Thursday, February 10, 2022
Family-Friendly Restaurants in Bloomington
Dining out with kids can be overwhelming, especially when you're traveling and aren't familiar with the area's local restaurants. You'll be relieved to know that Bloomington offers a wide variety of family-friendly places to eat across many types of cuisine — no need to resort to Applebee's or Cracker Barrel during your stay!
Each of the following restaurants offer either a dedicated kids menu or dishes that kids generally enjoy (think along the lines of pancakes and pizza), as well as comfortable seating and a kid-friendly atmosphere. You're sure to find several places to try for picky eaters and adventurous diners alike!
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Bub's Burgers & Ice Cream
Bub's Burgers & Ice Cream is a straightforward burger dive with a dedicated menu for "the Little Bubs." Choices include the "Mini Bub" (a 1/8-pound burger), a corn dog, a grilled cheese sandwich, a peanut butter & jelly, and chicken fingers, each including a choice of one side and a drink.
BuffaLouie's is Bloomington's favorite wing joint, but they also offer burgers and sandwiches that are crowd pleasers, too. The kids menu includes mac 'n' cheese, chicken tenders, a burger, and four traditional or boneless wings, each served with a choice of one side.
Bloomington offers several breweries with family-friendly atmospheres, Function Brewing being one of them. Kids can choose from hummus with pita & carrot sticks, a grilled cheese sandwich with kettle chips or applesauce, and a peanut butter & jelly with kettle chips or applesauce.
Hive specializes in elevated renditions of classic comfort food, mouthwatering smash burgers, and unique, healthy plates. The kiddos can enjoy scrambled eggs, a chicken leg, or a grilled cheese with a side of stuffing, chicken soup, tater tots, or black beans & rice.
Nick's English Hut
Nick's is one of Bloomington's most beloved restaurants, especially for IU alumni and sports fans. They don't offer a dedicated kids menu, but their regular menu includes seven-inch build-your-own pizzas, as well as chicken fingers, quesadillas, and grilled cheese sandwiches, which are sure to sit well with the littles.
Southern Stone specializes in elevated southern cuisine for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Their kids menu includes a grilled cheese sandwich, fried shrimp, chicken tenders, mac & cheese, and a pulled pork sandwich, each with the choice of one side.
Upland Brewing Co.
Upland Brewing Co., one of Bloomington's favorite breweries, welcomes both adults and kiddos. Their kids menu features smaller-scale versions of some of their best regular menu offerings, including a cheeseburger, pulled pork sandwich, fish & chips, and mac & cheese.
Siam House, an authentic Thai restaurant, offers a very short kids menu: chicken fingers with fries and kids fried rice with a choice of chicken, tofu, or pork. Some of their appetizers are also a safe bet for kids, including the Shrimp Blankets (fried shrimp in spring roll wraps).
B-Town Diner is a classic breakfast and lunch diner, serving a kids menu comprised of bacon & eggs, grilled cheese, peanut butter & jelly, and blueberry or chocolate chip pancakes, all including a choice of one side.
Bedrak Cafe is a brunch joint that serves elevated renditions of breakfast and lunch classics. Their kids menu includes a cheese omelet, ham & cheese sandwich, cheeseburger, mac & cheese, strawberry or banana junior parfait, silver dollar pancakes, chicken fingers, and French toast sticks, all served with one side.
Bloomington Bagel Company
For families looking to grab a quick bite, Bloomington Bagel Company is a great choice. There's no dedicated kids menu, but they offer bagel sandwiches kids are likely to enjoy, including egg & cheese and peanut butter & jelly varieties. You can of course always order a simple bagel with cream cheese; BBC offers a long list of flavors for each that suit every type of palette.
Cloverleaf is a breakfast-served-all-day joint that serves every type of classic breakfast plate and combo you could imagine, in addition to diner-style lunch plates. For the kiddos, they offer a hot dog, cheeseburger, peanut butter & jelly, biscuits & gravy, one egg & toast, French toast, pancakes, grilled cheese, chicken strips, fried shrimp, fried clam strips, mac & cheese, chopped steak, and chicken & noodles. With that many choices, everyone in the family is sure to be satisfied!
