Plenty of great restaurants in town have kids’ menus and sippy cups, signaling that they're down with the messy preschool masses. But St. Louis is also lucky to have a number of more sophisticated places that, while they're not expressly aimed at families, are still welcoming. No, they won't serve chicken fingers or offer crayons, but they can still work when you have a kid or two in tow and don’t want to get a dirty look from the neighboring table for ruining their date night.
Got another surprising restaurant pick for young families? Let us know in the comment section.
1. Southwest Diner
Southwest Diner (6803 Southwest Avenue, 314-260-7244) serves Southwestern-inspired breakfast and lunch on Southwest Avenue, and while it doesn't have a kids’ menu, it does have high chairs and a changing table in the restroom. Plus, the background music and the diners’ chatter are enough that no one will notice when your toddler melts down because you cut his pancake the wrong way. The wait staff is happy to bring just a single egg, pancake or side of bacon for your little one, too. The only downside is that there’s not much indoor space to wait if a table isn’t immediately available, but let’s face it — if you’re heading out for breakfast with a young child, you’re going to beat the brunch rush anyway. Favorite dishes for adults include “Jonathan’s famous fiery scramble” and the “rocket to bacon land.”
2. The Fountain on Locust
The Fountain on Locust (3037 Locust Street, 314-535-7800) is a treat for everyone; adults can enjoy alcoholic ice cream martinis while the restaurant's famous “world’s tiniest ice cream cone” and “world’s tiniest hot fudge sundae” are just enough for your little ones to enjoy without destroying their outfits and appetites. The atmosphere is fun but not too stuffy, and the staff has always been very helpful in providing high chairs and (many) additional napkins.
3. Russell’s on Macklind
Russell’s on Macklind (5400 Murdoch Ave., 314-553-9994) serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a cozy atmosphere inside and a large deck and outdoor patio. It’s casual enough that you won’t get stares with your kid(s) inside, but if the weather allows, we highly recommend the outdoor seating where your child’s squawks and crumbs will barely be noticed. For kid-friendly choices, you can’t go wrong with the breakfast grilled cheese or the macaroni and cheese. High chairs are provided.
4. Mission Taco Joint
Mission Taco has three St. Louis locations — on the Loop (6235 Delmar Boulevard, 314-932-5430), in the Central West End (398 North Euclid Avenue, 314-930-2955) and in Soulard (908 Lafayette Avenue, 314-858-8226) — all of them serving tasty tacos, burritos and tortas. Order the chips and salsa to keep your young ones happy while you’re waiting for your food. If your child is old enough to be trusted with a kiddie cocktail, order one for them and one of Mission Taco’s cocktails for yourself — they squeeze all of their juices daily and make their specialty cocktail ingredients in house. Another reason we love Mission Taco: the music and background noise are usually loud enough to make your toddler’s repeated requests for more chips not embarrassingly noticeable. Each of their locations can get packed, but there's an easy solution in this case. Just use the NoWait app to check out the wait before you go.
5. Pi Pizzeria
You can’t go wrong with any of Pi Pizzeria’s four locations in St. Louis: Central West End (400 North Euclid Avenue, 314-367-4300), the Loop (6144 Delmar Boulevard, 314-727-6633), Downtown (610 Washington Avenue, 314-588-7600) and Kirkwood (314-966-8080). They have high chairs and booster seats, and the favorite food of many children: cheese pizza. Pi makes adults happy too, with its deep-dish and thin-crust pies (and craft beers). The wait for your food can be a bit longer than waiting for a frozen pizza to cook at home, so bring a toy, book or electronic device.
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