Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Greater Cincinnati Adults Will Love Too
Greater Cincinnati is filled with kid-friendly restaurants that will also appeal to their caregivers. From places with added entertainment like circus performers, games and music to ones with menus that will satisfy the pickiest eaters (and others where parents can just get a damn drink), the Queen City's dining scene has a lot to offer future foodies.
Scroll down to view images
Photo: Brittany Thornton
322 Elm St., Ludlow
Ludlow, Kentucky's nonexistent craft beer scene sent in the clowns, leading to the launch of Bircus Brewing Co., a branch of an original concept from Ghent, Belgium. Pronounce it like 'beer-cuss,' a hybrid of beer and circus, as the brew shares the limelight with carnival performances at the taproom. Performers can do everything from breathing fire to flying on the trapeze.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
4381 Reading Road, Paddock Hills (Temporarily Closed); 1203 Sycamore St., OVer-the-Rhine; 10275 Summit Parkway, Blue Ash
OG 'rents know that breakfast food is a reliable bet for kids, especially toddlers. The fluffiest eggs, “wispy-thin” pancakes and a long "tag-a-longs" menu make customizing your kids' plate easy and affordable. The original Paddock Hills location got a sister spot in Over-the-Rhine when the owners renovated an old diner with their signature colorful and vintage flair. The breakfast diner also opened its first suburban location in Blue Ash this past January at the Approach at Summit Park. They are famous for giving patrons little rubber ducks as a souvenir – the perfect incentive for an embattled bath time.
Telling your kids "we're having pizza tonight" makes you an instant celebrity in their eyes. Little do they know you
are the one who wants to dig into Dewey's slew of crafty pizzas. From the Southwest BBQ Chicken (olive oil, smoked cheddar, mozzarella, black bean-corn salsa, all-natural chicken, roasted red peppers and BBQ sauce) to the Killer Veggie (red sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, white onions, black olives and green bell peppers, with tomatoes and parsley added after the bake) — everything is expertly paired with a nice selection of wine and local brews on tap. There's even a big window at each location where kids are encouraged to watch as cooks roll and hand-toss dough, add ingredients and put the finished product in the oven; adults are more than welcome to marvel, too.
Photo: Savana Willhoite
7605 Wooster Pike, Columbia Township
Fifty West has tons of activities for kids to enjoy, like sand volleyball courts, cornhole and pickleball. Parents can watch on as kids safely play with new pals and tire themselves out for a sleepy ride home. Plus, the brewery makes seriously good burgers, flat-top hot dogs and loaded crinkle-cut fries. Don’t miss the 12 specialty burgers named for the 12 states that US Route 50 runs through. Grab a house-made root beer or shake for the kids. As for parents, you can choose from a wide range of Fifty West canned, bottled or draft beers. Make it whole family affair by bringing your dog to their ultra pet-friendly patio.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
624 Sixth Ave., Dayton, Kentucky
Dayton, Kentucky’s retro sci-fi-themed Galactic Fried Chicken serves up crispy delights for carnivores and herbivores of all ages, all made using gluten-free batter. Owned by husband-and-wife team Shane Coffey and Kathy McDonald, the menu features the titular fried chicken, plus chicken tenders, sandwiches and classic sides like fries, deviled eggs, Texas toast and fried pickles. For vegetarians, the jackfruit nugget meal comes with eight nugs, a side of Galactic Sauce, slaw and housemade pickles. Galactic also doesn’t skimp on servings — there’s enough to keep for leftovers.
What kid (or adult, for that matter) can resist the classic grilled-cheese-tomato-soup combo? Tom + Chee excels at the dynamic duo, with a variety of cheesy melts featuring different proteins like ham, bacon, chicken and even goetta locally; toppings from veggies to chips and fig preserves; and cheeses ranging from classic cheddar to pepper jack and goat cheese. No matter which melt you pick, they all pair well with Tom + Chee’s classic or creamy tomato soup. For a “Sweet Cheet,” try the melty S’more or Grilled Chee donuts.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
1036 Delta Ave., Mt. Lookout
Zip’s Cafe has been open since 1926 and is known for its Zip Burger, named the best in Ohio by Food & Wine
. The kids will love the menu, packed with a variety of burgers and other child-approved favorites like grilled cheese, chicken tenders, hot dogs and coneys, and can be kept busy watching the model train circling the restaurant. The small space is separated into a dining area and a bar by a saloon-style door. Head to the back bar for a local beer on draft while you wait for space at a booth or a seat at one of the shared family-style tables.
3539 Reading Road, Suite 101, Avondale
If you crave those memories of grabbing a bowl of cereal and plopping yourself in front of the TV to watch Saturday morning cartoons and now want to experience that with your kids, this Avondale cereal bar can help. The nostalgia is real at Saturday Morning Vibes as it features cereals from around the world, as well as toppings like strawberries, whipped cream and more to add to your bowl. Their menu also has avocado toast, waffles, muffins, bagels, fresh fruit and local coffee.
2730 Maverick Drive, Norwood
This new, state-of-the-art pickleball complex features 11 cushion-based courts designed for all skill levels – both indoor and outdoor. After a fun game of pickleball with the family, head over to the full-service restaurant and bar, where the menu features dishes crafted with local and seasonal ingredients from regional farmers, artisans and producers. You can try elevated bar-fare appetizers like their brown sugar- and citrus-brined wings or loaded nachos topped with white queso, pickled jalapenos, cilantro, pico de gallo and lime crema. ACES also serves a range of sandwiches, bowls and salads and has a dedicated kids’ menu.
5959 Kellogg Ave., California
Dead Low Brewing is located within walking distance of Coney Island and Riverbend Music Center, making the massive taproom and beer garden an easy choice after a long day in the sun. Dead Low serves up beer, cider and seltzer brewed on-site, as well as made-from-scratch burgers, sandwiches, pizza, wings and salads; there's also a dedicated kids’ menu and several vegetarian options.