60 Family-Friendly Houston Restaurants

Greetings, Houston! Erica and Brittney here, and we have teamed up to provide our loyal readers with a list of our favorite family-friendly Houston restaurants that our great city and its suburbs have to offer!

Oftentimes we are stuck in a rut of going to the same places, and while routine can be comfortable, we have to remember that we are fortunate enough to live in a city with some of the country’s best restaurants.  After all, there are more than 10,000 restaurants representing more than 70 countries and regions.  Thanks to suggestions from Houston Moms Blog contributors, friends, and fellow moms, we’ve put together a helpful list of family-friendly Houston restaurants. Ready?  Here goes…

Family-Friendly Houston Restaurants

Downtown/Midtown/Montrose

  • Barnaby’s :: This quirky restaurant has a great menu, and while most of their locations are small, they do a great job catering to kiddos. They’ve expanded in recent years to include locations in the Museum District and in the Galleria Area. And their menus double as coloring sheets!
  • El Real :: Nestled inside of an old movie theatre, this is easily one of the top Tex-Mex restaurants in town. Their enchiladas are unmatched {and so are their margaritas!}. They project old western movies on a wall in the restaurant, which is fun for both the young and old. If the weather’s nice, sit outside where the kids can watch buses, trucks, and motorcycles zoom along Montrose.
  • Natachee’s Supper & Punch :: Tasty food, kitschy décor, and awesome customer service. While the little park in the back with a sandbox is gone {sniff, sniff}, their kids’ meals are still served in vintage metal lunch boxes and they have tons of stuff on hand to keep kiddos happy.
  • Niko Niko’s :: With locations in Montrose, Market Square in Downtown, and a new one in Pearland, this Greek restaurant is a Houston favorite. Don’t be alarmed that it’s Greek food – there is plenty on the menu that will appeal to your kids. Niko Niko’s has a partnership with the Children’s Museum of Houston, so if you show the restaurant your receipt or member card, they’ll give you 10% off of your meal.
  • Spaghetti Warehouse :: With a trolley inside the dining area, what’s not to love about this homey Italian restaurant? They’ve got a tasty menu, and your kids will LOVE the spaghetti and meatballs! Spaghetti Warehouse is famous for their lasagna, but truly you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu.
  • The Downtown Aquarium :: Definitely not your weekly spot, but a great place to celebrate your little one’s birthday or other special occasions. The indoor fish tanks are mesmerizing for kids, and the scuba divers are really entertaining when they’re inside the tank. And after you eat, take a spin on the ferris wheel and then ride the train into the shark tunnel! Helpful hint: the entrees are large enough to split among your kids.
  • The Lake House at Discovery Green :: When the weather is nice and you want to spend a few hours outdoors, head to Discovery Green. The Lake House offers an affordable, kid-friendly menu, and you can sit outside on their enormous porch and enjoy eating while your children play. They are owned by the same folks that operate Cafe Annie, so you can be assured you are getting delectable food.

