If you're in Phoenix on a Sunday morning, try the brunch at Barrio Cafe. This is an absolutely fantastic restaurant but is small and crowded at night, and doesn't take reservations... not so hot with kids. For just this reason, I "discovered" their brunch when my daughter was born. There is a brunch menu but you can also order from the regular menu. Both times I've gone for brunch there were some kids, and my 1-year-old enjoyed the live guitar music.
Def. NOT Pizzeria Bianco.
Are you headed to Phoenix in the summer? If spicy Mexican food doesn't bother you guys in the heat, and you want to try some local chains - I would recommend for kid-friendly.
Manuel's Mexican (I think there's one close to Squaw/Piestewa Peak)
If you want REAL spicy, Los Dos Molinos, but I think it's on the opposite side of town from you (you're in NE Phoenix, I believe)
If you're here when the weather's nice, def. come down to Old Town Scottsdale for "touristy" shops that the kids will prob. love.
623 E. Adams Street
It's downtown and only open for dinner
I also like the pizza from La Grand Orange at 40th and Campbell, and there's a good gelato place next door.
The kids might like going to the Banc One ballpark, even if you don't see a ballgame. You can have lunch or a cold drink and look at the cool ceiling, or take an official tour.
Not to be snippy, but I think Pizzeria Bianco with kids is kinda nuts. You can barely expect kids to wait ten minutes for a table - but 1.5 to 2 hours is impossible. (hell, I consider it impossible and I'm many decades away from being a kid.) Plus, what the kids would consider pizza is not what Bianco is serving.
I don't think Richardson's is necessarily kid friendly. The wacky booth seating with all the pillows don't lend themselves to non-adult bodies(seating is far from the table..you almost have to prop yourself with the pillows). And the menu really isn't what I'd consider friendly to younger tastes. Some of the stuff is downright spicey, and they won't accomodate you on the heat level. I do love the place though.
How about a night of Delux (32St/C'back) and then hopping over to the Gelato Spot in the same center? That would be great for kids.
Carlsbad Tavern is more kid friendly.
3313 N Hayden Rd Scottsdale, AZ
It's a little hard to see, from the road. It's across Hayden from the OfficeMax strip mall.
I would pass on their seafood, however. I stick to the Green Chili Trail part of the menu. The place looks like a cave. The patio has a waterfall.
Brother and I spent some downtime yesterday (while waiting for flights out of Sky Harbor airport) cruising Van Bueren St from east to west.
Saw the Food City # 94 and pulled in for a look-see. In a huge hispanic shopping center, this large grocery store was a revelation for me. I live in a county with a sizeable hispanic population, but all the stores are mom&pop sized. This store was amazing! Middle of store is typical all-american grocery with national brands. Outer aisles were: full-on butcher counter with all types custom meats and bulk Mexican cheeses, a full Mexican bakery (fresh in-house tortillas) Mexican pastries, individual tres leche servings, etc., a deli counter with packaged salads, tortas, bulk desserts (rice pudding, fresh strawberries in crema, etc) and a deli lunch counter with all the typical hot meats including lengua, carnitas and birria. You can also buy guac, crema and three types of salsa by the pint. Brother says by 9 p.m. both the bakery and the deli are sold out.
This place would be a good cross-cultural chow education for the kids, and they could pick out picnic items to take to a park or eat at the picnic benches provided inside. All the store staff is friendly and bilingual and though we were the only gringos in the store, we felt right at home. The air conditioning was a real plus as well!
There are also some mighty good-looking family Mexican restaurants lining 'funky' Van Bueren, which is lined with every type of hispanic business from custom wheel shops to sign shops and laundries. Though we felt perfectly safe and not uncomfortable, I'd rec a daytime trip in this neighborhood as Brother says there is some nightime 'working girl action'.
The chowish possibilities make this neighborhood worth a return trip or three for me! I bought some flan, fresh corn tortillas and hot sauce for the plane trip home. Flan from 'The Flan Lady' of Mesa was delicious! I wished I had an extra suitcase to check! Darn! Shoulda got one at the variety store next to the market.
