One of the joys of living in San Francisco is having access to some of the best restaurants in the world. Then, you have kids, and the only restaurants you seem to go to are brunch spots, pizza places and burrito joints. You walk past cozy, dimly lit restaurants and see couples dining at tiny tables for two with white table cloths, and you wonder what happened to your life.
We’re here to help.
Read on for a list of over 50 (FIFTY!) great restaurants in San Francisco where you can take your kids, and we don’t mean “great” because you can take your kids there (although that is really good). We mean “great” because the food is tasty and many of them have solid bar menus.
You will still find excellent brunch, pizza, and burrito places on this list because… kids, and Gary Danko is not on the list because … kids, but there are oh-so-many yummy local spots to try.
We’ve got two kinds of restaurants on this list:
Really Kid-Friendly (marked with a 👶): These places are ready for you. You’ll see other families with young children dining here and most have kids’ menus and high chairs.
Kid-Friendly, If You’re Smart About It: These places are cool with you bringing your little ones, but go early, and bring food your kids are guaranteed to like, as not all will offer kid-friendly options. Be prepared to see more singles and couples than families, but don’t let that scare you. These spots have all been field tested by real moms with real kids.
Did your favorites make the list? What would you add? Keep checking back. We’re in the process of making this a list of 100 kid-friendly restaurants!
Baby Blues BBQ 👶 3194 Mission St. Expect big portions of Southern BBQ, salads and sandwiches in this hip and stylish restaurant. Choose from chicken strips, hot dogs, or sliders for the kids.
Barebottle Brewery 👶 1525 Cortland Ave. We love when a brewery says it’s kid and dog friendly right on its homepage. The large, open space with long, community style tables and the rotation of food trucks outside make this a perfect spot for the whole family.
Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack 3230 Mission St. Very child friendly in the early dinner hours, as the place is guaranteed to be packed with kids and families. Classic Italian dishes and fun mixed drinks make it a win-win for everyone in the family.
Noeteca Wine Bar 1551 Dolores St. Come for brunch with your little ones or for an early dinner. The kids will happily feast on something off the dessert menu while you enjoy one more glass of wine.
Old Bus Tavern 3193 Mission St. Grab a spot outside at this casual neighborhood bar and restaurant. The menu is comfort food at its finest and the tap selection is stellar.
Red Hill Station 👶 803 Cortland Ave. The owners built the type of neighborhood restaurant that they’d want to frequent because they also live in the neighborhood. The kids’ menu is the perfect way to introduce your little ones to seafood. Most of the dining room is reserved for walk-ins, so there’s no need to plan ahead before heading out for dinner.
Squat & Gobble Cafe & Crepery 👶 3600 16th St. Serving family-style, large portions in a casual, welcoming atmosphere. The menu is extensive (think: breakfast food for dinner!).
Kasa Indian Eatery 4001 18th St. This welcoming casual restaurant with counter service will make the whole family happy. Taste Indian cuisine cooked with the freshest ingredients using traditional recipes. The rolls with egg, rice and yogurt are always a favorite with the kids.
Mama Ji’s 👶 4416 18th St. When you want to feel like you’ve been invited over to your favorite aunt’s house for dinner, head to Mama Ji’s for Sichuan-style Chinese cuisine. Whatever you’re craving, you’ll find it deliciously executed here.
Bambino’s Ristorante 👶 945 Cole St. This restaurant has been around for over thirty years, and it’s obvious why. They’ll give your little ones crayons or pizza dough to play with while you wait for your yummy Italian entrees to arrive.
Cafe Reverie 848 Cole St. This brunch spot is a neighborhood favorite. Grab a seat outside on the patio, and remember to bring cash. They don’t take credit cards.
Crepes on Cole 100 Carl St. Serving crepes, salads, and sandwiches all day. The dining room is bright and casual, making any family feel comfortable to dine here.
Padrecito 👶 901 Cole St. This Mexican restaurant uses seasonal ingredients and strives to create a communal atmosphere that’s loud and boisterous, making a little noise from a little one no big deal. Their small kids menu makes it the perfect spot for families.
FINANCIAL DISTRICT & EMBARCADERO
Waterbar 👶 399 The Embarcadero. You wouldn’t think this seafood restaurant is kid friendly, with its sweeping views of the Bay and city, white table cloths and upscale feel, but it is. The staff is trained to cater to families. There are two floor-to-ceiling aquariums to entertain the children, and they have a kids menu.
