Eating out has definitely changed since having kids. And if you’re anything like us, you’re probably eating dinner about two hours earlier and researching the kids’ menus more than the happy hour menus. Fortunately, living north of the city, we have a ton of great kid-friendly restaurants in Pittsburgh, PA to choose from. That means we don’t have to sacrifice a good meal and fun atmosphere just because we have a toddler in tow!
Our favorite kid-friendly restaurants in Pittsburgh have a few things in common: 1.) Locally owned places with good menus, 2.) Margaritas and/or a great list of beers for Mom and Dad (because, sometimes we need to be a little selfish) and 3.) A kid’s menu.
We’ve also included some kid-friendly Pittsburgh breweries and our favorite dessert spots as well. Read on below for our picks, most of which have multiple locations in the Pittsburgh area.
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This “funky fresh cal-mex” restaurant was one of our favorite places to go to in college at Penn State. And it continues to be one of our favorite casual restaurants in Pittsburgh with kids. Obviously, these days there is more food eating than margarita drinking. (Most of the time at least.) Although we frequented the Penn State location for years, the restaurant first opened in Pittsburgh and there are several Mad Mex locations in the area.
In addition to the expansive menu offerings, they have an awesome kid’s menu. (Let’s be honest though, I’d be totally fine if our son just ate tortilla chips for dinner if it means I can get my Mad Mex fix.) You can’t go wrong with any Mad Mex burrito, but the entire menu is yummy. The decor inside is just as unique as the menu, and there’s so much to look at to keep even the littlest babies and kids entertained.
- Kid’s Menu: $6.50 for an entree that comes with a side and a drink. Plus, carrots, celery and ranch dressing are brought out early so your kids don’t go crazy while they’re waiting for their food. Mad Mex is also one of the few places that includes dessert with their kid’s meals.
- Locations: Canonsburg, Cranberry, Monroeville, North Hills (our go-to), Oakland, Robinson, Scott Township, Shadyside & Water Works// plus locations in Erie, State College & Philadelphia
- Website: madmex.com
We love Stack’d for the yummy burgers, huge kids’ menu and draft beer list. They also have tablets loaded with games to keep your kids entertained as well as lots of TVs for watching sports. Kids also eat FREE on Tuesdays at the Wexford Stack’d location, and both restaurants have good happy hour specials.
- Kid’s Menu: $5-6 for the meal, side & drink plus $2 dessert options AND their meals come in a frisbee to take home.
- Locations: Wexford & Oakland
- Website: www.stackdburgers.com
Note: Our favorite Stack’d location in Hampton (picture below) is no longer open, but their Wexford location is also great!
Over the Bicycle (OTB) Cafe at North Park
We love OTB Bicycle Cafe for the atmosphere, and the food and drinks are pretty great too! It’s located in the Boathouse along the lake in North Park, with great outdoor seating. It’s a perfectly casual spot to go to before or after exploring one of the many playgrounds or biking/ walking/ running as a family. (In other words, you won’t look out of place if you go there in workout clothes!)
Our favorite meal here is breakfast on the weekends, and it’s also great for a casual lunch or dinner. Tip: Reservations aren’t accepted, but you can use the Yelp App to avoid long waits that are common on weekends in the summer.
- Kid’s Menu: $6 or $7 for a cheeseburger, grilled cheese, corn dog or chicken fingers, side and a drink. Meals are served on a fun frisbee for kids to take home.
- Locations: North Park (our go-to) and Southside
- Website: www.otbbicyclecafe.com
Burgatory is another favorite for us when it comes to kid-friendly restaurants in Pittsburgh. Not only to they have great burgers, but the milkshakes are super yummy and creative too. We’ve been going to Burgatory ever since the first location opened at the Waterworks in Fox Chapel, and it’s consistently one of the best places for burgers in Pittsburgh. Tip: Reservations at Burgatory aren’t accepted, but you can use the Yelp App to get in line before arriving. This place is always packed- for good reason!
- Kid’s Menu (known as the Little Angels & Devils menu): $6.50 for kid’s meals that come with chips on the side. Drinks cost extra, but if your kids finish their plate, they get a cherry coke ice cream float for FREE.
- Locations: McCandless Crossing, Fox Chapel (Waterworks), Robinson (The Pointe), Homestead (Waterfront), Murrysville (Blue Spruce), Cranberry, PPG Paints Arena & Heinz Field
- Website: https://burgatorybar.com
Emiliano’s Mexican Restaurant
This is our favorite place for some of the most authentic Mexican food in Pittsburgh. (The Molcajete Cabo pictured below is AMAZING, and the only other place I’ve had it was on a family trip to Cancun, Mexico.) They also bring out homemade chips and the freshest salsa to hold the family over until the food comes. And of course, the fact that our son loves Mexican food makes Emiliano’s even better. Reservations are accepted here.
