What are the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sarasota?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Jessi Smith

Although many Sarasota restaurants feature sophisticated menus that appeal to a primarily adult crowd, there are plenty of family-friendly restaurants that pay special attention to the dining experience of even the youngest patrons.

1. Square One Burgers. For burger lovers, Square One is a hit with the whole family. In addition to a wide selection of burgers that range from the traditional to the eclectic for adults, Square One also features a “Small Fry” menu with popular kid picks like Angus sliders, mac ’n’ cheese, chicken fingers and hot dogs. Each kids’ menu item is in the $5-and-under range and served with a complimentary fountain drink. In addition to the food, the festive cow-themed atmosphere is kid-approved.

2. O’Leary’s Tiki Bar and Grill. Located directly on the water in Sarasota’s bayside Island Park, O’Leary’s Tiki Bar and Grill is a popular outdoor dining location for families. Because it is located in the park, there’s plenty of space for kids to romp, and the park playground is even in sight and within shouting distance of the tiki bar and waterside picnic-style restaurant tables. Be sure to order an extra plate of curly fries when you dine at O’Leary’s — those are popular with all ages.

3. Cha Cha Coconuts. The arcade area at this Caribbean-themed restaurant on St. Armands Circle is an instant hit among kids, as well as parents looking to enjoy a meal with a side of peace and relaxation in a tropical setting. The games keep the kids entertained, and the kids’ menu has a selection of $5 meals that ensure kids’ tummies remain happily full.

4. Red Elephant. This pizzeria, located conveniently close to the interstate and Sarasota’s neighboring Lakewood Ranch in a family-friendly shopping and entertainment district, is a favorite among kids and parents alike. Who doesn’t like pizza? Many parents consider the separate gluten-free menu at Red Elephant a blessing when dealing with their tykes’ dietary restrictions on the go.

5. Yogurtology. There is nothing like a cool and refreshing frozen yogurt to cool down after a hot day at the beach or exploring the sights in Sarasota. The centrally located yogurt shop features a wall of self-serve yogurt flavors that patrons can mix and match to their content. Kids love to create their own adventurous flavor pairings, and the sprawling toppings bar, filled with fruit, nuts and candy crumbles, is a sweet tooth’s dream.

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