What are the best kid-friendly restaurants in Charlotte?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Sarah Crosland

Charlotte is a city full of kid-friendly options. From parks and recreational activities, to shops and restaurants. The best thing about eating out with kids in Charlotte is that you don't have to sacrifice taste and atmosphere to find a great kid's menu in a welcoming spot. 

If you're looking for a restaurant that offers fun and entertainment for the smallest in your group, head to Pike's Old Fashioned Soda Shop in SouthEnd. Here your kid—and you—can pull up a stool at the vintage soda fountain and dig into dishes like a gooey grilled cheese. Plus, the selection of malts, milkshakes, floats are sure to score big points for you with junior. 

Forget your diet and treat you and your youngest at the decadent Big View Diner in South Charlotte. On Saturday mornings at this retro diner children often seem to outnumber the adults—and with good reason. From Chocolate Chip Pancakes to Belgian Waffles topped with strawberries and whipped cream, those with a sweet tooth will be ready to dig in. Burgers and pastas are favorites among the kid dishes and if you're really looking to treat, kids desserts like dirt and worms (chocolate pudding, oreo crumbles, and gummie worms) are parent award-worthy.

If you're looking for a kid-friendly spot where both you and your little one can enjoy gourmet fare, head to Rooster's Wood-Fired Kitchen. Sure, its sophisticated atmosphere and upscale al la carte menu may make it seem like an odd spot for a night with your brood, but Chef Jim Noble has created a kid-friendly menu that ranks among the best. In addition to staples like pizza, burgers, and shakes, you'll also find a few unexpected items for a young adventurous eater like calamari and duck confit. Meanwhile, you can enjoy the restaurant's locally-sourced gourmet fare and impressive wine list. Everybody wins. 

Blake Miller

Charlotte is one of the most family-friendly cities in the South so it makes sense that restaurants often cater to the wee ones by offering kid-friendly menus and options. Here are three restaurants where tots, tweens, and ‘rents can all dine happily ever after.

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar
With three locations—one in Ballantyne, Dilworth, and Charlotte Douglas International Airport—parents can’t go wrong bringing the family here. In addition to the mouthwatering burgers made with a freshly ground custom beef blend made from hanger steak, chuck, and brisket, kids can gnosh on beef sliders, a trio of Bad Daddy’s delicious burgers topped with sautéed onions alongside an order or housemade sweet potato fries or tots. For the littlest members of the family, opt for the kids menu where choices include chicken tenders, kid sliders, a char grilled hot dog, or grilled cheese with a side of fries, tots, or fruit.

Big View Diner
This south Charlotte diner caters to families so much so that lines for breakfast on the weekends start forming just before 9 a.m. And with good reason—Big View’s dining room is large enough to accommodate large parties (consider requesting a private room for a rowdy crowd) and spacious enough to allow the little ones to roam without knocking into other tables and diners. Like a traditional diner, the menu is vast so there’s something that will please even the pickiest of eaters. Bonus: the kids love window shopping the pastry case at the front where housemade pies (try the banana cream; it’s to die for), cakes (an entire pecan pie dropped into a chocolate cake, oh my!), black and white cookies, and more are on display.

At this Plaza Midwood staple, kids and adults alike can dine on some of the city’s best soul food eats. Here, favorites such as the chicken and dumplings and meatloaf sliders are served alongside flaky, buttery biscuits, deviled eggs, and sweet iced tea, all of which are a huge hit for the kiddies (and their parents). Best of all are the dessert options—pies such as the bourbon sweet potato are housemade and popular with all ages.

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