Dine Out with Kids in Philly & the 'Burbs

A roundup of kid- and family-friendly eateries in Philly & the 'Burbs.

Philadelphia

City Tavern
This centuries-old eatery served as the backdrop for some iconic historical events — the country’s first Fourth of July celebration was held here in 1777 — and it shows. Wait staff don period outfits, drinks are poured into pewter chalices and the 18th-century-inspired kids’ menu includes turkey potpie and meat & cheese lasagna. (138 S. 2nd St.)

Honey’s Sit ’N Eat
The Jewish/Southern comfort-food hybrid serves up a kids’ menu that features its signature honey-fried chicken fingers and goes half-price Mon. through Thurs. from 4-7pm. (800 N. 4th St.; 2101 South St.)

Johnny Rockets
Dinner and a show on South Street. The wait staff at this’50s-style burger joint known for its killer shakes breaks out in synchronized dancing and draws happy faces on the patties with ketchup. (443 South St.)

Le Pain Quotidien
This young-mom hotspot, furnished with family-style tables perfect for multi-crew gatherings, also hosts holiday baking classes for kids. (1425 Walnut St.;801 Walnut St.; 1937 Callowhill St.)

Max Brenner Chocolate Bar & Restaurant
Grab the “secret” menu that tells the legend of the kid-ruled Kingdom of Chocolate. Options include chocolate pizza, chocolate syringe and a volcanic hot chocolate infused with “milk lava.” Not into cocoa? Flying-saucer French fries, marinara syringes and ketchup paint put a whimsical spin on everyday fare. (1500 Walnut St.)

Pizza Brain
The claim to fame here is the “pizza museum,” cited as the world’s largest by the Guinness Book of World Records, complete with themed versions of action figures like Spider-Man and vinyl records. The menu offers traditional pies and picks with wacky toppings for adventurous palates. (2313 Frankford Ave.)

Pizzeria Stella
Family-style tables that surround a giant wood-fired oven lend to the casual atmosphere of this Stephen Starr pizzeria. Younger diners can enjoy a plain pie while adults dress theirs up with everything from black truffle to scarmoza and pine nuts. (420 S. 2nd St.)

Shake Shack
This popular burger bar can get crowded, but the order-at-the-counter-and-pick-up-your-plates-when-the-buzzer-dings process is a parent-pleaser. While-you’re-waiting bonus: Partake of free samples of the go-to dessert: frozen custard. (2000 Sansom St.; 3200 Chestnut St.)

Sketch Burger
While waiting for their grub, kids stay occupied with construction paper, markers and crayons. After the meal, add your family’s creations to the collection that covers the walls and windows. (413 E. Girard Ave.)

Squareburger
This Franklin Square staple is now open for the season and ready to serve burgers, hot dogs, fries and its signature Cake Shakes, including the Philly-first Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpet flavor. (200 N. 6th St.)

Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse
Wooden décor adds to this barbecue joint’s southern charm, while the toppings bar gives picky tykes total customization. Mondays are buffet-style; kids under 5 eat FREE, and ages 6-10 eat half-price. (7600 State Rd.)

Trolley Car Diner
Step inside this actual trolley car, where an onsite ice cream shoppe and the kids-eat-half-price Tuesday night special are big lures for families. (7619 Germantown Ave.)

 

 


 

Bucks County

Hickory Kitchen, Doylestown
With award-winning barbecue and a budget-easing family meal for four to six laden with meats, sides and biscuits or rolls, it’s no wonder this go-to is a multigenerational favorite. (9 W. Court St.)

Monty’s Sandwich Shop, Southampton
The key to a successful kids’ sandwich is customization. Here, try everything from PB&J and mini-hoagies to more unique combos like the Elvis Gold (bacon, bananas, honey and peanut butter) or the Day After Thanksgiving (turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce). (354 2nd Street Pike)

 


 

Chester County

Jimmy John’s, West Chester
A family tradition that’s been featured on the Food Network’s Best of Roadside Stands, this hot-dog haven appeals to all ages with its collection of coin-operated model trains. With a $3.95 kids’ meal that includes a hot dog or chicken nuggets, fries and a drink, it’s easy on the wallet, too. (1507 Wilmington Pike)

Shoo Mama’s Farm Fresh Café, West Chester
Whether kids visit for the banana, almond butter, honey and cinnamon sandwich or to hop on the toy John Deere tractors, they’re treated to organic, locally made fare. (1211 Wilmington Pike)

 


 

Delaware County

Crêperie Béchamel, Wayne
French music and décor complement the food at this cozy café. Kid-favorite crepes include ham & cheese, veggie and fruit & yogurt, while adults munch on pancakes that range from savory (wild mushrooms from Kennett Square, chicken cheesesteak) to sweet (caramel s’mores and bananas foster. (11 Louella Ct.)

 


 

Montgomery County

Daddypops, Hatboro
This homey diner can get crowded, but the portions and taste are worth the wait. Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, the dining car boasts an old-school vibe with barber chairs at each end of the counter, a jukebox and a no-frills menu with its prized homefries. (232 N. York Rd.)

The Metropolitan American Diner & Bar, North Wales
Also bearing the Urbanspoon family imprimatur, this bar/bistro’s surprisingly kid-friendly. It’s got gluten-free options and a $5 kids’ menu with grilled quesadillas and grilled PB and banana, accompanied by a side, drink and dessert. (750 Upper State Rd.) 

Moccia’s Train Stop, Schwenksville
With indoor and outdoor seating, this family-run restaurant that overlooks the Perkiomen Trail has a railroad-themed kids’ menu (the “Depot Delight” is grilled cheese), plus pizza and Italian faves served with Grandma Moccia’s homemade pasta sauce. The “train stop” refers to the model train suspended from the ceiling. (1004 Gravel Pike)

 


 

Multiple Locations

Nifty Fifty’s, Folsom & Phila.
Within this retro diner, you’ll find loaded burgers, fries and shakes, a soda fountain with more than 100 flavors to mix and match and arcade games. (1900 MacDade Blvd; 2491 Grant Ave., Phila.)

Ruby’s Diner, Ardmore, Glen Mills & King of Prussia
Before you peek at the cardboard menu, which comes with instructions on how to shape it into a robot or airplane, check out the model train that chugs along a looping track near the ceiling. Certificates are available for achievement in academics, sports and bravery at the doctor or dentist. (5 Coulter Ave.; 919 Baltimore Pike; 160 N. Gulph Rd.)

Snap Custom Pizza, Ardmore, Exton & Phila.
Your imagination’s the limit here! Diners can choose from a variety of sauces, cheeses, proteins and vegetables to pile atop a personalized pizza. Pair your pie with the restaurant’s signature Grapefruit Crush. (4 Station Rd.; 291 Main St.; 1504 Sansom St.)