Summer — which seems to continue through 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. Thanks to our facebook community and real-life friends, we know where to send you for good food with a breeze.
Here's our top kid-friendly restaurants in Berkeley with outdoor seating (from North to South):
- Meal Ticket – In West Berkeley just off of Gilman sits a popular mom-and-pop shop with a good sized patio. Order a freshly baked scone to keep your kid occupied until their cornmeal pancakes come out. Yum. Cash (or check) only.
- Farm Burger – Tucked in across the street from Gilman Whole Foods, Farm Burger has a tasty children's menu, some crayons, a play area, and a decent sized patio. Not ideal for “runners” because it is not enclosed. See more to do in the Gilman District with kids >
- Stella Nona – Just south of Gilman, this restaurant and bar offers fancy Berkeley food for parents, and a simple kids' menu for those who favor plain pasta or a hot dog (chicken apple sausage, natch). Lovely enclosed patio, and the easiest parking in town.
- Mission Heirloom Garden Cafe – On Vine Street in the Gourmet Ghetto, this garden cafe is simply gorgeous. The cafe is entirely gluten free and the dishes seem too pretty to eat. Parents of picky eaters steer clear, but adventurous kids and babes in arms give it a go.
- 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.
- Epicurious Garden – Gourmet takeout in the heart of the Gourmet Ghetto. Grab tacos, sushi, or a bowl of soup to enjoy in the communal garden. Save room for a cup of Lush gelato for dessert. See more to do in the Gourmet Ghetto with kids >
- 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.
- 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.
- Comal – Best for a fancy date night, this beautiful and hip bar offers delicious bites and drinks. The outdoor patio is large and equipped with fire pits and various seating options. Everyone loves the guac and chips.
- 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. See more to do in Downtown Berkeley with kids >
- Lanesplitter – On San Pablo, near University, this pizza pub's backyard garden is great for kids. (Read our previous review of Lanesplitter for kids.)
- 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. See our guide to Fourth Street with kids >
- Tomate Cafe – Yes, another brunch spot, but this one has live music on the weekends! Dogs, crying babies, and tantrum throwing toddlers welcome to join in. Get the french toast. Located in West Berkeley on the corner of Bancroft and 5th Street.
- 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. See our guide to Elmwood with kids >
[Photo Credits: Jupiter's patio from their website; Mission Heirloom garden cafe from Anna Azimi]