Berkeley patios: 10 restaurants where you can eat outside with kids

Summer, which seems to run from early August to the beginning of October around here, is a nice time to eat at a restaurant with outdoor patio space.  The sound of kids rejecting their food can drift up into the heavens instead of bouncing off the walls and driving us all crazy. With a little help from you readers, we’ve got a couple of nice restaurant lists going.

Here are ten kid-friendly restaurants in Berkeley with outdoor seating:

  1. Cafe Leila – on San Pablo, north of University, this casual restaurant produces high quality, fresh food and offers a large patio with enough room for dogs and strollers. Service can be slow. Dinner only on Thurs-Sunday evenings. Try brunch.
  2. Rick and Ann’s – Across from the Claremont Hotel, this Berkeley institution will keep you waiting for weekend breakfasts, but if you’re lucky enough to go on a weekday, it’s delicious. Patio is pretty, but on a busy street.
  3. Jupiter – This large and festive patio is filled with students and young families. The pizza and salads are delicious. The fire pit is not awesome for for toddlers, but they can’t get to it without climbing. Located conveniently for meeting a parent hopping off the BART in Downtown Berkeley. The live music may be too loud, but it doesn’t start until 8 pm.
  4. Barney’s – Serving burgers and fries in many flavors, Barney’s outdoor seating is up above street level. The view is not picturesque, but rather the bustling Gourmet Ghetto.
  5. Lanesplitter – On San Pablo, near University, this pizza pub’s backyard garden is great for kids. (Read our previous review of Lanesplitter for kids.)
  6. Picante – With al fresco seating in front and in back of the restaurant, Picante might win the square footage contest. The back is better for younger children as it is contained. The front is exposed to the busy street, incoming customers, and the sales of Street Spirit magazine. Great food and drinks. Not cheap.
  7. Stella Nona – New kid on the block on San Pablo, just south of Gilman, this restauarant and bar offers fancy Berkeley food for parents, and a simple kids menu for kids who favor plain pasta or a hot dog (chicken apple sausage, natch). Lovely enclosed patio, and the easiest parking in town.
  8. Comal – Beautiful — and hip — outdoor bar and seating in back of the restaurant and delicious food. Quesadillas and guacamole on the menu, plus many Mexican treats that will please everyone.
  9. Moxy – Picnic table style outdoor seating invites families to linger over craft beer and burgers on Sacramento Street at this beer garden.
  10. Tacubaya – On Berkeley’s 4th Street, Tacubaya patrons may sit outside with their food on tables shared by Tacubaya and the adjacent Market Hall. Ideal for pulling a stroller up next to your table for lunch or dinner. Feeding a baby or young toddler? Share the camote, a delicious, rich, pureed sweet potato dish.

Next week: Outdoor dining in Oakland!

photo courtesy Jupiter’s website

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  1. Shannon says

    This is a great list, with the exception of Moxy on Sacramento. Young children who cannot sit in their seat the entire time are not welcome in the least bit. We went for dinner with friends and our three kids under 5 and were asked to leave even though there were literrally no other patrons on the patio.

    • says

      Interesting, Shannon. I did notice signs clarifying that kids are expected to stay in their seats on the patio. I should have noted that in the post; it’s probably best for grade school age kids. Or folks with infants who want to have a beer.

  2. Andrew says

    Though I agree that Picante is “not cheap” compared to other taquerias, it seems weird to me that it got that qualifier, but Comal’s super high end fair didn’t garner a mention along those lines. I hear Comal is great and worth the price, but that place CERTAINLY ain’t cheap.

  3. L. says

    I agree that Comal is a bit of a stretch – both because of cost and ‘fancy’ factor. I haven’t been to Moxy but also have heard that they are trying hard to make it less kid friendly, which is sort of sad. Paisan should be added to the list, I think their patio is outside enough to qualify.

  4. B says

    Thank you for this list. SLOW on University has inexpensive tasty food with a beautiful and large rose garden seating in the back.

  5. dito says

    Beware. Moxy is in no way family friendly. Went there on a lazy Sunday afternoon. My son and his friend, ages 7 and 6, went to sit at a table adjacent to ours and were told to go back with us at our crowded table. No compromise, get up, or leave. Not going back.