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So here's a challenge...

Heading with my husband & 2 kids to Minneapolis to meet up with my husband's mom, brother & his family. They have 6 kids. There will be 5 adults and 8 kids. We dislike chains, but realize the dining limitations with 8 kids (ages 2 - 15). Any suggestions on places (not area specific as we'll be all over the place... not sure where we are staying yet) that are casual and affordable with good food? Delis, diners, pizza, ethnic, brunch, lunch, dinner?? I'd really appreciate some help!

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  1. Davanni's is a local chain (10 or so locales across the metro area) for pizza and hoagies. Very family friendly. Its the one "sit down" place I will solo with my 2 year old. Order at the counter, and the call you up when your order is ready. Longest wait is 15 minutes for a pizza. They also deliver and do take out. Prices are fair, and everyone at work always does the little "I wish I had your lunch sigh" when you bring in the second half of your hoagie for lunch the next day. (A half hoagie is plenty for me, but I always get the whole for later)

    1. Sounds like a mission for Buca Di Beppo. There is a downtown location which is the original of the chain. There are locations all over the metro.

      Eli's Food and Cocktails is right around the corner from Buca downtown and I've often seen families dining there too. Another potential choice.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Db Cooper

        Buca seems perfect. They can accommodate your large group. The entrees are sized to share so that should help keep the cost down. Also, sign up for their emails; they will send you great offers.

      2. Any of the Blue Plate restaurants would probably suit you and they're all over town (but, unhelpfully, all have different names). More info here: http://blueplaterestaurantco.com/#f70...

        1 Reply
        1. re: bob s

          If you are looking for a table for 13, I don't think that's possible at Highland Grill. They would need to seat you at two tables.

        2. You could hit the Midtown Global Market. On Fridays around 5:30 or 6pm they usually have a kids band playing. The beauty of MGM is that there are about 20 different restaurants in there so you can get just about anything, including classics such as burgers, hotdogs, pizza, and fries.

          My only caution is that it could be a little hectic with 8 kids but it all depends on how much hand-holding they need.

          1. I would suggest Rye Deli in uptown (Franklin and Hennepin). I like going there with my two year old because, as a deli, you get your food very quickly and (this is the important part) they have a chalk board wall that my toddler could spend an hour coloring upon. I would venture that your group could "take over" that part of the restaurant, and the adults could have great conversation with the kids three feet away doing their own thing.

            1. Mid-Town Global Market is a great suggestion. My kids actually will eat the camel burger at Safari. (It's superb.) Buon Giorno or Cossetta's are nice for Italian with a large crowd. Boca Chica or El Burrito Mercado would work for Mexican. All of these places have large dining areas and are frequented by families.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Michael Florey

                My vote is for Global Market, too. The play area is fabulous for the younger kids, and has several tables that will seat you all (unless another group has grabbed them first - but that's unlikely).

                We recently had a big birthday party there - 10+ kids and at least 15 adults. We parked ourselves at the play-area tables and various adults (with selected kids) went off to pick up food, most of which we shared as tastes. The older kids loved the window-shopping, especially that cute Mexican booth with lots of affordable tchotches.

                Check out the Midtown Global Market web site for details of menus, etc., in case your group isn't into ad-hoc exploring. (You could take orders, then "hire" the teenagers to go get the food.) And be sure to tell everyone to park in the multi-level lot in back and bring in their tickets for validation (any purchase counts) so that parking is free.