Top Kid-Friendly Chattanooga Restaurants

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Top 18 Kid-Friendly Chattanooga RestaurantsIf you know me, you know that my husband and I love dining out, even with our kids. We have had our fair share of family dining successes and failures, and we have come up with a list of our tried and true favorites. It has also been fun trying all the new additions to the Chattanooga food scene that seem to be popping up so often!

{Also check out my post on our favorite family brunch spots!}

We now have a nice rotation of go-to restaurants that we know we will enjoy with the kids in tow. These are our favorites:

  • Edley’s: Started in Nashville, this BBQ joint has family dining figured out. This is one of my kids’ favorites, and we find ourselves here every other week. We love that you walk up and order instead of full dining service because it seems to go quicker and feels more casual. The outdoor area has kids’ play houses, and even my oldest still has fun running around and playing while we wait on our food. The BBQ is great and the specials never disappoint. There is also a yummy popsicle shop called Frios next door that we like to hit up for dessert!
  • Champy’s: With delicious fried chicken and a laid back, come as you are atmosphere, this is a big family favorite. The walls are decorated with photos, dollar bills, upside down Christmas trees, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. The servers are friendly and very open to kids enjoying their fried chicken as much as the UTC students enjoying a beer at the next table. All three of our kids LOVE the sausage and cheese platter.

  • Taco Mamacita/Urban Stack/Community Pie/Milk and Honey: I am putting these three restaurants together not because of the similarities in food, but because of the kid-friendly atmosphere, and because they are all part of the Monen Family of restaurants. I don’t really even need to go into detail about the grown up food, because whatever you choose for the night, you know the food will be great! Another big bonus: If you buy their t-shirt and wear it on Mondays, kids eat free! They have awesome kids’ menus with just the right amount of food, a good variety of “outside the usual kid box” choices, and the right price for not feeling guilty about eating dinner out on a weeknight.
  • Pizzeria Cortile: Located in Red Bank, this is a yummy pizza joint that is casual and the food is delicious. We love their appetizers and specials that always seem to be a little unique and always so good.
  • Il Primo: We love Il Primo. The atmosphere is not necessarily the draw here for kids because it feels more like a nice date night or adult dinner spot, but the food is delicious. We will dine-in sometimes, but we also love how easy it is to do take out and this is one restaurant that everyone in the family has something they love and that they actually pick the restaurant for the food.
  • Rodizio Grill: Rodizio Grill is where all three of my kids pick to eat for their birthdays and special occasions. It is a Brazilian steakhouse where the waiters bring delicious meats around on skewers to the tables. You have a wooden stick on the table to signal whether you want to keep going with more meat (green) or you are full (red). The kids think this is cool, and they LOVE all the meats. The salad bar as also fantastic, so we enjoy that in addition to all the delicious meats. You just have to plan to be stuffed if you have dinner here! The kids also love that it is close to the candy store, Rocket Fizz, and heading there after dinner for a treat has become a tradition for special nights out!
  • Feed Company: This is another family favorite. From the owners of Tremont and 1885, you know they can cook some delicious food. The restaurant has the feel of a big, southern family restaurant. They have plenty of tables to seat large parties, and I always enjoy the food and the atmosphere. There are also some video games in the bar area.
  • Clyde’s: This is another Monen restaurant, but I put this one in a different category because it has more of a lively bar atmosphere. With ping-pong tables, shuffleboard, and big tables, our kids love coming here. It definitely feels more like a bar and you will see more of a mix of college students or business men grabbing a beer after work, but we like to sit in the back section which is a little separated from the rest. When the weather is nice, it’s a great spot to patio dine, and I don’t ever feel like the kids aren’t welcome.
  • Goodfellas Pizzeria: This is newer crowd favorite. They have large pizzas and cookies, and a really awesome arcade. On Mondays, they have half price tokens and pizzas. It is a fun spot that keeps the kids entertained, and they love it!!
  • Mellow Mushroom: This is a chain, but with its location close to the Aquarium and High Point climbing gym, and their delicious pizzas, we find ourselves here a lot. It’s casual, very family-friendly, and has plenty of high chairs to accommodate families. Although it’s in the heart of downtown and close to tourist spots, we usually don’t have to wait too long for a table. Also, kids’ meals are 99 cents on Tuesdays downtown and Fridays at Hamilton Place.
  • Slicks: Another restaurant on Main Street with awesome décor (the area in which you place your order is a vintage Airstream and the whole restaurant just feels cool). It is very casual, definitely kid-friendly, and the burgers are great. Their outdoor seating is plentiful and has a fence all the way around so your kids can roam a bit without you worrying that they could wander off. I really wish more Chattanooga restaurants would follow this setup!
  • Stir: I wouldn’t call this one kid-friendly exactly, but we really love it and they have a kids’ menu and booster seats, so it is definitely in our rotation. Their food is fantastic and the inside of the restaurant is beautiful. It also goes on the kid-friendly list because the kids enjoy wandering around the Choo Choo afterwards and seeing the trains and walkways out back. What started looking like a run down, stuck in the past area is now making a huge comeback, and it’s fun to watch it happen.
  • Hello Monty: We haven’t been here yet, but friends who have young kids have recommended it. They have patio dining and, for the little ones, child seats that hook to the table. A common theme for the family favorites is a fenced in outdoor patio where the kids can run around and you don’t have to stress about it, and Hello Monty sounds like it fits the bill! This is on our list to try.
  • State of Confusion: We love State of Confusion’s large outdoor seating area and that it is semi-enclosed so the kids can play the ring game or sit around while we wait. The food is delicious and the menu is unique. They have a friendly staff and coloring book style kids’ menus to keep the kids entertained.
  • Southside Social: This one is fun because you can bowl and eat! The food is more the “bar food” variety, but it is fun to meet another family or two here, have some appetizers or nachos and bowl. I would recommend going early because after 7pm or so, it switches to much more of a rowdy adult bar scene.
  • Boathouse Grill: The Boathouse is another tried and true favorite. It is easy to go with larger groups, there are a lot of choices for delicious food and there is a great view of the river. It is also located on the River Walk so it is a fun spot to stop on bike rides with the kids!
  • Naked River Brewing Company: Although you might think “brewery” and not immediately think kid-friendly, Naked River is a great place for kids. They have kids’ meals and an outdoor seating area when the weather is nice with cornhole and hammocks so the kids can play.
  • Cherry Street Brewery: Another brewery that is kid-friendly and a new one to add to the list, Cherry Street Brewery has a full food menu including a kids’ menu. We haven’t been yet, but friends say that the waiters are great with kids and the food is great! They also have a special on Thursday nights where kids eat free with the purchase on an adult entree. That’s always a win!
  • Sugars Ribs: This restaurant is a little off the beaten path, but definitely kid-friendly and the food is great! The atmosphere is laid back and loud, so the kids don’t stand out if they get a little lively. For BBQ, this is a good spot and a good change from the downtown scene. And as an added bonus, you can go outside and feed the goats! They even have a container of cabbage to grab for goat food!

