50+ Family-Friendly Houston Restaurants

When planning a night out with small children it’s easy to get stuck in the rut of going to the same places or finding yourself at a fast-food establishment just because it has a play place. In the hopes of fully experiencing all of the amazing food that Houston has to offer I surveyed the Houston Moms Blog contributors, my friends, and fellow moms to compile a list of family-friendly Houston restaurants that our great city and its suburbs have to offer! Ready?  Here goes…

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 eight locations including the Museum District, the Galleria Area and the Heights. And their menus double as coloring sheets!
  • Natachee’s Supper & Punch :: Tasty food, kitschy décor, and awesome customer service.   Their kids’ meals are always served in vintage metal lunch boxes with a variety of healthy choices and a fruit side.  Natachee’s has a ton of stuff on hand to keep kiddos happy.
  • Niko Niko’s :: With locations in Montrose, Market Square in Downtown, and in the Spring Branch area, 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.
  • 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 twelve Houston-area locations, which makes them a very convenient choice to satisfy your next burger craving.  
  • Bellagreen {City Center} :: They have a new name, but kept the same menu and great location at the City Center {along with five other locations throughout the Houston area}. Enjoy dining on the patio while the kids run around on the green with dozens of other children.  Bellagreen uses local and organic ingredients and is committed to sustainability. 
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • Las Ventanas :: This is a high-end restaurant with plenty of kid-friendly eats and a playground. 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! 
  • Molina’s :: Generations have grown up eating at Molina’s. Everyone feels like family in this locally owned and operated Tex-Mex haven, especially your kids. They will love listening to the mariachi bands while eating some Jose’s Dip!
  • 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!
  • 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. 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! 
  • 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. 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. 
  • 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. You can also try their Montrose location. 
  • Revival Market :: craft butcher shop and cafe that serves up delicious breakfast and lunch daily. Revival Market is a happening place on Saturday mornings, but the house-cured bacon is worth the wait! 
  • 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 restaurants are now in three locations  – one in Bellaire, one in Katy and one in the Heights. Their burgers are all school-themed and downright delicious. Watch out: their truffle-laced 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. 
  • 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. The owners have made it their mission to donate all proceeds to families affected by cancer at Texas Children’s Hospital, which make Little Matt’s even more awesome!
  • Mia’s ::  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! 

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

  • Eden Cafe :: This family-owned cafe in Magnolia has gourmet level offerings with an adorable, homey ambiance, all at extremely reasonable prices! 
  • 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.
  • 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  Jolly Roger mac & cheese, grilled 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!
  • 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!

Cypress/Tomball

  • Creekwood Grill :: Your kids will love Creekwood’s playground and you will love that kids eat free on Wednesday nights! Creekwood grill has a menu full of amazing food and a full selection of craft beer. Make sure to try the catfish cakes. 
  • 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!
  • Lupe Tortilla :: Amazing Tex-Mex food with an extensive, family-friendly menu. Lupe Tortilla’s atmosphere is also just loud enough that you don’t have to worry about distributing the group sitting next to you. 
  • Skip’s :: Skip’s is the place to go for delicious meals in a fun environment. With its wide open spaces for the kids to play and a classic arcade, Skip’s is the go-to spot for a dinner out. 

Katy

  • Casa Maria Mexican Restaurant :: Families have headed to Casa Maria for years to have some of the best salsa and great priced Tex-Mex in the Katy area. Locally owned and operated, you can’t go wrong at Casa Maria.  
  • 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 Family, their unique indoor kids playroom. 
  • 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. 
  • 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! 
  • Killen’s BBQ :: While the wait is often long, there is 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! 
  • 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. 
  • 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!

Sugar Land/Stafford/Richmond

  • 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. 
  • 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. 

Family-Friendly Houston Restaurants 2

So, there you have it Houston – a comprehensive list of 50+ 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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14 Responses to 50+ 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.

    • Perla Coronado October 3, 2018 at 12:33 am #

      Panchos

  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

  7. Cat June 1, 2017 at 10:59 pm #

    Lupe tortilla in Katy! Has a massive sandbox with lots of toys. You can eat right next to them 🙂

  8. sharkyswaterfrontgrill June 21, 2019 at 7:06 am #

    Sharky’s Waterfront grill is the family friendly restaurant which is famous for variety of seafood at Kingswood, Texas area. Sharky,s Waterfront Grill is best seafood restaurant and provides the best seafood service to the Kingswood.

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