Kid-friendly Milwaukee restaurants: 2010
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Feb. 14, 2010 at 3:13 p.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.
Sure, kids love chowing out of boxes at the golden arches, but Milwaukee is filled with many other easy, affordable restaurants just waiting to clean the food, sugar packets and forgotten small toys from under your table.
In an effort to compile a comprehensive list of places for you and your family to dine -- other than the usual chains -- we asked Milwaukee parents from all parts of the city to tell us their secret and not-so-secret eateries of choice. Certainly we didn't get 'em all, so please contribute to this list by using the talkback feature.
"The Lakefront Brewery Palm Garden, 1872 N. Commerce St., is great for a Friday night fish fry with kids. My neighbor's 2-year-old son loves to dance to the polka music," says Holly Schiek.
Indeed, Lakefront Brewery's Friday night fish fry scene is a great venue for decent food (fish fry, pasta dishes and sandwiches), indoor exercise (thanks to the large dance floor and house band, Brewhaus Polka Kings) and freshly tapped beer for those parents weary from a long week.
"I can't say enough about Maharaja, 1550 N. Farwell Ave. They really, genuinely like children, have great food and attentive service," says Denise Lubotsky about the East Side Indian restaurant with lots of space, a fleet of high chairs and a Buddha-patient staff.
Ferch's Malt Shoppe, 5356 Broad St., in Greendale, is an old-fashioned ice cream shop where Stephanie Simmons likes to take her kids for a bite.
"It has a counter with 'swirly seats' and some booths in the back. They also have a jukebox," she says. "The food is great too. They have a selection of wraps as well as other diner food."
The Comet, 1947 N. Farwell Ave., has high chairs and is non-smoking on one side of the restaurant. Plus, the Americana cuisine is popular with picky eaters. Comet's sister cafe, Fuel, 818 E. Center St., is also very kid-friendly, especially now that it's sans smoking.
Milwaukee has no shortage of Mexican restaurants, and many are mucho kid-friendly. Riverwest's Jen Lucas votes for La Fuente, 625 S. 5th St.
"It's so noisy that I never feel self conscious of my kids' volume," says Lucas. "They genuinely seem to enjoy and welcome little ones. One time I swear two or three waiters worked overtime picking up toys and forks that my youngest kept dropping or throwing."
"Conejitos, Conejito's, Conejito's," says Shorewood's Mike Bradford, referring to Conejito's Place, 539 W. Virginia St. "Cheap, good food and great margaritas."
"We go to Sunset Family Restaurant, 535 W. Sunset Dr., in Waukesha. The staff is always really nice to my kids and their beverages are always put in a cup with a lid and straw," says Kristen Rose.
Many local 'rents recommend Beans & Barley, 1901 E. North Ave. "Beans" has a kids' menu and a kid-friendly placemat that comes with crayons.
"The casual dining area is great for kids and the food is wonderful! We love to go there for breakfast. There are always a lot of kids there from newborns on," says Lori Kuchinski.
"There is a nice toy section to look through when you are waiting for a table. I always feel safe letting my oldest run to the bathroom or look at the deli section while we eat," says Jennifer Lucas, mom to daughters Autumn and Zoe.
The Chancery features "kids' night" every Tuesday, meaning kids are measured and charged a penny-an-inch for their meals. Barb Schreffler enjoys visiting the Chancery in Mequon, 11046 N. Port Washington Rd. Three other locations: 7615 W. State St., 4624 S. 27th St. and 2100 E. Moreland Blvd. in Waukesha.
Schreffler doesn't limit her options to places with free crayons. She also dines with her family in a few surprisingly kid-friendly restaurants like Mama Mia's, 8533 W. Greenfield Ave., 2615 W. Silver Spring Dr. and 18880 W. Blumound Rd.
"My husband and I will take our 7-year-old and 18-month-old just about anywhere," she says.
More kid-friendly restaurants in Brew City:
4900 S. 76th St., Greenfield, (414) 282-0141
1305 E. Capitol Dr., (414) 963-9880
18355 W. Bluemound Rd., Brookfleld, (262) 797-0166
1827 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 289-9993
Red Robin Restaurant
7575 Edgerton Ave., Greenfield, (414) 421-2257
StoneFire Pizza Co.
5320 S. Moorland Rd., New Berlin, (262) 970-8800
Add your favorite kiddie eateries by using the Talkback feature.
Firefly in Wauwatosa is kid friendly. Kids eat free there for part of the week - I think it's Monday Tuesday Wednesday (please call to confirm). Also, someone else mentioned the Safehouse. Go early in the evening and you will find many families there. A great place to explore!
I need to blow my horn, since Sammy's Taste of Chicago in West Allis isn't listed here. Kids of every age will and do Love Sammy's. For parents, every Sunday, we have 99 cent Hot Dogs of all kinds and Corn Dogs are 1.19. Hope to see you all there.
How can you leave off Organ Piper? One of the best places around. Good food, arcade games, the organist, kids and adults both love it.
Flabbergast for kids is also great! My kids loved it! They were so exhausted afterwards.. which was great for me! What more can you ask for ..... You get Rosati's pizza, soda and hours of fun entertainment! Parents are always free! but so are kids under 24 months.
I don't have kids but Maxie's seems pretty kid friendly. Also, on sundays kids eat for $1.
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