June 7, 2024

The Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in San Diego

A toddler girl in a white dress holds her skirt and twirls around with her mama next to her during a lifestyle family photoshoot in Del Mar, CA


Hey parents, if you’re planning a trip to our wonderful city with the little ones in tow, and you’re a human who needs to eat, you’re probably wondering where to find the best kid friendly restaurants in San Diego. Am I right?

Fear not, because I’ve rounded up a couple of joints that offer more than just a children’s menu. We’re talking fun environments, tasty food, and maybe even a little peace for you.

Ready? Let’s dig in to the best kid-friendly restaurants in San Diego!

Click on the name of each restaurant to be taken right to their website for information like hours, directions, and menu.


1. Corvette Diner

First stop: Corvette Diner. This one is usually at or near the top of every “kid friendly” restaurant list out there.

Picture this: retro 1950s décor, jukeboxes blasting classic rock ‘n’ roll, and servers in poodle skirts and leather jackets. It’s like stepping into a time machine that kids and adults alike will love. The atmosphere is electric and the food is classic diner fare – burgers, shakes, fries – all served with a side of nostalgia.

The real kicker? An arcade packed with games that’ll keep the kiddos entertained long after their mac ‘n’ cheese is gone.

2. Nate’s Garden Grill

Located within San Diego’s largest organic nursery, this unique eatery serves organic farm-to-table food sourced from the surrounding gardens. And guys, there are farm animals! Grownups can kick back and relax with locally brewed beer and live music, while kids can enjoy some freedom on the rustic patio and foods like from-scratch biscuits and organic mac and cheese.

3. Station Tavern

Over in South Park, you’ll find Station Tavern. This place is a godsend for parents. The outdoor seating area features picnic tables and a play area with toys, so you can relax with a cold one while the kids make new friends. Their menu is kid-friendly without being boring – think grilled cheese, burgers, and tots. The relaxed, neighborhood vibe makes it a perfect spot for a family dinner after a day of exploring.

4. Pizza Port

Who doesn’t love pizza? Pizza Port is a local favorite with several locations around San Diego. It’s loud, it’s fun, and it’s perfect for families. The pizza is amazing, the beer selection is extensive for the grown-ups, and the arcade games are a hit with the kids. The communal seating and casual vibe mean you don’t have to worry about your kids being, well, kids.

5. Liberty Public Market

If you’ve got a family with diverse tastes, Liberty Public Market in Point Loma is a must-visit. This food hall has something for everyone – from sushi to empanadas to gourmet ice cream. The best part? The spacious outdoor area with picnic tables and plenty of room for kids to play. It’s like a culinary playground where everyone can find something they love.

6. Officine Buona Forchetta

Aside from having incredible Italian food, this particular location of the Buona Forchetta family boasts two oversized patios and… a play space!! ‘Nuff said.

7. Phil’s BBQ

Last but certainly not least, we have Phil’s BBQ. This place is legendary in San Diego, and for good reason. The BBQ ribs and chicken are out of this world. The atmosphere is lively and casual, making it perfect for kids. They even have a “Little Phil’s” menu designed specifically for younger palates. The long lines move fast, and the staff is great at keeping things moving, so you won’t have to wait too long with hungry kids.


In Conclusion

San Diego is a fantastic city for family dining, offering a variety of restaurants where kids can be kids and parents can relax. From retro diners and chicken shacks to bustling markets and BBQ joints, there’s no shortage of places to enjoy a meal with your little ones. So next time you’re in town, check out these spots and make some delicious memories with your family.

And while you’re here, commemorate your visit with warm, connected and unposed family portraits, either on one of our beautiful beaches (I have a few favorites that make for wonderful photos, like this one and this one), or on a rustic mountain field. See my style and work at the “Home” button on the top left, and then contact me here.

Have fun!! Oh, and eating without the kids, or just looking for the places the locals love most? I’ve got that for you right here.




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