Kid Friendly Dining
We’ve come a long way from C & C in this town— that’s “chicken fingers and crayons”! Kids are now an important part of the restaurant equation, and chefs are thoughtfully considering kids when creating their menus. From casual burgers to posh fine dining, and everything in-between—let’s explore some of the fun and value driven menus with kiddos here—front and center.
Where Kids Can Play Chef- Who said kids can’t play with their food? Cucina Enoteca at Fashion Island offers a very creative way for kids to dine and get involved in the process too! The “Modo Mio Pizza” is offered for kids 12 and under and is $8.95. The child is presented with a par-baked pizza crust and toppings of their choice, delivered to the table. They then design their own pizza (how cool is that), and escort the pizza back to the oven in the kitchen. Kids just love this hands-on experience and get a chance to play junior chef. Can’t you just see their big smiles?
951 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach ~ (949) 706-1416
Hours: Sunday & Monday 11:00am – 9:00pm, Tuesday-Thursday 11:00am – 10:00pm, and Friday & Saturday 11:00am – 11:00pm.
Photo credit CUCINA enoteca
Where Kids Score A Pool View- The Resort at Pelican Hill receives a “thumbs up” by happy kids. The dining room and terrace overlook a ginormous circular pool. (At the pool deck, Private Cabanas are available for rent during the off-season, depending on availability.) Both lunch and dinner at the Coliseum Pool & Grill offers kid-friendly fare for kids 12 years of age or younger. Guests will enjoy the usual suspects— burgers, mac n’cheese, chicken strips, PB&J, fresh fruit and even veggie sticks with dip! However the real fun begins with the “Kids All-In-One” offering endless pizza, pasta and gelato for $14 per meal. That is a great value! Kids can also create their own pasta bowl.
22701 S Pelican Hill Road, Newport Coast ~ (855) 467-6800
Hours: Open every day from 7:00am-11:00am, and then from 11:30-9:30pm
Where Kids Are Captivated By An Ocean View- I place this in the “best value” category for kids 12 and under. Ruby’s Shake Shack is on PCH and perched above Crystal Cove with an ocean view. The building is iconic Craftsman style—- a yellow wood-clad shack of goodness. Kids will be in heaven here from early morning through dinner service. For a mere $5.99 kids will hardly be able to decide on breakfast between: silver dollar pancakes, French toast, bacon and eggs or pigs in a blanket (served until 11:00am). This is accompanied by a refillable drink of their choice—from soda, to lemonade, milk, chocolate milk or even hot chocolate. For lunch and dinner, kids enjoy for the same $5.99, kid-size beef or turkey burgers, mac n’cheese, cheese quesadilla, grilled cheese, BBQ chicken breast, hot dog, PB&J. These are served with a choice of fries, applesauce or sliced apples. A refillable drink is also included. And best of all, kids can upgrade to a Kids Shake or Malt for $2.69, or a Root Beer Float for $1.49. Score! Note that cars queue up, and that can be a challenge during prime meal time.
7703 E. Coast Highway, Newport Coast ~ (949) 464-0100
Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 7:00am -8:00pm, Friday & Saturday 7:00am – 9:00pm
Where Kids Can Eat With Their Fingers- Snuggled in along the Rhine Channel in Newport, Bluewater Grill offers some healthy and fun options for kids. Choose from various entrees, with one side and beverage for $6.95. The entrée options include: Grilled Dipping Sticks (Fish, Shrimp, Chicken, Steak or Salmon ($4 additional) with one of three dipping sauces, or a burger, grilled cheese sammy or pasta. Sides include: garden salad fresh veggies, edamame, rice, mashed potato or French fries. Desserts are just $1.95 and the crowd favorite in this category is the Cup of Dirt with Worms (ice cream, Oreo cookie crumbles and Gummi worms) or a sundae. Yum!
630 Lido Park Drive, Newport Beach ~ (949) 675-3474
Hours: Monday – TH 11:00am -10:00pm, Friday & Saturday until 11:00pm & Sunday 10:00am -10:00pm
Where Kids Say Cheese- I have not met many children that did not like Mexican food. Maybe it is the cheese, or the ability to eat many items with their hands, or just the delicious flavors. At Avila’s El Ranchito in Corona del Mar, kids can enjoy a full meal with lots of choices and a beverage, all for $6.95. The entrees include a choice of: a Burrito, Taco, Chicken Bowl, Chicken fingers with Ranch dressing or a Cheese Quesadilla. They can also choose two sides from: rice, beans, French fries or fresh fruit.
2515 East Coast Highway, Corona del Mar ~ (949) 644-8226
Hours: Monday – Thursday 11:00am – 9:30pm, Friday 11:00am – 10:30pm, Saturday 10:00am – 10:30pm & Sunday 10:00am – 9:30pm.
Where Kids Remember Breakfast at Grandma’s- One of the best breakfast spots is on Marine Avenue on Balboa Island. And best of all Wilma’s Patio feels like going to see Nonna! What better place for kids to enjoy all the breakfast favorites—from eggs to French toast, to pancakes and even oatmeal. Prices range from $5.00 to $6.75. And for lunch and dinner service there is a long list of options, which is perfect when kids are in tow. The selection includes: hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches, ½ tuna or BLT sandwiches, fish and chips, quesadilla, chicken fingers, bean and cheese burrito, mac n’cheese, and pasta (dinner only for the pasta). Prices range from $4 to 8. A full tummy and a walk around the island makes for a perfect day in the sunshine.
203 Marine Avenue, Balboa Island ~ (949) 675-5542
Hours: Monday – Friday 7:00am – 8:30pm, Saturday & Sunday 7:00am – 9:00pm
Main slider image provided by CUCINA enoteca