Dining out is one of my all-time favorite things to do. But sharing my love for the food scene with my littles isn’t always ideal.
Let’s just say, the pre-kid fantasies of my family sitting down to enjoy a tasting menu over great conversation have yet to occur. Their immature pallets and laughable amount of patience left me thinking I had to choose between fast food or leaving them at home.
I realize this is a very privileged problem to have, but I wasn’t ready to shelve another interest for the foreseeable future.
Could there be a place where good food isn’t sacrificed for a good family atmosphere?
I am so grateful to report there are a few local restaurants that fit this “kid-proofed” criteria. With this guide to Pensacola’s off-beat kid-friendly restaurants, we hope you regain a little culinary freedom and have a wonderful time giving them a try!
670 Scenic Highway, Pensacola FL
At their new location on the bay side of Scenic Highway, Calvert’s hosts an amazing outdoor patio scene at the top of the bluffs. The large green space is fenced-in so kids can run free or play with several yard games (think bean bag toss and a giant Connect Four) while waiting for their meal. Whether you stand at the cocktail ledge overlooking the water or sit down at one of their large picnic tables, you’ll be sure to enjoy the best view this side of the bridge.
3041 East Olive Road, Pensacola FL
Try some local brews (responsibly, of course!) and enjoy some highly favored pub-fare at Coastal County Brewery off of Olive Road. Out back, there is a tent to escape the sun and plenty of green space for littles to run around. If that doesn’t sell you, they have a kid’s menu, it’s dog-friendly, and they are even rumored to have a bounce house on occasion!
16 West Main Street, Pensacola FL
While the menu is not as expansive as its sister restaurant next door, the Brew-Thru still has all of your favorite coffees and smoothies along with a lighter selection of breakfast and lunch items. Sitting next to the outdoor dining patio is the fenced-in Early Learning Garden: a small but beautiful sensory play area designed for younger-aged kids. Before making the trip, don’t forget to scope their social media pages for upcoming storytime events!
5 Via De Luna Drive #K, Pensacola Beach, FL
This new-ish beach spot serves up well-reviewed BBQ from an award-winning pitmaster. There is a back deck overlooking a small, private beach on the sound. Lose yourself in burnt ends, beach fun, and nightly live blues music!
41 Fort Pickens Road, Gulf Breeze, FL
If you fancy a true gulf-side beach experience but also like the conveniences of a good restaurant, Casino Beach Bar is your spot. Be sure to get there early to nab the loungers closest to the coast. From there, you can relax with one of the best Bushwackers in town while the littles enjoy one of nature’s best playgrounds. If you’re making a day out of it, it would be wise to peruse Beach Essentials with Little Ones before you head over!
For more tips on kid-proofing your pre-kid social life, take a peek at How to Have a Sunday Fun Day with Your Kids.