Offering a similar menu and experience as Cloverleaf, Cozy Table's kids menu includes regular, silver dollar, and Mickey Mouse pancakes, a slice of French toast & one egg, chicken strips, a hamburger, and a grilled cheese sandwich. Each lunch plate is served with fries, and each breakfast plate comes with sausage or bacon — both include a drink.
The Runcible Spoon
The Runcible Spoon is perhaps Bloomington's most beloved breakfast and brunch joint. Although locals and visitors love them for their morning plates, they also serve lunch & dinner. While there isn't a dedicated kids menu, kiddos are likely to enjoy their ham & cheese omelet, biscuits & gravy, French toast, pancakes, ham & cheese sandwich, grilled cheese sandwich, and ravioli. For very picky eaters, a la cart eggs, toast, and home fries are also available.
Scenic View Restaurant
If you're staying on or near Monroe Lake, Scenic View is a great place to enjoy weekend brunch. They don't offer a kids menu, but they do offer a robust a la carte menu with items including bacon, eggs, toast, fresh fruit, and more. Kids may also enjoy their biscuits & gravy, pancakes, and eggs-to-order combo.
Soul Juice is a smoothie and juice cafe, but they also serve a variety of waffles, gourmet toasts, oatmeal, and yogurt parfaits. The littles will enjoy their selection of kids smoothies — Nana Blast, Berries 'n' Cream, and Berry Blast — as well as their large variety of smoothie bowls and aforementioned breakfast items. If your family is health-conscious, Soul Juice is a great place to eat while you're visiting.
The Village Deli
The Village Deli is another beloved breakfast-all-day joint, serving a unique menu of morning favorites with a twist. They don't offer a kids menu, but kiddos are likely to enjoy their pancakes, waffles, French toast, biscuits & gravy, and Breakfast on a Croissant. If none of that is jiving with the juniors, the restaurant also offers build-your-own omelets and an a la carte menu.
Wee Willie's is a classic breakfast & lunch diner, located in neighboring Monroe County town, Ellettsville. There isn't a dedicated kids menu, but several of the restaurant's breakfast platters, as well as their French toast, waffles, pancakes, and four cheese omelet, are sure to satisfy tiny tummies.
The Irish Lion
One of Bloomington's most unique restaurants is The Irish Lion — if authentic Irish cuisine is of interest to you, the pub is a must. Have no fear about the kids getting on board — the "Lads & Lassies" menu includes chicken tenders, grilled cheese and hot ham & cheese sandwiches, fish sticks, mac & cheese, and the restaurant's famous Blarney Puffballs, which are deep-fried potato balls made with a cheese & garlic mixture.
Feta Kitchen + Cafe
Feta Kitchen + Cafe is a health-minded Mediterranean eatery with a build-your-own bowl concept, similar to Chipotle. The restaurant offers a kids plate that includes a choice of grain and a choice of protein, served with hummus & baby carrots. To sweeten the deal even more, Feta offers a safe and clean children's play area to keep the kids busy while you enjoy your meal.
The Trojan Horse
The Trojan Horse is a beloved B-Town restaurant that offers Mediterranean cuisine and specializes in gyros. Their "Little Heroes" menu features a Pitza (pizza sauce and a variety of cheese atop a grilled pita), chicken tenders, and mac & cheese. Each is served with a choice of veggies & dip or a fruit cup, as well as a drink.
The 3 Amigos
The 3 Amigos, a classic Mexican restaurant with a huge menu, offers a diverse kids menu, featuring traditional Mexican plates as well as American classics for littles who are a bit more persnickety when it comes to food. Plates include a cheese quesadilla, enchilada, taco, burrito, burger, chicken tenders, hot dog, and cheese or pepperoni pizza, all with a choice of one side and a drink.
