Our Favorite Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Jacksonville

kid-friendly restaurants
Main Street Food Park in downtown Jax.

We have all been there. We make the questionable choice to bring our children to a public place because if we have to wash another dish it may end poorly for the entire family. The meal can’t come fast enough. We try to distract them with the kids’ menu and crayons, but those only ended up in our drinks — or worse, the next table over. Sometimes we decide to bring the tablets along and ignore the judgemental stares — or worse, fork over our phones if we were in denial about bringing them in the first place. Often the kids’ meals come out first, which is great to keep meltdowns at bay but also untimely if you want to enjoy your own hot meal you paid big bucks for (hello, recession). 

Gone are these treacherous conditions being the only way to make a meal out with kids bearable. Thankfully, due to our nearly year-round perfect weather (#tgiflorida), albeit afternoon summer showers, the First Coast now has a lot of options that offer kid-friendly surroundings, a safe area to roam, a yard or table games, fresh air and/or outdoor seating, and arguably most importantly, adult beverages. It’s that simple; give us somewhere to go where kids can be kids and adults can relax a little without being stressed out the entire meal, and you can have all of our money!

Here are some of the Jacksonville Mom team’s favorite kid-friendly restaurants:

kid-friendly restaurants
Clockwise from top left: Strings Sports Brewery, Main Street Food Park, Iguana on Park, The Bearded Pig.

Downtown Jacksonville

Strings Sports Brewery (1850 N N Main Street): Family owned and operated since 2019, Strings’ covered outdoor area boasts room for kids to roam and play Connect Four and cornhole. And there’s axe throwing in the back, for adult nights out or date nights!

Main Street Food Park (1352 N Main Street): The Main Street Food Park is in the heart of Jacksonville’s historic neighborhood, Springfield. Check their online calendar for scheduled food trucks! Not only do most food trucks have foods that kids will actually eat (deep-fried goodness), they have games, a small playground, and a huge astroturf area to run and play.

Iguana on Park (3638 Park Street): In the trendy neighborhood of Avondale, Iguana on Park boasts the same delicious menu (tableside guac!) as Flying Iguana in Neptune Beach but with a much larger and more family-friendly outdoor area. Astroturf-covered areas mean that both furry friends and kids are welcome, and cornhole games abound.

The Bearded Pig (1808 Kings Avenue): The Bearded Pig BBQ spot offers ample outdoor space, a large chalkboard for the kids to doodle, a playground, and a beer garden. Located downtown, it’s great for pre-gaming before Jags games and concerts.

And stay tuned for The Block Jax, coming in fall 2024!

kid-friendly restaurants
Left to right: ABBQ, The Bearded Pig.

The Beaches

ABBQ (461 Atlantic Boulevard, Atlantic Beach): ABBQ is one of our go-to restaurants. The outdoor courtyard area makes it easy to keep an eye on your kids and is surrounded by fencing. Cornhole, Connect Four, an open space to run… needless to say, we are regulars.

The Bearded Pig (1700 3rd Street S, Jax Beach): Their beach location is all open-air (mostly covered) with an entire outdoor area covered in astroturf and a wooden fence with a chalkboard surrounding it that kids can color on (chalk is provided!) and stay contained while wandering about and making new friends.

Cruisers Grill (319 23rd Avenue S, Jax Beach): This Midwest native is a sucker for ranch, but also the newly renovated Cruisers which is family-friendly with outdoor dining options and is a great stop after a day at the beach. Kids can still look forward to the Tootsie Pops that come with the check.

kid-friendly restaurants
Clockwise from top left: V Pizza, Wicked Barley Brewing Company, Midtown Table.

Central Jacksonville

V Pizza (12601 San Jose Boulevard): The V Pizza Mandarin location boasts an entire playground outside along with walls to chalk on! They recently added an overhead cover to the play area as well.

Wicked Barley Brewing Company (4100 Baymeadows Road): Wicked Barley is probably the most likely place for your kids to finish their meal thanks to their “Lil Devil” menu. Think PB&J, grilled cheese, and ice pops. But they may be too busy playing on the boardwalk along Goody’s Creek or laying in a hammock checking out the latest TikTok videos.

Midtown Table (5016 Gate Parkway #6): One of St. Johns Town Center’s newer additions, Midtown Table is a prime happy hour spot offering a desirable outdoor spot for both kids and adults, featuring a fire pit, putting green, life-size Connect Four and other yard games that minimize the buzzing Gate Parkway just feet beyond. There may or may not be a kids’ menu (not shown online), but their wine list is extensive and their full bar offers amazing hand-crafted cocktails.

kid-friendly restaurants
Left to right: Capital Tacos, Throwbacks.

Intracoastal West

Capital Tacos (12220 Atlantic Blvd #109, Jax): The Tampa-based Tex Mex franchise known as Capital Tacos recently opened on Atlantic Blvd., and it’s been busy ever since. On Monday, kids eat free! They have a small area for kids to color and read the Dragons Love Tacos book series, a pinball machine, and a giant Connect Four game, as well as an extensive kids menu.

Throwbacks (12041 Beach Blvd #3, Jax): Throwbacks is a veteran-owned retro arcade with an “all you can play” for only $10 per kid deal that puts you in a time warp. Adults are only $15 for all-day play and kids 5 and under are free! Their traditional bar food hits the spot with delicious favorites like nachos (you pick the meat), pizza, and something for even your pickiest eater (grilled cheese, anyone?). A full bar is available for Mom and Dad, and they have fun events like Smash Brothers Tournaments, Music Bingo Wednesday nights, and karaoke.

kid-friendly restaurants
Clockwise from top left: Timoti’s, Treylor Park, Palm Valley Outdoors Bar & Grill, Mr. Chubby’s Wings.

