Five Kid-Friendly Metro Phoenix Restaurants

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Sunday is Mother's Day, and if you're like us, you're still scrambling to find just the place to take mom for that special (and somehow especially stressful) day. But chances are, you take the kids out to eat year-round, and you encounter the pitfalls of fine dining with the under-12 set on a regular basis. If Peter Piper Pizza's not your idea of a good time, we've got some kid-friendly suggestions for you that don't involve skeeball or large costumed mice.

1. Rita's Kitchen at the Camelback Inn

With its funky lighting and black wrought iron, something about this upscale Paradise Valley resort coffee shop reminds us of some of the coffee shops we grew up eating in, back in the day. (Remember The Safari?! Best applesauce, ever.) But the best seat in this house is on the patio, whether you gather in comfy chairs around a firepit (seasonal, of course) or sit a table big enough to accomodate all the aunts, uncles and cousins. The help is super-friendly and so is the menu, with mix and match pizza (see photo above), grilled cheese, veggie and fruit options to keep things healthy. Low green hills and live music (many nights) give the kids a chance to blow off steam while you enjoy another glass of sangria. Hey, you're at the Camelback Inn -- get a little tipsy and you can always get a room for the whole fam.

Get the rest of our kid-friendly picks after the jump.

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2. China Magic Noodle House

Pretend you're doing the kids a favor, and take them to the China Magic Noodle House in Chandler. Yes, they'll love it, but we can guarantee you'll be fighting your own offspring for a spot in front of the window where the guy is "magically" making the  noodles. So cool! And the food's great, too. You can order your noodles super-spicy for yourself -- with veggies and all kinds of crazy offal -- and totally plain for the kids.

3. Afternoon Tea at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel

Now, this tea party is no bargain, but if you're looking for a super-special celebration with your favorite kid (and not to be politically incorrect, here, but to be honest, probably your favorite girl kid) make a reservation for afternoon tea at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Phoenix. She'll feel like Eloise, Mary Poppins and Kate Middleton all rolled into one as she sips flowery tea (or lemonade) and nibbles cucumber sandwiches (or PB&J if you ask), perched on a couch in the Ritz's lovely lobby. And wait til she sees the tower of desserts! Kids are welcome -- and celebrated here.

4. Casa Reynoso

What better restaurant to bring your kids to than one (literally) run by a family? That's Casa Reynoso, a long-time favorite in Tempe. With Mexican tchotchkes lining the walls, you'll feel like you're in someone's house. Kids can dine on oversized quesadillas while you scarf the signature carne asada, and no one will roll an eye if Junior spills the chips.

5. Wally's American Pub & Grille

Again, we love the Arcadia location of this two-pub "chain" because of its proximity to a big grassy hill -- perfect for rolling around on while mom and dad linger over a glass of wine. But it's the proprietor himself -- Wally Collins -- who makes it a special place for the whole family. We like the baby back ribs, Caesar salads and grilled artichokes (as well as the beer selection), and we love that Wally takes our kids' table doodles and hangs them on the wall. Now that's the makings of a neighborhood joint.


A kid meal at Wally's.

Have a kid-friendly recommendation of your own? Leave it in the comments section.

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Great list of places to avoid! Kids should not be at restaurants!

Jamjam Johnston
Jamjam Johnston

St. Francis is pretty kid friendly as well. The servers are always accommodating, plus all of their menus (brunch, lunch, dinner) have kids items on them, and they're free!


Absolutely agree with tea @ Ritz Carlton. We've been going to afternoon tea for 11 years with our family--since our youngest was an infant. Tea Maitre'd Jeffrey Hattrick has always welcomed us with a joy usually reserved for family you actually like. Any boys who have come with us to tea-- even begrudgingly--have left loving it

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