Hog Island Oyster Company 1 Ferry Building. This popular spot in the Ferry Building doesn’t take reservations, so be prepared to wait for a table. Fortunately, with all of the other places to explore in the Ferry Building, the kids can be entertained, while one person waits in line. The friendly staff make families feel welcome and their efficient service helps make the dining experience stress free.
R&G Lounge 631 Kearny St. Serving some of the best Cantonese cuisine in the Bay Area, the casual lower level dining room is the ideal spot for dining with young children.
Patxi’s Pizza 👶 511 Hayes St. Serving deep dish Chicago pizza. The pizzas take about 30 minutes to prepare, and they offer special kids’ pizzas that can be served in the mean time.
Suzu Noodle Shop (Japantown) 1581 Webster St. This tiny classic noodle shop in the Miyako Mall serves ramen, soba and udon noodle soups. Kids will enjoy looking in the nearby Kinokuniya gift shop.
LOWER PAC HEIGHTS
Elite Cafe 2049 Fillmore St. New Orleans-inspired cuisine is served for brunch, lunch and dinner here, and that southern charm extends to their friendliness toward families. The creative cocktail menu is must-try.
Roam Artisan Burgers 👶 1923 Fillmore St. Great customizable burgers in a casual, order-at-the-counter setting make this a no-brainer for families.
MARINA/ COW HOLLOW
Pacific Catch 👶 2027 Chestnut St. At this fish house, you can dine casually without compromising taste. Salads and sandwiches round out the meal for any non-fish lovers in the group, and the kids menu has great options for the little ones.
Patxi’s Pizza 👶 3318 Fillmore St. Serving deep dish Chicago pizza. The pizzas take about 30 minutes to prepare, and they offer special kids’ pizzas that can be served in the mean time.
Pluto’s 👶 3258 Scott St. Come here when you want a great walk-through casual al a carte menu that includes cute and tasty kid items like Martian Mac ‘n Cheese, Saturn Garlic Potato Rings and Solar Sweet Potato Fries, a full juice and milk menu, and some yummy baked desserts. For adults, there are custom made-to-order salads and sandwiches. It has a large dining room and is usually not too busy, since many people come for takeout.
Roam Artisan Burgers 👶 1785 Union St. Great customizable burgers in a casual, order-at-the-counter setting make this a no-brainer for families.
Squat & Gobble Cafe & Crepery 👶 2263 Chestnut St. Serving family-style, large portions in a casual, welcoming atmosphere. The menu is extensive (think: breakfast food for dinner!) and this Marina location has a great back patio, which can be reserved for private events.
Tacko 👶 3115 Fillmore St. This taqueria with a New England coastal feel uses only fresh, organic ingredients and slow cooked meats that make the tacos, burritos and other menu items a great option for casual dining with kids.
Tacolicious 👶 2250 Chestnut St. They should rename the restaurant Tequilalicious because it has an extensive selection of tequilas. Tacos are a staple on the menu, of course, but there are plenty of other delicious authentic Mexican dishes from which to choose.
Ace Wasabi’s Rock n Roll Sushi 3339 Steiner St. Come with the kids for the happy hour and sit in the back room where you’ll find other families just like you.
The Brick Yard 1787 Union St. The large dining room, outdoor seating and well trained staff make this a great option for family dinners. You’ll find healthy meal options as well as traditional bar food on the menu.
Home Plate 2274 Lombard St. An amazing, tiny brunch spot, where you’ll get complimentary warm scones and homemade jelly before your meal. Add your stroller to the others parked right out front where you can keep an eye on it while you dine.
Marina Sushi Bar 2020 Lombard St. The owners are what really make this place kid friendly. They keep plastic kiddy plates and utensils on hand, and your little one may get a complimentary ice cream at the end. The gyoza (pot stickers) and edamame are perennial favorite for kids, and they have a variety of juices from which to choose. There is only one high chair in the restaurant, so if you have a portable one, you may want to bring it. Happy hour for the adults makes this place a great value.
Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen 👶 401 Valencia St. Arepas are corn pockets (like pitas) stuffed with slow cooked meats, beans, plantains, cheese or vegetables. They are the perfect kid-friendly Venezuelan food and everything on the menu is 100% gluten free.
Tacolicious 👶 741 Valencia St. They should rename the restaurant Tequilalicious because it has an extensive selection of tequilas. Tacos are a staple on the menu, of course, but there are plenty of other delicious authentic Mexican dishes from which to choose.
Foreign Cinema 2534 Mission St. This is a staple restaurant for date nights but will welcome your little ones for brunch with a three course children’s menu, crayons and coloring books. Champagne and oysters treat the adults.
