Detroit, the home of Motown, the Lions, and a ton of really great food has so much to offer you and your group as far as kid-friendly restaurants and attractions go, it's hard to know where to start exactly. Do you head for city classics? Do you go places you know your kid will like? Or do you just follow your nose, the various scents of Detroit leading you here and there?
Well, here's our answer, by way of a formal 'Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Detroit' list. This list is broken down by kid-friendly and Detroit-appropriate categories such as Kid Classics, Just Desserts, Kids Eat Free, and Best in Town.
Best in Town
Eastern Market - When exploring Detroit's culinary scene we ALWAYS recommend you start at Eastern Market, one of the most culture-filled spots in the whole city. The local conglomerate of vendors claims the title of 'one of the oldest and largest year-round markets in the U.S', providing you with all the tantalizing sights and smells of Detroit inside. Kids love walking around, looking at the booths, and sampling all the local foods!
Lafayette Coney Island -There’s one thing you probably didn’t know about Detroit that you probably should by now, DETROIT HAS CONEY WARS. Lafayette will give you a great look at the 'coney war' with its 1970’s style hot dog diner, cash-only service, no-frills menu, and to-die-for delicious chili topped dogs, burgers, and fries. The owner's keep their Greek roots visible here too, with seriously tasty gyros, pitas, and even wings!
American Coney Island -Some in Detroit say there is no real competition, that American Coney takes it all, so we thought it would be best to let your kids decide! The simple menu of classic coneys here at this Detroit diner will sell you instantly, and that’s before you even try the island style steamed bun hot dogs and crunchy fries, the recipes dating back to 1917. Dearborn sausage, Keros family secret chili sauce recipe, a steamed bun, mustard, and onion make this dog so special!
Kid's Classics -
Slow's BBQ - Kids love barbecue, that's an (almost) undeniable fact, so head to Slows BBQ for a guaranteed great plate of food. This BBQ mecca is a wood-beamed 1880’s space located on Michigan Avenue, the first Slows to ever be established (2005). Foodwise, you will find all the best in bbq slow cooked meats and regional specialties with a southern twist. Try the fried catfish, beef brisket, fresh jambalaya, pulled pork, or chicken breasts while here, or go classic and try the unbeatable slab of ribs.
Supino Pizzeria - It's no question that kid's love pizza, so where do you go in Detroit to find the very best? Many people answer that question with Supino Pizzeria, one of the best (taste-wise), busiest, and most kid-friendly pizzeria's in Detroit. Try the more novel toppings while here such as egg on the Bismarck or Turkey Wing meat on the City Wing Thing, or perhaps just stick with the classics: cheese and pepperoni.
Ottava Via - Another Italian classic serving up all the best pasta, pizza, and paninis, Ottava Via is always a great kids-classic choice! The eatery itself is a ‘stylishly quaint, antiques adorned space’ along Michigan Avenue, an overall really calm and comfortable place for groups, students, and families to enjoy for lunch and dinner. Try the specialty Italian Pizza here with salami and Italian ham, or perhaps the Prosciutto Di Parma, Rucola, or half Farmhouse Chicken. If you are a Nutella fan then you should skip the savory treats and head to the dessert menu, the Nutella Panini!
Just Desserts -
Astoria Bakery -This Monroe Avenue specialty shop serves up all the best smelling, freshest, and most delicious pastries in Detroit, a few fan favorites being the Baklava, Apple Danish, Honey Curl, and Black Forest Torte. The dessert items are of European quality and tradition here, something your children (or you) may not get to experience all the time but are going to wish you did after a few samples! Take an assorted fine chocolate box home (or eat them all on the way back) or perhaps go share a massive 18 by 26’ torte before hitting the road!
Mercury Burger Bar - Yes, this is mostly a burger bar, but this is also a sort of Detroit Dessert Hidden Gem, Mercury Burger Bar holding some of the most delicious milkshakes in town. A lot of people (especially those with kids) just come here for dessert, the modern, upbeat burger, hot dog, and poutine grill serving up just the classics: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. You can also try the more adventurous Faygo Orange Shake!
Kids Eat Free -
Logan's Roadhouse - While Logan's isn't a 'Detroit only' sort of eatery, it is a 'kids eat free' sort of eatery, making it one of the top on our list for budget-friendly outings. Logan's provides high-quality foods for moderate prices, with kids-eat-free Wednesdays (with the purchase of adult entree). Chicken tenders, cheesy roadies, and popcorn shrimp make up some of the kid's favorites, not to mention the Nutter Butter Fudgeslide for dessert!
Dickey's Barbeque Pit - At Dickey's you will find some of the best smoked meats in the region and your kids will find some of the tastiest free meals each Sunday! Enjoy beef brisket, chicken kielbasa, pulled pork, turkey, and several different types of sliders and southern sides for the kiddos, Smoke Stacks, Butcher Tacos, and craft beer for yourself! This place also hits it out of the park with their shareable family platters, both affordable and delicious