Some days you just don’t want to have to cook. We totally get it. And while you could certainly opt for something that is traditionally fun for the kids but is decidedly less fun for yourself, sometimes you don’t want to have to sacrifice on your own enjoyment while you go out to eat. This week, say goodbye to Chuck E Cheese, and opt instead for a restaurant that is fun for all members of the family - from the toddlers to the teenagers to the grandparents. Below, we’ve listed out some of our favorites.
Eating out at a restaurant - especially in a major city - can be expensive. It can be even more expensive when you have even more mouths than just yourself and your partner to feed in one outing. GiftYa understands that the struggle is real, and that’s why they’ve teamed up with restaurants near you to help reduce the final number on the check through their e-gift cards. Order one for a parent who totally needs a night off today!
2601 N Central Ave | Cambridge | barrospizza.com
The first step in heading out to a restaurant that will be fun for the whole family is choosing a restaurant that was founded with the principles of a tight-knit family in mind. At Barro’s Pizza, that is exactly what you’ll find.
Using a family recipe that’s over a century old (it was created by Grandma Angelina Barro in Sarconi, Italy back in 1913!), they’ve created a restaurant perfect for both the adults and the kids in the family.
On top of their delicious pizza, they also have fun areas set up for the kids to enjoy themselves if the prospect of simply sitting and enjoying their food tends to make them antsy. With a pretend kitchen for them to play making their own pizza in to TVs set up near the play area, to playing Disney Jr. on a constant loop, they’re bound to have a good time here!
“Woo hoo! So happy there is a Barro's in the neighborhood now! Barro's pizza hits the spot every time! Barro's is a nice "in between" pizza...If you're craving a good solid slice, this is the place to go.” - Yelp Review
1526 E McDowell Rd | McDowell Heights | ollievaughns.com
Sometimes you’re only in the mood for a light meal to help you make it through until your next big one. Whether you’re in the mood for a homemade soup, an array of breakfast items that can be served all day long (think breakfast sandwiches made on croissants), or even just a beautiful cappuccino, Ollie Vaughn’s Kitchen & Bakery is here to meet your needs.
Not only do their refined dishes and fresh espressos appeal to the adults in the family, but they also have a fairly extensive menu designed specifically for kids to help keep them just as satisfied as you will be.
If you choose to eat out on the patio, they also have a little house set up for the kids to play in, complete with bins of plastic food for them to pretend with as they move about a tiny kitchen, and even fake flower pots set up on the window sills along the outer edge of the house!
“We got scrambled eggs with turkey, caramelized onions, avocado, and roasted red peppers and GOAT CHEESE on a croissant. It was heavenly!!! One of the better breakfast sandwiches we've had in a while.” - Yelp Review
Address | Neighborhood | ocotillophx.com
If you have kids, you’re probably especially interested in making sure they eat food that they find delicious but is also super healthy for them. Well, thanks to Ocotillo, you can give them just that - as well as a restaurant that has been designed specifically with kids in mind.
With a menu that ranges anywhere from house made vegetable-based pastas for the adults to enjoy to blue corn pancakes for the kiddos, there’s a little bit of something for everyone to devour here at Ocotillo.
Not only that, but they also have a grassy patch just outside of the restaurant, where kids are free to run around and play to their hearts’ content. So, while you and your friends stay inside to enjoy a nice after-meal cappuccino, all of your kids can go outside to let out all of the energy they’ve just gained from a healthy meal, and you’ll know they’re in good hands.
“This is the BEST spot in Phoenix, hands down. From their perfect curated outdoor space to the delicious, vibrant menu, Ocotillo never disappoints.” - Yelp Review
301 N Gilbert Rd | Gilbert | joesrealbbq.com
Everybody loves BBQ in one form or another - whether you like meat or you prefer to opt with vegetarian options. Joe’s Real BBQ offers up some of the best BBQ in all of Phoenix, and they do so while even offering up a vegetarian main and plenty of vegetarian sides, as well as a menu designed specifically for kids!
While most of their menu of mains is, in fact, comprised of meaty options, one of the dishes they offer is actually spicy jackfruit slathered in BBQ sauce. With their sides, you can find anything from fresh beet salad to BBQ Pit Beans to homemade mac n’ cheese, and every single one of them is just as hearty as the next.
All of their BBQ is smoked on authentic Arizona pecan wood, using no shortcuts to ensure that you are getting the best, smokiest flavor possible. You’ll be able to eat out at one of their long picnic tables, true neighborhood barbeque style - and the kids will be able to ogle the antique John Deer tractor they have resting out on the lawn.
“This is my go to BBQ place near home. Literally so good. The corn bread is delicious and I LOVE the brisket. They have 3 different BBQ sauces to choose from. All are good.” - Yelp Review
4418 E Osborn Rd | Arcadia | chestnutaz.com
If you’re looking for a restaurant that truly offers up the warm and family-friendly environment that can only be achieved by people who understand families and know how to make their space feel like home, then look no further than Chestnut Fine Foods & Provisions, located inside The Vintage.
Here, they take the kids and adult tables away from just existing during Thanksgiving Dinner - they actually have separate areas reserved for adults and children if you’re okay with them going off to make some new friends (and new friends they will make). They also have a diverse menu that caters to both adults and kids.
Let the little ones indulge their sweet tooths waffles piled high with fresh fruit and whipped cream that doesn’t have nearly as much sugar in it as they’ll be led to believe. For yourself, you’re welcome to enjoy anything from a breakfast burrito to lemon ricotta waffles that’ll help satisfy your own sweet tooth - all while watching your kids have the time of their lives.
“Wow. Fun new place for breakfast or lunch or a snack or a healthy drink...My short rib hash with eggs over was excellent - mostly meat with just enough green peppers and potatoes.” - Yelp Review
5632 N 7th St | Uptown | culinarydropout.com
If there’s one thing that your kids should be able to believe from a very young age, it’s that dreams really can come true - even without the proper “training” many people may think you need to achieve those dreams (although that training certainly doesn’t hurt). At Culinary Dropout, you’ll come across a success story that can teach them this precise lesson.
Not only is the food some of the most delicious that you’ll encounter in all of Phoenix, but they’re also home to one of the best places to enjoy either the big game or some great music (and in some cases, both at the same time). If you’re a family who enjoys keeping up with your favorite teams together, this is definitely a place you’ll want to try out.
Unless your younger kids really are huge sports or music fanatics, you may want to opt out of this particular restaurant until they’re a little order, lest they become bored too quickly, but if you have some older kids, this is a place you definitely don’t want to miss out on!
“Great atmosphere to watch/play games and enjoy above average bar food. This isn't for a date night, but more of a gathering place. The Brussel Sprouts were a fave from the whole table. I LOVED the salmon.” - Yelp Review
The next time you’re in the market for just one night off of cooking for the whole family, know that you don’t have to settle for something that you, yourself, wouldn’t enjoy. Let us know made for the most family fun for you and your kids in the comments below!