14 family-friendly restaurants perfect for tiny Yinzers

Photo above courtesy of Moonlit Burgers. 

With spring right around the corner and school vacations on the horizon, families will undoubtedly be wanting to get out and gather together for a great meal. While Pittsburgh has many beloved family spots — shoutout to those infamous Smiley cookies and sandwiches piled with fries sometimes families are looking for a new option. Whether it’s a celebration, a birthday, or just a meal on a busy weeknight, Kidsburgh has you covered with recommendations for kid-friendly Pittsburgh restaurants to accommodate the youngest foodie in your life.

Pins Mechanical Co

Pins is located in the Southside Works, and family fun has a new look in the ‘Burgh. While the main activity in this entertainment space is duckpin bowling, lawn-sized offerings such as giant Connect Four and Jenga, free arcade games, and a wall-sized Lite Brite are available, too. There are also two slides that even adults can zoom down.There is a cash bar, and while food is not served, patrons are welcome to bring their own meals or have food delivered. While visiting, keep an eye on the time. Pins is 21+ after 8 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Pins Mechanical.

Pamela’s Diner

This Pittsburgh institution is known for it’s breakfast menu, and for good reason. All three locations close at 1:30 p.m. However, there is a lunch menu with offerings such as burgers and salads. While there is no separate kids menu, kids have plenty of  à la carte options to choose from and might even want to share one of the plate-sized pancakes with someone in the family.

Red Robin

When it’s a busy weeknight and you’ve tried everything on your “quick and easy meals” Pinterest board, Red Robin has you covered. While it is a chain burger joint, their options for kids make all of their Pittsburgh-area locations a great choice. They have other options beyond burgers, such as pizza and chicken tenders. Kids will love the bottomless fries, fun milkshake and drink choices, and parents can even bring the party home with a family burger bundle.

Coop de Ville

Coop De Ville is more than just a bar and restaurant — this Strip District destination is perfect for a family fun night. Activities include duck pin bowling, pinball, billiards, and arcade games. The menu includes options such as Southern fried chicken, burgers, sandwiches, and plenty of dessert options. There is also a coffee bar onsite.

Over the Bar

Over the Bar is a fun, bicycle themed chain of Pittsburgh-area restaurants. Kid’s meal options have fun names like “The Big Wheel” pizza, “Tandem” grilled cheese, and “The Tricycle” (3 chicken fingers). Kid’s meals are served on a frisbee for after-dinner fun.The OTB Boathouse in North Park offers some amazing views, and you can walk off your meal along the 45-mile hiking trail dedicated to ecologist Rachel Carson or run around the playground next door.

The Yard

With 4 locations across Pittsburgh, The Yard wants Yinzers young and old to experience their gourmet grilled cheese. Kids can order a standard grilled cheese, while adults can be more adventurous with add-in choices such as fried green tomatoes and bbq pulled chicken. All gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches are served with tomato soup and come with house seasoned potato chips. The vibe is laid-back and family-friendly.

The Yard has several Pittsburgh locations.

Roots Natural Kitchen

There are three words that are music to a weary parent’s ear kids eat free. What makes it even better at Roots Natural Kitchen is that almost all of their menu options are plant-based. Even the most veggie-resistant kids get a kick out of creating their own bowls, and with over 30 add-in options, there’s sure to be something for everyone.

Caliente Pizza

There are a lot of opinions on the best pizza in Pittsburgh, but only Caliente can claim the title of “Best Pizza in America,” an honor bestowed upon their Mee-maw pie during the 2019 World Pizza Championship. Not only are they the official pizza of The Pittsburgh Penguins, they now have a location in Acrisure Stadium. You can bring the fun home with a pizza kit, or dine in while the kids enjoy a $5.95 meal that comes with a drink, a choice of fries, salad or mandarin oranges, and a dough ball to play with.

Shorty’s Pins and Pints

Shorty’s Pins and Pints is another great option for family game night. The two Pittsburgh locations offer different activities. The Northside location has duckpin bowling, bocce ball, and shuffle ball, while the Homestead location has darts, shuffleboard and a karaoke room. There are tons of sharing options on the menu including tacos, wings, and shareable dips. Both locations are for adults only over 8 p.m. so you can be home before bedtime.

Moonlit Burgers

The old-school cafeteria vibe of Moonlit Burger’s two locations creates a fun, colorful vibe for visiting families. Order at the counter and grab a seat while your meal is quickly prepared. The kid’s tenders are delicious, and their shoestring fries are a hit with most tiny customers. As a bonus, dessert is provided through a partnership with Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Double Wide Grill

This transportation-themed restaurant in Pittsburgh’s Southside makes for a fun outing for the whole family even fur babies are welcome on the patio. While the BBQ is the main draw, the menu also includes vegan, vegetarian and kid-friendly options. All kid’s menu items come with a side, drink and dessert.

Carmi Soul Food

Sometimes you just need comfort food, and Carmi’s has just that. Family members of all ages can find something on their extensive menu which includes offerings such as catfish nuggets, mac and cheese, shrimp and grits, and burgers. There is also a family-style dinner menu for big parties.

Bartram House Bakery

Don’t let the name fool you. While Bartram House bakery has an extensive menu of sweet treats, their everyday café and all-day breakfast menu are sure to have something for everyone. Kids will love their cookies and cupcakes, while adults may want to sample the fancier options such as macaroons and cannoli. Everyone will love their various crepes, sandwiches, and mac and cheese.

Waffles, Incaffinated

Sometimes, only breakfast food will do, and Waffles, Incaffinated has a menu of items to satisfy that craving. Kids can enjoy signature waffles such as the Funky Monkey and Megaberry, or create their own from an extensive list of toppings and mix-ins. Grownups can choose from a more sophisticated list of savory breakfast options while they enjoy offerings from the cocktail and craft beer list. While the Beaver location has extended hours, most locations close at 2 pm during the week and 3 pm during the weekend — leaving plenty of time for an afternoon food coma nap.

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Don’t miss our March guide of things to do as well as our summer camp guide. Looking for more fun events in Pittsburgh for families? Don’t miss our daily events calendar for even more fun.