6 Toddler-Friendly Charlotte Restaurants

Where parents of littles can enjoy a meal
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These six Charlotte restaurants have the menu options, ambiance, and entertainment to keep wiggly kids occupied while parents enjoy a satisfying meal.

Big View Diner

An upscale diner with a huge menu, Big View serves all-day breakfast, house-made desserts, craft cocktails, and an expansive kids menu with lots of healthy options. The lively atmosphere, patio dining, extensive coloring and activity mat, and big bakery displays make this south Charlotte spot a popular family favorite.

Location: The Shoppes at Ardrey Kell, 16637 Lancaster Hwy.

Phone: 704-544-0313

What to Order: With a kid’s menu that includes grilled salmon, baked chicken, and a variety of fresh fruit and veggies, you can feel good about letting the kids indulge in one of their epic milkshakes or fun cake pops for dessert.

Zapata’s

Zapata’s serves authentic Mexican food in three locations throughout Charlotte. Each one has ample patio dining, and the Ballantyne location has a large green space for kids to run around while parents sip margaritas.

Locations: Ballantyne, University, Lake Norman (See website for addresses)

Phone: See website

What to Order: Kids can enjoy pint-sized Mexican favorites like tacos or quesadillas, or more American dishes like burgers or chicken fingers for the pickiest of eaters.

Cowfish

Cowfish’s sushi and burger concept means that parents don’t have to wait for date night to get their sushi fix. Even if you have to wait for a table (which you likely will) kids can delight in the large aquariums, jumbo Connect 4 and cornhole, and run around the fountain by the patio.

Location: SouthPark, 4310 Sharon Rd.

Phone: 704-365-1922

What to Order: Kids meals come in bento boxes, with healthy sides and a dessert “sushi” – a rice crispy treat topped with a Swedish fish with a fruit rollup wrap.

Mellow Mushroom

A local favorite for over a decade, each of Mellow Mushroom’s three Charlotte locations have highly engaging atmospheres and kid-friendly touches – including booths inside a large school bus in Myers Park and touch screen game tables in Ballantyne. All locations have balloon animal nights, dog-friendly patios, and bright pop art décor.

Location: Uptown, Myers Park, Ballantyne (see website for addresses)

Phone: See website

What to Order: Order the pretzel bites when you arrive to satisfy hangry kids while your pizza bakes.

Cabo Fish Taco

 Find coastal Mexican cuisine in a laid-back Baja surfer environment. Both locations have ample patio dining, kid’s artwork on display, lively music, outdoor games, and award winning margaritas for parents.

Location: NoDa and Ballantyne (see website for addresses)

Phone: See website

What to Order: With lots of à la carte items, the youngest patrons aren’t limited to the kid’s menu. But don’t skip an order of the kid’s churros for dessert.

CO

CO, which means “feast” in Vietnamese, offers modern flavors with Japanese, Thai, Malaysian, and Vietnamese flare. Though probably the most unassuming kid-friendly spot on this list, the ambiance and raw material in the décor is a feast for little eyes.

Location: Park Road Shopping Center and Waverly (see website for addresses)

Phone: See website

What to Order: Kids can expand their mini-palates and get an intro to Southeast Asian cuisine with Beginner Sushi, Junior Pad Thai, and Fe-Fi-Pho. (Parents – don’t miss the Curry Laksa. It’s better than a babysitter.)