Headed to San Diego with the family for Spring Break? Fortunately for those seeking the sun-drenched beaches of Southern California, San Diego is experiencing an significant influx of family-friendly dining destinations around the county. Were not talking about a your average kids menu with crayons to boot! These San Diego dining destinations were born from the experience of San Diegos premier hospitality veterans. They seamlessly combine dining environments that cater to both children and adults, and address that market head on in a way that’s not only not offensive, but makes sense.
From a massive retrofitted school bus to a kids playpen in a booming craft beer bar, below you’ll find a list of popular San Diego restaurants where hospitality innovators are seamlessly combining dining environments that cater to children and adults alike.
THE FAMILY-FRIENDLY NEWCOMERS:Kids & Craft Beer Collide at Waypoint Public [NORTH PARK]Waypoint Public is not only the new go-to spot for craft beer aficianados, it’s also a place to bring the whole family. Set in San Diego’s burgeoning North Park neighborhood, the restaurant features a 30-tap system focused on West Coast craft brews, over 300 different bottled beers in stock and an inventive menu created by Executive Chef Amanda Baumgarten (of Bravo’s Top Chef fame who’s also worked and trained in four Michelin-starred restaurants). But what’s setting the restaurant apart among the young family set is its designated “kids area” complete with books, games, and a forgiving AstroTurf floor space for kiddos who don’t want to sit around listening to adults. Another draw — a children’s menu featuring tasty options like a hot dog, cheeseburger, mac n’ cheese, grilled cheese, fries and more at an affordable price. Waypoint Public is located at 3794 30th Street. For more information, visit www.waypointpublic.com
Kids Become Cooks at CUCINA enoteca/CUCINA urbana [BANKERS HILL/DEL MAR]Bustling Banker’s Hill hotspot, CUCINA urbana and its new Del Mar counterpart, CUCINA enoteca are a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. While the restaurants have made a name for themselves through their locally sourced California-inspired Italian fare, they’ve also taken the often-cliche kids menu to a whole new level. Aspiring chefs can test out their skills in the kitchen by opting for the “build-your-own pizza pie” menu item. It’s a personal size, half-baked pizza that lets kids get creative by adding their own tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni. Then, if there’s still room left, they can get a little messy with an ice cream Sunday. CUCINA enoteca Del Mar is located at 2730 Via de la Valle and CUCINA urbana is located at 505 Laurel Street. For more information, visit www.urbankitchengroup.com
BO-beau kitchen + garden [LA MESA]Looking for a place where you can sit and grab a beer or handcrafted cocktail while the kids play right next door? Nestled in the heart of La Mesa Village, BO-beau kitchen + garden has you covered. Boasting a life-size retrofitted school bus, kids can go inside the expansive space and play without leaving their parents sight. Alongside the bus, a chalkboard wall encourages kids to look to the future, by asking them to fill in “what they want to be when they grow up”. When it comes to food, options abound for the growing teen with a more sophisticated palate. Smaller portions of grilled sea bass and steak frites are available at a fraction of the price for ages 12-16.There’s certainly no shortage of choices for grownups as well. Executive Chef Benjamin Moore’s menu includes several standout items such as the roasted black cod and curry moules with frites. Or belly up to the bar and grab one of the handcrafted cocktails made with fresh herbs grown on-site. BO-beau kitchen + garden is located at 8384 La Mesa Boulevard. For more information, visit www.dinecrg.com
FAMILY-FRIENDLY ORIGINATORS:Throwback Fun for the Whole Family at Corvette Diner [POINT LOMA]Consistently a leading national pick for “Top Family-Friendly Travel Destinations” the iconic ’50s-style diner has been the go-to hangout for families across San Diego for a quarter century. Disc Jockeys, balloon artists, magicians and live entertainment frequent the diner on a weekly basis but the main entertainment draw for kids and grownups alike is the 5,000 square-foot Gamers Garage. Not your typical arcade, the Gamers Garage has over 50 games including everything from the latest high-tech simulators to interactive pinball throwbacks. Servers line the restaurant corridors every hour on the hour with their infamous song & dance encouraging kids and adults to get up and shake their “tail feather” to the music creating a memorable and interactive experience. Corvette Diner is located at 2965 Historic Decatur Road. For more information, visitwww.dinecrg.com
Build-Your-Own Pizza Pie at Village Pizzeria [CORONADO]Need an excuse to venture across the bridge and into scenic Coronado? Blue Bridge Hospitality’s Village Pizzeria located on the gorgeous Bayside offers unparalleled views of the San Diego skyline in a relaxed setting that caters to children and adults alike. Every Wednesday (beginning December 11th), kiddos eat free from 4 p.m. to close, as the Village Pizzeria family offers a Build-Your-Own Pizza night where children receive their own pre-rolled dough, marina, cheese and 3 toppings of their choice to create their own speciality, custom pie. Adults can kick back and relax with 11 craft beers on tap while the kids play in the neighboring grassy area. Village Pizzeria Bayside is located at 1201 First Street. For more information, visitbluebridgehospitality.com
We All Scream for Ice Cream at MooTime Creamery [CORONADO]The ’50s style ice cream shop churns out handmade ice cream in a fun, nostalgic atmosphere for the entire family. MooTime serves a variety of old-fashioned delights from floats and sodas to sundaes and splits. Don’t miss the tried and true kid-pleasing “Silly Vanilly” — vanilla ice cream that’s dyed bright blue and often covered in colorful toppings. Also noteworthy — the Monday through Friday Happy Hour from 5pm to 6pm which offers $1off any item. MooTime Creamery is located at 1025 Orange Avenue. For more information, visit bluebridgehospitality.com