We polled local parents on their (and their kids) favorite kid-friendly restaurants in our area of the East Bay, including Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Concord, Lamorinda and Danville. Here are 30 places you will be welcomed to dine with children of all ages, listed by cuisine. Restaurants with a blue asterisk were voted in the top 10!
*Denica's Real Food Kitchen in Walnut Creek ~ This family-owned joint got the highest number of votes, owing to the side room with a giant train table and trains galore (in addition to seating). Do note they are only open for breakfast and lunch.
*Eureka! in Concord ~ Aside from the delicious menu, toddler mom Katie says they are "always accommodating and excited to see our kid while still maintaining an hip atmosphere," and Theresa, a mom of grade school kids, loves that "they bring out free fruit and veggie plates for the kids."
*Chow in Lafayette ~ This cozy spot offers delicious organic food for breakfast (and amazing coffee), lunch and dinner and bonus they now accept same-day reservations, so you can avoid long waits with hangry kids.
*Sideboard in Lafayette and Danville ~ A local mom of 3 gives this place her vote because of their "healthy options for kids and grownups, lots of games to play, outdoor seating, and a wonderful appreciation for kids make it our go-to for family nights out."
*Cheesecake Factory in Walnut Creek ~ This enormous restaurant (and enormous menu) has something for everyone, plus kids can fit right into the lively atmosphere. Heads up though they don't generally take reservations (except for large parties at off-peak times) and the wait for a table can be looooong.
*Chick-fil-A in Walnut Creek ~ Hey it may be fast food but the price is right and the enclosed playground can be a life-saver some days! Based on the high number of votes this is obviously a win for moms and dads.
*Fuddruckers in Walnut Creek and Concord ~ The arcade makes this a favorite among kids (one mom admits "I actually hate it, but my kids love it") and the burgers are good, the atmosphere is casual and kids meals come with a free cookie. Note - Fuddruckers is NOT a great place for kids with severe peanut allergies as free peanuts are offered and shell bits abound.
Katy's Kreek in Walnut Creek ~ Katie, mom to two boys, says they have a "great selection of food, toy area kids can hang out in while waiting, and the warmth of background noise to act as white noise for a new baby or commotion of your toddler or older child."
Sweet Tomatoes in Pleasant Hill ~ Salad bar + pizza + mac 'n cheese + soft serve. Extremely casual atmosphere and all buffet style, no need to patiently wait for food to arrive. Need we say more?
Red Robin in Concord ~ Dana, mom of a 4-year-old daughter, recommends Red Robin as they have an "extensive kids menu including lots of healthy sides, and free balloons!" They also are especially accommodating to people with food allergies and even offer an online interactive allergen menu customizer.
Creek Monkey Tap House in Martinez ~ "Tap house" might not make you immediately think "children," but this family-friendly spot has a casual and lively atmosphere and delicious food; local parents feel wait staff are especially kind and accommodating to kids while the atmosphere is one equally enjoyed by grown-ups.
Mel's Diner in Walnut Creek and Concord ~ Table-side jukeboxes, children's meals served in cardboard cars and traditional kid-friendly fare makes this a popular place among local families.
Black Bear Diner in Walnut Creek ~ Enjoy casual dining in this bear-themed restaurant with plenty of offerings for kids, such as chocolate chip pancakes and hot cocoa piled high with whipped cream. Here's a tip: arrive early on weekend mornings as this spot gets crowded (and wait gets long) after 9:30 am or so.
Lazy Dog in Concord ~ Lots of ambient noise hides any kid noise and the kid's menu covers all the bases. Dog-loving kids will also love seeing all the pups accompanying the diners on the patio.
Town Bakery & Cafe in Moraga ~ This family-owned restaurant opened in spring 2018 and is already known for it's friendly, welcoming staff and great food.
*Skipolini's in Walnut Creek and Clayton ~ Great pizza + play structures = ideal spot for families with kids. The Concord location isn't too shabby either, but doesn't offer the same opportunity to run around and climb (although you can always walk a block to the playground in Todos Santos Plaza after dinner!).
*Old Spaghetti Factory in Concord ~ Where else can you sit in a trolley car and eat pasta? Bonus: free ice cream is included with kids meals.
*Rocco's in Walnut Creek ~ This one is a local favorite of all ages and the busy hubbub means you never need to worry your littles will disturb anyone! Parents love the Etch-a-sketches for kids to fidget with at the table while waiting for food.
Piccolo Napoli in Orinda ~ An independently owned family-friendly spot with delicious fare.
Melo's Pizza & Pasta in Pleasant Hill and Danville ~ Loved by kids and grown-ups alike, Melo's has been a staple in our area for over 45 years!
MOD Pizza in Walnut Creek and Concord ~ Delicious, quick and customizable individual pizzas makes this an ideal spot for families with impatient kiddos.
Yalla in Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek ~ Healthy, delicious options with a side of fries, plus kids eat free on Friday evenings!
Los Panchos in Danville and Pacheco ~ Casual Mexican fare in a family-friendly environment.
Prickly Pear Cantina in Danville ~ Taco loving kids will also enjoy the patio by the pond and visits from ducks while waiting for your meal. Head over to the nearby playground in Blackhawk Plaza before or after dinner.
Dos Coyotes in Concord ~ Taqueria style with a great, flexible kids menu. Food comes quickly and the extensive salsa bar and Margaritas are sure to please parents.
Sushi Yokohama in Danville ~ One mom of 4 year old twins gives it her vote because "they have a play area in the front of their restaurant for kids."
Sushi Fighter in Moraga ~ One of few sushi places with an actual kids menu; families are definitely welcome here.
Kobe Japan in Pleasant Hill ~ Fun teppanyaki style dining, best for older kids who won't try to climb on the hot iron griddle.
Mixed Grain Korean Cuisine in Walnut Creek ~ Emma, a mom of four, says "all the little plates they put out are great for our kids to try. And there is always chicken and rice to fall back on, or noodle soup. The place has a vibe that is welcoming to everyone."
Acme Express Chinese in Martinez ~ Known for fantastic service and friendly staff, as well as delicious food.
We hope you've found our poll results helpful and maybe discovered a new family dining spot! Please don't hesitate to share comments or any other favorites in the section below.