We’ve all been there. It’s time to put a meal together, but you’re just not feeling it. It doesn’t help that your wound-up kids have energy to burn while you don’t have the energy make food happen. While playtime and mealtime aren’t normally two things you encourage your kids to do at the same time, there are a few restaurants that understand that taking rambunctious kids out to eat is a feat in it of itself. Luckily for you, there are some great Portland eateries that combine eating out with some playtime fun for kids. So, pull up a seat and enjoy a night out of the kitchen while the kids spend a little bit of that extra energy.

Old Wives Tale
This restaurant just off the eastside of the Burnside Bridge serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The lengthy (we are talking vast) menu includes vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, even for kids’ meals. There’s an open playroom in front for kids to run and climb, so parents can linger over a glass of wine.

Where to find it: 1300 East Burnside

Insider Tip: This is the perfect spot for a no-wait brunch on weekends. Breakfast is served all day so you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to get your pancake fix.

Jam on Hawthorne Café & Arthouse
Jam puts the spotlight on fun. A small stage is filled with toys, books, and other distractions for your kids. The happy hour menu, which is good from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, is all about yummy cheap eats. The kiddos will love the sweet potato fries and the grown-ups will appreciate the happy hour priced beers and cocktails.

Where to find it: 2239 SE Hawthorne Boulevard

Insider Tip: Check out the family-friendly gigs on Saturday evenings, where young and “older” can rock out to local bands.

Laurelwood Brew Pub
When you combine a kid-friendly atmosphere with a family-friendly menu you have a recipe for success. Laurelwood offers tasty pub grub, award-winning beer, and dedicated spaces for your little ones to play.

Where to find it: 5115 NE Sandy Boulevard, 6716 SE Milwaukie Avenue

Insider Tip: The Sellwood-Moreland location just opened in September and it’s already a huge hit. Show up early to avoid the dinner rush on weekends.

Papaccino’s Coffee
Need a quick bite and a place to kick back while your kids have some room to explore? This spot in Woodstock Village fits that description. Mom can grab a latte while the kids sip hot chocolate and munch on toasted bagels. There’s a space in the back with a train table and other toys.

Where to find it: 4411 SE Woodstock Boulevard

Insider Tip: There’s free Wi-Fi so bring your laptop to get some work done while your kids play… or at least try.

Got any other suggestions on where to grab a bite to eat while the kids get a little playtime in? Let us know in the comment section below

— Jane Gauger

photo credit: Jam on Hawthorne & qwrrty