The Pizza Hacker 3299 Mission St. What started as a food truck grilling pizzas on a converted Weber grill is now a cool restaurant on the border of the Mission and Bernal Heights. There’s rarely more than a ten minute wait here, but you can text ahead to put your name on the wait list just to be safe. The chalkboard running the length of the wall entertains the kids, allowing the parents to sip on a local craft beer or other beverage of choice.
Schmidt’s 2400 Folsom St. The beer selection, sausage platters and other authentic dishes will make you feel like you’ve taken a family trip to Germany. Freshly baked pretzel rolls and spaetzle hit the spot for kids and adults alike.
Urban Putt 1096 S. Van Ness St. Golf is first come, first serve, and the restaurant serves bar bites that kids’ will love. Children under 5 years old play for free. After 8:00 PM, only adults 21 and older are allowed on the course.
The Crepe House 👶 1755 Polk St. Come here for more than just crepes. They serve salads and sandwiches in addition to their delicious sweet and savory crepes and are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Bell Tower 1900 Polk St. A casual pub with a full menu, some outdoor seating and lots of dogs make it a laid back, neighborhood spot to go with the kids.
Kasa Indian Eatery 1356 Polk St. This welcoming casual restaurant with counter service will make the whole family happy. Taste Indian cuisine cooked with the freshest ingredients using traditional recipes. The rolls with egg, rice and yogurt are always a favorite with the kids.
Nob Hill Cafe 1152 Taylor St. Save dinner for an adult only outing at this neighborhood spot. Come with the kids for brunch when this small cafe is a little slower and you have the opportunity to sit outside.
NOVY 4000 24th St. Californian cuisine gets the Greek treatment at this family-owned neighborhood restaurant. You’ll find more kids here during the brunch hours, but it’s the perfect spot to bring the family for dinner when you want a step up from the really kid-friendly, casual spots.
Patxi’s Pizza 👶 4042 24th St. Serving deep dish Chicago pizza. The pizzas take about 30 minutes to prepare, and they offer special kids’ pizzas that can be served in the mean time.
The Front Porch 65a 29th St. Southern and Caribbean soul food makes the whole family happy in a casual, warm environment. The fried chicken is playfully served in a movie theatre box. Request a booth to be most comfortable dining as a family.
Regent Thai 1700 Church St. Come here to satisfy your craving for Thai. The staff is friendly and welcoming to families and will make you feel right at home.
Green Chile Kitchen 👶 1801 McCallister St. Enjoy New Mexican-style cuisine for brunch, lunch or dinner. The extensive menu has something for everyone, including a kids menu. The margaritas are incomparable, and they always have great drink specials.
Barrel Head Brewhouse 1785 Fulton St. “Hoppy Hour” from 4:00 – 6:00 PM makes this a great option for early dinner with kids. In addition to their delicious house brews, they offer a rotation of guest beers, “brewtails”, cocktails, wine by the glass and every spirit you could ever want. High chairs are available, and their flatbread and grilled cheese cover the kids in lieu of an actual kids menu.
Tacolicious 👶 1548 Stockton St. They should rename the restaurant Tequilalicious because it has an extensive selection of tequilas. Tacos are a staple on the menu, of course, but there are plenty of other delicious authentic Mexican dishes from which to choose.
Il Casaro Pizzeria and Mozzarella Bar 348 Columbus Ave. Delicious pizza and pasta served by a friendly waitstaff. Like most North Beach establishments, it’s cozy but doable with kids.
Rogue Ales Public House 👶 673 Union St. The outdoor beer garden and forty beers on tap make this a popular spot for large groups without kids, but the casual atmosphere and kids menu make it doable for families. Treat the kids to Rogue’s homemade root beer while you explore their house brews and large selection of guest beers.
Sotto Mare 552 Green St. An Italian oysteria and seafood restaurant, come here for great cioppino, clam chowder, and fresh fish dishes and enjoy them in a cozy, traditional North Beach Italian setting. If your kids aren’t seafood lovers just yet, the pasta options will hit the spot.
Goat Hill Pizza 👶 300 Connecticut St. This staple of the Potrero Hill neighborhood often has family-friendly events and specials throughout the week.
Boudin Bakery at the Wharf 👶 160 Jefferson St. Sometimes touristy places are fun for locals, too. This is a great lunch spot and fun place to take kids. Your children will snack on free animal-shaped bread treats while you watch the bread being made through the window. Find a seat outside or upstairs if you need more room for your brood.
