A family enjoys dinner at Pastaria in Clayton.

26 Kid-Friendly Restaurants in St. Louis

Monday February 19, 2024

By Rachel Huffman

Got kids? St. Louis offers immersive experiences that will spark their imagination, activate their adrenaline and expand their minds, but they’ll need to reenergize in between activities. This list of the best kid-friendly restaurants in the Gateway City can help with that!

From stacks of fluffy pancakes to plates of cheesy pasta to over-the-top milkshakes, these local eateries will prepare your family for the next adventure on your itinerary.

Every meal at Baileys’ Range should begin with the Famous Fries. Smothered with queso, brisket chili, Cheddar and green onion, they’re perfect for sharing with your ménage. Complete your meal with specialty burgers crafted with 100 percent grass-fed beef and housemade buns.

This memorabilia-filled landmark has everything kids crave: mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders, grilled cheese and entertainment. The Delmar Loop hangout is a treasure trove of curiosities, from vintage Pez dispensers to shiny pinball machines and Wurlitzer jukeboxes to baseball cards.

In Soulard, Epic Pizza & Subs serves hot pizza and cold beer.
Epic Pizza & Subs | Photo by Mark Hermes

Proudly serving St. Louis for more than 30 years, Chris’ Pancake & Dining welcomes every guest as if they’re family. Here, you can enjoy brunch with your brood every day from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Alongside the must-try pancakes, dig into biscuits and gravy, chili mac and potato skins.

An Instagrammable interior design and a young, buzzy vibe make The Clover and the Bee a brunch hotspot in St. Louis. Luckily, kids will find something to appreciate in the pastry case – think cinnamon rolls, cookie butter blondies, wild berry-lemon pop-tarts and flights of cream puffs.

In pizza we crust! Epic Pizza & Subs in Soulard serves cheese and pepperoni slices as well as 14- and 16-inch pies that your kids will love. For subs, you can’t go wrong with the Chicken Parmesan and the Single Cheeseburger.

Two girls show their enthusiasm for an ice cream float from Fitz's, a kid-friendly restaurant in St. Louis.
Photo courtesy of Fitz’s

Fitz’s Root Beer was developed in St. Louis in 1947, and today, Fitz’s Bottling Co. still makes the flagship soft drink according to the original recipe. At Fitz’s in South County, your little ones can enjoy miniature corn dogs, mac ‘n’ cheese and pulled pork sliders while watching the bottling line churn out a bottle of root beer – or more modern flavors such as Hip Hop Pop, Berry Pomegranate Soda and Kaldi’s Coffee Cola – every second!

Servers don’t have to ask twice about dessert at The Fountain on Locust. Home to the ice cream martini, the retro-glam restaurant also offers old-fashioned ice cream desserts – think Zanzibar chocolate ice cream topped with hot fudge, marshmallow sauce, whipped cream, bananas and a chocolate coin. If you don’t save room, you can always resort to ordering the world’s smallest hot fudge sundae.

Known for its lively tavern atmosphere, The Frisco Barroom welcomes epicures of all ages. If your youngsters are adventurous eaters, give them a taste of the Swedish meatballs, potato and mushroom pasties or farmer’s cheese pierogi. The kitchen also delights with desserts such as sticky toffee pudding and Key lime pie.

Families enjoy lunch at The Fountain on Locust, a kid-friendly restaurant in St. Louis.
The Fountain on Locust | Photo by Gregg Goldman

Tucked into The Grove, Grace Meat + Three is an obvious – and delicious – choice when it comes to kid-friendly restaurants. Owners Rick and Elisa Lewis value every customer as if they’re family, and they happily serve their award-winning fried chicken alongside cornbread, collard greens and garlic mashed potatoes to patrons from near and far.

Burgers are the name of the game at Hi-Pointe Drive-In. Using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, chef-owner Mike Johnson adds his flair to dishes such as The Taco Burger piled with Cool Ranch Doritos, Chili Cheese Fritos, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado ranch and sauce from Mission Taco Joint. Although the kid’s menu isn’t as creative, it satisfies with burger sliders, chicken nuggets, grilled cheese and mac ‘n’ cheese with cut-up hot dogs.

Hot pizza for the kids; cold beer for the adults. What more could you want? This new addition to downtown St. Louis has a subtle 80s vibe and comfort food galore. On top of radical slices of pizza as big as your babes, the fast-casual restaurant serves dips, wings, salads and sandwiches.

A spread from The Pasta House Co. features toasted ravioli, salad and pasta con broccoli.
The Pasta House Co. | Photo by Cassidy Hintz

It doesn’t get more family-friendly than this! At The Old Spaghetti Factory, slurping your spaghetti is encouraged, and you can do it inside a vintage trolley car. Thirsty? Don’t overlook the Italian cream sodas in flavors such as strawberry, raspberry, orange and vanilla.