- Kid’s Menu: They have one of the biggest kid’s menus I’ve seen, with a large number of healthy side and entree options.
- Locations: Bethel Park, Cranberry, Gibsonia (our go-to), South Side, Cranberry & McCandless Crossing
- Website: www.emilianos.net
If you’re looking for a nicer restaurant with kids, Atria’s is a great option that has been around Pittsburgh for years. There’s something for everyone, making it one of the best family friendly restaurants in Pittsburgh for all generations. While the dining room area can a feel a little more formal, each location has casual seating near the bar as well. In the past, Atria’s also offered events like Breakfast with Santa and Brunch with the Easter Bunny. Reservations are always accepted at Atria’s.
- Kid’s Menu: They offer a few different options, but the kids’ menu typically has to be requested.
- Locations: Mt. Lebanon, Pleasant Hills, Peter’s Township & Murrysville
- Website: www.atrias.com
Narcisi Winery & Restaurant
Narcissi Winery in Gibsonia, PA is one of few places I can honestly say is just as good for families as it is for bachelorette parties. The inside is a cozy restaurant and wine tasting room, and the outside offers expansive seating, a family-friendly beer garden and an outdoor wine lounge for adults. They also offer live music on both the patio and stage. It’s a great place to grab a picnic table or bring a blanket to listen to the bands while the kids (and dogs) run around and play in the creek.
Note: Narcissi only takes reservations inside, and outdoor seating is available on a first come, first served basis. It gets super crowded on weekends, so get there early and be prepared to park in the overflow parking lot.
- Kid’s Menu: Several options on the kid’s menu, plus yummy woodfired pizza.
- Locations: Gibsonia, PA (West Deer)
- Website: Narcisi Winery and Resturant
Eat’n Park has been a Pittsburgh staple since the 1940s, and we can’t talk about the best restaurants for kids in Pittsburgh without mentioning it. Eat’n Park is a no-frills, diner style family restaurant. It’s great for those nights when you just don’t feel like cooking but want something affordable. The have a huge menu, all day breakfast and the infamous salad bar. The kid’s menu offers a large variety of options, a coloring page and the popular smiley cookie at the end. (We also love how much Eat’n Park gives back to the community, and they’ve donated their cookies to my favorite non-profit VolunTots on more than one occasion.)
- Kid’s Menu: Tons of options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus a smiley cookie at the end
- Locations: Pretty much everywhere outside of the city (Dormont, Banksville, Avalon, Ross Township, Shaler, Waterworks, Whitehall & More)
- Website: eatnpark.com
Pizza Places in Pittsburgh
We have several favorite spots for pizza in Pittsburgh, both within the city and outside. Many of these also offer items other than pizza. (Because, if you have a picky toddler, there’s bound to be a time they decide they don’t like pizza sauce!) Here are some of the best places for pizza for families, all of which have a sit-down area inside.
- Adrian’s Pizza is our go-to for pizza delivery in Gibsonia. We love this location since it’s connected to Mazzotta Winery, which has a tasting room and patio. It’s perfect for letting the kids run around while you grab some food and a glass of wine! Adrian’s also has a takeout restaurant in Wexford.
- Il Pizzaiolo has yummy pizza and Italian food, with locations in the North Hills, Indiana Township, Downtown & more.
- Caliente Pizza has a great menu with pizza, pasta and more. It has locations in Allison Park, Aspinwall, Castle Shannon, Lawrenceville and Monroeville. Many have both indoor and outdoor seating. (This is also the Pittsburgh pizza place that Ed Sheeran visited recently!)
- Mineo’s is known as having some of the best pizza in Pittsburgh, with locations in Mt Lebanon, Allison Park and the original Squirrel Hill location.
- Oven Pizza Co located at the Village at Pine and Beaver Falls. They have a variety of unique pizzas including allergy-friendly options. They also have a great kid’s menu at the Village at Pine location.
Kid-Friendly Breweries in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is known for its great local breweries, and so many of them are dog and kid friendly. If you’re looking for a brewery nearby that you can take the kids, here’s our list of favorites with Pittsburgh families.
- Strange Roots Experimental Ales in Gibsonia, PA is our favorite brewery to take the kids. They have a great outdoor space, live music and indoor and outdoor games. They also serve food from Taqueria El Pastorcito. (There’s a Strange Roots in Millvale as well, but the Gibsonia and New Kensington locations are the most kid friendly.)