Casa Brava is also a traditional Mexican restaurant with plenty of options for everyone, including kids. Their "Little Amigos" menu includes an enchilada, burrito, quesadilla, nachos, taco, chimichanga, chicken nuggets & strips, cheeseburger, and hot dog, each accompanied by rice & beans or fries.
Similar to The 3 Amigos and Casa Bravo, El Ranchero offers a robust menu of classic Mexican dishes at three different locations. For kids, they offer an enchilada, burrito, taco, cheese quesadilla, chicken fingers, grilled cheese sandwich, and cheese or pepperoni pizza, all served with rice & beans or fries, as well as a drink.
Juannita's offers a large menu of authentic Mexican dishes, all stemming from Juannita's family recipes. Kids meals include a taco, burrito, quesadilla, molote, chicken nuggets & strips, mac 'n' cheese, and any soup on the menu. Each plate is served with a choice of one side and a drink.
Viva Mas Mexican Restaurant & Cantina
Viva Mas Restaurant & Cantina, like the above restaurants, serves traditional Mexican cuisine, and a lot of it. Their "Niños" menu features a chimichanga, enchilada, burrito, taco, cheese quesadilla, chicken fingers, grilled cheese sandwich, and cheese or pepperoni pizza, all served with rice & beans or fries, as well as a drink.
Pizza & Pasta Restaurants
Aver's Public House
Aver's Public House is a pizza, sandwich, and pasta joint that offers a small but varied menu for kiddos. Plates include a kids-sized cheese pizza, chicken fingers, meatball & angel hair pasta, and grilled cheese sandwich.
Bucceto's offers unique and classic pizzas & pasta at two locations in Bloomington. Their kids menu includes ravioli, fettuccine alfredo, spaghetti (plain or with butter, tomato sauce, or meat sauce), a small cheese pizza, and a "Little Hands Plate," which is a kid-friendly version of a charcuterie board.
Cafe Pizzaria is Bloomington's oldest pizza joint, specializing in classic thin-crust pies. While they don't offer a menu specifically for kids, they do offer customizable seven-inch pizzas, which are perfect for 'za-loving littles.
DeAngleo's specializes in pizza & pasta of various cuisines, including Italian, Creole, and New York-style. Like Cafe Pizzaria, they don't offer a dedicated kids menu, but they do offer create-your-own ten-inch pizzas. Here's an added bonus: every Tuesday, you can score $1.00 cheese pizzas, just for kids.
Mother Bear's Pizza
Bloomington's favorite pizza joint, Mother Bear's, offers two locations and a menu for the baby bears. Choices include a small cheese pizza, chicken tenders, cheese bread, and spaghetti (marinara or olive oil) with garlic bread, each including a drink.
Osteria Rago is a rustic Italian restaurant with delicious "grown-up" meals for parents and yummy kids plates for the littles. Choose from a small cheese or pepperoni pizza, spaghetti with tomato sauce (meatballs optional), or capellini in butter sauce.
Rocky's Pizza is a pizza and sandwich joint that offers a family special, which includes a 14-inch any-topping pizza, a 10-inch one-topping pizza, eight breadsticks, and a two liter of soda. If that doesn't do the trick for your family, rest assured that the kiddos can build their own seven-inch pizza while you order whatever tingles your taste buds.
Swing-In Pizza is a pizza, pasta, and sandwich joint. Like Cafe Pizzaria, they don't offer a dedicated kids menu, but they do offer create-your-own eight-inch pizzas, as well as spaghetti & meatballs, a ham & cheese sandwich, and boneless chicken bites, all of which the littles are likely to love.
Switchyard Brewing Co.
Switchyard Brewing Co. is another of Bloomington's family-friendly breweries — in addition to beer, they specialize in pizza. While there isn't a menu specifically for kids, families can build their own pizzas together, or choose from one of Switchyard's more kid-friendly signature pies — the Dunn, Kirkwood, Atwater, and Old Northeast are most likely to satisfy the tiny humans.
Looking for more information on a family-friendly trip to B-Town? Check out these blogs:
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Check out our events calendar to find out what's happening now and later in B-Town.
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