Gioia Pizzeria 👶 2240 Polk St. Delicious pizzas and a great brunch spot with outdoor seating. Their friendly staff will always make you feel welcome.
Stones Throw 1896 Hyde St. Enjoy California/ American cuisine in a stylish, but welcoming environment. The dessert menu offers a twist of classic sweets and treats that will let you reminisce about your childhood and share those memories with your kids. Leave suggestions for future desserts at the end of the meal.
Street Restaurant 2141 Polk St. The menu here is inspired by the local ingredients available at that time, so you can expect fresh, creative and delicious meals in a rustic, contemporary setting. They are always friendly to families and go the extra mile to borrow high chairs from neighboring restaurants, if needed.
Woods Polk Station 2255 Polk St. Need a pit stop while walking around the city with your little one? Stop in for a beer and snack on empanadas. This is a tiny place that’s not set up for families, but they are always welcoming if you come in for a quick refreshment.
Giorgio’s 👶 (Inner Richmond) 151 Clement St. Children often outnumber adults at this pizzeria. Expect a wait on the weekends unless you get there by 5:00 pm. Instead of a coat check, they have a stroller check, and kids will get dough to play with before food arrives. The warm bread and draft beer selection will keep the grown-ups happy.
The Beach Chalet and Park Chalet 👶 (Outer Sunset) 1000 Great Highway. These sister venues give you great options for dining with kids. The Beach Chalet is a more traditional dining room that boasts beautiful views of the Pacific ocean and serves seafood and American fare. The Park Chalet is an indoor/outdoor dining experience that offers music and picnicking options on the weekends. Check the website for the calendar of events. Both serve beer prepared onsite at the Beach Chalet Brewery.
Pacific Catch 👶 (Inner Sunset) 1200 9th Ave. At this fish house, you can dine casually without compromising taste. Salads and sandwiches round out the meal for any non-fish lovers in the group, and the kids menu has great options for the little ones.
1Park Chow 👶 (Inner Sunset) 1240 9th Ave. Serving delicious American cuisine for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, across from Golden Gate Park. Bistro-style seating in front, a kids’ “bar” menu, and great wine and beer selections for the grown-ups make it a go-to spot for families.
Patxi’s Pizza 👶 (Inner Sunset) 822 Irving St. Serving deep dish Chicago pizza. The pizzas take about 30 minutes to prepare, and they offer special kids’ pizzas that can be served in the mean time.
Pluto’s 👶 (Inner Sunset) 627 Irving St. Come here when you want a great walk-through casual al a carte menu that includes cute and tasty kid items like Martian Mac ‘n Cheese, Saturn Garlic Potato Rings and Solar Sweet Potato Fries, a full juice and milk menu, and some yummy baked desserts. For adults, there are custom made-to-order salads and sandwiches. It has a large dining room and is usually not too busy, since many people come for takeout.
Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company 👶 (Outer Sunset) 1735 Noriega St. The owner set out to make this a welcoming place for families, so come here to enjoy good, seasonal comfort food and tasty microbrew beers, wine and cocktails. The volume level is on the louder side which is perfect for kids.
Yummy Yummy (Inner Sunset) 1015 Irving St. Serving an extensive menu of authentic Vietnamese dishes, the staff loves to dote on children and will let them make their own spring rolls.
21st Amendment Brewery and Restaurant 563 2nd St. Serving freshly prepared pub favorites and hand crafted beers to locals and Giants fans in town for baseball games. Check the blackboard for daily drink and food specials. Also check the baseball schedule because it gets crowded before and after games.
Tropisueno 75 Yerba Buena Ln. This restaurant is like getting two restaurants in one. For lunch, it’s a great taqueria. For dinner, it’s a casual restaurant serving authentic Mexican dishes. Across the street, Yerba Buena Gardens offers a great place for kids to release some energy before dinner. Reservations are recommended for dinner.
Yank Sing Two locations. These busy, buzzing restaurants make it a good spot for families. The dim sum carts are full of fresh, authentic Asian and Chinese dishes, and the variety of options guarantee there will be something for everyone. Try the more casual 49 Stephenson St. location for the kids.
Zero Zero 826 Folsom St. Delicious, brick oven pizzas are a hit with diners of all ages. Seasonal pizza specials and rotating salad and pasta dishes round out a tasty menu. They offer a great wine and spirits selection for the adults and the kids will love the Make Your Own Sundaes. Reserve a table to avoid a wait.
Squat & Gobble Cafe & Crepery 👶 1 West Portal. Serving family-style, large portions in a casual, welcoming atmosphere. The menu is extensive (think: breakfast food for dinner!).