1. THE LOT
Kids, dogs and parents can all get happy at The LOT in Dallas, a friendly, neighborhood restaurant with a sandlot, access to the Katy Trail, a full bar, and plenty of healthy and less healthy menu options. Its location right down the street from White Rock Lake and The Dallas Arboretum makes it perfect for a day spent outside with family.
2. SUPER CHIX
Super Chix has the two main ingredients for a family-friendly winner on lock: addictive-level food and clean areas designed for play. Their chicken tenders, fries and custard are high quality and delicious, and there are even toys for the little ones on the patio.
This family-focused Texas chain has locations in Austin, Houston, Dallas and the surrounding areas, but each one is unique. Off of Walnut Hill in Dallas, for example, a big silver trailer houses a climbing apparatus where kids of all ages can have a blast between bites, while Mom and Dad sip wine and beer on the covered patio in eyeshot.
Hat Creek is also a great option for folks with dietary restrictions, whether they are vegan, vegetarian, or gluten free.
First of all, biscuits are a universally appealing food. When combined with all the delicious ways The Biscuit Bar serves their freshly-made, hot and thick biscuits — sweet, savory, gravgy-covered, and many more – and you’ve got a recipe for perfection.
The best part is getting to run off those carbohydrates outside at The Boardwalk at Granite Park in Plano. With a lovely manmade lake and a gorgeous boardwalk with colorful picnic tables and flowers, it’s a great space for family play.
This barbecue spot on the banks of the Trinity River in Fort Worth has a serious country vibe, and it’s close enough to the Fort Worth Zoo to make a day of it. Outdoor picnic table seating gives kids the option to explore a bit while you wait for your brisket (or breakfast if it’s a Friday, Saturday or Sunday). And there’s even a menu for your four-legged friends, too!
6. RODEO GOAT
Featuring a fabulous view of Lake Ray Hubbard, Rodeo Goat in Rockwall serves up loaded burgers and fries in a festive enough atmosphere that your kids might just feel comfortable being themselves. Margaritas, burger battles, brunch and other events make this lakeside spot the perfect family outing. Fun fact: You can also find delicious Rodeo Goat dining options in Plano and Fort Worth.
Usually, the words “bowling alley” and “killer food” don’t belong in the same paragraph, but in the case of chef-driven Bowl & Barrel in Dallas, that’s just not true. Start out by dipping a seriously giant soft pretzel in mustard and beer cheese while you decide on entrees, and don’t leave without sharing a slice of their butterscotch pie. You bowled, which definitely counts as working out, so you earned it.
Despite looking like a bit of a stoner’s paradise, pizza-restaurant-on-an-acid-trip Mellow Mushroom is super kid-friendly with a wide variety of pizzas, salads, sandwiches, apps, and more that appeal to just about everyone on the menu.
The décor at Mellow Mushroom is so not mellow: tie die, art and rainbow colors abound, and each of these Atlanta-founded restaurants is different. Visit the one in Arlington for a Kosmic Karma pie and a giant gourmet cookie for dessert. Not near Arlington? Don’t worry — They also have locations in Denton, McKinney and Fort Worth.