We also checked out a Basha's market (old-time and family owned, parent company of Food City))and it is a nice grocery store with great well-priced fruits and veggies, a good in-house bakery, and nice meats. Sometimes (weekends?) they have a bbq going out front as well as "the chili man" a big, rotating perforated drum with huge gas burners on the side roasting cases of whole New Mexico chilis at a go. Brother rec's their Banana Split ice cream. They also have a chain of gourmet groceries called AJ's.
check here for info on Basha's locations:
re: toodie jane
We only had about an hour to kill and Brother was showing me the stomping grounds he's in when he goes to Phoenix for the races. As it was, we spent more time than we had expected to!
Hah! We both agreed that grocery shopping in an unfamiliar market is great entertainment!!
Are there any Ranch Markets near the airport (within 10-15 min drive?) I'd love to see one. As it was, I thought #94 was clean, well-lit, had terrific selection in some areas, and was fun to go through. Can't wait to see a Ranch Market. Are they more upscale?
(I liked the way the young lady at the deli counter used cooking spray on the tortillas she was grilling, not loads of what I call 'griddle lube' which make tortillas greasy and limp.)
The Flan Lady brand packaged flan was at the deli counter in a standard 1/2 pint plastic tub. Nice 'perky' graphics, black on clear plastic, and a good color on the flan. Noticed no artificial ingredients, and it listed sugar, milk and eggs, so I got one for snacking on at the airport. The label showed place of manufacture as Mesa, I believe.
The custard quality was very good for a prepackaged flan; the texture, silky and creamy. Burnt sugar syrup not quite as 'burnt' tasting as I like, but quite serviceable. Better than I've had in many restaurants. Tender, not overcooked custard. Really hit the spot!
I think I'll chose to go through Phoenix next time in the winter, though! LOL
re: toodie jane
The nearest Ranch Market to the airport would be:
1602 E Roosevelt St Phoenix, AZ
Six minutes, according to Yahoo Driving Directions, but, that's a bit optimistic, IMO.
Best fish taco I've had for $2. If you take price out of the equation, it's the 2nd best. The best was at Barrio Cafe, and it was 3 for $12 (not that much better).
It just blows Food City out of the water.
Could not agree about Ranch Market more! I did the drive yesterday because, in another post, I'd recomended this to dimsumgirl as a dining option when she had 2-3 hours between flights at Sky Harbor. Some posters thought it unrealistic and I still stick to my guns that it is very do-able. My time was 7.5 minutes curb-to-curb BUT since I live here, I know the directions. (Figured her cabbie would too). RANCH MARKET is a party waiting to happen any time I've ever been there.
Thanks for the rec re: their fish tacos, I'll order those next visit. We loaded up on crema, chorizo, tortillas and a lot of the gorgeous produce -- great meal last night.
can you give us more info? you do have a rental car right? where in town are you staying, what kind of food your kids like (if they're picky or open to anything...) what you and your wife are looking for. there are prob. some very touristy places we could recommend, like the Rustler's Rooste at the Pointe Hilton South Mountain is extremely kid-friendly with a slide, band, sw bbq type food...
That's a great location.
I'll give you a list of places reviewed on Chowhound within 3 miles. I haven't been to many of them, and I don't necessarily know what is good for kids. Hopefully, this will give you some hints, and you can research them before going.
I would agree with other posters that Richardson's is not a good place for a seven-year-old. However, maybe you can get take-out?
Spinato's Pizza 1219 E Glendale Ave, Phoenix, AZ
Sierra Bonita Grill 6933 N 7th St Phoenix, AZ
El Bravo 8338 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ
Mediterranean House 1588 E Bethany Home Rd, Phoenix, AZ
Texaz Grill 6003 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix City Grill 5816 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ
L'Amore 3159 E Lincoln Dr, Phoenix, AZ
Fish Market Restaurant 1720 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ
Duck & Decanter 1651 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ
Nypd Pizza 1949 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ
I'm not a parent, and can't vouch for kid friendly. But I can guarantee the adults will truly enjoy Los Sombreros and Richardson's for Southwestern food. Not necessarily spicy hot, if that is better for the kids. They do allow smoking at Richardson's, but ventilation is excellent.
Also, take the kids for lunch at any of the Ranch Market's. There are four. One entire food aisle is devoted to delicous and cheap Mexican food, and wood benches are provided for dining. They will think you've driven to Mexico for lunch. Especially on a Saturday or Sunday, this is an unmissable treat.
Arriba's is a good local chain for standard gringo mexican fare - better than most, but do be careful as it can get spicy.
I hear they have free meals for kids on Sunday's.