Galleria/Memorial/City Centre

  • Beck’s Prime :: Their original location on Westheimer is known for their spacious porch with the old oak tree giving customers shade on the hottest of Houston’s summer days. Recognized for their tasty burgers, they have a menu that caters to even the pickiest of eaters. They’ve now expanded to eleven Houston-area locations, which makes them a very convenient choice to satisfy your next burger craving.  
  • Buffalo Grille :: Eating here is like sitting at your friend’s breakfast table where you are so caught up in great conversation after a delicious meal that you lose all track of time. Buffalo Grille is famous for their gigantic pancakes, but nothing on their menu will disappoint {even their ice is good!}. It’s a favorite Saturday morning stop after a soccer game!
  • Cafe Pita Plus :: If you are in the mood to try something new, this Bosnian restaurant offers some unique eats and has a playground in the back. The Lapinja bread is the hidden gem of the place.
  • El Patio :: If you are looking for a romantic date night, avoid El Patio from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. They have a mariachi band and a balloon artist roaming the restaurant to keep your little ones entertained. Definitely try their cheese enchiladas!
  • La Hacienda :: This neighborhood establishment has been around for more than 40 years and has all the charm of a small town Tex-Mex restaurant. Their food is good, and as a bonus, they have live entertainment on the weekends, which is a huge hit with my kids!
  • Las Ventanas :: This is a high-end restaurant with plenty of kid-friendly eats. If you want to pretend you are on a tropical vacation, sit outside on the veranda with black bean dip and a margarita – especially when the weather is nice! Bonus: sometimes on weekends they have a bounce house.
  • Molina’s :: We love this place because you never have to wait for a table, and the outdoor patio is large enough to let the kids run around after their meal. They also have a mariachi band playing on the weekends. You never know who will show up at Molina’s…it’s a favorite of the Bush family!
  • Pizaro’s :: It’s easy to sell kids on eating pizza, and at Pizaro’s the adults can appreciate their mouth-watering brick oven pizzas. The owners have traveled multiple times to Italy to perfect their thin crust, and the results have paid off as they now have two Houston locations {the other is in Midtown}. They even have a 90-second pizza, which is made in an oven that is so hot that your pizza cooks in…you guessed it…90 seconds!
  • Ruggles Green {City Center} :: Enjoy dining on the patio while the kids run around on the green with dozens of other children. Ruggles is known for their casual, cafeteria-style service and nice ambiance. They use local and organic ingredients and are committed to sustainability. As a former Oregonian, those are huge in my book. The restaurant is loud inside, so screaming kids won’t disturb anyone…you know, if you have kids that scream. *Erica’s Pick!
  • Table 57 :: Delicious, affordable food, and a fun little playground area – what more could you ask for? As a heads-up, this restaurant is tucked inside a massive H-E-B, so it’s probably best to avoid it during peak grocery store hours {ahem…Sunday afternoons}. During happy hour, sliders and tostadas are $2 {my personal favorite is the prime burger with brie} and $0.25 deviled eggs. On Fridays and Saturdays, they have live music. We love this place so much we brave traffic from Pearland to go here every few weeks. *Erica’s Pick!
  • Tree House Craft Coffee & Frozen Yogurt :: Fro yo meets coffee?  Yes, please!  We love, love, love that us moms can get a craft cup of coffee while our kiddos can load up on frozen yogurt all under the same roof.  It’s pretty much the perfect afternoon pick-me-up for everyone in the family!

Heights/Oak Forest

  • Berryhill :: Super kid-friendly with consistent food. For parents, there are $4 margaritas during happy hour.  This is a Houston favorite featuring great patios with fountains for the kids to toss loose change into. The serve-yourself chips and salsa means we can feed the kids as soon as we walk in! Bonus: Happy hour ALL day Saturday and ladies night every Thursday.
  • Cedar Creek :: Your typical pub-style fare with nice ambiance in an Austin-style setting. Their main feature is the creek running along the restaurant where kids can play. They have lots of outdoor patio seating, fire pits, and a great selection of craft beer on tap. *Brittney’s Pick!
  • Crisp :: With a great outdoor space, complete with a fountain, a ping pong table, and cornhole, this place is made for families. Their menu features gourmet hand-tossed pizzas for the kids, and parents can pair their steak and lobster with a glass of pinot.
  • Gelazzi :: While this isn’t actually a restaurant, their setup is so fantastic that we had to include it on the list. They have a wide selection of gelato, served in manageable sizes, but that’s not all. Gelazzi also has the best {and largest} cake balls in the area, as well as some other assorted desserts. They have a huge area out back with tables, umbrellas, adirondack chairs, a fire pit, and a very large space where you can play bocce. And you’ve probably seen their “Greetings from Houston” mural on your Facebook feed. *Brittney’s Pick!
  • Happy Fatz :: Live music, a pet-friendly patio, and gourmet hot dogs. Treat yourself to The Clucker {hash browns, bacon, grilled onion, fried egg cooked over easy, and secret “clucker” sauce} and your kids to a junior size dog. Bonus: walking distance to Lawrence Park. *Erica’s Pick!
  • Jenni’s Noodle House :: For pho and soba, this place is inexpensive, good quality, and has quick service. Bonus: the Heights location has a grassy play area for the kids.
  • Jus Mac :: Sometimes you just need to indulge your kids and yourself. And if you have mac & cheese aficionados, this place is your go-to. Their menu is entirely mac & cheese. However, for the claustrophobic, beware, this place gets busy and cramped, so it’s best to visit during off-peak hours. {Note: They’re closed on Mondays.}
  • The Boot ::  If you are craving Cajun and Creole, this laid-back Heights joint has great service and a spacious patio for kiddos to play. To boot, some say this place has the best po-boy in Houston.

