Detroit’s been on the rise in recent years, and one benefit has been an explosion of good, cheap and interesting places to eat that are great for dining out with kids – but not dumbed-down for the younger set.
Stop in to one of these Detroit restaurants for kids before a Tigers game, a foray into the Cultural Center or after a bike ride in the Detroit Riverwalk and Dequindre Cut area and sample a taste of the city’s rebirth.
- Address: 1266 Michigan Ave., Detroit
- Phone: 313-262-6547
This Corktown spot was opened by a couple of Canucks. No wonder some rave about their Poutine: the French-Canadian dish of French fries topped with brown gravy and curd cheese is naturally kid-riffic. Vegetarian/vegan options also abound.
- Address: 2896 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit
- Phone: 313-871-2489
This family-friendly restaurant is a great place to get some authentic Detroit-style wings. Choose from a 10-piece all the way up to a 120-piece. Also offers many homemade side dishes and desserts.
- Address: 66 W. Columbian, Detroit
- Phone: 313-725-4100
Build your own ‘Frita’, inspired by traditional cuban burgers and pick a side. Or, pick a mini frita or mini grilled cheese from the kid’s menu and eat at the indoor picnic tables.
- Address: 4240 Cass Ave., Suite 103, Detroit; 1226 Griswold St., Detroit
- Phone: 313-638-1467
With a wide range of Thai food entrees, appetizers and tasty small plates, this Detroit spot is a great place to order a bunch of different options and split as a family.
- Address: 2200 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit
- Phone: 313-962-5588
Appearing virtually unchanged since its 1970s heyday, the horse racing-themed bar features a menu of inventive sliders – the gut bombs of late nights in college these are not. Try fried bologna, Coney dog, grilled cheese sliders – or the PB&J slider that we can attest to at least one 4-year-old picky eater devouring!
- Address: 47 Watson St., Detroit
- Phone: 313-262-6534
Named after the ghost of the pirate on the Detroit River during the Prohibition era, this restaurant comes highly recommended. Stop in for brunch, dinner or drinks while downtown. Known for its award-winning filet mignon but also has many smaller appetizers and side dishes for the younger ones.
- Address: 4101 Third St., Detroit
- Phone: 313-818-0324
This Detroit location of the franchise has the ultimate family-friendly menu, ranging from fried chicken and sides like baked beans, mac and cheese, seasoned fries and more. The kids menu for kids 12 and under also offers a grilled cheese, tenders, wings and legs.
- Address: 4265 Woodward Ave., Detroit
- Phone: 313-769-8828
This place is known for its “cosmic” fries and craft beers. Also has a HopKittens menu for kids, which includes a cheeseburger, mac and cheese, a cheese quesadilla and chicken tenders paired with a side and drink.
- Address: 441 W. Canfield St., Detroit
- Phone: 313-262-6115
The Detroit location of this Michigan-based restaurant serves up delicious pizzas for adults – and for kids! The kids menu is complete with cheese and pepperoni pizza options, plus burgers, chicken fingers, fries and a salad. Plus, plenty of craft beer for mom and dad.
- Address: 2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit
- Phone: 313-462-8620
Located inside Little Caesars Arena with an outside entrance to the public, this is one hot spot you don’t want to miss. It was designed by Kid Rock himself and has become a new staple in Detroit. It even offers kids menus for dinner and brunch.
- Address: 1903 Grand River Blvd., Detroit
- Phone: 313-626-5005
This spot is located inside of Beacon Park and boasts a unique American menu that features everything from beer cheese pretzels and crab cakes to salads and burgers. In addition, patrons that eat on the rooftop will enjoy a panoramic view of the city. And in the winter can enjoy their meal from the comfort of an igloo.
- Address: 2163 Michigan Ave., Detroit
- Phone: 313-964-5000
Another Corktown keeper, this is a super spot to get a great burger, some tasty tots and a marvelous milkshake.
- Address: 1413 Brooklyn St., Detroit
- Phone: 313-961-2000
Not your average sandwiches, served in a retro-funky space across from a great playground. Take your food to-go and have an impromptu play date with families from the neighborhood and the nearby Most Holy Trinity School. Meats are roasted in-house, and vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are plentiful.