Cheers to 50 years! Since opening in 1974, The Pasta House Co. has become a beloved St. Louis tradition, welcoming families and friends from the region and beyond. Be sure to bring your kids – they eat free on Sundays!

Meet Carlos Cellentani, Felisa Farfalle, Romana Rigati and Tino Tortellini. These characters illustrate the kid’s menu at Pastaria, helping them learn about different types of pasta as they order. The family-oriented Italian restaurant in Clayton comes from James Beard Award-winning chef Gerard Craft, who makes every diner feel special.

Rooster, a kid-friendly restaurant in St. Louis, has hand-drawn roosters on the walls.
Photo courtesy of Rooster

Follow the neon lights to Peacock Loop Diner. After filling up on breakfast staples, griddled burgers and seasonal shakes, your kids can play bubble hockey and Skee-Ball while you enjoy some well-deserved downtime.

As breakfast cooks, see who at your table can draw roosters fitting for the walls of this eatery. Then take your fork and knife to one of Rooster’s slingers. Inexplicably linked to St. Louis, the slinger is an amalgamation of potato, egg, chili, cheese and protein quite literally slung together on a plate. Craving something sweet? Both St. Louis locations dole out Nutella crêpes, chocolate chip pancakes and stuffed French toast, too.

Feast at Rosalita’s Cantina on Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis. Approximately $60, the restaurant’s family packs feature chicken quesadillas, beef tacos, chicken fajitas, rice and beans, chile con queso, salsa and chips. If none of that appeals to your palate, check out the daily specials ranging from stuffed nachos to poblano pork chops to spicy grilled salmon.

A little girl smiles with her over-the-top milkshake at The Soda Fountain.
The Soda Fountain | Photo by Cassidy Hintz

Strawberry, mango, pineapple, spinach, spirulina, blueberry, açaí, pitaya – at Rush Bowls, kids can eat the rainbow. Toppings include granola, sprinkles, graham crackers and chocolate chips, and the restaurant offers dairy alternatives such as oat, almond and soy milks.

A trip to the Gateway City isn’t complete until you’ve sunk your teeth into St. Louis barbecue. Following tried-and-true recipes, Salt + Smoke dazzles diners with burnt end toasted ravioli, St. Louis-style ribs and brisket paired with delectable sides such as creamed corn, pit beans with smoked bacon and the famous White Cheddar Cracker Mac. The restaurant offers a kid’s menu to match, and it happens to have jokes and games to keep them entertained.

Did you hear about Sauce on the Side? It folded. Now it only serves calzones. Don’t worry – you don’t have to find dad jokes funny to enjoy a repast at this local restaurant chain. Travel Channel’s Food Paradise featured the Cock-A-Doodle Noodle calzone stuffed with mac ‘n’ cheese, roasted chicken, applewood bacon, Provel, mozzarella, green onion, garlic oil and Buffalo butter, but there are options for everyone.

Steve's Hot Dogs serves cold-smoked, fire-grilled hot dogs and crinkle fries.
Steve’s Hot Dogs | Photo by Mark Hermes

A blast from the past, The Soda Fountain serves sweets, treats and eats. With locations at St. Louis Union Station and Westport Plaza, the dressed-up diner offers unique spins on ice cream sundaes, phosphate sodas, old-time candy and Instagram-worthy Freak Shakes – massive ice cream concoctions that offer a fun, unexpected take on traditional milkshakes, with garnishes such as brownies, snickerdoodles, cotton candy, pop-tarts, potato chips and peanut butter cups.

Hot dogs are a kid classic, and Steve’s Hot Dogs carefully considers every aspect – from the cold-smoked, fire-grilled dog to the locally sourced Companion Baking Co. bun – to please even the pickiest eaters. Insider tip: Don’t forget a side of crinkle fries.

From brisket to ribs to sausage, Sugarfire Smoke House has mastered the art of barbecue, but we predict that your kids will be more interested in the milkshakes. Housemade with local ice cream, they come in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry – brain freeze insurance not included.

A basket of fried chicken beckons at Sunday Best in St. Louis.
Photo courtesy of Sunday Best

Reimagined for the 21st century, Sunday Best is a fried chicken joint with a stall at CITYPARK. Fit for a snack or a meal during a St. Louis CITY SC match, chef-owner John Perkins’ chicken tenders exceed every expectation.

At Super Smokers BBQ in Eureka, Texas toast is supplied to sop up every drop of barbecue sauce. We also recommend using your hands to devour dirty fries, barbecue nachos and boudin balls.