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Pizza, Burgers and Breweries

Chicago Fire
2416 J Street, Sacramento
916-443-0400

If you and your family enjoy a good pizza, you’ll want to check out Chicago Fire Restaurant. Their menu is simple (pizza!), but their pizza is nothing but. And trust me, you will want to save room for their delectable chocolate chip pizza for dessert! Yummo!

When bringing small children with you, be sure to pack some crayons and paper or small toys to keep them entertained.

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Hot Italian
1627 16th Street, Sacramento
916-444-3000

If you are looking for kids menus, high chairs and coloring books to keep your kids busy while dining, you won’t find those things here. But what you will find is incredibly authentic pizza, panini and calzone. It’s been nearly ten years since my last visit to Italy and it’s not until stepping foot in the Hot Italian that I finally found a place that makes panini on par with those I ate day after day (after day) while in Rome.

We took our 19 month old and 5 year old with us and although they really don’t have any high chairs, we did just fine. Our daughter sat on a bench and ate a bit, then climbed down and ran around the restaurant quite a bit, and neither clientele nor staff seemed to care. Before committing to eat there, I warned the waitress that without use of a high chair I couldn’t guarantee that my child wouldn’t run wild around the place. Her response? “No problem!” And it truly wasn’t.

If you’re the type of person who wouldn’t be able to enjoy your meal if your child was not in a high chair, then my recommendation would be to skip Hot Italian with the kids. But be sure to return without kids because it’s too good to miss if you’re a fan of authentic Italian panini!

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Hot Rod’s Burgers
2007 K Street, Sacramento
(916) 443-RODS
 
In the heart of downtown you can take a “pit stop” and “fuel up” on some burgers, hot dogs, corn dogs and fries.  They make a CRAZY good Grilled Cheese Sandwich and the menu is simple enough, yet varied to keep up with your kids’ tastes.
They have indoor and some outdoor seating for some great “people watching” (especially on a Second Saturday Art Walk).  If you have little ones, they do have high chairs available.
If you are in the downtown area and searching for something fast and easy…and that you don’t have to fight with your kids- then check out Hot Rods. 
 
Hoppy Brewing Company
6300 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento
916-451-4677

In addition to offering good lunch and dinner options, Hoppy Brewery is a very popular stop for breakfast, which they serve until 3:30pm! Although their website doesn’t show it, they do have a kids menu ($4.95) for those twelve and under. Another bonus? Free WiFi

Atmosphere is certainly family-friendly but make sure to bring paper and crayons or small toys to entertain the little ones as the service can be a bit slow when the restaurant is busy.

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Luigi’s Pizza by the Slice
1050 20th Street, Sacramento

Luicgi’s is perfect for those days when you just want a good piece of pizza.  Cheap. Fast. Good.
A great stopping point if you are browsing through the boutique shops on J Street in Midtown Sacramento.  Or, as my family likes to make this a stopping point when we are cruising the streets on Second Saturday.  Live Music is almost always playing when we visit and the kids love to “dance” on their patio.
No frills here- order at the counter, sit down and enjoy your slice.  The slices are big enough to feed 2 kids (well- my kids at least) and they love them!
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Pizza Rock
1020 K street, Sacramento
916-737-5777

Everybody loves pizza…and especially at a place with gourmet pizza and entertainment to go along with it.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit one of Sacramento’s newest and coolest restaurants-make sure you put it on your list to try out Pizza Rock.
I was surprised to find out that this hip pizza joint (known by my single friends as a great place to go before hitting the “club” scene), is also very kid-friendly.  In fact, it is so kid- friendly that my daughter had a preschool field trip there!
And on Saturday afternoons, you can take the kids and enjoy an afternoon of fun at “Kids in the Kitchen”.  Kids can create their own pizza’s, learn how to toss pizza with world-famous pizza acrobats and watch as they amaze you with their “tossing” abilities.
They have two sessions: 11am-2pm and 2pm-4pm on Saturday afternoons.  Call ahead to reserve a space for your family at 916-737-5777.

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Pyramid Alehouse
1029 K Street, Sacramento
916-498-9800

In addition to some mighty tasty beer, Pyramid has a kids menu boasting a whopping twelve items ranging from pasta or macaroni and cheese to pizza or fish and chips. Just $4.95 for kids aged twelve and under.

And for dessert? Add a scoop of ice cream for a mere buck. What’s not to love about that?

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River City Brewing Company
545 Downtown Plaza, Sacramento
916-447-2739

While spending time shopping in Downtown Plaza, you may want to consider stopping for lunch – or dinner – at River City Brewing Company. While the adults enjoy meals that are a bit more engaging than your typical brew-pub fare (more than a few friends have recommended the eggplant napoleon appetizer) kids can select from four different menu items at $5.95.

The scene for lunch is primarily suits. Seems to be a popular “date night” location at night. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that their hamburger has received rave reviews, but don’t look for it on the menu. It’s not there. Just ask, and they’ll be happy to make it for you!

One last tip … don’t forget to get your parking validated if you parked in one of the garages!

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Squeeze Inn
5301 Power Inn Rd, Sacramento
545 Industrial Drive, Galt
106 N. Sunrise Avenue, Roseville
1350 Harbor Blvd, West Sacramento

If you are looking for a good burger- and I’m not just talking a “good” burger….but I mean a REALLY GOOD burger, then visit Squeeze Inn.  With four locations throughout the Sacramento area, you can fix your burger and fry craving in no time.
They have been voted several years in a row as having the “Best Burgers in Town” and has also been featured on Guy Fieri’s Food Network Show- “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”.

If these accolades aren’t enough to get you in- then take a peek at the menu…. the famous “Squeeze with Cheese” is a 1/4 pound of beef with just as much cheese!  It comes served with a bubbling cheese skirt that is just a little bit of cheese heaven!
My kids and I visited for lunch and we shared a Grilled Cheese, Fries and Milkshake (Yes- not the mother of the year with health on this day…but, hey- we all have to splurge once in a while)… the meal was big enough for all of us and we even couldn’t eat all the fries (they do serve up some yummy Sweet Potato Fries if you’re trying to be “healthy”…but hey- if you’re at a burger joint to begin with, why bother- right?)
For the families visiting, they don’t have a “kids menu”, but they do have plenty on the menu that the kids will eat- hot dogs, corn dogs, french fries, burgers, milkshakes…all the great American foods our kids love anyways!

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Wicked West Pizza & BBQ
3160 Jefferson Blvd, West Sacramento
(916) 572-0572

This is not your average pizza joint… this is a miniature (and cleaner) version of Chuck-E-Cheese.  They serve Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner- fantastic pizzas along with yummy BBQ choices!
They only use Fresh and Organic ingredients and the pizzas are made with Whole Wheat Crust!  What else can a mom ask for???
Not only is the food great- but it’s a fun outing for the family.  They have arcade-style games (skee-ball, basketball games, race-car games, and even games that preschoolers can manage)  The tickets they win can buy all sorts of junk that will clutter the bottom of your car floor…but, it will make your child smile for at least 10 minutes.
The facility is very clean and since they do have the arcade games, they have anti-bacterial soap stations throughout the restaurant, so those greasy, kid- germs don’t spread everywhere.
Did I mention the gelato??? Oh yes- the best part of this kid-friendly restaurant (besides the games, and the beer/wine for the adults), but they have GELATO!!!!  And they even have a “Gelato of the week”.  Check out their website to see what the flavor is this week…   and my suggestion would be to visit on a weekday and try to avoid them on a Friday or Saturday night.  The building isn’t very big- and it can be very crowded on a weekend night.

 
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