by Kimberly Pangaro | Kimberly is a mom of four daughters and the owner of the lifestyle parenting media company Atomic Mommy. When she’s not running her company or momming all day, she’s writing about family life.
UPDATED: December 13, 2021.
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Are you searching for a family restaurant? Don’t know how to choose one or what constitutes as a family restaurant?
Trust me, I know how hard it is to find that perfect restaurant that will not only fit your whole family, but will also tolerate loud little ones, bottle feedings, diaper changes, and could dole out amazing food for moms and dads.
Top 7 things to Look for in a Family Restaurant:
- Plentiful Kid’s Menu – It should have the ability to be colored all over. No Kid’s menu? Move on to the next place.
- Kid Friendly Menu Items – Chicken nuggets, white rice, plain noodles, steamed broccoli or carrots (your kid, your veggie choice), mac and cheese, hot dog, plain grilled chicken, apple juice, plain and/or chocolate milk. These are the items to search for. They don’t have these? On to the next place, or you’ll risk a hungry tantrum at the restaurant.
- Great Google Reviews – If a restaurant doesn’t have a 4.5 from other parents on Google, then that restaurant needs to up the family dining experience that they’re dishing out. No mom wants to go somewhere that other moms simply don’t trust or have nothing good to say about.
- No Fancy Shmancy! – If the place looks fancy, things are bound to get broken or worse thrown at someone across the room. Best to keep the fancy dining for date nights.
- No Attire Restrictions – The number one thing my husband and I love to wear is our most athletic outfits to dinner with the kids. That’s because we know we’ll have a bunch of bathroom visits, bending to pick up crayons, chasing the kids to sit back down, and motioning for the check as quickly as possible.
- Lots of Floor Space and Big Tables – We are a family of 6, but I remember being a family of 4, and there’s no difference. You still need all that room to maneuver.
- Location – You’ll want to pick a place not too far from home if you have little ones under 2. Imagine a tantrum, a crying fit, colic flare-ups… that’s why you’ll want a place closer to home. And these are just some of what I could remember that caused great regrets and tears over ever leaving the house for dinner with the hubby in the early days of motherhood. For kids ages 4 and up, I find that the farther you drive for dinner, the better. They tend to all pass out by bedtime, from being so full (8:30pm for all four of mine, even the tweens).
Best Sites to Find a Family Restaurant:
The easiest way to find a family themed restaurant would be to find an already fully loaded list. So, to help with that, I’ve listed a few links below that could easily give you a full range of family restaurants that you could visit:
- Mommy Poppins – Click this link to view a ton of New Jersey family themed restaurants, plus a whole lot more!
- NJ Mom – This list is shorter, but it does a great job of mentioning some great family restaurants.
- New Jersey Digest – This list is for Hudson County and it has quite a few noteworthy mentions on here.
Want a Free Mom-Friendly Guide for Family Restaurants in NJ?
Of course you do, after all, it’s free!
No mom could survive restaurant dining without her little black book of family restaurants.
So, if you’re keen on learning where a mom of four thinks New Jersey’s best family restaurants are, you can find that by clicking the guide below and don’t forget to check out some of the other restaurant reviews.
Finding a place to eat that’s loud enough for the kids to enjoy and so that you don’t have to feel embarrassed, should be easy with the list of tips I gave you. If you’re not sure where to go, you really need to download my FREE guide because that’s where I list my top favorite family friendly list of restaurants.