Where to Eat With Kids in Orlando

15 of Orlando's best restaurants for taking the kids.

Dad wants a steak, mom craves sushi and junior needs a high chair. Let’s face it, dining out as a family is challenging, even in a family-oriented town like Orlando. From hungry teenagers to energetic toddlers, our list of Orlando’s family-friendly restaurants has something for everyone.

Burgers & Dogs

Grab a picnic table and dig into a Shack Burger and cheese fries at Shake Shack’s picturesque patio on Lake Killarney. Linger by the lake for frozen custard, or work off your meal with a friendly round of ping pong. 119 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 321.203.5130, www.shakeshack.com.

Head to Universal City Walk’s Hot Dog Hall of Fame for some peanuts, cracker jacks and gourmet hot dogs, like the Kansas City Dog topped with pulled pork, barbecue sauce and coleslaw. Enjoy a beer in the bleachers while little ones run on the artificial turf. 6300 Hollywood Way, 407.224.3463, www.universalorlando.com.

From tasty veggie burgers to grilled hot dogs and cheese burgers, BurgerFi makes it fast and fresh. All natural, scratch-made food makes parents happy; kids just love the taste. Multiple locations, www.burgerfi.com. 

Ship Ahoy

Can’t decide between sushi and burgers? Have both at The Cowfish. Kids love the Bento Boxes with sushi rolls, mini-burgers or chicken, and the interactive virtual fish in the lobby and origami-printed menus keep them entertained. Universal City Walk, 6000 Universal Blvd., 407.224.2275, www.thecowfish.com.

With a playground near the patio, Joe’s Crab Shack caters to kids with child-sized steam pots filled with snow crab, shrimp and corn on the cob. For dessert, they can paint their own crab-shaped treat while mom and dad finish up buckets of crab, fresh seafood and grilled steak.  Multiple locations, 407.352.2929, www.joescrabshack.com.

At Epcot’s Tokyo Dining kids’ meals arrive in a monorail car filled with sushi, tempura or chicken teriyaki while adults dine on Japanese specialties, grilled steak and seafood. Reserve a table by the window, savor green tea ice cream and watch the Illuminations show over the lagoon. Japan Pavilion, 200 Epcot Center Drive, Walt Disney World admission required. 407.939.3463.

Hang Loose

Get a taste of the tropics with all-you-can-eat coconut bread, honey chicken wings and fire-grilled meat and seafood at ‘Ohana. Families can hula hoop, play coconut games and dance to island music. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, 1600 Seven Seas Drive, 407.939.3463.

Kids enjoy mango or berry coolers while adults sip on margaritas and soak up the music at Bahama Breeze. Try a taste of the Caribbean and share coconut shrimp, beef empanadas and chicken tostones. 8849 International Drive, 407.248.2499, www.bahamabreeze.com.

Get Healthy

Sweet Tomatoes’ 55-foot salad bar tempts even the pickiest eater to load up on veggies with tossed salads and tons of toppings. Round out your meal at this budget-friendly buffet with hearty soups, hot pasta dishes and fresh focaccia bread. 12561 S. Apopka Vineland Road, 407.938.9462, www.sweettomatoes.com.

Citron offers sophisticated healthy options for kids like lemon-roasted salmon and chopped salad with organic chicken, and lets them mix and match entrees with broccoli trees, organic applesauce and carrot sticks.  JW Marriott Grande Lakes, 4040 Central Florida Parkway, 407.393.4621, www.grandelakes.com

Character Dining

Dine with Mickey and friends at Chef Mickey’s Fun Time Buffet. From tofu scramble and Mickey waffles at breakfast to sushi and corn dogs at dinner, there’s something for every palate served with a side of song and dance. Disney’s Contemporary Resort, 4600 North World Drive, 407.939.3463.

Mingle with the minions at Universal Orlando’s Superstar breakfast, where you can dine with Despicable Me characters and then enjoy the parade from an exclusive viewing area. Universal Studios Florida, admission required. 407.224.3463.

Fun & Games            

Beat the heat at King’s Bowl for some family-friendly bowling, bocce ball or billiards. With salads, pizza, burgers, sandwiches and cocktails, King’s is a sure strike for adults and kids. Over 21 after 8 pm, 8255 International Drive, 407.363.0200,www.kingsbowlamerica.com.

Head to Downtown Disney’s Exposition Park for some food-truck fun. From chicken and waffles and corndogs to Tandoori shrimp and butter chicken, flavors span the globe. 1486 E. Buena Vista Drive

Chefs at Benihana keep everyone entertained with flying eggs and steaming volcanos while preparing hibachi-style steak, shrimp and chicken. The multi-course Kabuki kid’s meal is a great value, and the complimentary family photo adds to the experience. 12690 International Drive, 407.239.7400, www.benihana.com.