Sometimes, okay maybe a lot of times, going out to eat with your kids can be anything but relaxing.
You just never know what to expect or how your kids will behave.
Choosing the right restaurant can mean all the difference between a pleasant eating out experience and an absolute disaster.
If you live in Arlington, Virginia, lucky for you, you have choices — there are a number of family-friendly restaurants in Arlington!
So what are the best kid-friendly restaurants in Arlington, VA?
Here’s my list in no particular order:
- Tupelo Honey
- Bayou Bakery
- Pizzeria Orso
- Busboys and Poets
- Texas Jacks BBQ
- Liberty Tavern
- Big Buns Damn Good Burgers
- Barley Mac
Below, I’ll explain what kinds of food each restaurant has, some highlights from the kid’s menu, and share a little about the atmosphere and what makes each one so great for children.
1. Tupelo Honey
Food type: Southern, American
Kid’s menu highlights: The kids will absolutely love classics like the grilled cheese and fries or kid’s burger.
And the little ones will still love plenty of stuff from the adult menu including fun bites like fried pickles, chicken and biscuits, and sweet potato pancakes.
Plus, there’s banana pudding for everyone to share!
What Arlington families are saying: People love the food at Tupelo Honey, and some even say it reminds them of their grandma’s cooking!
Make sure to try the biscuits; the blueberry jam alone is worth it.
Tupelo Honey does southern food right. Plus, the atmosphere is warm and bright, just like the staff!
2. Bayou Bakery
Food type: Southern, Coffee Bar, Breakfast
Kid’s menu highlights: Who can say no to a classic kid-favorite like grilled cheese? Plus, you can add ham for just a little extra.
There’s also an all-beef hot dog or a tasty turkey melt if the kids want a little something different.
Plus, the kids will adore sweet treats like the beignets.
What Arlington families are saying: A great child-friendly restaurant for comfort food at great prices!
It’s like walking into a New Orleans eatery, featuring very tasty beignets — which are a local favorite.
The atmosphere is laid-back and the staff is very friendly, making it a great place for kids. Don’t forget to try the chocolate chip cookies!
3. Pizzeria Orso
Food type: Pizza, Pasta
Kid’s menu highlights: There are plenty of classics on the kid’s menu like mac and cheese or spaghetti and meatballs.
Kids will likely find some tempting choices on the regular menu as well, including a variety of delicious pizzas to share with the table.
What Arlington families are saying: It’s so good here, “I dreamt about it ever since.”
People plan on becoming regulars of this delicious pizza place.
The staff is very nice and the place is super kid-friendly. There are plenty of tables so you don’t have to worry about waiting.
There’s even an inviting patio where you can enjoy your meal during warmer months.
Food type: Neapolitan Pizza
Kid’s menu highlights: It’s pizza, a definite favorite, but if your little one wants to try something different, Pupatella has you covered.
Kids can try a panzarotti, which is fried potato croquettes stuffed with mozzarella cheese and ham.
Or let you kids get some homemade meatballs or fried, fresh mozzarella balls.
What Arlington families are saying: People absolutely love this place, saying it’s the closest thing they’ve had to authentic Neapolitan pizza since Naples.
Outstanding service, and you get to watch the cooks making the pizza right in front of you, which keeps the kids engaged.
You can expect a cozy and fresh atmosphere, friendly service, reasonable prices, and some great gelato.
Pro tip: If you have restless kids, come here Tuesday through Thursday when the wait times are shorter. This place is extremely popular!
5. Busboys and Poets
Food type: Mediterranean
Kid’s menu highlights: Let the kids try some grilled chicken with fries or fresh fruit, or they can opt for a classic grilled cheese sandwich.
If your kid is a noodle junkie, let them go for the penne pasta with butter parmesan sauce.
What Arlington families are saying: People love the diverse menu and the fact that it suits a wide assortment of dietary restrictions.
The service is great and the staff is always warm and welcoming, they go above and beyond to take care of you.
The vibe is cool, and there are books galore to explore. You can always find a good read to go along with your great meal.
Plus, they even feature a monthly kid’s storytime!
6. Texas Jack’s BBQ
Food type: BBQ
Kid’s menu highlights: There are so many options across several regular menus for dinner, lunch, brunch, and more, that the kids are sure to find something to please, from a classic cheeseburger to a pulled pork sandwich.
There are also some tasty options that have a Tex-Mex twist, like the Barbecue Burrito, Jacks Tacos, and Cutlass Nachos.
What Arlington families are saying: People swear that this place has some of the best BBQ around, so make a reservation!
The service is absolutely great. The staff is very patient and helpful and makes you want to keep coming back.
You can expect a welcoming ambiance, with a nice open floor plan. The restaurant is separated into two rooms, with a fantastic bar in one of them.
7. Liberty Tavern
Food type: American, Pub
Kid’s menu highlights: Kids will love the cheeseburger sliders or a mozzarella pizette! If they want to get a little more adventurous, try the ziti with butter and parmesan!
Kids can choose from several sides with each entree, including fries, fresh fruit, or seasonal vegetables.
What Arlington families are saying: Liberty Tavern has great food and even greater people.
Parents say that even their pickiest eaters can find something they want. The brunch is especially a great deal, with lots of kid-friendly options at reasonable prices.
There’s a laid-back and casual atmosphere with some great happy hour specials. When the weather is nice, you can sit outside to enjoy your meal and the fresh air.
8. Big Buns Damn Good Burgers
Food type: Burgers, Build Your Burger
Kid’s menu highlights: The “Little Buns” menu lets kids choose a classic burger and make it their own; they can select their choice of cheese, toppings, and sauce.
Or, kids can go for the chicken tenders, either fried or grilled. All kid’s meals come with fries and a fountain drink.
What Arlington families are saying: People rave about the burgers and the on-point service. Locals are proud to have this gem in their hometown.
People put Big Buns in their top-five list of burger places; save room for one of the yummy shakes!
Expect to see tons of kids, so if you’re looking for kid-friendly, this is it! There is also outdoor seating when the weather is nice.
9. Barley Mac
Food type: American
Kid’s menu highlights: You can opt for the kid’s menu, maybe try a kid’s pizza, mac and cheese, or burger… but really, this family-friendly eatery also has numerous kid-friendly options on their regular menus for lunch, dinner, and brunch.
With kid favorites like burgers, pizza, chicken wings, and french toast (just to name a few); even your pickiest eaters are sure to find something they can’t wait to try.
What Arlington families are saying: People love the great food and trendy vibe that Barley Mac has to offer.
This place is great, but make reservations. That’s how popular it is!
Extremely kid-friendly; you’re immediately greeted with a high chair (if needed) and crayons and coloring paper for the kids.
Plus, there’s seating on the patio so you can enjoy your meal outside when the weather is nice.
Arlington is a great place to enjoy a meal out with the family, and you don’t have to worry about your kids spitting out the food or making a scene if you pick one of the great spots above.
Whether you’re craving burgers, chicken, pizza, or down-home BBQ, Arlington has something for everyone.
Some places do a great job working with picky eaters, while others strive to make your whole family feel welcome, especially your kids!
What’s your favorite kid-friendly restaurant in Arlington? What did I miss?
If none of these tickled your fancy, check out my guide to how to find kid-friendly restaurants near you.
Hope this helps!