As a father myself, I’ve quickly recognized one of the greatest—but strangely enough one of the least talked-about—pitfalls of parenthood: dining out.
The question we parents always find ourselves considering is whether we concede to chicken fingers and fries or take a terrifying shot in the dark on a restaurant we love, but our kids, well, don’t.
Well rest assured Columbus, because we’re here to bring you a handful of local spots that have it all. Some are restaurants specifically, while others are more general variations on a theme to get you through the good blues.
While this technically includes multiple Columbus locations, Food Halls are simply one of your best bets to find something that will please everyone all in one space. Where else can you buy cheese pizza next to Tibetan momo? The iconic North Market (Downtown or at Bridge tPark), Budd Dairy Food Hall, and the new East Market are all on the menu.
Follow the Beer (Kitchen)
Thought a restaurant with the word beer in its name couldn’t possibly be a top spot to take the kids? Think again. That’s because while 101 Beer Kitchen does boast a massive selection of craft beers, the popular eatery’s menu for kids is top-notch, trading throwaway nuggets for Parmesan and Panko-crusted chicken tenders and rubbery hot dogs for a kosher dog encased in house-made pretzel dough.
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So while this might sound like the opposite of good advice at first, trust us on this one. The trick is to find a restaurant serving a unique or higher-end version of something that’s approachable and kid friendly. For example, spots like GOREMade or Figlio make top-tier culinary pizza, but of course they’ll also make you a classic cheese. And if your little ones love hot dogs, stop by Dirty Frank’s for a dog with kimchi or spicy mango chutney while the kids grab a plain one.
Keep it Fun!
While there’s a fine line between entertainment and ending up with a pile of food on the floor, we know one thing: It’s easier to get the kids to eat when they’re entertained. Bridge Park’s Weenie Wonder is neighbor to Pins Mechanical Co. and 16-Bit Arcade + Bar, both of which are kid-friendly until later in the evening. Other eateries, such as Don Pocha or BD’s Mongolian Grill, allow patrons to watch their food as it’s being prepared—entertainment in itself.
Want to read more? Check out our print publication, (614) Magazine. Learn where you can find a free copy of our new August issue here!
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