99 Kid-friendly Restaurants in the East Bay - 510 Families

99 Kid-friendly Restaurants in the East Bay

Thanks to Public Market Emeryville for sponsoring today’s guide to family-friendly dining. Now open for carry out, outdoor dining, and limited indoor dining with so many choices, there are lots of reasons to bring the kids out to dinner in Emeryville. Don’t forget the excellent playground, too!

Best restaurants for kids & families in the East Bay

If you’re a parent in Berkeley, Oakland, or some other part of the East Bay, odds are pretty good that you’ve been to at least five of the following restaurants with your kids. Over and over! And over!

510Families.com has profiled many of these spots within our archives, but consider this your community-generated cheat sheet to kid-centric eats. I love the diversity of flavors represented; it bears little resemblance to the stuff I grew up eating. We invite you to branch out and try a new place. And let us know about it.

99 kid-friendly restaurants

Mexican Restaurants & More

The smallest of new eaters can usually manage some mashed up avocado or soft black beans. Even picky toddlers will go for quesadillas. Our family-favorite taquerías:

  1. Cactus (N. Berkeley + Rockridge) | Call ahead for takeout or order out in person. Cactus is my go-to. Those tiny burritos and the great prices bring me back over and over again. It is the place I turn to when I don’t want to cook. – Whitney  Website.
  2. Cancun (Berkeley) | Committed to fresh ingredients, lots of salsa choices. Pick up or delivery. Website.
  3. Cholita Linda (N. Oakland) | Take out and delivery only. Farmers’ Market stand turned brick-and-mortar. Website.
  4. La Penca Azul (Alameda) | Take away, delivery, and drive-through on-demand. My daughters love the chips. – Rebecca. Website.
  5. Picante (Berkeley) | Drive-through carry out available with online or phone ordering. I am a big fan of the online ordering and easy pickup. – Heather Website.
  6. Tacubaya (Berkeley) | Order pick-up, delivery, or enjoy outdoor dining.  This Fourth Street taqueria is a delicious respite from shopping and errands. Outdoor seating lets sound escape and don’t forget the trainspotting. – Heather Website.
Girl eating tacos at C Casa
Child eating tacos at C Casa | Photo provided by Public Market Emeryville

Tasty Asian restaurants kids dig

You guys had way more go-to sushi joints than I was expecting with a strong emphasis on the boats (AKA bune). Growing up in Ohio, Asian food only meant Chinese, but no more.  Kid-favorite noodle and rice joints:

  1. Anchalee (Berkeley) | Thai take out. The food is very good, staff is friendly and my daughter inhales their fried rice. We pack sticker books and markers to keep her happy during boring grown-up conversations. – Janet O. Website.
  2. Bowl’d (Albany + Alameda + Oakland) | Korean pick up or delivery. I love that they give little smoothies and kid chopsticks and bowls. – Anne C. Website.
  3. Café Raj (Albany) | N. Indian + Pakistani take out. My daughter will eat Chana Masala and my son will eat Chicken Tikka Masala, hold the raisins. – Whitney. Website.
  4. House of Curries (Albany, Berkeley) | Cheap Indian take out food, but some of the best naan around. Website.
  5. Mint Leaf (W. Berkeley + Alameda) | Vietnamese restaurant take out at either location, or limited patio seating in Berkeley. Try the Cha Gio rolls. Website.
  6. Ohgane Korean (Oakland, Alameda, Concord) | Korean BBQ for take out. Website.
  7. Oori Rice Triangles (Albany, Oakland) | My family and so may friends LOVE the takeout from Oori Rice triangles – Carol B. Website.
  8. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro (Emeryville) | Asian Fusion Chain with carry out. Order online or with their app and take advantage of Bay Street’s 15 minute free parking for food carryout. Website.
  9. Renee’s Place (Albany) | Wonderful neighborhood restaurant where Renee herself enjoys greeting the regulars of all ages, and knows how to accommodate multi-generational parties very well. – Holly L. Website.
  10. Shen Hua (Elmwood) | Chinese take out or delivery. Tasty and noisy Chinese where your child’s voice blends into the background. – Heather. Website.
  11. Shiba Ramen (Emeryville) | Slurp up noodles as plain or adorned as your kid wants. Website.
  12. Toss Noodle Bar (Berkeley) | Order carry out of mixed Asian flavors. Dress your noodles however you like. {See Whitney’s review of Toss} Website.
  13. Vik’s Chaat House (Berkeley) | Indian take out or delivery. With over 2000 Yelp reviews, this place has got to be good. Website.
soft serve at the Public Market
Enjoying soft serve at Public Market Emeryville

5 restaurants kids love at Public Market Emeryville

Now open for on-site dining – indoors at 25% capacity and outdoor on the spacious patios – plus takeout and delivery!

