Your Guide to Family-Friendly Dining in Philly

Philadelphia is filled with bars and restaurants that are simply extraordinary. With so many different atmospheres and cuisines to explore, it’s no wonder this city is known for food.

family of four having a great time at a restaurant in Philadelphia

But sometimes, dining can be difficult when you have a family. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time finding restaurants that are truly kid friendly.

That’s why I’ve put together a list of my favorite family-friendly places to eat in town.

No matter what kind of cuisine you’re in the mood for, you’ll be able to find it on this list. And with options from take-out spots to sit-down restaurants, you’ll also know where to go for every occasion. Keep reading to learn a bit about each place!

Thirsty Dice

1642 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Phone: 215-765-2679
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Just off Fairmount Avenue, you’ll find my personal favorite, Thirsty Dice, Philadelphia’s first board game café. 

Its floor-to-ceiling bookshelves jam-packed with games makes it the perfect spot to enjoy a family game night without stressing about grocery shopping or cleaning up. The vibe is fun, casual, and a tad nerdy (in a cool way!). 

The cleverly categorized menu consists of classic American and international comfort food split into “Pregame” appetizers, “Solo Player” meals, and “Multiplayer” pizzas.

Some standouts include the Mojo Chicken Nachos and Not Your Ma’s Meatloaf Sandwich, plus the extensive ice cream menu with plenty of toppings to personalize your treats. 

The Franklin Fountain

116 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: 215-627-1899
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The Franklin Fountain is located in the heart of Old City, near the iconic Penn’s Landing, which perfectly suits its early 1900s vintage charm.

It is styled as an old-fashioned sundae shop where you can find throwbacks like fizzes and phosphates on their sweets-centric menu. 

My kids’ favorite is the Mt. Vesuvius sundae, a hot fudge volcano with malt powder “ash.” However, I’m addicted to the Peach Melba, with jammy raspberry compote and sliced almonds on top of a generous scoop of peach ice cream. 

Craft Hall

901 N Delaware Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Phone: 267-297-2072
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Located near the scenic Penn Treaty Park, Craft Hall is a Philly restaurant designed to bring families together in a giant, loft-style playground. 

Its open-plan space lets you watch the chefs working their magic, churning out some of the best BBQ specialties in the city, including pub-style apps like spare ribs and jumbo pretzels, and dinner-sized meat platters with all the fixings.  

What makes Craft Hall a real showstopper for families is The Den, an incredible indoor playground complete with an arcade.

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It welcomes the little ones to run around and make new friends while you unwind with a craft beer brewed on-site. 

John’s Roast Pork

14 E Snyder Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Phone: 215-463-1951
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The proprietors of John’s Roast Pork are conjurers of culinary magic in their South Philly neighborhood, near Fright Factory to the east and Columbus Commons to the southwest. 

Kids and adults will love the menu’s simplicity. It’s nothing fancy, just downright delicious food made from the heart. 

The lines can get pretty long on the weekends, but don’t let that deter you. Once you sink your teeth into that juicy roast pork sandwich or tender cheesesteak, any hint of a complaint will melt away like provolone.

Pizzeria Stella

420 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: (215) 320-8000
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In the mood for some pizza? Pizzeria Stella is not only delicious, but perfect for the whole family. Enjoy wood-fired pizzas with gourmet toppings at this spot. And with hundreds of positive reviews, it’s evident this place is a must-try.

Find your new favorite pie by choosing from countless options on Pizzeria Stella’s menu. Try out the ‘nduja, tartufo, pistachio, piccante, or San Daniele. Make sure to get some homemade gelato on your way out!

Pizza Brain

2313 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Phone: 215-291-2965
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If you find yourself in the Fishtown neighborhood, make a pit stop at Pizza Brain, a museum-meets-restaurant eatery serving some of the best pies in Philly.

They pride themselves on the creative toppings baked onto a delightfully crispy thin crust, many of which are vegan-friendly.

On my last trip, my family thoroughly enjoyed their Wendy Wedgeworth with mozzarella, sun-dried tomato, arugula, and honeyed goat cheese.

Still, we were more excited to explore the Museum of Pizza Culture. This Guinness World Record-holding collection of everything from toys to vintage advertisements is anything but cheesy.

The exhibits are so dense it’s worth a return trip or three just to ensure you can check everything out. 

Max Brenner

1500 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 215-344-8150
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Max Brenner, a real-life Willy Wonka factory, sans the Oompa Loompas singing ominous tunes about naughty children.

Despite its trendy, upscale appearance, it’s got a casual, cocoa-scented atmosphere that’s ideal after a fun-filled day exploring nearby Rittenhouse Square. 

While they offer a tasty brunch, lunch, and dinner menu, this eatery is all about chocolate. Their Sharing fondue– with dippable treats that include Chocolate Cheesecake Crepe, After-Party Waffle, Chocolate Melting Heart Cake, strawberries, marshmallows, and more– is perfect for families seeking an engaging, interactive dining experience

Good luck convincing your kiddos to finish their mac and cheese before diving into a slice of Chocolate Chunks Pizza or begging for a bite of Spectacular Melting Chocolate S’Mores Sundae!

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Miles Table

1620 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146
Phone: (215) 651-3040
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Searching for a good breakfast or lunch spot? Swing by Miles Table. This restaurant prioritizes the use of fresh and high-quality ingredients, so you know it’ll be good. And with so many reviews raving about the food here, how could you not want to try this place?

