We polled, you picked. Don’t dine out without this list! Also, check out TIPS for easier dining after our list…
Top Readers Picks ( listed alphabetically)
Acme Oyster House on Veterans: Loud and casual.
Bravo in Metairie: They have an extensive children’s menu, the place is noisy enough that a rambunctious child’s noise blends in, and the table “cloths” are paper on which children can create works of art with crayons the wait staff provide to them. Added bonus: they’ve got a good by-the-glass wine selection for the grown-ups.
Café Amelie: It features a wonderful courtyard where the kids can run around. The café doesn’t have a “kids’ menu” but their good, casual food is easy to share with children.
Café Rani: A fun place to take the kids, especially when you can sit outside and let them run around.
Cafe Equator in Metairie: The food is amazing, especially Lava Beef. The decor is wonderful. They have several huge fish aquariums in the place and my kids love looking at the fish while they are eating. The staff is nice and friendly. –Irene S.
Cheesecake Bistro: It offers your child(ren) a complimentary fruit plate while you wait for your order. Huge table pleaser! –Sarah Herren
College Inn on Carrollton: The place is loud enough to cover “kid noise,” and offers easy dining.
Fresca’s on Maple Street: This place is great for kids. The wait staff is unfortunately usually too college-aged to know what to do with kids, but they have a good kids’ menu and a special kids’ dessert.
G & B in the Riverbend: Great family atmosphere, the patio is perfect and kid-friendly and we love the staff. It is our Friday night Family/ neighborhood spring tradition. –Wendy Watters
Hannah Japanese Restaurant: When our girls were little we went to Hannah Japanese Restaurant. We were always seated quickly, the staff seemed to enjoy the girls and remembered them by name after a couple of visits. We could order foods that were treats for us and the girls loved trying to maneuver the “simplified” chopsticks made with a wrapper and a rubber band. –Jenni Evans
Olive Garden in Kenner: They usually have a wait, but they give the children crayons and coloring material.
Juan’s Flying Burrito in Uptown and MidCity: Either location is great so long as there isn’t a wait to be seated. The service is fast, friendly, and oh so delicious!
Joey K’s: This place features great casual atmosphere and good background noise.
La Thai on Prytania, Uptown: We usually start at St. James cheese sitting outside enjoying some French lemonade. We all then walk across the street to La Thai where the girls receive coloring pages and crayons. The chicken tenders and French fries are the best (even adults will want to order them)! After a wonderful meal, the owners take the girls to the kitchen to dish out a bowl of Creole creamery ice cream. –John and Jennifer Rareshide
Landry’s on the Lake: Great view for the kids, good seating, accommodating staff. –Kevin Richards
Ninja’s: It features a great kids’ menu, and offers a special tray full of finger foods kids love to eat, plus a surprise toy. The wait staff is always happy to see kids.
New Orleans Seafood & Burger Co. on Vets: The waiters there always flirt with Hannah and treat us really well. (And it’s easy to nurse there) –Alison Schnieder
Refuel on Hampson: They have Belgian waffles! They’re always happy to see kids, and even though the place looks really posh, it has great airiness and energy that even children notice.
Royal Blend on Metairie Road is also a great, kid-friendly option for breakfast, lunch or just a cup of coffee, because they offer plenty of high chairs, great food, and even a Leggo table, and they don’t seem to mind the cheerios that always seem to end up all over the floor during our meals! –Lynne Dardis
Reginellis on Magazine: It’s casual, roomy, and offers outdoor dining.
Slice Pizzeria on St. Charles and also Magazine: They provide all the crayons and wikki stick toys you need to pass the time before your food comes, and of course kids love pizza!
Savvy Gourmet: The kids’ kitchen area is great for keeping children entertained.
Semolina’s: It offers kid-friendly food and a fun atmosphere. No one seems to notice the noise from other children because they’re also there with children.
Shogun on Veterans: The restaurant is roomy, and features hibachi tables with chefs that engage and entertain children.
Superior Grill on St. Charles Ave: It’s roomy and loud, and easy to get in and out.
Theo’s on the corner of Canal and Carrollton: Instead of giving you a number for your table, you get to choose a picture of famous person And the back tables are right by the kitchen with open counter so your lil’ one can peek in on his pepperoni pie.
The Texas Roadhouse: The appeal comes in throwing peanut shells to the floor, dancing to the loud country music and the mac & cheese/sweet potato combo. I like the fact that the loud country music drowns out the super loud kid voices and even if a melt-down occurs, the guests at the next booth won’t even hear us (I like that, and the fact that they serve super large draft adult beverages). Kids are happy—Mom is happy—everybody is happy! –Jen
Zeas: It features a great atmosphere for kids, with a quick in and out.
Tips for easier dining out with children:
- The most basic rule: go early. It makes sense with your child’s sleep schedule, but it will also be faster—and less crowded—at 5:30 rather than 7 p.m.
- Bring snacks to help fight hunger pains and occupy your child while you wait for your dinner.
- Don’t forget bibs, high chair covers and small utensils for you toddler; restaurant utensils can be too big.
- If your child becomes fussy, take her outside. Remember other diners don’t want to eat next to a crying toddler, and she might settle more easily with a change of scenery.
- Make it easier on your child by taking a small break after ordering and before the food arrives.
- Bring distractions with you: toys, crayons, or small games to occupy your child while you wait for your dinner.
- Sit in the back of the restaurant, or if the weather’s nice, outside
- Call ahead to see if they’re busy
- When dining with multiple children, an easy rule: it’s easier to let children play with their food than with each other.
- Remember, this is also a great chance to start practicing etiquette!