Public Market Emeryville has 16 artisan eateries all under one roof so you can enjoy different flavors while still eating together. We love all the choices and lovely outdoor dining options. We are excited that we can also send the kids to play at their sweet playground while we eat soft serve.

  1. Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement Kids and grownups alike can’t get enough of the rosemary fried chicken, mac ‘n cheese, and Kool-aid from Minnie Bell’s.Website.
  2. C Casa | Reimagined, tasty, and gluten-free taqueria. Kids love the rotisserie chicken taco with big chunks of meat, plus cheese quesadillas, nachos, chips and salsa and don’t miss out on the Mexican chocolate brownie for dessert! Website.
  3. Super Duper Burgers | There’s everything a kid would love from a mini burger to kid sized shakes and soft serve cones – made with organic Straus Family Creamery soft serve, plus fries, house made pickles and more! Website.
  4. Paradita Paradita offers modern Peruvian street food. Kids and families enjoy grilled meat skewers, savory meat filled empanadas, and for dessert sweet alfajores – dulce de leche-filled shortbread cookies. Website.
  5. Shiba Ramen Kids love to slurp big bowls of ramen noodles at Shiba Ramen. The bowls full of flavorful broth are large and include enough noodles to share. Website.

Pizza & Italian places that welcome families

Can’t go wrong with cheese pizza, am I right? Well not for my kid but for 79.5% of East Bay kids, it is the easy choice. Parents and kids like these place for getting tomato sauce on their faces:

  1. Arizmendi Bakery (Oakland + Emeryville)  Take out. Worker-owned cooperative serves pizza by the slice in a daily flavor. Menu changes day, call ahead.
  2. Benchmark Pizza (Kensington) | Order online or by phone. Delivery through Caviar. Menu aimed at kids and adults. Entire menu available for take out. Website.
  3. Bobby G’s (Downtown Berkeley) | Take out and delivery available. Large menu, half-baked pies, and even vegan cheese options. Limited outdoor dining. Website.
  4. California Pizza Kitchen Mix it up with a BBQ Chicken Pizza. Outdoor dining and take-out available (Emeryville, Oakland or Walnut Creek). Website.
  5. Cheeseboard (N. Berkeley) | Take out only. The refined tastes might be too much for some little ones but the noisy grab-and-go ambiance can’t be beat. You can often ask for toppings to be left off, but not the core cheese or sauce. Check the pizza flavor before you go. Website.
  6. Drake’s Dealership (Oakland) | Pick up and delivery as well as patio dining available. Wood fired pizzas, excellent beer and a huge outdoor seating area. Website.
  7. Forge (Jack London Square) | Outdoor pizzeria with fire pits, plus a pretty view of the docks. The kid’s pizza is huge. Soft serve sundaes to top it off. Website.
  8. Gioia Pizzeria (N. Berkeley) | Take-out New York-style pizza by the slice.  Squash for the adults. My family lives on this stuff! – Whitney. Order online for take out or delivery. Website.
  9. iSlice (Albany) | Pick up a slice, or a whole pie. Reasonably priced, fast and delicious. Delivery through Doordash. Website.
  10. Jupiter (Berkeley) | Take out or outdoor dining. Terrific patio for casual summer evenings with wood-fired pizza and lots of beer on tap. Website.
  11. Lanesplitter (Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville) | Slices for kids, salad & wine for me. – Sarah M {See also Good value, Lanesplitter’s kids meals}. Take out, delivery and limited patio dining. Website.
  12. Little Star Pizza (Albany) | Take out, delivery and patio dining. Deep dish is the star here, but don’t over look the solid  thin crust. Definitely my kids’ first pick. – Holly L. Website.
  13. Lucia’s (Berkeley) | Take out only. Tasty pizzas, salads, and veggies in the cutest little shop. Website.
  14. Mission Pizza + Pub (Fremont) | Take out and outdoor dining. With a huge selection of craft beers and arcade games, you’ll all have fun. Plus gluten-free pizza and beer. Website.
  15. Paisan (W. Berkeley) | Take out and patio dining. High-end pizzas and pastas make this place just as good for date night as family dinner. {Our review of Paisan}. Website.
  16. Pizzaiolo (Temescal) | Take out, delivery and beautiful patio dining. Bocce ball, a fountain and chickens, oh my. – Tiffanie. Website.
  17. Pollara Pizzeria (Berkeley) | Take out and outdoor dining on Fourth Street. Thick crust Roman-style pizza is infinitely customizable. We love the Family Dinners for a quick and easy weeknight meal – Carol. Website.
  18. Tomatina (Alameda) | Take out, delivery and outdoor dining available. Pizzas, pasta, brussels sprouts AND kids eat FREE on Tuesdays after 4pm. Website.
  19. Zachary’s (Berkeley + Oakland) | Pick up and delivery. My family’s favorite deep-dish place offers half-baked pizzas to cut short the waiting game. – Heather. Website.
Super Duper Burgers Emeryville
Heading to Super Duper Burgers with the fam for fries, shakes, and burgers! | Public Market Emeryville