West University/Bellaire/Meyerland

  • Bernie’s Burger Bus :: Easily the most popular food truck in town, Bernie’s Burger Bus opened up two restaurants in the past couple of years – one in Bellaire and one in Katy. Their burgers are all school-themed and downright delicious. Watch out: their truffle cut fries are positively addicting!
  • James Coney Island :: I think you would be hard pressed to find a child under the age of 10 who doesn’t love hot dogs. Specializing in the coney hot dog, this Houston staple is a favorite among the locals. Plus, all kids get a FREE ice cream treat with the purchase of a kids meals combo, and kids eat for just 99 cents on Mondays from 4pm – close with each $5.50 adult purchase. They also have a family of 4 meal deal for $25 on Wednesdays from 4pm – close too!
  • Jerry Built Burgers :: This new eatery is a build-your-own burger and salad counter service restaurant that’s great for the whole family. The burgers taste homemade, and the fresh French fries are delicious! The chalkboard walls give kiddos something to do while waiting for the food, and the interactive hand-sanitizing station is a hit.  Oh, and if you’re ever up in The Woodlands – check out their location there too!!
  • Little Matt’s :: This gem of a restaurant has fantastic picnic-style tables to accommodate anyone from t-ball teams to a family of three. They have a stocked candy bar, Icee machine, ice cream, and a game room. But perhaps the most well kept secret about Little Matt’s is that they give parents free {yes, I said FREE} drinks. Zoning laws have prevented Little Matt’s from serving alcohol, so adult beverages are donation-based. *Brittney’s Pick!
  • Mia’s :: This is our staple after church on Sundays. Telling you it’s owned by Carrabba’s should be enough to sell you on their food. It’s a little pricey, but fantastic food, warm cookies, to-die-for milkshakes, and FREE ice cream make it worth every pretty penny! I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love Mia’s. *Brittney’s Pick!

North Houston {Humble, Kingwood, Spring, The Woodlands, Tomball}

  • Bernie’s Backyard :: This food truck park is a favorite among Spring residents because they cater to kids and adults. They have live music, a farmer’s market, car shows, a bar, and a sno cone stand, and every food truck offers kids meals. At least eight food trucks are regularly parked here, and they offer all sorts of food from BBQ to Korean to Mexican and everything in between!
  • Frey’s Backyard Cafe :: Serving fresh, all-American cuisine with a Texas twist, this restaurant is a favorite for Tomball families. With an expansive menu and friendly staff, Frey’s is a great place for families. They have a recently revamped backyard with turf grass – perfect for a round of tag!
  • Grimaldi’s :: This popular chain is so family-friendly that we had to include it on our list. They are a triple threat: good food, good service, and a good price. The Woodlands location is on Waterway Avenue and has outdoor seating next to the fountains with plenty of room for the kids to play. If you saved room for dessert, the dessert trio is a winner.
  • Mojo’s Sports Grille :: This dive offers fantastic food, a full bar, and plenty of outdoor fun for your family. The patio features playground equipment and games guaranteed to wear your kids out while you catch up on the latest news and sports on one of their 30 high-definition TVs.
  • Santa Fe Flats :: Located in Tomball, this eatery specializes in “New Mexican cuisine” and has a full bar, a spacious patio, and satisfying menu. Most days of the week they feature happy hour all day, and they have brunch on the weekends. Kids eat free on Mondays and on Sundays after 4. They also have award-winning sopapillas for dessert!
  • Sharky’s Waterfront Grill :: A waterfront restaurant with a great view that both adults and kids will love {especially the rice krispie inspired build-a-shark dessert on the kids menu!}. They have a great seafood menu, but they also offer plenty of other kid-friendly options like the Great White Shark Burger, Jolly Roger mac & cheese, and Pirates Parrot Chicken Fingers.

