One of my favorite things about living in Austin is that there are so many great restaurants with playgrounds. I hardly want to eat anywhere that doesn’t offer fries with a side of slide!
Dining out with kids isn’t always easy, but it can still be fun. Austin has an abundance of kid-friendly restaurants with playgrounds and dining options to suit nearly any palate. From food trucks to cafes, and even full service restaurants, here are some of our favorite family-friendly places to eat and play in Austin.
Eating Out with Kids: Our Favorite Austin Restaurants with Playgrounds
Central Market (4001 N Lamar Blvd, Austin) is a favorite local gourmet grocery store. It features a restaurant, gelato counter, and coffee bar inside, and a huge deck, patio, stage, and playground outside. Order food at the counter, dine on the patio and listen to live music while the kids play on the playground. Note: The playground is not enclosed and can get crowded during peak times, so plan to keep an eye on little ones.
Waterloo Ice House (6203 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Austin) holds such great memories for me. It was one of the first restaurants we went to when we moved to Austin. We always have a great time eating here after hiking at Bull Creek, and the kids love playing on the playground and in the sand pit. The playground is enclosed.
Phil’s Icehouse/Amy’s Ice Creams (13265 US Hwy 183 N, Austin) is such a genius idea. Phil’s is attached to Amy’s and there’s a playground on the patio. The kids can play while you sip your beer and wait for your burgers in the shade. Then you can end your meal with Austin’s favorite local ice cream. It’s our go-to spot for out-of-town guests and it never disappoints. Note: The playground area is not fully enclosed, so watch those kiddos!
Salt Lick (3350 E Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock) is authentic Texas BBQ and a local favorite. When we went, the boys played while we waited for our food under a tree-covered patio lit with globe lights. We thoroughly enjoyed our food (the pickles were our favorite!), and even though we were stuffed, we somehow demolished some peach cobbler a la mode. Note: The playground isn’t completely enclosed and it’s right next to a parking lot, so watch little ones closely.
Dahlia Cafe (2450 RR 1869, Liberty Hill) is kind of far outside of Austin, but we had such a lovely time that I had to include it. There’s a great patio/playground scene with some old-school equipment and the food was fantastic. Note: The playground is enclosed for the most part, but there are some places where our kids liked to hide (along the tree border), so we thought we lost them a few times.
Kerbey Lane Cafe (2120 N Mays St, Round Rock) has a nice playground right off the patio. The best part of Kerbey Lane Cafe is that kids eat FREE every Tuesday, so this place is a family favorite. Note: The playground area is completely enclosed, but it sits next to the parking lot and has a gate that kids can open.
Whole Foods Market Lamar (525 N Lamar Blvd., Austin) or Domain (11920 Domain Drive, Austin) is one of favorite places to eat and play. Both locations offer food options for everyone in the family. There’s a salad bar, hot and cold food bars, sandwiches, pizza, sushi, tacos, and more. Grab your food and dine on the rooftop plaza of the North Lamar location and enjoy the view and playscape, or out on the outdoor patio at the Domain location. Both locations offer playgrounds, although the one at the Domain location is much smaller. The Domain location will be offering FREE kids music on the patio on Sunday afternoons in March! Check it out here. Note: The playground at the Domain location is not enclosed and sits next to a parking lot.
Hat Creek Round Rock (3700 E Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock), Hat Creek Burnet (5400 Burnet Rd, Austin), Hat Creek Westlake (5902 Bee Cave Rd, West Lake Hills), and Hat Creek Georgetown (201 San Gabriel Village Blvd, Georgetown) all have playground areas. The food is fresh and yummy (those sauces!), and the friendly staff and atmosphere are awesome. Recently, we spent an entire morning at the Creative Playscape in Georgetown, and then drove over to the nearby Hat Creek for a lovely afternoon, eating lunch and letting the kids play some more. Bonus tip: Hat Creek offers $1 draft beer on Thursdays.
El Mercado (1302 S 1st St., Austin) has a fun little playground on their back patio that my boys loved. There’s a climbing dome, slides, and toys. But, my 3-year-old’s favorite place was the little house filled with wooden blocks where he could play make-believe. We happily munched on chips and queso while the kids played and we waited for the rest of our lunch.
Joe’s Crab Shack (2401 Interstate 35 Frontage Rd, Round Rock) has a fantastic playground below their back deck patio. My kids loved the slides but spent most of their time digging and playing in the sand. Bonus: Kids eat FREE at this location on Mondays! Note: It’s all enclosed so the kids can’t escape, but unless you’re seated at one of the nearby tables, it’s hard to keep an eye on your kids while they play.
The Triangle restaurants, Mandola’s (4700 W Guadalupe St #12, Austin), Galaxy Cafe (4616 Triangle Ave, Austin), Maudie’s (4600 West Guadalupe Street, Suite B5, Austin), all share this public playground. Maudie’s is the closest to the playground. Mandola’s offers FREE gelato with every kid’s meal. Galaxy Cafe offers many kid favorites, so it’s another great choice. Bonus: The Austin Farmers’ Market can be found at the Triangle every Wednesday from 3 – 7 p.m. Note: The playground area is not completely enclosed and is close to the parking area and street.
Silver Grill Cafe (4005 W Parmer Ln, Austin) has an enclosed playground and kids eat FREE every Tuesday.
More Favorite Kid-Friendly Restaurants with Playgrounds:
- in.gredients (2610 Manor Rd., Austin) is a no-waste bulk grocery store where you bring your own containers, but they also offer prepared foods and have a fenced-in playground for kids. Read our review!
- Torchy’s Tacos (11521 RR 620 North #1000, Austin) is located in Plaza Volente, which is on the southeast corner of RM 620 and Anderson Mill Road in northwest Austin. There is a playground on-site.
- Flores Mexican Restaurant (8300 N FM 620, Austin)
- Ski Shores Cafe (2905 Pearce Rd., Austin)
- Zack’s American Bistro (5145 North FM 620, Bldg. C, Austin)
- The Midway Food Park (1905 South Capital of Texas Hwy., Austin) Here you can find 8 food trucks, a playground, live music, picnic tables, and bathrooms. Check Facebook for updates and hours of each vendor. See the list of vendors here.
- Doc’s Backyard (5207 Brodie Ln., Sunset Valley)
- Southpark Meadows (9300 S IH 35 Frontage Rd, Austin) has a shared community playground. Here’s a list of restaurants.
- Homespun (131 East Mercer St., Dripping Springs)