Best Family Friendly Cleveland Restaurants
Everyone struggles to find a great place to have a family night out. Here are four of our absolute favorite local spots – the best family friendly Cleveland restaurants we know! Added bonus – these are all GREAT places to take guests who are visiting from out of town!
#1 – Barrio at Cedar Fairmount
If our family voted on what the best family friendly Cleveland restaurant was, Barrio would win easily. This place is hands down our favorite restaurant. If you haven’t been, GO. Barrio sells tacos (and variations on tacos) and drinks exclusively. That may not sound like the best combination for families, but it is the PERFECT restaurant for us. It’s open-concept with concrete floors, so it’s loud. Added bonus – the concrete floor makes it pretty impossible to spill something that might damage the place. There’s tons to look at (hello custom paint job), they always play awesome music, and their cocktail menu and beer selection is stellar. Every table is given complimentary chips & salsa immediately after being seated. What this means in practice is that hungry little ones are placated even before they have a chance to complain. Barrio’s has a couple signature tacos (which you should try if it’s your first trip there), but for picky eaters there’s another menu where anything goes. Our super-picky son gets a chicken taco with white cheese & he loves it. In short, it is the ideal setup for us Peter Pan parents who want to pretend we don’t have to change our entire lifestyle because we had children. Just don’t forget coloring books and crayons because, as I implied before, they don’t have a kids menu.
#2 – Melt Bar and Grilled at Cedar and Taylor
What’s more kid-friendly than a restaurant that specializes in grilled cheese? Not much! This place comes in second with our family’s informal poll for best family friendly Cleveland restaurants. Melt Bar and Grilled was founded in Akron, but their second location to ever open is the location in Cleveland Heights. They have over 9 locations now between Cleveland, Akron, Dayton, and Columbus. This place is great, assuming you want to consume a meal of over 1000 calories. They have vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options for quite a few menu items, so I guess while you COULD get a salad, why would you? We’ve been to this restaurant (or its Akron counterpart) no fewer than 10 times, and the sandwiches are so good. In fact, my food-adventurous husband has ordered the same sandwich every time except once! If you’re looking for a place with a lot of flavor and local flair, it’s hard to top Melt. This place is truly a unique Cleveland experience that we’re lucky to have in the neighborhood.
#3 – Yours Truly at Shaker Square
In third place for best family friendly Cleveland restaurants, we put Yours Truly. Yours Truly is so family friendly that there’s even a Brio train table in the back of the restaurant (right near the bathrooms). If your food is taking too long or your kid eats first, they’ve provided something else for them to do. This is a traditional diner with fairly traditional diner food (think breakfast and sundaes – both are specialties), but there’s one big standout – Notso Fries. All Cleveland natives know about Notso Fries. Try them. You won’t regret it unless you’re on a diet. Ignore that suggestion if you’re on a diet – any diet.
#4 – Tommy’s Restaurant at Coventry Village
Tommy’s is an institution – so much so that I can say somewhat fairly that you’re not truly a Cleveland East Sider until you’ve been to this place. This is arguably the best family friendly Cleveland restaurant, and they’re known far and wide for having the best milkshakes in Ohio – even east of the Mississippi (if you trust the Rolling Stone from 1972). What makes Tommy’s so unique is that they’ve been essentially a health food restaurant since they were founded. They serve exclusively vegetarian food, they have never cooked with hydrogenated oils, they make all their soups from scratch, the list goes on. Their falafel is out of this world good, something I didn’t realize until I had falafel from a top DC falafel joint and my first thought was ‘Tommy’s is better.’ The restaurant is exceptionally kid-friendly and even attracts local child entertainment certain nights of the week. A word of caution though – the service can take a while. Since Tommy’s makes everything from scratch, it’s not the fastest. It’s worth the wait, but your kids may not agree with you until they’re older.
What are your favorite family-friendly local restaurants? Comment below with suggestions – I’d love to hear them & try them out if I haven’t already!