Dining in Austin with Kids

Eating out with children in Austin doesn't have to be difficult and can be loads of fun.  You already know the needs of your kids -- when they need to eat, what they will and won't eat, and how much sitting still they can manage -- so you just need to match the restaurant to your family's dining dynamics.

Tex-Mex

Tex Mex joints are all over town, but the granddady of them all is Chuy's.  This Tex-Mex place is famous for their tacky decor and delicious platters of enchiladas.  Even the pickiest little eaters can go home full.  What tyke can't make a meal out of tortillas, rice and beans?   Add some soft tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas -- plus some beer and margaritas for the parents -- and you've got a good time.

Chuy's is popular with the locals, so when the wait is too long, head over to El Mercado on Burnet Road.  They have a good kids menu and friendly staff.   

Italian

For pizza, you can do it Chicago style at Mangia Pizza.  The Steck location offers up crayons and coloring menus to keep kids busy, and an extensive kids' menu that includes barbecue chicken pizza.

Asian Food

Korea House in the Village Shopping Center on Anderson Lane offers no-nonsense sushi and delicious Korean food but the big draw for kids is the huge Koi pond in the courtyard outside their front door.  Load up on the Pork Bulgoki, Chop Chae noodles and sushi rolls, then the kids can work off the calories running around looking at fish.

Central Market

No kid-friendly list would be complete with mentioning Central Market on North Lamar.  This gourmet supermarket features a cafe that offers an ever-changing menu of fresh fish, pasta and hamburgers, as well as serving up pre-packed take-out meals inside the store.  They sell beer and wine by the glass to soothe frazzled parents.  There's a coffee bar and a gelatto bar, too, for your after dinner enjoyment.  Get your grub and take it outside to dine on the patio while the kids play on the huge, oak-shaded playscape.  Put up your feet and enjoy the evening.  Ahhh.

Enjoy!