Minneapolis Restaurants Your Kids Will Love
While the kids clamor for flavorless pizza and arcade games, you just want family meals out to consist of decent food and some semblance of a civilized atmosphere. With these Minneapolis restaurants, everyone can win, thanks to family-friendly vibes, convenient parking and exciting menus that offer an item for everyone in the gang. Your young critics will thank you later.
From your first glimpse of the “vertically revolving patio” (Ferris wheel), you know you’re in for a unique dining experience. This cheeky “country club for the 99%” features gaudy wallpaper alongside crowd-pleasing burgers, tacos and potato-chip-fried chicken. Even the family dog can tag along for a summer round on the 9-hole Poodles and Palms Putt & Play miniature golf course.
Free parking on-site and ample free street parking available if the lot is full.
A staple of the Seward neighborhood since 1995, Birchwood draws vegans and carnivores alike for sustainably sourced meals. For breakfast, kids 10 and under dig the Egg in a Nest (a fried egg nestled inside a slice of birdseed toast), while vegetarians crave the quiche with string beans, cherry tomatoes, onions, cilantro and feta cheese.
Plenty of free parking on 25th Street and neighborhood blocks. You can also take Metro Transit Route 9, which runs right past the cafe.
Eating a Juicy Lucy is a rite of passage for anyone claiming to have visited or lived in the Twin Cities, and some of the best are prepared right here. The local chain’s Uptown location serves a specialty Lyn-Laker “Blucy” (melty cheese sandwiched between Angus beef patties) with dill, lingonberry jam, cucumbers and spiced aioli. You’re never too old to salivate over the tots here, too.
Metered street parking on Lyndale Avenue and side streets. Metro Transit routes 4, 21, 53 and 113 stop a few steps north of the restaurant.
Nothing brings everyone together like passing around food during a family-style meal. Be sure you grab plenty of garlic bread on the first go-round: it’s addictive. The red-and-white checkered tablecloths, Italian comfort food and warm service add to the homey atmosphere, and you don’t have to worry about the dishes.
Ample paid garage parking is available within steps of the restaurant.
A local watering hole by night, Chatterbox stays lively during the day with customers playing vintage Sega Genesis, Nintendo and Atari games (Pac-Man, anyone?). Available board games such as Yahtzee and Pictionary also make this a fun spot for family game night—and the kids will love ordering root beer from the bar.
Free street parking available.
Dive into this 1934-era Linden Hills diner for a throwback atmosphere and deliciously greasy fare. Whether you go for the patty melt or a bowl of Runyon’s Award-Winning Chili, save room for the shareable malts in flavors including wild blueberry, caramel and Butterfinger.
Free street parking available.
While you and the sweetheart swig the on-tap Frank’s Red Ale and Leonard Day IPA, the younger members of your party can try brewed-in-house kombucha or a bottle of ginger beer. Locals love Neighborhood Night: Every Tuesday, anyone in the 55401, 55454 or 55415 zip codes gets 15 percent off their tab.
Limited free parking in the lot behind the building after 5pm; also free parking in the Sherwin-Williams lot (entrance on 3rd Street) after 5pm weekdays and all day on weekends.
An A-frame playhouse tucked away from the main dining area gives restless ones room to roam during a leisurely meal of plant-based comfort food. For brunch, the buzz-worthy (and giant) blueberry cinnamon rolls come topped with coconut frosting and blueberry sauce.
Free 90-minute parking in the Calhoun Square ramp with $30 purchase.
Uptown’s counter-service palace of pastries hits the sweet spot with fresh berry cream tarts and flourless chocolate brownies. Equal care is put into the lunch menu of organic chicken wings and sustainably sourced burgers, with smaller portions available for children.
Free off-street parking is available in the two lots adjacent to the north and south sides of the building. Metered street parking also available.
You know a restaurant is serious about building a communal spirit when it puts the Dictionary definition of “community” on its menu. Bond over comforting aged cheddar grits decked out with a variety of toppings. If the kids aren’t feeling the Soul Food, they can opt for a grilled cheese sandwich instead.
