Going out to eat with your kids, especially when they’re very young, can seem impossible. Bringing hungry kids out of the house? Seems like a recipe for disaster!
Well, fortunately Portland is chock-full of restaurants that welcome kids of all ages. These restaurants are some of our very favorites – because of the menu, the play space, the vibe, the coloring sheets—but mostly because we feel welcome, not just tolerated (even if the occasional tantrum happens).
You can see the winners for best kid-friendly restaurants in our yearly readers’ poll.
**2021 Update: Some restaurants may be takeout only during the pandemic.**
Dick’s Primal Burger. Ordering at the counter means less wait time. DPB also has lots of toys for the kids to play with, tasty burgers and a large kids menu. 4905 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Grand Central Bakery. The Sellwood spot will always remind me of being pregnant with my third, when all I wanted to eat was their delicious butter croissants. (TBH that hasn’t really changed three years later.) But pregnant or no, this is a great spot. They’ve got sandwiches and soups in addition to their pastries, and a small kid area in the back with a kid-sized table and chairs, bins of toys and a chalkboard. Locations throughout Portland.
Hopworks Urban Brewery. Known familiarly as HUB, this go-to joint has multiple play spaces, a solid kids menu, and great beer for the parents. SE Powell and Vancouver locations.
Ikea. Grab your food in minutes and then check out the planes taking off and landing while you eat. The menu is very affordable, too, with several gluten-free options.
Jam on Hawthorne. This spot is always crowded for weekend brunch, and for good reason. There’s a great play space, and even better lemon ricotta pancakes. 2239 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Jola Café. This surprisingly large café has healthy and delicious food that appeals to kids and grownups, plus beer and wine. There’s a small but well-stocked play area tucked in a corner—which might just buy you enough time to drink your coffee before it gets cold. (A parent can dream!) 5915 SW Corbett Ave.
Know Thy Food. Formerly Warehouse Café, you’ll find a good kids’ menu, play space, and often kid-friendly entertainment while you eat. 3434 SE Milwaukie Ave.
Laughing Planet. Another counter restaurant (less wait time is always a good thing!). Plus the food you get is healthy, abundant, and not too pricy. The kids will love playing with the large array of plastic dinos while they wait. Multiple locations.
Nayar Taqueria. There’s no play area at this Fo-Po joint, but it’s still one of the most kid-friendly spots in town. The owner always makes a point of talking to the kids and making everyone feel welcome. There’s lots of outdoor seating for those warm summer days, and the food is great too. 5919 SE Foster Rd.
Que Pasa Cantina. This kid-friendly spot is a great choice for outdoor eating. Their outdoor seating area is enclosed and has heat lamps—perfect for Portland. They also have a great happy hour and lots of coloring books for kids. 1408 SE 12th Ave.
Marco’s Café. You’ll find an extensive kids menu at this lovely spot located in the heart of Multnomah Village—from huckleberry pancakes to veggie burgers. Crayons and coloring pages are provided upon arrival. 7910 SW 35th Ave.
Mio Sushi. You’ll find quick service and a nice kids menus (California roll, teriyaki chicken, edamame) that gets to your table fast. Most locations also have crayons and coloring sheets. Multiple locations.
Mississippi Pizza. You can get yummy pizza fast at this North Portland spot. You’ll also often find kid-friendly entertainment from some of Portland’s best kindie musicians, like Red Yarn and Mo Phillips, so you can rock out while you eat. 3552 N. Mississippi Ave.
Mother’s Bistro. This downtown bistro features upscale comfort food that extends to its kids menu (think meatloaf, chicken & dumplings, pot roast). The restaurant also features a children’s play area. This is a great one to visit with out-of-town guests when you want to go just a little fancy. 121 SW 3rd Ave.
The Old Spaghetti Factory. This Portland-based chain caters to families with affordable pasta dishes, roving entertainers, and more. The kids plates are a steal, with an entrée, applesauce or salad, a drink, and vanilla ice cream. 0715 SW Bancroft St.
Pacific Pie Co. With “pie” in the name of the restaurant, you’d better hope it’s kid-friendly! It sure is, and delicious too. While you wait for your pie, kids can color with the crayons and coloring sheets available onsite. 1520 SE 7th Ave.
Papaccino’s. There’s a semi-enclosed play area in the back with trains and lots of other toys. Plus kids will go crazy for the cereal bar. For grownups, the coffee is top-notch. And, to be honest, so is the cereal. 4411 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Pizza Roma. For an old school slice, head to Roma’s in Woodstock. They’ve got toy bins, massive slices, and a great vibe. Bonus: Your slice will be ready in minutes. 4715 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Playdate PDX. You’ve probably been here for a birthday party or two, but it doesn’t have to be just a special occasion spot. Grab a bite to eat while your kids go wild in the play area. When they’re tired out, they can fuel up with lots of options from the kid-friendly menu. 1434 NW 17th Ave.
Por Que No. Even with the long lines you’re apt to see at either of the Por Que No locations, you’ll still find yourself seated and eating in half the time you would at a traditional restaurant. Por Que No has a super-affordable kids’ menu, and a hearty menu of options for adults. 3524 N Mississippi Ave. and 4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Rally Pizza. If you’re up for a trip to the Couve, this is the place to go for little pizza fans. They’ve got coloring pages, kids’ pizzas, frozen custard, and pizza good enough to rival Ken’s. Read our full review here. 8070 E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver
Santa Fe Taqueria. Time your visit for a Wednesday night. They you’ll be entertained by local favorite kids’ music performer Mr. Ben, and kids will eat free. (One free meal for each adult meal purchased.) 831 NW 23rd Ave.
Slappy Cakes. Cook your own pancakes at your table—plus a full menu of breakfast and lunch dishes. But seriously – cook your own pancakes at your table. You don’t need much more incentive than that. 4246 SE Belmont St.
Zoighaus Brewery. A taste of Germany in the Lents neighborhood. After getting their fill from the kids’ menu, kids can head to the play area while you enjoy your chicken schnitzel bites and German-style beer. 5716 SE 92nd Ave.
The Daily Feast Diner food, but with a healthy twist, plus a bookshelf of toys to choose from while you wait. Across the street from Central Library and six blocks from Powell’s Books, this is a perfect spot to grab lunch before heading off with your little bibliophiles. 837 SW 11th Ave.