- Big Sewickley Creek Brewery in Sewickley, PA is both dog-friendly and kid friendly, and it has a fun outdoor space by the river for the kids to run around. They don’t have a full-service kitchen, but they have food trucks Thursday- Sunday as well as live music.
- Grist House Craft Brewing is popular with both kids and dogs (and they are big Penn Staters, which we love!) They don’t have a kitchen onsite, but they often have food trucks every weekend.
- Hitchhiker Brewing Company in Sharpsburg & Mt Lebanon both have kid-friendly spaces and food trucks almost daily.
- Penn Brewery in Pittsburgh’s North Side serves yummy German food to complement their craft beer list.
- Church Brew Works is one of the most unique breweries in Pittsburgh, PA. It’s located in an old church, and it has a great food menu for the whole family.
More Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Downtown Pittsburgh
While of our favorite, family friendly Pittsburgh restaurants listed above have locations throughout the Pittsburgh suburbs, there are so many more options in the city as well. Below are a few of our favorite cafes and restaurants in downtown Pittsburgh and the surrounding neighborhoods that are great stops while exploring Pittsburgh. We’ve also included some of the best bakeries and ice cream places in Pittsburgh for an after-dinner treat.
- Emporio: A Meatball Joint is one of our favorite kid-friendly restaurants in downtown Pittsburgh with a yummy selection of meatballs.
- The Yard in Shadyside and Downtown Pittsburgh has an awesome grilled cheese menu.
- The Grand Concourse in Station Square has an upscale brunch buffet in Pittsburgh with views of the trains going by. (Kids under 3 are also free.)
- Federal Galley (North Side) or Smallman Galley (Strip District) has cafeteria style dining from several innovative chefs.
- Ineffable Caffe in Lawrenceville has amazing coffee and food with a great kids play area.
- Commonplace Coffee is one of the best coffee shops in Pittsburgh, PA with locations in the Mexican War Streets, Point Breeze and Squirrel Hill. Each location has a selection of games and toys for kids as well.
- Baby Loves Tacos for Mexican food in Bloomfield or Millvale. This is one we haven’t been to yet but are planning to try soon. (They have a kids play area at their Millvale location!)
- Primanti Brothers are always great with kids as well. (The original Primanti Brothers is in the Strip District, but there are several locations in the suburbs as well.)
Best Places for Dessert in Pittsburgh
We can’t forget about dessert! If you’re looking for some of the best ice cream in Pittsburgh, we recommend these spots:
- Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream in Shadyside, Downtown Pittsburgh & Lawrenceville
- Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor in the Strip District
- NatuRoll Creamery in Lawrenceville, Robinson & Cranberry
- Churn Homemade Ice Cream in Gibsonia, Fox Chapel and Cranberry
- Aspinwall Beans ‘N’ Cream in Aspinwall
- Leona’s Ice Cream Sandwiches offered at several locations in Pittsburgh
- The Milkshake Factory in the South Side, Downtown Pittsburgh, East Liberty and more
Best Bakeries in Pittsburgh
In addition to ice cream, Pittsburgh has so many great bakeries. Below are some of our favorites.
- Oakmont Bakery in Oakmont
- Prantl’s Bakery in Shadyside, Downtown & Greensburg
- La Gourmandine Bakery in Lawrenceville, Downtown & more
- Colangelo’s Italian Bakery in the Strip District
- Bella Christie and Lil Z’s Sweet Boutique
- Priory Fine Pastries in the North Side
- Gaby et Jules in Squirrel Hill & East Liberty
Visiting Pittsburgh with Kids
Planning to visit Pittsburgh with kids? We have a few recommendations for family-friendly Pittsburgh hotels. Although we live here, we’re all about a staycation in Pittsburgh!
- The Westin Pittsburgh has an indoor pool a family suite that’s great for families. It’s located right next to the Pittsburgh Convention Center and conveniently near some of the best restaurants in downtown Pittsburgh.
- The Embassy Suites Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh is a newer, all-suite hotel with awesome free breakfast and an indoor pool.
- The Hampton Inn & Suites Pittsburgh- Downtown is located in the Strip District. (It’s right next to the Heinz History Center- a must see in Pittsburgh.) It offers free breakfast and an indoor pool.
- The Sheraton Hotel in Station Square Pittsburgh is located across the river from downtown Pittsburgh and has amazing views of the city. There are several family-friendly restaurants in Station Square as well as the Gateway Clipper and nearby Duquesne Incline. It also has an indoor pool.
This post captures many of our favorite things to do with toddlers in Pittsburgh: The Best Things to do in Pittsburgh with a Toddler
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