Cool Guide to Parenting

The best kid-friendly Austin restaurants to try right now

The best kid-friendly Austin restaurants to try right now

House Pizzeria
Let the little ones order cheese or pepperoni pizza while you try House Pizzeria's more adventurous fare. House Pizzeria/Instagram
Threadgill's Riverside
The kids will love you for Threadgill's mac and cheese and Kool-Aid. Threadgill's/Facebook
Austin Photo: Places_Food_Nau's Enfield Drug_Burger
Visit Nau's for the fun atmosphere and delicious burgers, grilled cheeses, and milkshakes. Hoon P./Yelp
House Pizzeria
Threadgill's Riverside
Austin Photo: Places_Food_Nau's Enfield Drug_Burger

It's a known fact that as you embark on your journey as a parent, you will discover along the way that certain doors (for now) are closed to you and your progeny. While exposing our children to different cultures and cuisines is always important, maybe that four-star restaurant is better left for when you have a sitter.

Don’t despair, there are plenty of places around town that not only welcome kids, they also reserve a little space on their menu just for the short set. Here are three of our favorite go-to spots when hunger pangs strike with kids.

Nau’s Enfield Drug
If you want your kids growing up knowing the difference between a lime Rickey and an egg cream, Nau’s Enfield Drug is the place to go. Tucked away in enchanting Clarksville, the charm factor ratchets up when you step inside. Wooden booths and a linoleum counter with spinning stools make this spot decidedly kid-friendly. A simple, straight-forward menu with burgers and sandwiches is sure to please, especially with the promise of a malt or sundae after lunch. With choices for kids like the PB&J for $2.50 or a grilled cheese for $2.75, you can’t go wrong.

After lunch, do a little shopping in the pharmacy itself where kids can buy toys or crayons and you can get the basics for your medicine cabinet at home.

Threadgill’s
Whether you find yourself at the downtown location or the old No. 1 on North Lamar Boulevard, Threadgill’s offers a homey and welcoming place to grab a bite. Cheery checkered tablecloths, crayons, and a kids menu for coloring armadillos make it clear that kids are okay here. The menu items for kiddos 12 and under includes an insanely creamy mac and cheese that parents have a hard time leaving alone and house specialties like the Lazy Loafer Meatloaf and Yosemite Sam Chicken-Fried Steak.  

For beat down parents, the “Howdy Hour” is always a good way to kick back — and Threadgill’s is one of the few places we know of that still serves the throwback treat of Kool-Aid for kids.

House Pizzeria
House Pizzeria is one of those joints that makes you feel some level of sophistication may still be possible, even with two hangry grade-schoolers in tow. This cozy, modern space on the quickly developing Airport Boulevard offers a fantastic happy hour Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 7 pm. Four dollars off a bottle of really good Italian wine? Don’t mind if we do!

The pizzas themselves use fresh, locally sourced ingredients and offer just the right amount of crisp-to-chewy factor. While the kids can order a stellar cheese or pepperoni pizza, parents can go for more adventurous fare like the potato and goat cheese pizza or the eggplant pie. Make sure to bring a bag of quarters and let the kids pick out tunes on the pizzeria's excellent jukebox.

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