There is a standard of social etiquette that is implied, whereby it is seemingly agreed upon that some environments (mostly restaurants) are simply not appropriate for younger children. There’s no reason you shouldn’t enjoy a nice meal out simply because you have children in tow. Friendly waitstaff, menus for fickle palates and sophisticated atmospheres are just some of the perks you should enjoy when you choose to dine out.
My kids have never been the type to sit quietly and eat. They are a bit messy, loud, and couldn’t stay seated in their chair if their little energetic lives depended on it! Fortunately, I’ve been able to find quite a few in Houston that have amazing cuisine and atmosphere.
A bit of culture (Museum District)
Houston’s Museum District offers tons of exhibitions, curated events, family-friendly activities and a reputable art school. The Cullen Sculpture Garden is a great place to take in some aesthetic and fine dining, and best of all there’s lots of room for younger children to get their wiggles out.
Café Leonelli is located in the MFAH’s Kinder Building and has bright airy views of the Cullen Sculpture Garden and the aesthetic of the nearby Glassell School of Art. Parents can enjoy Happy Hour! Sip on $5 wine while snacking on $5 focaccias, weekdays from 4pm-6pm! The kids devour the pillowy focaccia and other decadent pastries and breads.
Le Jardinier – is located in the MFAH Kinder Building and has a more comprehensive menu than its café counterpart. “The gardener” is inspired by seasonal vegetables and a French cuisine so fine that even the pickiest of palettes will enjoy the subtle flavors.
Hip and Trendy
There is always something new to discover in Houston, especially East Downtown.
The Post – After the park, before the theatre is Houston’s newest urban rooftop garden, exhibition space and fashionable eatery where you can find a wide range of cuisines. The Skylawn and farm with views of Downtown are absolutely the place to dine then lounge around for a morning or afternoon out.
The Heights has a comprehensive bike trail that sprawls most of the city making it a great place to also stop and dine.
Heights Mercantile – Mélange Creperie’s pink bungalow across from Donovan Park and on the pedestrian area of the heights bike trail and is the perfect place to lunch with kids after a morning at the playground or on your bike.
Dish Society- The Heights location is also a great stop while exploring the neighborhood. Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée every Tuesday.
Crisp Choose from a selection of 100 wines and enjoy stone fired pizza in its expansive garden. Kids will love swinging, splashing in the fountain, or playing games while parents unwind. The Crisp’s Critters menu includes all natural, unprocessed dishes paired with fresh apples and raisins.
Since opening in fall 2019, Preslee’s has quickly become one of the most popular family-friendly restaurants in the Heights. With a wide menu of delicious Southern foods with options for everyone and a huge patio with hammocks, swings, ping pong tables, cornhole, a mini toddler playground, and more, this is a great place for families to spend an afternoon.
By the Park
Original Chop Shop River Oaks location is located three minutes away from Levy Park, 11 minutes from Memorial Park, 10 minutes from Buffalo Bayou Park and 12 minutes from Houston Museum District. Gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian, lactose free, soy free options are readily available and fairly priced.
While waiting for an excellent pizza, grab a basket full of games and puzzles including tic-tac-toe and Magic 8 Ball to play with at the table.
Karbach Brewery – the biergarten has classic lawn games and a ton of green space for the kids to run, skip, jump and dance when there are live shows. From inside to outside, this place is a great mix of everything good in Houston.