  • Public House: This is another one where the restaurant doesn’t feel made for children because it is very crisp and white, and definitely not a rowdy spot (so not so great for younger kids or kids that don’t do well dining out). However, their food is fantastic and they have a wonderful kids’ menu with yummy choices like carrots sticks or pimento cheese and crackers to start, and a dessert is included too! We love going here because the adult food is great. They also have a nice covered patio to take in the Warehouse Row scenery.
  • Tupelo Honey: This is one I mention because it is very kid-friendly and good for larger groups. The food is good and it is another good, Southern “meat and three” choice. My negatives about Tupelo Honey are that the service, the timing of getting the food, and quality of the food is hit or miss. It is disappointing because I had been to the original Asheville location and was just blown away at how amazing the food was, so I was very excited when I heard it was coming to Chattanooga, but they just haven’t been able to replicate it at our location. That being said, the food is good and it is kid-friendly so we find ourselves here once every couple of months. We would come for the biscuits alone — yummy.
  • Las Margaritas/Poblanos/Taconooga/Fiesta Mexicana/Mezcla: I am lumping together our favorite Mexican restaurants because we don’t really do multiple Mexican restaurants in a week, and these are all in the rotation. Las Margaritas is a hit because of location and the employees have all been there forever and know us by name, and they have a great patio and do well with large groups. Poblanos is a newer favorite. We like the porch and the food is very good — traditional food with a twist. Taconooga is a little smaller, but has some unique, fresher tasting menu items, and their sausage queso is so good. Their kids’ meals are also huge! Fiesta Mexicana has all your basic Mexican food items, but they just seem to taste a little bit better here and they have large tables to accommodate big groups, so it’s great for multi-family dinners with kids! Mezcla is a newer favorite of ours. The quality of the food is really high, and the whole family loves the fiesta dip (add chorizo — I promise you’ll love it).

  • Universal Joint: When Universal Joint arrived downtown and converted an old service station into a restaurant and bar, it was exactly what the area needed…we just didn’t know it. On a typical night you will see UTC students, families with kids, business folk after work grabbing a drink, older couples having dinner, or people watching sporting events on the big tvs. It has the open outdoor patio concept down pat and it is easy and casual and fun for the kids and adults. The food is good, but it really wins in the atmosphere category.
  • Ooltewah Whistle Stop: I tried to stick with mostly downtown Chattanooga and Northshore restaurants to keep this list somewhat short, but too many friends have mentioned this as such a great family hit that I had to mention it! We haven’t been yet, but after seeing pictures of the huge, amazing looking milkshakes everyone shares on social media we are going to have to try it!
  • Embargo 62: Our kids are somewhat adventurous eaters, so maybe this is a little outside the ordinary for a family restaurant, but we love Embargo. The Cuban food is amazing, and somehow you step into the restaurant and are transported to another world. If you like Cuban food, it is spot-on and the mojitos are a nice grown up perk. Our kids love the mussels, empanadas, lechon (slow roasted pork shoulder), and congri (black beans and rice). It is great if you want to change things up, and the atmosphere feels like another world. And did I mention the mojitos??

  • Fiamma: This is a restaurant on North Market Street, across from Publix. We like the pizzas and the salads. The pizzas are Neapolitan style (thin crust) fired in a wood-burning oven. The kids can watch the pizzas cook, there’s a cute patio out back, plenty of parking (a rarity on the North Shore), and kids’ pizzas are 99 cents on Wednesdays.  We also love that you order and take a number because that seems to make casual dining out even easier.

It was really hard to narrow down this list and there are still plenty more to try. Which are your favorite Chattanooga kid-friendly restaurants?

1 COMMENT

  1. Edley’s BBQ is also a great place for kids and families. The covered patio has a small area with kids’ playhouses so parents can dine and kids can play.

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