Ponte Vedra Beach & Nocatee

Timoti’s Seafood Shak (152 Crosswater Parkway #18, Nocatee): Timoti’s boasts a pirate ship playground on turf for the kids to play in while you’re waiting for your food, which won’t take long since it’s an order upfront situation but still boasts a decent local beer selection and full bar.

Treylor Park (158 Marketside Ave #1, Nocatee): Located in the heart of Nocatee, Treylor Park is a sister location to the iconic Savannah spot and often has live music along with cornhole, and a giant Connect Four on the outside patio. If your kiddos are old enough and trustworthy enough, there’s also a small playground and open field right next to the back patio in front of the Link.

Palm Valley Outdoors Bar & Grill (377 South Roscoe Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach): Palm Valley Outdoors‘ outdoor patio offers a great view of the Intracoastal and lots of boat traffic if your little ones like boats. You can even rent a fishing pole and make a few casts a few feet from your table. Don’t forget to go into the bait shop to meet the resident rooster.

Mr. Chubby’s Wings (150 Valley Cir., Ponte Vedra Beach): If your family loves chicken wings and sports, Mr. Cubby’s Wings is a must. Dad can watch all the sports while the kids game in the arcade in back. They have all-you-can-eat wings, draft parties, drink specials, live music, and every single Jags game… it’s a sports lover’s dream!

Valley Smoke (11 S Roscoe Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach, not pictured): A modern take on southern BBQ, Valley Smoke has a great, closed-off outdoor area for kids to run while waiting for food. Their brunch options are out of this world, including delicious bloodys or momos for the parents! Be on the lookout and make sure you bring a football, this is known to be one of Trevor Lawrence’s favorite spots.

Clockwise from top left: Sliders, Shuckers Oyster Bar, Cantina Louie, Timoti’s.

Fernandina Beach

Sliders Seaside Grill (1998 S Fletcher Avenue, Fernandina Beach): The beachfront spot of Sliders is just steps from the beach and even has a playground and sandbox to keep the kids busy while the parents enjoy delicious local seafood.

Cantina Louie (960062 Gateway Blvd., Fernandina Beach): Also nestled on the water with beautiful views, Cantina Louie offers an artificial turf kids area with a small soccer net, corn hole, and a big Connect Four game. While there are Cantina Louie locations all over Jacksonville, this is the only I’ve seen with a specific area for kids.

Shuckers Oyster Bar (96008 Wades Place, Fernandina Beach): Shuckers is a true Florida experience with fresh seafood (of course oysters!), on-the-water dining, and live music almost every night. What makes it kid-friendly is the outdoor, relaxed atmosphere and a playground nearby while you wait for your food to arrive.

Timoti’s Seafood Shak (21 N 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach): More seafood options with a completely fenced playground!? Yes, please. Timoti’s recently replaced their wooden pirate ship which had gotten a bit weathered and unsafe for kiddos, with a brand new playground. You order up front and then sit anywhere, which is SO MUCH less stressful with kids. They also have a full bar with tons of delicious cocktails and mocktails!

Top to bottom: V Pizza, Beach Comber.

St. Augustine

Beach Comber (2 A Street, St. Augustine Beach): Beach Comber is a small beach shack right on the water that has great, local food and outside beachfront seating literally on the sand. It’s perfect for the kids to play until the food arrives. They provide beach toys and it’s also fenced off so the kids don’t have direct access to run into the ocean….not that they’d do that, right?

V Pizza (5700 US-1, St. Augustine): This new V Pizza location opened in September 2023 and has a huge outdoor artificial turf area for the kiddos to run, choc full of dodgeball, cornhole, giant Connect Four and more…along with tv’s outside for watching sports. They offer a kids Pizzaiolo Class and a variety of events throughout the week like music bingo, trivia nights, live music and cornhole tournaments! Oh and did we mention Sunday brunch? Their Flask & Cannon themed bar has every drink you can dream of. It’s conveniently located between Palencia/WGV area and Historic St. Augustine on US-1.

What are some of your favorite kid-friendly restaurants in Jax?

Meagan Vesta
Midwest-natives Meagan and her husband Matt first moved to Jacksonville in 2011 and have lived all over town from the beaches to St. John's County. They now own a small farm in Nassau County along with their two sons and two rescue dogs. This year they are starting a market garden featuring fresh, locally-grown produce and you can follow along on their journey at @vestafamilyfarms! Meagan has been a full-time working mom, a stay-at-home mom, and now a work-from-home mom for Jax Mom while homeschooling her two boys and helping run the farm. They enjoy watching their sons play little league along with Jumbo Shrimp games and also enjoy fishing and boating in Jax whenever they can!

3 COMMENTS

  1. Does the Bearded Pig on Kings really have a playground? I’ve never seen that and we’ve been quite a few times…

    Great list, though!! Thank you!

  2. Lovely article!! Thank you! I’m not from
    Jacksonville so this really helps me with my two toddlers on where to go!!

    Thank you for putting this together. We live in the Fernandina Beach area and I hope you consider a couple of additions to your Amelia Island list!! We have a Timoties as well on the island and it’s wonderful for kids because of the pirate ship playground. Also we have Cantina Louie’s which has a large Astro turf area and lawn games for kids to run and play and be crazy

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here