpizzapdx.com

 

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Hot Dogs

Zach’s Shack
With origins as a food cart and a storefront that has stood on SE Hawthorne since 2005, Zach’s Shack is a wonderfully casual stop for a Blazers game, a round of Ping-Pong on the patio and a perfectly snappy all-beef dog. Try the classic Chicago Dog, a condiment-free A Capella Dog or a Zach’s Favorite with brown mustard, red relish, sport peppers, onions, pickles and celery salt. There are even a few seasonal dogs named for Frank Sinatra and other legends of music.

Zach’s Shack
4611 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
503-233-4616
Online: zachsshack.com

The Fried Onion
This hot dog joint makes you feel like you are in New York. With a friendly atmosphere and creative concoctions that keep families coming back for more, it is sure to become a family favorite. The toppings range from Muenster cheese and Mama Lil’s on the Spicy Russian Rover to pastrami, Swiss and sauerkraut on the savory Pastrami Dog. Even the simple New York Dog with sauerkraut and fried onions is a work of art—made all the more appealing by the $1.25 surcharge for Red Sox fans.

SE 3rd Avenue & Alder 
Online: thefriedonion.com

East Side Delicatessen
Named after all of your favorite breeds of four-legged friends, the East Side Delicatessen serves up some of the most delicious hot dogs in town. Kids will go crazy for the ketchup, mustard and relish covered Dachshund and cheese lovers will find their perfect bite in the Cane Corso. The Pit Bull boasts toppings that include pulled pork and cheddar cheese. There’s an adventure in every bun.

Downtown
1438 SW Park Ave.

N Portland
4823 N Lombard St.

SE Portland
4626 S.E Hawthorne Blvd
Online: pdxdeli.com

Brunch

Screen Door
Prepare for a wait at this much-loved breakfast and brunch spot. Deemed one of Portland’s essential brunch destinations, Screen Door is famous for its down-home, Southern-style fare. You’ll be hooked too once you try the  fried chicken and waffles, brioche French toast, and fried oysters and praline bacon. For more conventional palates, there’s plain pancakes and waffles. To beat those long lines, aim to get there before opening or visit on a weekday.

2337 East Burnside St.
Online: screendoorrestaurant.com

Mother’s Bistro
You and the kids will find a warm welcome and relaxed vibe at this long-time Portland crowd pleaser, made famous for its classic comfort food (think biscuits, scrambles, hashes and frittatas) and special Mother of the Monthdishes. For the youngest patrons, there’s a small play area and compact kids menu, such as pancakes or scrambled eggs and toast.

212 SW Stark St.
Online: mothersbistro.com

Tin Shed Garden Café
Family meets farm-to-table at this popular eatery where all the dishes are made from scratch using fresh ingredients from local farms. Not-to-miss items include the house-made buttermilk biscuits and the eggs benedict. Kids and canines each have their own menus, so feel free to bring the whole family. The heated patio is open year-round.

1438 NE Alberta St.
Online: tinshedgardencafe.com

A.N.D. Café/Off the Griddle
Vegans and vegetarians, can have their brunch and eat it too at Off the Griddle’s breakfast-time incarnation, A.N.D. Café. Order up  options like the plant-based fried “chk’n” and waffles, pumpkin waffles with sweet cream and Reubens made with corned-beef style seitan. Everything can be made gluten-free, too. For $9, add coffee and a Bloody Mary or a mimosa to your order.

6526 SE Foster Rd.
Online: andcafepdx.com

New Seasons Markets
Eating at a grocery store may sound strange, but it's strangely convenient and yummy! Just push your cart off to the side and savor a hot wok bowl, sandwich, hot specials, or a bountiful salad. It’s a taste-tingling abundance of nourishment – hot, cold, all fresh. The New Seasons on Woodstock in SE Portland even has rooftop dining with a small play area for kids. The view is wonderful and beverages are available at the rooftop bar.

Multiple stores throughout the metro area.
Online: newseasonsmarket.com

 

photo: Annette Benedetti

Upscale-ish

Ways & Means Oyster House
If you want a mouth-watering dinner, with incredible seafood dishes in an atmosphere that is relaxed enough for kids, this is the spot. Lobster mac & cheese; bacon-wrapped shrimp; an array of oysters from Washington, California, and BC, and scrumptious burger sliders: the most difficult thing about your meal will be choosing what to eat. While your kids are likely to find something they'll love on the adult menu, this cool spot also offers a kid's menu with standard favorites like mac & cheese and fish & chips.

There is plentiful seating inside the establishment, but when the weather is nice, you can head out and indulge in a weekend brunch al-fresco on the open-air patio. Don't forget to check out this establishment's cocktails. There is a perfect drink for every dish. Try the Rose Garden, Thoroughbred or Remembering Carlos. We promise they won't disappoint!

7331 SW Bridgeport Rd
Online: wmoysters.com

Mingo
The offshoot of Portland’s classic Caffe Mingo, the Beaverton location in the Round provides a wonderful venue for all ages. On summer evenings or afternoons, sit al fresco and enjoy the fountain. It’s close enough that the kiddos can splash and run around while you sip wine, soak in the sun and enjoy some classic fancy fare.

12600 SW Crescent Suite 120
Beaverton
online: mingowest.com

 

 

photo: Annette Benedetti

Vegetarian

Laughing Planet Cafe
It’s quick service, but not fast food. Serving nutritious comestibles in the form of “PNDs” (portable nutrition devices), mainly burritos, bowls, salads, baked goods, and smoothies, this local chain is a great destination for dinner or lunch, with tons of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, paleo and kid-friendly goodies at a decent price. Plus, Laughing Planet was given the BEST award for sustainable business practices. We like that and the large dinosaurs.

Multiple locations throughout Portland
Online: laughingplanet.com

Vita Cafe
Are you in the mood for Biscuits & Gravy? How about a big ol’ burger? You can get both at this local restaurant and they are both meat free! You kids will smile with glee over the multiple mac and cheese options and you can fill your belly with a vegetarian-friendly french dip, ruben or tuna melt. Buy your kids a root beer to sip on while you enjoy one of their many cocktail creations!

3023 NE Alberta St.
Online: vita-cafe.com

Virtuous Pie
Get ready to experience some of the best vegan slices of pie you’ve ever had. Virtuous Pie is a Vancouver, BC-based restaurant founded in 2015 with mission of promoting the plant-based diet by creating food options that are affordable, fast and delicious. The wide variety of pizza options offered is almost as shocking as how incredibly good they are. The Meatball + Chevre Pizza($14) tastes a whole lot like a traditional pie. The kids are sure to love it and you are bound to wonder if the cheese isn’t actually cheese made from dairy. The answer is, “no”! The cheese is nut-based and made in-house as is their three-day dough, which makes incredible crust—not too thick and not too thin.

It’s hard to believe you can get full-flavored, creamy ice cream with out even a dash of milk in it, but Virtuous delivers in the frozen dessert department. Choose from a list of options that includes Pumpkin Pie + Pecan, Hawaiian Vanilla, Mint+ Dark Chocolate, Lavender + Lemon, Double Chocolate + Salted Caramel, and our favorite: Turmeric + Black Pepper. That’s right! Turmeric + Black pepper makes for a beautiful yellow scoop that is surprisingly sweet and sure to bring smiles.

1126 SE Division St.,
Online: virtuouspie.com

 

—Annette Benedetti

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