It’s Saturday afternoon.  You and your husband want to take the kids out to dinner, but sometimes they can get a little crazy!

And you can’t remember the last time you had a nice meal out as a family (you know, the kind that doesn’t involve a small plastic toy in a greasy cardboard box…) So, you decide to take them out!  Where do you go?  What do you do?

I polled a handful of Charlotte Moms from several different parts of town to get their opinions!

The critical info I wanted: A place where parents can enjoy a good meal (and maybe some adult beverages) while the kids were not only accepted, but also appeased!  Thankfully, Charlotte is home to so many amazing restaurants, many of which are happy to cater to the younger set.  From the feedback I received from my mom-panel, the key to taking the kids out (so you can all enjoy) is to go early, plan on a place that serves food you all like, and find a scene that is normally a bit on the loud side.  Your stress level drops with the height of the noise level around (so your kids’ voices are drowned out from the crowd… and possibly from you!)

Here is where the Charlotte Moms led me!

In the mood for Asian

Preferring Italian

  • Zio’s (116 Middleton Drive, CLT 28207): Great Italian food and desserts!  Very friendly staff and very kid-friendly.

Pizza Party

  • Pizza Peel (4422 Colwick Rd, CLT 28211 and 1600 Central Ave, CLT 28205): Pizza Peel came back with the most votes from the moms I polled.  The Central Ave location has a grassy lawn area that the kids love!  They have a great Craft Beer menu, and the noise level is high.
  • Hawthorne’s Pizza (several locations): Kids get to play with pizza dough; parents get a great choice of draft beers and good food, reasonably priced.  High noise-level.
  • Mellow Mushroom (several locations): High noise levels, good food for all.

Burgers, etc

  • Cowfish (4310 Sharon Rd, CLT 28211): Menu offers something for everyone and their food is delicious.
  • Bad Daddy’s (several locations): Great burgers and very kid friendly.  High noise level.
  • Red Robin (several locations): Who wouldn’t love the atmosphere and fun times at Red Robin?  Their burgers are great and the kids get to high five an actual Red Robin!  And they serve a Guinness or a Blue Moon Beer Shake!

Mexican

  • 1900 Mexican Grill (1523 Elizabeth Ave, CLT 28204 and 5110 Park Rd, CLT 28209): One of my family’s personal favorites.  The food and prices are great, buit its the service that always brings us back.  They are so kid-friendly and again, high noise level.
  • 3 Amigos (2917 Central Ave, CLT 28205)
  • Cantina 1511 (7708 Rea Road, CLT 28277)

Other

  • VBGB (920 Hamilton St, CLT 28206- inside the Music Factory): Awesome place for kids – they have over-sized games outside and very good food.  And it’s a beer garden!
  • Leroy Fox (705 S. Sharon Amity Rd, CLT 28211): Great food with a great atmosphere.
  • Dunwellz (7110 Brighton Park Drive, Ste. 405, Mint Hill 28227): Kid-friendly with a great kid’s menu and indoor/outdoor seating.
  • The Hill (11232 Lawyers Rd, Mint Hill 28227): Kid-friendly with great food and beers on tap.

Since this is not the most comprehensive list of family-friendly dining opportunities in our Queen City, please share with us your favorite places to go and relax on a weekend, where your whole family can enjoy the food and atmosphere!