Free street parking available.
It’s a slightly unsettling journey to walk into this underground eatery downtown, as you pass below a light fixture with suspended knives to reach your destination. Once you’re seated, though, it’s all smiles as you savor plates of sinfully good lemon-ricotta hotcakes and bowls of wild rice porridge.
Ramp parking ($5 after 4pm and on weekends and holidays) is located just past the street entrance. The restaurant is also a half-block from Nicollet Mall’s Metro Transit bus stops.
A trio of food-loving girlfriends launched this spot in 2014 to serve farm-fresh fabulousness among downtown’s skyscrapers. If you love breakfast food for lunch, it’s hard to go wrong here, with build-your-own omelet ingredients including chorizo, quinoa, feta cheese and hollandaise sauce.
Paid parking ramp available across the street. Less than a block from Marquette Avenue Metro Transit stops, and approximately two blocks from Nicollet Avenue stops.
A staple of the city’s multicultural corridor along Central Avenue, Holy Land is well known for its hummus sold statewide. Try it as a side with your gyro platter or tandoori chicken skewers, then buy a container at the connected grocery store, which also features a bakery selling fresh, scratch-made pita.
Free off-street parking available.
Wood accents and dark, upholstered booths and chairs lend an upscale vibe at this opened-in-2011 urban diner in Uptown. Kids get a kick out of Ruby’s Spaghetti Tacos (they’re exactly what they sound like) while adults can enjoy grilled salmon and Korean BBQ short ribs.
Free off-street parking available. Metro Transit routes 2, 6, 12 and 114 have stops within a block of the diner.
In the morning, the scent of freshly baked pastries and brewed coffee fills this airy Uptown space. At dinner time, it’s all about the savory. Share a smorgasbord of charcuterie, cheese curds, pickled veggies and more. Or opt for the deeply flavorful cumin lamb shoulder while the younger party stays content with cheesy noodles.
Free off-street parking available. Metro Transit routes 4 and 113 stop right outside the restaurant.
Come early in the day to take advantage of bowling, billiards, board games and vintage arcade games before the evening party crowd rolls in. A thoughtful kids menu includes vegetarian and gluten-free options like a banana almond butter sandwich. The refreshing Strawberry Rhubarb Fizz is just one of many non-alcoholic drinks available.
Ample free parking available throughout The Shops at West End complex.
Your family may have a new favorite go-to pizza after trying these Neapolitan-style pies crafted in 900-degree wood-burning ovens. The result is a thin, chewy crust that lets the ingredients—like mozzarella di bufala, prosciutto and sun-dried tomatoes—shine. Order a couple pizzas to share at one of 12 metro-area locations.
Parking situation varies based on location, but many offer free off-street spots.
Meat-lovers flock to this burger paradise for patties made with the signature Red Cow Grind, a blend of 21-day aged ribeye, chuck, short rib and brisket. But they grill up great plant-based burgers here, too. Mini doughnuts and sticky toffee cake desserts seal the deal for families at the restaurant’s three Minneapolis locations.
Parking situation varies based on location. The North Loop location offers $5 valet service and metered street parking.
For those who can’t sit still, this is the perfect option. Enjoy a multi-course, multi-ethnic meal among more than a dozen eateries, stopping for tacos at Taco Cat, samosas at Hot Indian and bubble tea at Sabbai Cuisine. Bonus: Family-friendly events and performances take place here throughout the year.
Use the ramp at 10th Avenue and Lake Street, the metered lot on Elliot Avenue or street parking.
When a food truck becomes such a hit that it can no longer be contained in a vehicle, it becomes a brick-and-mortar restaurant. That’s exactly what’s happened here (lucky us!). No longer do you need to run down a truck to catch rice bowls with caramelized lamb belly or lemongrass meatballs. Before dinner’s up, the kids will be tugging you—rightfully so—to Milkjam Creamery next door.
Limited free off-street parking available next to the building. Otherwise, metered street parking is your best bet.