You’ll find breakfast, brunch, and lunch at Miles Table, so you can stop by for almost any meal. Be sure to try the tres leches french toast, carnitas benedict, chicken ciabatta, or turkey burger!

Beiler’s Bakery

51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 267-318-7480
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Beiler’s Bakery, nestled within the historic Reading Terminal Market, is a haven of handmade delights. The aroma of fried, yeasted dough alone is enough to cut through the hustle and bustle of market day, tempting hungry kids like a Pied Piper. 

While they offer your typical donut shop selections, albeit more delicious than anything in a corner store, Beiler’s more elaborate creations truly rank this little bakery amongst the best kid-friendly restaurants in Philadelphia.

They’ll have a tough time choosing among the dozens of varieties, from their cookie-dusted Oreo Creme to the rainbow cereal-studded Fruity Pebbles Chocolate. 

Stop by Beiler’s for a sweet treat and an authentic taste of Pennsylvania Dutch Country right in the heart of Philly.

Miller’s Twist

51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 215-923-1723
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Miller’s Twist is also in the Reading Terminal Market, ideal for a quick snack to refuel during you shopping trip. 

This stand serves the best soft pretzels and pretzel roll-ups in the City of Brotherly Love, with a menu of sweet or savory treats inspired by the owner’s childhood growing up near Lancaster County’s Amish community. 

If you’re trying to beat the crowds with a morning market trip, Miller’s Twist has breakfast covered with Breakfast Roll-Ups filled with egg, cheese, and your choice of bacon, ham, or sausage.

On afternoon visits, you must try the Philly Cheesesteak Roll-Up, a fusion of the city’s famous sandwich wrapped in a golden-brown pretzel.

Ristorante Pesto

1915 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Phone: 215-336-8380
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In East Passyunk Crossing, you’ll find Ristorante Pesto, a charming Italian establishment that’s won multiple awards for its warm, cozy atmosphere and authentic Nepalese cuisine. 

Since 2003, husband and wife owners the Varallos have welcomed Philly families to share a meal of authentic Italian fare in portions even Nonna would approve of. 

If you’re only going to visit once, don’t leave without trying their housemade potato gnocchi. These luscious dumplings are melt-in-your-mouth delicious and topped with your choice of pesto, rosé, or gorgonzola sauce.

The kids will enjoy classic favorites, like Fettucini Alfredo and Pollo Parmigiana, finished with a scoop of in-house gelato or a slice of tiramisu. 

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Cafe La Maude

816 N 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Phone: 267-318-7869
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Cafe La Maude, nestled in the vibrant neighborhood of Northern Liberties, serves a mouthwatering French-Lebanese fusion brunch menu in a laidback Parisian bistro ambiance. 

The eatery is just a short walk from Liberty Lands, making it a perfect post-playground pit stop. Thanks to its heated outdoor dining space, it’s also an excellent option for a winter family outing.

I heartily recommend the Grain Chaud, a soul-warming bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh fruit, walnuts, and crème brûlée. Prefer something savory instead?

Go for the Mediterranean Platter for a tantalizing taste of the traditional Lebanese flavors of Lebnah, hummus, grilled Halloumi, and za’atar-spiced pita. 

Dutch Eating Place

51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 215-922-0425
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Dutch Eating Place is another worthwhile stop during your tour of Reading Terminal Market if you’re in the mood for something hearty and homey with just a dash of nostalgia. 

The staff serves generous portions of Pennsylvania Dutch classics such as Apple Dumplings splashed in rich cream and rib-sticking Chicken Pot Pie. 

Their blueberry-studded stacks of pancakes were a hit with my kiddos, and we enjoyed eating at the bustling counter where we could watch the artisanship come to life.

Though the line can last long, the comforting food and authentic Amish charm are worth waiting!

Lulu’s Casita

6 Cricket Ave, Ardmore, PA 19003
Phone: 610-642-3623
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Head to Ardmore in Philly’s western suburbs for a meal at Lulu’s Casita. This laidback, family-friendly cafe is part of a 4,000-square-foot indoor playground for toddlers under 5. 

They offer a scrumptious selection of American and Mexican favorites, with options like quesadillas and fresh fruit on the kid’s menu and the more mature flavors of a chicken mole or tomato pesto on ciabatta for the grownups. 

The best part of Lulu’s Casita is that you can unwind with a cup of coffee, knowing that your little ones are having a ball in a safe, stimulating environment.

Be sure to check their event schedule for fun activities like Storytime, Music Circle, and Tiny Tot Dance Jam.

Spruce Street Harbor Park

301 S Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia
Phone: 215-922-2386
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Located in lively Penn’s Landing, Spruce Street Harbor Park isn’t your typical restaurant.

During the warmer months, the area becomes a culinary wonderland of food stalls. There’s something for everyone, from Ay Burrito’s lineup of south-of-the-border favorites to the newly added Humpty’s Dumplings, selling sweet and savory pillows of happiness. 

The kids can burn off some energy exploring the floating gardens or settle into one of the park’s hammocks for a post-meal chill session. Combine that with the park’s beautiful waterfront views, and you’ve got an unforgettable family outing.

Which spot will you try first? Let us know! Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you tell us about it and we’ll check it out!

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

Follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram, Quora, Google Guide and Facebook.