Diners & Cafes that kids love (more than just a coffee shop!)

  1. Au Coquelet (Berkeley) | Take out, delivery and sidewalk dining available. My family sometimes goes just for the steamed milk. – Wendy Y. Website.
  2. Beauty’s Bagel Shop (Oakland) | Order to-go or delivery. Now partnering with Wise Sons for an expanded menu. My child loves their plain bagels or anything with avocado or hummus – Heather. Website.
  3. Berkeley Bagels on Gilman | Take out and patio. Our go-to breakfast on the weekends. – Whitney (and she’s a bagel snob!).
  4. Bette’s Oceanview Diner | Bette’s to go is next door, limited outdoor seating. My totally favorite breakfast indulgence is perfect for early-rising families since they open at 6:30am. Late risers, wait in line. – Heather {See also Bette’s is best for early risers} Website.
  5. Black Bear Diner (Emeryville, Hayward, and more) | Family meal take out. American comfort food with big portions and a mascot bear in uniform. Don’t miss the ice cream concierge. – Lisa T. Website.
  6. Boichik Bagels | Online ordering for easy pick-up. Give a bialy a try. Website.
  7. Cafe Leila (Berkeley) | Order online for pick-up or dine-in on the patio. 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. – Whitney. Website.
  8. Commonwealth Cafe & Pub (Oakland) |Take-out and outdoor dining. Commonwealth is our family dinner favorite: great food with a lot of toddler-friendly options, great local beers for the grown-ups, and an ever-changing assortment of board books! – Art. Website.
  9. Fatapples (Berkeley + El Cerrito) | Take out only. Known for breakfast, burgers, and baked goods, this old-fashioned diner has lots of choices for food and even more for dessert (consider yourself warned). The El Cerrito location has much more dining space and parking. Website.
  10. Homemade Cafe (Berkeley) | Take-out and outdoor dining available. A friendly place for eggs and baked goods with bottomless coffee. Small inside so there’s often a line on weekends. – Heather.
  11. Lama Beans (Berkeley) | Delivery, pick up and patio dining. Magically delicious pancakes and plenty of other items on the menu. A big stack of shared coloring books to entertain the kiddos. Website. {See also Breakfast for dinner at Lama Beans}
  12. Rick and Ann’s (Elmwood) | Online ordering and curbside pick-up. Beloved by locals. Always a line. Website.
  13. Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe (Oakland + Emeryville) | Order for pick-up or delivery through Doordash. With early and late hours, you can eat here all the time. Placemat and crayons. Servers bring a bowl of cheerios to toddlers. {See also hipster brunch smackdown} Website.
Dining out together happy family
Dining outside together | Photo: Public Market Emeryville

Burgers & Dogs

My own kids love the local burger shops. Many of our sit-down dinners are to these places:

