Eating out with kids in tow can be a challenge at a restaurant that is overly quiet, formal, or too stuffy for the normal chatter and excitement that comes from having both parents and young ones at the table. But going out for a delicious meal does not have to mean only counter-service restaurants or drive through choices when you have kids. We have rounded up some of the best kid-friendly restaurants in San Diego that the whole family will enjoy from breakfast time all the way to dinner and dessert.
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Corvette Diner (Liberty Station)
2965 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106,
This 1950’s retro themed diner is fun for kids of all ages. With a full-sized Corvette as the casual dining room centerpiece, young diners will love the atmosphere along with their burgers, fries, and milkshakes on the menu. Sassy costumed waitresses keep the fun ambience rocking and rolling to complete the full experience of the Corvette Diner. Parents will love the Gamers Garage area where kids and adults alike can play games of all types, and recently the Corvette switched over to a reloadable game card so keeping up with change to play or reward tickets won won’t be a hassle. Friendly servers and fun music amps up the decibels so expect that any kid squeals of delight won’t bother fellow diners. Sit in the Corvette Clubhouse room to marvel at the car’s history over the past decades or even the Regal Room to feast right next to the roadster in the room.
Photo credit: thefishmarket.com
The Fish Market (San Diego Marina)
750 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101,
For super-fresh seafood, families will love the character and feel of The Fish Market in the marina area of town. Located close to Seaport Village, this kid-friendly restaurant in San Diego not only serves up some of the most delicious seafood, poke, and sashimi, it also features a classic oyster bar. Sitting outside over the water on the patio is a little more casual and perfect for dining with kids who can watch the water and wildlife while waiting for their order of kid-friendly meals that come with a delicious scoop of ice cream for dessert. Inside seating can still work for little ones in tow too, since the promise of devouring finger-friendly foods like fried shrimp or crispy fish tacos is a possibility for patrons with kids. The Fish Market is an entertaining place to peruse with kids before or after a meal, too, since fishmonger vendors sell their wares in the attached marketplace so you can take home some of the fresh treats from the sea to cook up at home.
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Filippi’s Pizza Grotto (Little Italy)
1747 India St, San Diego, CA 92101,
Hidden behind an authentic Italian deli and grocery, entering Filippi’s is like walking through a Harry Potter-esque portal. Kids and adults alike will love walking through and up and around the winding restaurant, hidden in plain sight from San Diegans and visitors not in-the-know. Filippi’s is a gem not to be missed with kids because their genuine Italian specialties like pizzas and pastas are always a culinary hit. Their kid-priced portions are still generous, and their desserts are to die for as well. Parents will love the quaint atmosphere with the red checkered tablecloths, and Filippi’s can accommodate large groups, so bring the whole family along to for a taste of Italy that has endured since 1950 in San Diego.
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5010 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA 92107,
Billed as the best burger in the world, Hodad’s is one of the casual kid-friendly restaurants in San Diego loved by locals and visitors since 1969. This funky counter service joint even serves up a Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives inspired Guido Burger that comes with pastrami, Guy Fieri-style, as Hodad’s has been featured on the show multiple times. The wallet-friendly menu is rounded out with all the kid favorites of burgers, fries, onion rings, and shakes. Parents will appreciate the in-house brewed Hodad’s craft beers offered up as well as other regional favorite brews. Since Hodad’s also sponsors surf and skate benefits, kids will love looking at the walls covered in memorabilia, license plates, kitschy art.
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Miguel’s Cocina (Coronado)
1351 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118,
No culinary experience in San Diego is complete without a visit to Coronado Island, and a perfect kid-friendly spot to try is Miguel’s Cocina. With Miguel’s appealing Mexican food flavors and welcoming patio, parents will love the delicious food and kids will have a great time as well. Kid-friendly foods like quesadillas or guacamole are sure to be a hit while parents dine on pork belly tacos or poblano chile rellenos. Sitting outside on the patio or at one of the street front tables at Miguel’s means kids will be entertained watching the street activities happening nearby, making for a parent-friendly dinner experience as well.
Photo credit: themissionsd.com
The Mission (East Village)
1250 J St, San Diego, CA 92101,
This breakfast spot is just right for adults and kids with their tasty and creative take on breakfast and brunch foods. Mom and dad will love the Papas Locas made with rosemary potatoes and grilled jalapenos as well as Mission’s chocolatey Mexican Mocha. Kids will crave the triple stack of pancakes that can be ordered with one or more of their specialty flavors like banana blackberry. If brunch time is on the menu, kids will gobble up one of the sandwiches or lunch plates offered by Mission and parents can add in a michelada for themselves and a PB&J acai strawberry shake for the little ones to devour. This famous eatery also displays local artwork, so kids can learn while they nosh and parents can feel good about a place the prioritizes giving back to the community as well as making outstanding food.
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789 W Harbor Dr Suite 155, San Diego, CA 92101,
With the options of al fresco or inside dining, eating at Puesto with kids means that everyone will have a mouth-watering meal and kids will be relaxed along with the casual atmosphere. But Puesto’s creative menu will delight young ones as they anticipate the tropical flavors to come when they order up a mango-lemon agua fresca or an icy horchata to cool down in the warm San Diego sunshine. All kinds of Mexican food classics are available, but so are delicacies like passionfruit and mango ceviche, Maine lobster, and filet mignon. Parents will be thrilled with the ever-evolving chef-driven menus and kids will love to dip and sample crunchy chicharrones or one of the variety of guacamoles on offer.