Come summertime, many families want to leave their kitchens behind in favor of an outdoor meal so they can enjoy the weather. The problem is that it isn’t always apparent which restaurants are kid-friendly — and whether or not there’s a patio to enjoy the weather. Here are some local restaurants where everyone will enjoy the food, interesting atmosphere and family options.
1. Tabletop Board Game Café
Do your kids love to play board games? Do you want to have a family fun game night? Head on over to Tabletop Board Game Café, which has more than 1,000 board games from which to choose. Take the stress away by playing a game with the family while having a meal. The outdoor tables were set at the end of May, just in time for the summer months ahead. 1810 W. 25th St., Cleveland, tabletopcleve.com
2. Johnny Mango
This is a fun place to take your kids and enjoy the outdoors. The menu has a wide selection for everyone: juice bar, meatless options, burritos and quesadillas, and a kids’ menu that is fun and creative. The kids’ menu includes a specialty item, “Chicken Dance,” which basically means that kids get to create their own chicken burrito. The best part about this restaurant is that it’s highly affordable. 3120 Bridge Ave., Cleveland, jmango.com
3. Melt Bar & Grilled
This unique restaurant is bold by design, lively, and very kid-friendly — after all, what child doesn’t love grilled cheese? Patio dining is available, as well as a kids’ menu that’s $4 every day except Tuesday, when kids eat for $2. Melt currently has nine full-service locations throughout Ohio, with a 10th slated to open in August. meltbarandgrilled.com
4. Swenson’s Drive In Restaurants
This Akron favorite was built in 1934 at West Market Street and Hawkins Avenue in Akron, when the routes were merely country dirt roads. Fast forward to today, and you still can enjoy an old-fashioned cheeseburger and a hand-crafted milkshake with carside service at this authentic restaurant. It is an absolute must for families. Swensons has several locations in Northeast Ohio: West Akron, North Akron, Stow/Kent, Montrose, Seven Hills, North Canton and Jackson. swensonsdriveins.com
5. Creekside Restaurant
Creekside offers outdoor seating, and children will enjoy the scenery all around them without the distractions of televisions or video games. The affordable kids’ menu is very traditional, offering corn dogs, pasta, hamburgers, pizza and sandwiches for $4.50. 8803 Brecksville Road, Brecksville, creeksiderestaurant.com
6. Greenhouse Tavern
This is a great place for families to try out as the outdoor seating has a comfy alley atmosphere. While there isn’t a specific kids menu, the restaurant offers the entire menu “kids-style” for $10. Patio seating lets families enjoy people-watching and the hustle and bustle of downtown Cleveland’s East Fourth Street. 2038 E. Fourth St., Cleveland, thegreenhousetavern.com
7. Grumpy’s Café
This is a fun, cute place to bring your family. Grumpy’s offers breakfast/brunch, lunch and dinner, so you can pick the time that’s best for your family — however, the breakfast menu is something to behold. Choose a great selection for any meal and you won’t be disappointed; after all, the restaurant’s tagline is “Cleveland Feel Good Food.” 2621 W. 14th St., Cleveland, grumpys-cafe.com
When considering any restaurant, it’s always best to call ahead to make sure there is patio seating or that the establishment is kid-friendly. It is sometimes best to find out if the restaurant takes reservations as well, since these places can fill up quickly.