As much as I love a home-cooked meal, no one wants to cook every night of the week. Yet, finding delicious food with a fun, family-friendly atmosphere can be tough.
All around Pensacola, restaurants are making it easier than ever to get a delicious meal in a “fun-for-the-whole-family” environment. If you need a night off in the kitchen and are looking for a break from the usual fast food pick up, try one of these kid-approved restaurants in Pensacola.
McGuire’s Irish Pub
McGuire’s is a staple of Pensacola. Founded in 1982, this restaurant serves up huge portions of authentic Irish food and is boisterous, loud and fun. The kids will enjoy one of the delicious meals off the “Leprechaun’s Menu.” Each kid’s meal comes with a souvenir cup for the keeping. McGuire's offers live entertainment and has a fun gift shop! With dinner, parents can try a flight of craft beer from the on-site brewery. Be sure to decorate your own dollar bill to display with the $2 million + or so others hanging overhead. Don’t forget to end your visit with a hand-crafted root beer float or brownie a-la-mode!
The Vineyard is in the East Hill neighborhood, located within the historic Old Sacred Heart building. This spot is a family favorite. With its large fenced-in outdoor seating area, it’s perfect for little ones who want to explore. In the summertime, stop by on weekend nights for dinner and a movie at the restaurant’s outdoor theater. The kid’s menu offers four meal options and includes a side and a drink. For the adults, dive into dinner with authentic Asian Lumpia or lamb lollipops, and the restaurant has an impressive wine and beer selection with an excellent happy hour.
Petrella’s Italian Cafe
Petrella’s Italian Cafe offers an authentic Italian dining experience without ever having to leave Pensacola. Every night of the week the café offers a special featuring a different Italian favorite, but it’s their Monday night all-you-can-eat spaghetti and meatballs that can’t be missed. If your family is looking for a pizza night, Petrella’s offers three sizes with either thin or hand tossed crust. For anyone up for the challenge, try The Godfather; a huge sixteen-inch calzone stuffed with four toppings. The kids won’t be disappointed either with six different meals to choose from on the children’s menu.
Brew Ha ha is another East Hill favorite. The eclectic space is full of fun local memorabilia. Inside, the kids can entertain themselves on the large magnetic board. Out back there is a fenced in “beach” area complete with a sand floor, tables and boat bar. No seriously, it’s a boat converted to a bar! This restaurant is perfect for families with kids who want to get down and play. Don’t forget to snag a photo with the famous Pensacola Postcard before you leave.
Five Sisters Blues Café
If you love Southern food, you’re going to love Five Sisters Blues Café. Your family will enjoy the real-deal southern chicken dishes, the melt-in-your-mouth collard greens and the authentic beignets. Not to mention, the laid back atmosphere and live blues music is sure to keep you and the kids entertained. If your family needs a little quiet, there is a fantastic outdoor seating option too. And you can’t beat their Blue Plate Specials on Monday nights - $5 for dinner, 2 sides and dinner rolls!
A collection of food trucks in downtown Pensacola, Al Fresco is perfect for indecisive families because everyone can choose a different dining option! From Gouda Grilled Cheese to Z TacoTex-Mex to Shotgun BBQ to Shux Oyster Bar, there is a perfect dining option for everyone. And with ample shaded outdoor seating, it’s a perfect spot to stop with kids while you explore downtown. The Pensacola Children’s Museum is only two blocks away!
Sunset Grille is a local’s secret spot tucked away on Perdido Key. The entire family will enjoy the five-star waterfront views, but the kids will love the on-site playground. You can’t miss their famous smoked tuna dip or the mouthwatering shrimp salad dip. The menu is based around fresh seafood like their triggerfish basket. However, your entire family will be happy with choices like the patty melt or a half-pound burger. The kid’s menu offers five different meal options and includes applesauce or french fries. Happy hour is from three to five, so get there early to watch the sunset while the kids play.
Jaco’s Bayfront Bar & Grille
Location is everything. With its amazing waterfront views, Jaco’s is located on Palafox Pier & Yacht Harbor overlooking Pensacola Bay. It also happens to be conveniently located right next to the Plaza de Luna splash pad for kids. Win-win. Sit outside on their patio to watch the kids play in the fountain, roam the grassy area or walk along the walled pier. Jaco’s offers some of Pensacola’s best cocktails and fresh seafood dishes. Be sure to order their delicious flat-bread pizzas for the kids. For the adults, don't miss the famous Jaco's Tacos!
The Pensacola area has no shortage of restaurants ready to let moms and dads take a night off in the kitchen. What are your favorite kid-friendly dining spots in the Pensacola area? Leave us a comment below!