Top Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Atlanta

On your next Atlanta family vacation, include these favorite eateries that please kids and adults alike.


Like any major city, Atlanta, Ga., is chock full of kid-friendly restaurants, with choices that can appease easy-to-please kids and finicky eaters alike.. While Atlanta may be deep in the heart of the South, it’s easy to see that the city provides a broad variety of tastes and experiences for family dining on your Atlanta vacation.

Souper Jenny

Many local moms say the best place to dine out with kids in Atlanta is Souper Jenny, a friendly café in Buckhead featuring homemade food and a whimsical décor that appeals to adults and children alike. Diners share tables, and all the servers are working actors who often provide song or dance along with their service.

“The first restaurant we took my daughter to was Souper Jenny, and it’s still one of our regular spots,” says Atlanta mom Stacie Hanna. “It’s a casual, cozy restaurant that serves homemade soups, sandwiches and baked goods. All the food is fresh and most of it is very healthy—well, maybe not the chocolate chip cookies.”

Souper Jenny is open for lunch seven days a week, plus brunch on the weekends (except during August, when the café goes on hiatus). Every Thursday the restaurant stays open until 10 p.m. for “Grilled Cheese Night,” where kids can pick from soup, two kinds of grilled cheese sandwiches and “make-em-yourself s’mores.” Owner Jenny Levinson, who has a young son, also added a playroom to the restaurant with games, toys and a play kitchen to keep youngsters entertained.

The Varsity

College students and kids alike love The Varsity—the world’s largest drive-in restaurant and a landmark in downtown Atlanta since 1928, serving greasy hamburgers and the like. It also is the only restaurant in Atlanta I ever went to with my late dad when I was a kid, so it remains a spot of home in the big city.

While there are six locations in Atlanta and Athens, the best is easily the original location in Midtown. Visitors are greeted with a booming, “What’ll ya have?” that carries over the noise of the crowd. Chili cheese dogs, onion rings and fried pies are among the old-time favorites that never fail to please. The Varsity is always busy, but it’s a particularly good idea not to go when Georgia Tech is playing a home football game: More than 30,000 fans will visit the restaurant that day!

The Flying Biscuit

For a healthier Atlanta dining choice, check out The Flying Biscuit Café, where the namesake homemade biscuits and eclectic décor have made it a local legend. Breakfast and brunch are served all day, with Southern cuisine available for lunch and dinner. Extra touches, like organic oatmeal pancakes and French toast made with whole wheat bread, reflect the restaurant’s dedication to the Slow Food movement. Many longtime Atlantans favor the original location in Candler Park, but suburban franchise locations like the Johnson Ferry Road site in Marietta also offer a great atmosphere and wholesome food that kids love.  

Buffalo’s Southwest Café

Another local chain that targets families is Buffalo’s Southwest Café, which spotlights its trademark wings. It’s not easy to find good wings in this town—too greasy, or too soggy—but its wings and fries are consistent across the chain. At the Acworth location, a stuffed buffalo head greets visitors. The hardwood floors, outlaws’ wanted posters and tintype photos convey the feel of a Wild West saloon.

My son’s a picky eater, so it’s hard to find a place with a good variety, but he favors the Dodge City dogs—corn dog nuggets served with french fries—the hamburgers and the cowboy quesadilla. Most locations offer “Kids Eat Free” promotions and all-you-can-eat-wings nights, so check before you go—it’s a great deal, but it’s also usually the busiest time of the week.  

The Real Chow Baby

The entire family will enjoy building their own dishes at The Real Chow Baby, a create-your-own-stir-fry restaurant near The Cobb Galleria. The kids’ menu features staples like chicken tenders and cheese quesadillas, but parents mainly bring their children here so they can make their own food. Children and adults alike pick their own ingredients—noodles, rice, meat, vegetables and sauces—and a chef prepares their personal creation. This is also one of the few Atlanta restaurants that serves Bubble Tea, a fun Asian favorite in various flavors that uses tapioca pearls to create a delightful creamy texture.

Marlow’s Tavern

For more traditional fare, check out one of the six Marlow’s Tavern locations. Don’t let the name fool you: They cater mostly to families and are constantly updating their kids’ menu. Tiny burgers, fish sticks and “the cheesiest mac & cheese” are among youngster’s favorites. Traveling families will find the Northlake location inside the Doubletree Hotel particularly convenient.

Atlanta Restaurant Chains

One national chain with local roots is Ted’s Montana Grill, founded by media mogul Ted Turner. The hamburgers include bison and “regular” hamburgers, plus an extensive kids’ menu.

The metropolitan area also offers a number of major national restaurant chains that provide family dining options. Food and entertainment come together at Jillians in Lawrenceville, and Dave & Buster’s in two locations in Cobb and Gwinnett counties. Joe’s Crab Shack in Kennesaw has enhanced its Florida dockside ambiance with an outdoor playground—complete with sand! Applebee’s, IHOP, Bahama Breeze and many others have kids’ menus and frequent family-oriented specials, with deals and nights varying by season. 

Destinations: Atlanta

Themes: Family Travel

Activities: Eat

User Comments

Diners looking for an intown restaurant that welcomes hungry folks of all ages can head to Holy Taco for a truly kid-friendly atmosphere and menu. Small portions of regular menu items, organic juices and only healthy ingredients make Holy Taco an ideal stop for parents who want good food even when they have kids in tow. The Menu de Niños brings Mexican and South American dishes down a notch on the spice charts, offering selections like a variety of quesadillas, chicharrones de pollo (fried sliced chicken), whole roasted corn and twice fried green plantains. Most of the children’s menu items run about $4. For the beans and rice crowd, a side of each of these can be ordered together for just $5 total. There are smaller versions of the desserts too – sopapillas or churros with cinnamon and sugar. Young diners can wash it all down with organic milk, organic apple juice or a pineapple or grapefruit fresca.

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