  1. Al’s Big Burger (Albany) | Delivery and take out. I love this place for its old school feel. My kids love the juicy burgers, fries and the creamy milkshakes. – Anna On yelp.
  2. Barney’s Burgers (2 in Berkeley, Oakland, Piedmont) | Take out, delivery and patio dining available. Burgers are made with high grade beef, other options include chicken, turkey burgers, portobello. Kids’ menu also includes a decent hot dog. Sweet potato fries cost extra. Website.
  3. Boss Burger (Albany) | Take out and delivery.Burgers, chili, fries deep-fried in 100% grass-fed beef tallow oil AND a Pac-Man arcade game. Soft serve for dessert. Website.
  4. Cato’s Ale House (Oakland) |Pick up, delivery and outdoor dining. This pub on Piedmont Ave has just the right blend of kid-friendly while still being cool enough when you leave them at home. {Our review of Cato’sWebsite.
  5. Gott’s (Walnut Creek) | Pick up and delivery. Burgers, salads, sandwiches, seafood and shakes. Yum. Website.
  6. In-N-Out Burger (Alameda, Oakland, San Leandro, Pinole) | Outdoor tables available. My hands-down favorite fast food burger place; I have a location-finding app on my phone so I know when we’re nearby. – Heather. Website.
  7. Rosamunde Sausage Grill (Downtown Oakland) | Family meal take out available and outdoor dining soon. Fancier hot dogs for parents, kids will like the all beef and the beans. Website.
  8. Super Duper Burger (Berkeley, Emeryville, Concord) | Take out, delivery and outdoor dining. Another SF favorite that’s made its way to the East Bay. It’s got a following, soon to include you. Website.
  9. The Habit Burger Grill (Albany, Oakland, Alameda, Fremont, Castro Valley, San Leandro, Pinole) | Pick up, delivery and outdoor patio dining available. Fast burgers, outside seating, and a kids menu that features all the favorites. Website.
  10. True Burger (Oakland) | Delivery, pick up and to-go. Good burgers, better milkshakes. Website.
Stealing fries at Cato’s in Oakland | Photo: Anna Azimi

More favorite restaurants for families (A to Z)

So many of our favorite restaurants defy categorization so I lumped them all together and alphabetized them. Bon appetit!

  1. Angeline’s Louisiana Kitchen (Berkeley) | Open for patio dining and take out. Jambalaya for you, mac & cheese for your little one, sweet beignets drenched in powder sugar for all. Website.
  2. Asmara (Oakland) | Take out only. Asmara at 51st has a very friendly family atmosphere; it’s our go-to for great Ethiopian/Eritrean food. – @UUBerkeley. Website.
  3. Cafe Colucci (Oakland) | Ethiopian for pick up or delivery. Cafe Colucci has always been great for us. – Dave Website.
  4. Cafe Platano (Berkeley + Oakland) | Salvadoran for carry out only. Website.
  5. Cafe Romanat (Oakland) | Ethiopian for pick up or delivery. Cafe Romanat is our favorite Ethiopian with kids. – Erika Website.
  6. Chop Bar (Oakland) | Patio dining, take out, or delivery. For a less hectic vibe, come before 5:30. Website.
  7. Crepevine (Berkeley, Rockridge) | Take out or delivery. Many flavors to pick from as well as the basics. The N. Berkeley location passes out Wikki Stix instead of crayons to mix it up further. Website.
  8. Fentons Creamery (Oakland) | Outdoor dining and carry out. Of course kids love it here, they know their meal will end with a huge sundae! Pretty standard diner food. Website.
  9. Homeroom (Oakland) | Take out or delivery mac + cheese but fancy! Website.
  10. Poulet (Berkeley) | Carry out chicken and tasty side dishes. Poulet is where I get fancy salads or frozen, oven meals for me and my husband and the kids will have plain pasta that night. – Whitney. Website.
  11. Saul’s Deli (N. Berkeley) | Some outdoor dining, pickup, or delivery. Large Jewish deli with many tasty options; favorites include matzo ball soup, potato latkes and applesauce. Website.
  12. Telegraph (Oakland) | Family- and dog-friendly beer garden where the ‘rents can grab a coffee OR beer (and food) on the patio and my daughter sweet talks the cooks into fancy-shaped pancakes. – Ruby. Website.

Have you tried any new places based on our suggestions? Did we miss your kid’s favorite meal? Please share in the comments!

It takes a village. This list of restaurants was generated by Heather, Whitney, Julie, Anna, and our reader community. We didn’t skip your favorite place on purpose.

[Photo credits indicated; all rights reserved]

Thanks to Public Market Emeryville for sponsoring today’s guide to family-friendly dining. We love all the choices and lovely outdoor dining options. We are love playing at their sweet playground and look forward to enjoying the music series together again.

xxx

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