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Austin dining with children

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We are frequent visitors to Austin and will be back again in a couple of weeks. We'd love some good recommendations for restaurants that won't have any problems with a well-behaved five-year-old. We are planning to hit the Magnolia and Vespaio or Enoteca and probably Hula Hut because it's fun for her.

Guero's food seems to have gone downhill (either that or I drink less than before I had a child so I notice more!) so we need a new Mexican/TexMex rec. We're staying at the Embassy on South Congress (yeah, I know, but when you have a child, that separate bedroom and free breakfast is a lifesaver). We'd also love a hamburger rec, because we can't take a 5-year-old to Casino El Camino.

Anything but barbecue is fair game. (She hates BBQ and I'm not making a McDonald's run.)

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  1. For burgers, I recommend P. Terry's, which has a fun outdoor space to dine (although no playground, I believe). Extremely affordable, and the shakes are always a hit with kids.

    Central Market on Lamar has a wonderful playground that you and your child might really enjoy. They have a mix of foods, including burgers, and many of their options are pretty decent.

    2 Replies
    1. re: tom in austin

      Thanks for the suggestions. I'm not very worried about playground availability, I just don't want people to give me the stink eye because I'm taking a child to dinner. She knows how to behave and not disturb others. She had a great time at Vespaio because they treated her so nicely. We can spend a good hour on a meal and be assured that she'll still be having a good time - especially if there is dessert!

      1. re: tom in austin

        Eastside Cafe is very kid friendly, has great food and that cool garden to walk around in before or after the meal.

      2. Hut's Hamburgers! some of the best fries i've ever tasted, amazing malts and shakes, and more than 20 different burger combinations. the decor is retro diner, all res pvc and chrome with years worth of collected Austin memorabillia on the wallls. I love this place so much, as does everyone i'v ever been there with especially the children. It's at 807 W 6th St Austin, TX 78703. and best of all it's very reasonably priced, and the service is super friendly.
        go, you won't regret it.

        1. Burgers - Phil's Ice House on Burnet Rd., next to Amy's Ice Cream. The place is kid central, pretty good burgers, and ice cream.

          1. We have a 3-yr old and a 6-mo old and the following are our places we hit:

            * Breakfast:
            ** Central Market (love the big bowl of granola/yogurt/fruit)
            ** Magnolia Cafe
            ** Austin Java on Barton Springs
            ** Whole Foods
            ** Habeneros
            ** Z' Tejas
            ** Maria's Taco Xpress

            * Lunch/Dinner
            ** Burgers:
            *** Phil's Ice House
            *** Waterloo Ice House
            *** P Terry's
            ** Pizza:
            *** Southside Pizza
            *** HomeSlice Pizza
            ** Tex-Mex:
            *** Polvo's
            *** Taco Deli
            *** Santa Rita Cantina
            *** Maudie's
            ** Other:
            *** Enoteca Vespaio
            *** Cipollina
            *** Galaxy Cafe (West Lynn)
            *** Madam Mam's (South)
            *** Ranch 616

            Hope this helps!

            1. We had a great trip. We went to Enoteca Vespaio, the Magnolia and Hula Hut. We had plans for Hut's and the East Side Cafe (and for Spamarama), but when the freaky cold front rolled in with a bunch of rain, we abandoned the trip and came back to Dallas (it snowed steadily from a bit south of Waco to just north of De Soto). I can stay inside and watch movies much cheaper at home ;>

              Good thing that there's always a next time and I'll be using these great recs again!

              Thanks to all!

              1. Hut's for Hamburgers in Austin with a family ;) and MAgnolia West for brunch.