The 10 best kid-friendly restaurants in Charlotte that parents will love too

The 10 best kid-friendly restaurants in Charlotte that parents will love too
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Parents, looking for kid-friendly restaurants that’ll you’ll love too? Here’s a quick look at 10 must-try spots.

I’ve got a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old, so I understand the pain of trying to find a kid-friendly restaurant that’s still delicious (and cool) for parents. Here’s a quick list of top spots around Charlotte, in no particular order.

Honorable mentions: Leroy Fox, Bang Bang Burger (kid’s eat free on Tuesdays), Midwood Smokehouse, Flying Biscuit (many firemen and police officers handing out badge stickers), Jason’s Deli (free ice cream cone to go) and Burton’s Grill (amazing for kids with food allergies).

(1) Cowfish

Sushi and burger restaurant in SouthPark

Distractions: Waiting for dinner and the kids are over coloring? Go outside and take a photo of your toddler riding the giant sushi fish outside, play some cornhole, view the fountain out back and then go inside to watch the fish inside the massive fish tank at the bar.


Kid order: Go with the kid’s bento box in which you can order a PB&J sushi roll. Oh, and the boxes also come with a temporary tattoo and a Rice Krispies Treat with a Sweedish Fish on top.

(2) Inizio Pizza

Award-winning pizza spot in Dilworth

Pizza magic: The kitchen was designed with kids in mind. Your toddler can stand on a bench and watch the pizza makers roll out the dough, add ingredients on top and put the pizza into the massive ovens.

Dipping: Each pizza comes with a cup of their margarita sauce for crust dipping. Kids love the dip. Order the classic margarita pizza (it’s delicious). End the meal with Inizio’s gelato and ask for the tiny spoons so that your kids don’t get too hopped up on sugar.

pizza at inizio pizza with sauce in charlotte

ovens at inizio pizza in charlotte

(3) Paco’s Tacos

Popular Tex-Mex restaurant in SouthPark

Order: There’s a reason this place is packed with young families at 5 p.m. — kids can pound chips and cheese quesadillas as parents pound margaritas and fajitas.

fajitas at pacos tacos in southpark charlotte

(4) Rooster’s SouthPark

Upscale Southern comfort food in SouthPark

Underrated: This is the fanciest kid-friendly restaurant in Charlotte. For the kids, order the chicken fingers with french fries — so delicious and the ranch dipping sauce is outstanding. I also play the game with my kids where they count the number of roosters on the wall, and then I act like they’re coming back alive (but maybe I’m a weird parent).

(5) Hawthorne’s New York Pizza

Neighborhood pizza spot in Elizabeth

Kids menu breakdown: Cheese pizza, pepperoni pizza, grilled chicken with broccoli, cheese ravioli with marinara, homemade mac and cheese, chicken fingers and waffle fries and angel hair pasta with marinara or butter sauce (all come with a fountain drink). Parents, go with their Hawthorne’s Sicilian, New Yorker or the Elizabeth Special.

Deal alert: Kids 12 years old and younger get a free kids’ meal all day on Tuesdays at Hawthornes. Fine print: One kid per $7 adult entrée, and it’s dine in only.

(6) Providence Road Sundries

Low-key spot with quality bar food

Entertainment: Tons of TVs and it’s super family friendly on the right side (even though the left side has a bar vibe). Also, they’ve got several arcade games which my kids could play for hours.

(7) Pizza Peel

Neighborhood pizza spot with locations in Plaza Midwood, Cotswold, Mathews and Rea Farms

Deal: Kids 12 years and younger get a free kids’ meal all day on Tuesdays. Fine print: Two kids per adult, and it’s dine-in only.

Parent pizza order: Go with the peel pepperoni, barbecue chicken, buffalo chicken or Tong’s Thai.

(8) Mellow Mushroom Myers Park

Funky, Asheville-based pizza chain in Myers Park

Paradise for kids: Get there early, grab a seat in the school bus, immediately order the pretzel bites for the kids to load up on carbs, then watch for the balloon guy who’s there on most weekend nights. It’s slammed with kids at 5 p.m. on the weekends.

bus at mellow mushroom restaurant charlotte

(9) Superica

Trendy Atlanta-based Tex-Mex restaurant in South End

Appetizer: Skip the guacamole and go with the queso fundido – broiled Monterey Jack and Chihuahua cheeses, served with warm tortillas and salsa cremosa ($10). Watch: Ted & Katie’s cheese pull challenge. Kids love cheese.

Kid’s menu breakdown: Superica’s $7 kid’s menu options are tacos, quesadilla or nachos and includes rice, beans, drink and popsicle.

Brunch: I love bringing my kids to weekend brunch at Superica. I order them some eggs and get one of Superica’s pizza-sized pancakes which I cut into slices for the kids. Additionally, I’m a fan of their single room bathrooms and sometimes we walk to Jeni’s for ice cream afterward, which is a huge morning of unhealthy food.

(10) JJ’s Red Hots

Hot dog spot with locations in Uptown, Dilworth and Ballantyne

Kids menu breakdown: Kid’s menu items at JJ’s Red Hots come with a side (chips, fruit salad, fries) and a drink (soda, milk, juice box) and include: puppydawgs (bite-sized corndogs), skinless hot dog, JJ’s peanut butter and jelly and chicken tenders.

Deal: Kids 12 years and under get a free kid’s meal all day on Wednesdays per adult combo purchase.

Parents, what's your favorite kid friendly restaurant?

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Related Agenda parenting guides: Complete list of kid’s eat free deals, best outdoor activities, best indoor activities, best breweries for babies, private school tuition data, best employer parental leave policies and babysitter pay data.

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