East Houston {Deer Park, Pasadena, Baytown, Seabrook, Kemah}

  • Jimmy Changas :: Their playground is fun, clean, and safe – three things that are invaluable to moms and dads. And if your child is past the playground stage, this Houston area Mexican restaurant has a light-up waterfall that kids can take selfies in front of while waiting for a table. Jimmy Changa’s also has a really diverse menu for all ages. Don’t miss out on the fajita bowl. It’s delicious!
  • Kemah Boardwalk :: This destination of fun and dining is an obvious choice for our list. With several kid-friendly restaurants, plenty of attractions, carnival games, and a fountain the kids can play in, Kemah is an all-day destination for Houston families. The underlying benefit of Kemah is that their restaurant choices can satisfy every budget and appetite. It’s best to venture to Kemah on a weekday to avoid the large crowds of tourists!
  • Monument Inn :: A local favorite for decades, Monument Inn offers views of the large boats coming in and out of the Ship Channel, which is always entertaining for the little ones. Our family has been celebrating special occasions and ordinary Saturdays here since I was a little girl. It’s also in the same neck of the woods as the San Jacinto Monument and the Battleship, so you can make a day of it out in Deer Park. Don’t miss the warm cinnamon rolls and the pan-fried shrimp at Monument Inn. You’re welcome. *Brittney’s Pick!
  • Tookie’s :: This Seabrook staple with a very friendly ambiance and hometown feel is located just before the Kemah bridge. Their food is outstanding, but they really crush the competition with their speciality burgers. It’s fun for kids because they have a train that runs along the wall of the restaurant, which provides easy, seated entertainment!

Katy

  • Dish Society :: This may not seem like a family-friendly restaurant at first glance, but their Katy location definitely is! Their patio is on the play area at La Centerra and perfect for the kids to run around while you enjoy a special treat. They serve local foods and operate with a farm to table concept.
  • Drix Wine Bar & Grill :: An upscale restaurant in Katy that definitely caters to families. One side is a real “grown-up” restaurant where adults can enjoy their meal, and the other side is Drix Kids Korner, their unique indoor kids playroom. You can also watch your kids playing from the adult dining area. Add in the $1 kids meals during happy hour, and you’ve got the complete package!
  • Good Ole Boys :: Get your catfish, gumbo, and crawfish at this neighborhood eatery. This is a small “mom & pop” place with outdoor seating, big screen TVs, and jukeboxes that sync with your phone. If you are in the market for a new date night option, they also offer cooking classes.
  • Texas Borders :: At Texas Borders you’ll find fresh Tex-Mex with a Cajun and American twist that’s served by the friendliest waitstaff west of the Beltway. They have a fantastic menu that is sure to please everyone in your family. Make sure to order the onion rings – they’re the best in town!
  • The Bagel Café :: With a name like Bagel Cafe, you can be sure of one thing – they know bagels. From poppy seed to French toast, this place has a wide variety of bagel and cream cheese flavors. Bagels are prepared in-house and baked daily. Bonus: they brew local Katz coffee roasted here in Houston.
  • Willie’s Grill & Icehouse :: If you’re jonesin’ for a burger and beer, this is your place. Willie’s has several Houston-area locations with a family-friendly menu, fun music playing, and plenty of space to accommodate large groups. They have a sand pit complete with beach toys for kids at this location too.

Pearland/Friendswood/League City

  • Grazia :: Combine great Italian food with tasty cocktails and a welcoming environment for children, and you’ve got a winner in Grazia. It can get super busy in the evenings and weekends, but happy hour is usually slow and full of other families. *Erica’s Pick!
  • Gringo’s :: While this is a Houston-area chain, the original location resides in the heart of Pearland. If you judge a Mexican restaurant by their chips, salsa, and green sauce, then Gringo’s will not disappoint. Many of their locations have a jungle gym in the waiting area. The best part about this restaurant is the FREE soft-serve you can grab on your way out! *Brittney’s Pick!
  • Killen’s BBQ :: While the wait is often long, on the weekends they have free beer while you wait and lots of green space for kiddos to play. Killen’s is consistently ranked as one of the top restaurants not only in Houston, but across the country, so it’s definitely worth the visit! And we recommend everything on the menu! *Erica AND Brittney’s Pick!
  • Los Gallitos :: This local favorite offers tasty Tex-Mex for the family and unbeatable frozen drinks for the parents, all at reasonable prices. There’s a spacious play area for the kids to run around, and it’s never too hot to sit outside because they have portable AC units on the patio.
  • MOD Pizza :: This new-to-Houston chain restaurant has become an immediate hit, especially with Pearland moms! They have a great playground with outdoor covered tables. And with the build-your-own-pizza concept, it’s easy to meet everyone’s needs. They also offer salads, dessert pizza, and milkshakes.
  • Mongo :: This Mongolian Grill is laid-back and a great way for kiddos to participate in making their food. This gives kiddos an opportunity to decide what they’d like to eat and watch it prepared by the chefs.
  • Pena’s Donut Heaven & Grill :: This is a local gem. If you are looking for a special treat, this is your place, and they are especially welcoming to families. They even have kolaches with homemade beef brisket. Bonus: Rumor has it they are expanding, so there will be even more room for families!
  • Red River Barbecue :: This League City establishment offers native Texas barbeque all cooked over wood-fired BBQ pits. Not only do they serve up some incredible meat, but their shrimp is pretty tasty, too. They have a great outside patio and a kid’s play area as well.
  • Ranchos :: HMB readers rave about this restaurant because of their unmatched customer service. They are very kid-friendly, and make your family feel right at home every time you walk through the doors. Their restaurant is reasonably priced, and they serve free ice cream!
  • Sakura Japanese Steakhouse :: Hibachi is a personal favorite family dinner experience for us. Our daughter loves to interact with the chef and watch him prepare our food. Super family-friendly. *Erica’s Pick!

