| Print Story | E-Mail Story | Font Size

Best Orange County restaurants for kids who can’t sit still

Welcome to the wonderful and chaotic world of wild child dining


Sipping a bottle of cabernet in a white linen restaurant where the server says fancy things, such as “a la carte” or “foie gras,” might have to wait until date night. Day to day, many parents eat, drink and sleep with their children in tow. And for those rambunctious kids who just won’t sit through dinner at Maestro’s — or even Denny’s — we’ve created a special list of our top picks. 

Pizza Port, San Clemente: Enjoy the ocean breeze and craft beer while the kids play arcade games and move freely among the picnic tables. pizzaport.com

Sidedoor, Corona Del Mar: The gastropub hosts Toddler Tuesday every week at 4:30 p.m., reserving the entire patio and garden for families. sidedoorcdm.com

Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill, multiple O.C. locations: The all-American eatery offers complimentary toddler plates when requested. woodranch.com

Playland Café, Irvine: Kids can work out their energy in a tactile play place while parents can savor a variety of drinks and pastries nearby. playlandcafe.com

Mendocino Farms, Multiple O.C. locations: An open-seating environment with a big chalkboard, foosball table and healthy sandwiches for children. mendocinofarms.com

Anaheim Packing House, Anaheim: Try a variety of foods from truffle fries to strawberry crepes and wander through the grassy outdoor space. anaheimpackingdistrict.com 

Bean Sprouts, Santa Ana: Located inside Orange County’s Discovery Cube, the new cafe has plenty of playful, healthy options for both kids and adults. discoverycube.org

Joe’s Crab Shack, Garden Grove: For the seafood lovers, parents can dig into a fish and chips while kids run crazy on the outdoor playground. joescrabshack.com

4th Street Market, Santa Ana: Similar to the Packing House, this relatively new space has a wide range of tasty food (including Torch, a smore co.) craft beers, coffee and an outdoor area with communal table and big murals. 4thstreetmarket.com

Storytellers Café, Anaheim: Chow down on Mickey waffles as classic Disney characters entertain in the Downtown Disney cafe. disneyland.disney.go.com

See archived 'Features' stories »

What is this?

Save & Share this Article