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Ms. Cheezious
Photograph: Vanessa Rogers

14 kid-friendly restaurants in Miami that even the adults will love

Even if the sitter bailed and club-going days are behind you, a night out with children in tow can still be amazing

Eric Barton
Written by
Eric Barton
Contributor
Jackie Gutierrez-Jones
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Anyone who’s brought the kiddos out for a night out has had this happen once or maybe a hundred times: judging looks from servers and fellow patrons who scoff at the coloring books and Goldfish littered under your table. There’s a surefire way to avoid all that negativity. Get yourself to a spot that actually wants you and the kids. Below you’ll find assembled a list of Miami restaurants that are not only welcoming to the whole family but also worthy of your hard-earned cash, even if the kids weren’t along for the night. Next time, you just might tell the sitter to take the night off—or not and double-down on parents' night out with a nightcap at one of Miami's best bars.

Time Out Market Miami
  • Restaurants
  • South Beach
  • price 2 of 4

It's true that most kids are picky eaters, making it nearly impossible to pick just one restaurant that'll satisfy the entire family. Thankfully, Time Out Market Miami offers nothing if not options. From pizza and cheeseburgers to acai bowls and ice cream cones, choose from kid-friendly dishes prepared by some of the top chefs and restaurants in Miami. Meanwhile, grown-ups can get their fill of fresh crudo, spicy fried chicken, boozy milkshakes and more.

Kid-friendly restaurants in Miami

  • Restaurants
  • Peruvian
  • Brickell Key
  • price 4 of 4

One of the best views of the city is tucked away inside the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key. At La Mar, Chef Diego Oka artfully plates Peruvian marvels ranging from ceviches and causas to anticuchos and wok-fried rice. And while this might be one of the best restaurants in town, it’s also still glad to welcome children. Little ones can distract themselves with the restaurant’s sea-themed coloring book and spill-proof cup, while grown-ups take in the magnificent view of the water with a signature pisco cocktail.

  • Things to do
  • Doral

The outdoor hub of food, drink and entertainment that used to headline Wynwood moved out to the ‘burbs, where it’s now the heart of downtown Doral. There’s plenty of space for the children to run around, along with regular concerts for them to burn off energy in dance scrums and afternoon pet adoptions where they can find a new best friend.

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  • Restaurants
  • Miami
  • price 2 of 4

What kid doesn’t love grilled cheese? Spun off from an award-winning food truck, Ms. Cheezious now has a permanent location in the Upper Eastside, serving up some of the ooey-est, gooey-est and most creative cheese sandwiches in the city—like the Frito Pie Melt with house-made chili, American cheese and Fritos on sourdough bread. The back patio is a great space to let kids stretch out their legs a bit, while classic board games the restaurant keeps on hand also come in handy.

  • Restaurants
  • Overtown
  • price 2 of 4

By day, this 30,000-square foot riverside station makes for the perfect family-friendly afternoon outing. With a carnival-like atmosphere, little ones will get a kick out of lawn games such as cornhole and ping pong, along with the live acts featured weekly. A rotating roster of vendors and food trucks accommodate all sorts of palates, most recently Sake Room Sushi and Spris Artisan Pizza. Your pup is even welcome to join in on the fun—just make sure they’re leashed.

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  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Brickell
  • price 3 of 4

It might be tempting to eat inside and enjoy the sleek, contemporary dining room at this beautiful Brickell mainstay, but its outdoor terrace is where you want to be. Situated inside the Four Seasons Hotel Miami, Edge’s kitchen—helmed by Chef Aaron Brooks—consistently churns out some of the best meals in the city, including dishes like roasted oysters with chili crab butter, a grass-fed Australian filet and a charred cauliflower steak that'll make the night of the vegetarians at the table. Outside, kids can explore the hotel’s garden and end the night with s’mores they’ve roasted themselves in the fire pits on the terrace.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Coconut Grove
  • price 3 of 4

Coconut Grove is well known as a mecca for outdoor dining, but Glass & Vine’s patio might be the best of them. Especially good at brunch or lunch, the patio offers a fine place for the adults to have a leisurely meal while the kids explore the Peacock Park playground that’s well within helicopter-parent-approved distance.

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  • Things to do
  • Event spaces
  • Wynwood
  • price 2 of 4

Wynwood’s Asian-centered food hall has a semi-covered outdoor area where the kids can dance to the DJs during the day. The little ones can also thank the schoolkids from next door who lobbied Gold Marquess to add fries to its menu. A visit here will end—as the kids will surely demand—with a stop-off at the Japanese ice cream stand, where cold treats come in cute fish-shaped cones.

  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • Downtown

The indoor-outdoor space that winds its way up into the sky at the Frost Museum is inarguably a good way to spend a day with the kids, while—who knows?—maybe also teaching them a thing or two. Afterward, grab a to-go lunch from the museum’s cafe of roasted chicken with salsa, pepperoni pizza or a vegetarian pueblo bowl, best eaten while soaking up the water views next door in Maurice A. Ferré Park.

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Fratelli la Bufala
Photograph: Shutterstock

10. Fratelli la Bufala

Miami’s first Neapolitan pizzeria has been a south-of-fifth mainstay since it opened in 2005. Stopping in for a pie with the kids sounds like a fine idea, but Fratelli la Bufala also hosts “Let’s Dough It” pizza classes the first Tuesday of the month, where the restaurant’s head pizza maker will teach the little ones how to make their own damn pizza next time.

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  • Restaurants
  • South Beach
  • price 3 of 4

Willy Wonka has nothing on this sugar emporium, which has South Beach and Aventura locations. Bulk bins overflowing with sweets and adorable rubber duckies are sure to lure little ones in, but it’s the brasserie that cinches the deal. Massive-sized plates of pancakes, burgers, rainbow-bun sliders and outrageously large shakes are sure to please the kids in the crowd, while the adults partake in goblets of candy-filled cocktails.

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  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies
  • Doral
  • price 2 of 4

Round up the whole family and make a night of it at this bowling alley/social hall in Doral. Air hockey and pool tables round out the offerings here, but the in-house restaurant holds its own. The kids’ menu is full of the usual suspects—think grilled cheese, hot dogs, pizza and sundaes—while the regular offerings feature inventive takes on comfort food classics.

  • Restaurants
  • Eclectic
  • Tamiami
  • price 2 of 4

Nothing beats a home-cooked dinner at grandma’s house, but Amelia’s 1931 is a close second. Named after chef Eileen Andrade’s (Finka Table & Tap) grandmother—who founded local favorite Islas Canarias with her husband—a meal here is like venturing to your very own Abuela’s house. The space is small but warm, with family photos, vintage tchotchkes and mismatched China pulling together the look. Kids will love the Cuban Tots smothered in cheese and corn, while grown-ups’ palates are well served by Asian-Cuban-fusion dishes like steamed buns stuffed with aji amarillo chicken. Bonus: the excited din in the room easily masks any noise your little one might make.

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