North Atlanta Parents Guide to Dining Out with Young Kids

Eating out with kids is one of the *thing* we as a parent always have to worry about. Today I have an insider guide from my blogger friend Lee of Roots in Alpharetta who will help shred the light on his favorite dining places with his young children. Every Friday, you can follow Lee as he talks about food and dining around Alpharetta area at his Foodie Friday series.

See Lee’s suggestion for Dining Out with Young Kids in Atlanta Restaurants.

As a new parent I was terrified of bringing my children to restaurants. From the time they were infants through the toddler years, I was petrified just walking in. I didn’t want my wife and I to be “those parents” with the screaming children. I feared the walk of shame; dragging a toddler out in the midst of a full-on temper tantrum, past the sneering eyes of the other patrons.

So in many ways I let fear dictate our restaurant choices with young children. I sought out restaurants that not only offered food my kids would eat but also were loud enough to drown out any potential episodes of “testing their limits”. The results might seem odd to those without kids, yet hopefully perfectly reasonable to those who have walked in the shoes of a parent. Here’s what I came up with…

The Sports Bar

It might seem counterintuitive but this can be the perfect spot if you fear the unruly child. Indoor smoking bans, a casual environment and an often noisy crowd make the sports bar a decent fit. Don’t expect many healthy food choices for the kids though. My favorite picks here are:

Wild Wing, Windward and GA-400 in Alpharetta

You want loud? This is your place. Junior can scream all he wants and throw Cheerios everywhere. He’s not going to bother those enthralled in whatever is on the twenty televisions. Check out their two-for-one wing deal on Tuesdays.

Mulligan’s Grill, Highway 9 in South Forsyth

It’s easy to miss this little joint. Their chicken fingers are surprisingly good. I found myself distracting the kids to snitch bites of them.

Country Cooking

As toddlers, my kids loved things like green beans and limas that their littler fingers could easily grasp. Many country cooking joints can make delicious mac-n-cheese, always a kid favorite. I like…

Midway Mealhouse, Highway 9 in South Forsyth

For decades this farmhouse resturant has been a fixture in south Forsyth. With tons of veggies on the menu, there’s bound to be something the kids will like. Check out the homemade cakes and pies. Sugar high!

Roasters, Windward and Highway 9 in Milton

My kids can eat their body weight in cornbread and black eyed peas. Roasters is a great place to meet the family during a lunch break from work.

Sweet Tomatoes, North Point Parkway in Alpharetta

Okay, not exactly country cooking, and it is a chain. Humor me here. It is loud, often messy and chaotic. Kids eat free or nearly free everyday. And the buffet is chock full of terrific and healthy finger food for toddlers. Sweet Tomatoes is the best of both worlds.

Breakfast

My kids loved pancakes and waffles, especially if fresh fruit was invited. And grits make terrific toddler grub. Watch out though, they splatter! I suggest Saturday mornings at:

Original Pancake House – Windward in Alpharetta

A bit on the expensive side, but they make a mean pancake. They’ll also do Mickey Mouse pancakes for the kids.

BB’s Bagels – McFarland Parkway in South Forsyth

Silver dollar pancakes? These things are huge! My kids also like the muffins and strawberry flavored milk. BB’s is always crowded and very noisy. The bagels are probably too chewy for kids, but dad’s love ‘em!

Lee is the author of Roots in Alpharetta, a blog about being a rootless relo in the affluent high-tech suburb of Alpharetta. Every Friday he writes about food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

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