Bringing babies to restaurants is easy. I would put my little one on my boob and enjoy at least an hour long conversation over chips and guac with my girlfriends.
Then at 8 months, he was in the high chair and eating puffs while I caught up with my mom at brunch.
By 16 months, he was like “F this highchair,” and screw your meal. I’m swinging from the light fixture and getting us thrown out of this joint.
So, what’s a mom to do? Give up eating out forever? Well…yes. That’s what I did, because I was still so new to the momming game, I didn’t know there were actual restaurants, WITH playgrounds to keep the littles engaged so mama could drink a cocktail!
These days, one of my favorite activities is meeting girlfriends for “dinner playdates,” so we can catch up and “let the kids play on the playground.” Which is really code for: let’s drink margaritas and hope the kids play together long enough for us to order dinner also!
So, here my my top 20 FAVORITE Austin restaurants where kids can play:
Flores Mexican Restaurant:
4625 W William Cannon Dr Austin, TX 78749
Great Mexican food, and an enclosed playground perfect for toddlers and bigs.
Stubbs BBQ/GraceLand Grocery:
8600 Us 290 W Austin, TX 78736
Yummy and famous Stubbs BBQ and a HUGE playground for the littles, with tables to eat at, and live music every night during the summer.
1302 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
Fill up on Tex Mex while the kids go down the slides.
5207 Brodie Ln #100, Sunset Valley, TX 78745
Pub food & patio with a fire pit & play area.
Phil’s Ice House:
2901 S. Lamar Ave Austin, TX 78704, 5620 Burnet Rd Austin, TX 78756,
Yummy burgers and a fun playscape at every location. Sidenote: there is usually an Amy’s Ice Cream attached to Phils, so you can head home with a scoop of Mexican Vanilla!
Lucy’s on The Fly:
2043 S Lamar Blvd. Austin TX 78704
Located on South Lamar, this is amazing friend chicken and comfort food, with an awesome playground, and ironically, a chicken coup out back.
4001 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756
Giant patio that overlooks a variety of playground equipment. Enjoy some wine, dinner, and let kids of all ages go wild.
7858 Shoal Creek Blvd, Austin, TX 78757
Upstairs patio that hosts cornhole and giant Connect 4.
Maudie’s (at the Triangle):
4600 West Guadalupe Street, Suite B5, Austin, TX 78751
Sip some margaritas on the patio while overlooking the Triangle’s playscape.
Hat Creek Burger Company:
3210 Esperanza Crossing, Austin; 201 San Gabriel Village Blvd. Georgetown, Texas 78626
Super family friendly, with a ginormous play area. Awesome burgers, and $1 beer night on Thursdays!
Culinary Drop Out:
11721 Rock Rose Ste 100. Austin, TX 78758
Amazing food and craft beer. And not exactly a playground but an area with corn hole and other games to keep bigger kids occupied.
2450 RR 1869, Liberty Hill, TX 78642
Outdoor playground for the kids, where you can sit on the decks and patio. For added fun there is even dance floor for everyone to play when there is live music.
3350 Palm Valley Blvd Round Rock, TX 78665
Located right next to Dell Diamond, the playground is just added bonus to enjoying delicious Salt Lick BBQ.
The Boat House Grill:
6612 North RR 620 Austin, TX 78732
Yummy cajun food and an enclosed playground. Indoor and outdoor seating. (I had my son’s 1st birthday party here too, the staff was amazing!)
Oasthouse Kitchen + Bar:
8300 N FM 620 e, Austin, TX 78726
Family-friendly gastropub with craft beer. Great patio with a playground right in view.
MidWay Food Park:
1905 South Capital of Texas Hwy. Austin, TX 78746
A HUGE park and playground, surrounded by a collection of local food trucks. Concerts and events happen all season long in the summertime.
6203 N. Capital of Texas Highway Austin, TX 78731
Enjoy happy hour Friday 3pm-7pm on the patio while the kids play on the playground.
Verde’s Mexican Parrilla:
16018 Hamilton Pool Rd, Austin, TX 78738
Giant fenced-in area to kick around a ball or play chase while you wait for your meals.
2610 Manor Rd. Austin, TX 78722
Restaurant and grocery store, which encourages people to bring their own containers, has a great fenced in playground and seating area. This place is “so Austin,” and so on point with sustainable living. You must check it out. Worth the drive.
5111 Airport Blvd. Austin, TX 78751
Great outdoor seating area and a jukebox! Some of my favorite pizza too!
That rounds up my top 20 tried and true places to eat with kiddos, leaving mama, daddy, and the little ones happy, fed, and worn out.