This time of year everything is rush, rush, rush! Parents are overwhelmed with work, running the kids from school to activities and caring for the home. Sometimes fitting cooking a good 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 for more.

photo: by Kerry Solan


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

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

photo: by Kerry Solan


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


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.

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.,

photo: by Annette Benedetti

Everyday Eats

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.

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.

—Annette Benedetti


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