Sugar Land/Stafford/Richmond

  • All-Stars Family Grill :: A great restaurant with a great playground? Yes, please! This casual eatery has the best of both worlds – great food for the whole family and a safe playground for their entertainment. Known for its casual welcoming atmosphere, this is definitely a favorite among Richmond moms!
  • Japaneiro’s Sushi Bistro & Latin Grill :: For a meal with Japanese Latin fusion, this place is a must. It is definitely for the fun-loving and adventurous eaters. Try visiting at lunch, where they run a three-course meal special for only $12.
  • Avalon Diner :: Always packed with families, this is a charming eatery that is sure to please everyone at the table. They serve such a wide variety of food in a really fun atmosphere {think jukeboxes and old-fashioned fun}. Avalon Diner is always an easy choice that will make even the pickiest of eaters leave satisfied.
  • Fajita Flats :: Great Mexican food, easy to access location, and a very fun atmosphere all make for a great Houston family-friendly restaurant. They’re known for their sizzling fajitas, but you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. Fajita Flats is an especially fun place to celebrate birthdays!
  • Jupiter Pizza and Waffles :: Positioned in Sugar Land Town Square, this is a fun restaurant serving top-notch food. If you have a knack for chicken and waffles, you will not be disappointed. Even though it’s more of a brunch set up {the French toast is unreal}, their stone-baked pizzas are worth ordering too. They have a really fun menu, and everyone in your group is guaranteed to find something they love. *Erica’s Pick!
  • Live Oak Grill :: This place has it all: delicious food {especially the chicken fingers}, an awesome patio with huge trees, and a friendly staff that often knows you by name. This is a great place to unwind on a Friday evening after a long week. They have an especially accommodating kids menu. *Brittney’s Pick!

Family-Friendly Houston Restaurants 2

So, there you have it Houston – a comprehensive list of 60 family-friendly restaurants in all areas of town. What did we leave off? In the comments below, tell us your favorite places to take your family out to eat!

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11 Responses to 60 Family-Friendly Houston Restaurants

  1. Julie January 8, 2016 at 8:39 am #

    Natachee’s Super ‘n Punch in Midtown no longer has a sandbox.

  2. Stephanie January 8, 2016 at 9:59 pm #

    Tokyohana on 59, greenway area. Hibachi and sushi. Every table tonight was families… Kids, lots of kids. Service and food are fun!

  3. Cortney March 17, 2016 at 9:42 am #

    OMG, you CANNOT leave out the Jimmy Changas locations in Pearland and Katy too!

  4. bill October 6, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    I lived in Pearland in the early 90s and we used to go to some family type Mexican restaurant in Houston. I believe it was a chain and there were flags at the table you put up if you needed more food. I think it was buffet. I just can’t remember the name of the place. So many things have disappeared and changed since then.

  5. bill October 6, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

    Does anyone remember the Ninfa’s cafe in Pearland? My mouth waters just thinking about how great their food was. We got carry out all the time. I left the area about 1994 and haven’t been back and I understand it closed down.

  6. Anne December 19, 2016 at 7:32 pm #

    You left out West Houston area

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