Many families come to Sacramento on business, stop in for dinner on their way to the mountains or just live in our wonderful capital city. Whether you are visiting Sacramento from out of town, live in the area or are just passing through, we have plenty of family friendly eateries to choose from so you can get those kids fed and back on the road.
Downtown has so many wonderful options to choose from, especially if you are not wanting to go to a typical chain restaurant. Of course, when you think of “kid friendly”, some may instantly have nightmares of a giant mouse, loud video games and screaming kids. We do have those more entertainment options in the area, but if you are searching for a nice evening out, we have you covered!
Downtown Sacramento offers a wide variety of options. From farm-to-fork local eateries, to quick order-and-go stops, to the typical chain restaurant. I took a poll of the best family friendly restaurants in the area and this is the list we came up with. You may have your own family favorite, and please feel free to let us know where and why.
My family likes to try new places, so we have been to several on this list. But there are a few are new spots we are excited to try. So, next time you are in the area or you just want a break from cooking, check out one of our local hot spots:
For those who love Italian:
Paesanos in Midtown has been voted as the best Italian Pizzerias! Located at 1806 Capital Avenue, they have a menu that is sure to please everyone in your family. Pizzas, pastas, salads and they even have a gluten-free menu for those with diet restrictions. The last time we were there, my kids were given a ball of dough to play with… they were kept busy and happy until the food came!
Old Spaghetti Factory in Downtown and Roseville is a unique dining experience. Kids will feel comfortable with the colorful decor and can even request to sit in one of the old trolley cars! My kids always find something on the menu to keep them satisfied and the price is perfect for families.
Pizza Rock located at 1020 K Street in downtown Sacramento is definitely a place to visit if you haven’t been there. With a large semi truck hanging from the ceiling, a loud and fun atmosphere to distract the kids and great food… it’s worth searching for parking downtown to have dinner here. They are one of the few restaurants that I have found that really believe in getting the kids dirty in the kitchen. Every first Saturday of the month, they host Kids in the Kitchen where kids can make their own pizzas and the money raised goes towards charity. What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!
California Pizza Kitchen has several locations throughout the Sacramento area. They are very kid friendly, have great food and offer a selection of gluten-free menu items to keep those with specific restrictions enjoying dining out with the family.
Skipolinis, located at 6600 Lonetree Blvd in Rocklin is definitely a kid friendly option! They have an indoor play area that the kids can climb through while waiting for the meal. Plenty of televisions playing all the latest sports games and they have a great menu to choose from. This is one of our favorites when we want to go out for a “family night” but would rather have more “adult” time talking while the kids play.
For those who prefer good old American fare, we have plenty of options:
Red Robin, yes, it’s a chain restaurant but they definitely are kid friendly, have plenty of menu items to choose from and have always been fast in getting us in and out when we are in a hurry. Kids love the decor and who can’t complain when you are served bottomless French fries?
Chili’s, yes another chain that has several locations throughout the Sacramento valley, but they offer one thing that not all the other restaurants do… kiosks at the tables, loaded with games to keep the kids busy! Even if you don’t want your kid to sit and stare at a screen all dinner long, it is nice to have that option until the food arrives.
Empress Tavern located at 1013 K Street in Downtown Sacramento. This may seem more like a date night spot, than a family friendly location, but don’t let the appearance fool you. They are very family friendly and offer a menu that can be served family style with some of the freshest ingredients around.
Now, if you have more adventurous palates, then check out some of our local sushi and seafood restaurants. My 7-year-old is always begging to go to sushi – it’s his favorite meal! We have tried many restaurants in the area and have found a couple that really are our favorites in terms of freshness and cost to take out a family of four.
Mikuni can be argued as the best sushi is Sacramento. We love the atmosphere and that they are very kid friendly (as long as you don’t go at 8pm on a Saturday night). They offer a kids menu, chop stick “helpers” and gave my kids fun goodies to play with at the table even though my son doesn’t order off the kids meal anymore. While it can get expensive, the food is great!
Raku is an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant located in West Sacramento and Rocklin. The thought of all-you-can-eat sushi seemed a bit disgusting to me at first, but once we tried it, we were hooked! Great prices for the amount you get, the fish is fresh and the rolls were tasty. Kids were in heaven when we told them they could continue to order rolls after they thought they were done. They have special pricing for kids vs. Adults, so it’s worth checking out if you have a sushi loving family.
There are so many more dining options than this in our wonderful city, but I’m hoping this gives you an idea of some new places to visit with your family. Bon Appétit!
By Heather Crivellone