- Greektown: 553 Monroe St., Detroit, 313-961-8020
- Rivertown: 3171 Jefferson Ave., Detroit, 313-259-7272
This favorite is visited by families daily. Whether you’re heading to Comerica Park, Little Caesars Arena or Ford Field for a game – or just downtown for a night out – this place, which also has locations around metro Detroit, is an excellent choice.
- Address: 2465 Russell St., Detroit
- Phone: 313-567-2900
There’s a reason this place has a line extending down the block on market Saturdays: The food is that good. Grab a table (likely shared with others) and enjoy house-made soups, sandwiches and more that reflect the abundance of delicious food right out the door.
- Address: 22200 Fenkell Ave., Detroit
- Phone: 313-533-0950
Drive around some of the dodgier areas of Detroit and you’ll likely see a bunch of “You Buy, We Fry” joints – but honestly, most of them have so-so seafood. But Scotty’s has been a seafood staple since 1950, cooking up crispy cod kids and adults will crave.
- Address: 66 E. Forest Ave., Detroit
- Phone: 313-974-6661
For veggie families, or people looking to try some new foods, Seva is choice. From those delicious yam fries with spicy mayo dip and General Tso’s cauliflower to start, and delicious picks like black bean and sweet potato quesadillas, vegan Coney dogs and Reuben sandwiches, you can’t go wrong!
- Address: 660 Woodward Ave., Detroit
- Phone: 313-372-0501
Located right in Campus Martius Park, it’s sure to be a hit for the whole fam. Try the 100-percent all-natural Angus beef burgers or flat-top dogs with their crinkly-cut French fries. Pair it with a hand-spun shake, float or dessert. Even has a dog menu for your pooch!
- Address: 4107 Cass Ave., Detroit
- Phone: 313-309-7560
Skip the wait at the sit-down location and head to this Midtown outpost for barbecue by the pound or terrific take-out sandwiches. The Yardbird (Amish chicken topped with mustard, mushrooms, cheddar and bacon) has received lots of props, but we can’t help but join the fan club.
- Address: 2457 Russell St., Detroit
- Phone: 313-567-7879
Neighbor to Russell Street, this place has revolutionized what we think of as Detroit pizza. Amazing as the D’s Sicilian-style, thick-crusted signature pies are, Supino offers a cracker-thin crust, minimally topped – because you don’t need tons of topping when they are of this quality.
- Address: 4870 Cass Ave., Detroit
- Phone: 313-782-4180
Any place that serves up numerous (and kick-butt) twists on the classic mac and cheese – plus soups, salads and wraps – is a win for kids. Bonus: mom and dad can grab something adult to drink, too.
- Address: 1241 Woodward Ave., Detroit
- Phone: 313-237-1000
Located in the heart of Detroit, this place is a well-known breakfast and brunch locale. Some house favorites include Chunky Monkey pancakes, baklava French toast and fried chicken or catfish and waffles. “Little Friends” can order Mickey Mouse pancakes, French toast, chicken fingers and more. Also offers gluten-free and vegan options.
- Address: 500 Woodward Ave., Detroit
- Phone: 313-723-1000
Enjoy some American comfort food at Townhouse. Offers an $8 kids menu with options like waffles, French toast, grilled chicken and a kids pizza.
- Address: 511 W. Canfield St., Detroit
- Phone: 313-831-9470
A wide variety of foods – including a kids’ menu with dishes like grilled-cheese fingers – plenty of seating, parking in an actual lot right across the street – there is a lot that makes Traffic Jam & Snug a great restaurant for families.
- Address: 4160 Cass Ave., Suite A, Detroit
- Phone: 313-818-0084
OK so it’s not a restaurant – but the Detroit location of the Ferndale-based Treat Dreams ice cream shop is a fun stop for families coming from dinner (or not) when visiting the area. Plus, they have a rotating menu of unique ice cream flavors, with new tastes hitting the menu every Sunday.
- Address: 569 Monroe St., Detroit
- Phone: 313-209-4499
Head over to Greektown to grab a bite at this burger shop, part of the Wahlburgers chain started by the Wahlberg brothers. Boasts quality ingredients – and there are even options for the veg crowd. The “Smahlburgs” menu (that’s for the kids) features burger, hot dog, chicken fingers, grilled cheese and mac and cheese.
This post is updated regularly.