Beyond Burgers and Fries: 5 Kid-Friendly Culinary Adventures

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Remember back before you changed diapers on the daily? Restaurants used to be an adventure. You might drop by try the new Persian place, or causally sip ouzo at your favorite Greek tavern. These days, dining out offers an entirely different sort of adventure—but you can still expose your little foodies to global cuisine! We’ve put together five spots where you and your family can digest a little culinary culture.


Nam Phuong II. (Vietnamese, Thai) Druid Hills/Emory
Clean and bright, this extremely authentic Vietnamese restaurant has an extensive menu. Traditional Vietnamese offerings of pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) and banh mi (yummy sandwiches) are great places to start. The staff is super friendly and happy to help make suggestions.

The Little’s Will Love: Kiddos will love getting hands on with their food. A giant plate of fresh veggies and rice papers, Banh Hoi, is basically a build your own spring roll bar. If your little ones love slurping up noodles, give them a taste of Mi & Hu Tiu Xao, Vietnamese pan fried noodles.

4051 Buford Highway Atlanta, GA 30345  •   (404) 633-2400

Double Zero Restaurant Photos by MaiBri

Double Zero Napoletana (Southern Italian) Sandy Springs
Every kid likes pizza, but what about pizza topped with braised bacon, seasonal mushrooms, and goat cheese? Ok, that may be a bit ambitious, but you can still enjoy that while the kiddos munch on a more simplistic Margherita pizza. Try to reserve one of the tables along the perimeter, the center of the restaurant features high-top communal tables which may not be your bag when dining with the whole family. Sample your way through the small plates, and be sure to check out their amazing cocktail and wine list.

The Little’s Will Love: Watching the pizzas go in and out of the impressive tiled pizza ovens. Entertaining themselves on the bocce ball court, but be careful those balls weigh a ton!  If all else fails? Bribe ’em with gelato.

5825 Roswell Road, Atlanta, GA, 30328 • 404-991-3666


El Taco (Tex Mex/ Mexican) Virginia Highland
While there is certainly more “adventurous” Mexican out there, El Taco cannot be beat when it comes to a fun atmosphere and fresh, tasty food. This place is so family friendly that any given night you’re sure to find a sea of little faces all wearing cheese-dip-smudged grins.  Parents will dig their yummy margaritas and fun taco menu.

The Little’s Will Love: The prize wheel! Wooden tokens are given out and the prize wheel is spun every hour on the hour.

1186 N Highland Ave NE Atlanta, GA 30306 • (404) 873-4656


Chai-Pani (Indian street food) Decatur
A recent addition to downtown Decatur, where virtually every restaurant seems to be kid friendly, Chai-Pani has a fun, playful ambiance.  For a little bit of nostalgia from your own childhood, check out the Sloppy Jai, a take on the sloppy Joe with an Indian twist. We love that the meat and dairy are all natural, antibiotic, and hormone free.

The Little’s Will Love:  They have their own menu called “Chota Lok” (the little people) that ranges from slightly adventurous fare to chicken fingers. For a special treat, order ’em up a fresh Lime Rickey made with raspberry syrup, lime juice and soda water.

406 W Ponce de Leon Ave Decatur, GA 30030 • (404) 378-4030


Orient Express Chinese (Chinese, Sushi, and Hibachi) Vinnings
Normally we might be a little hesitant about a restaurant that packs in three different cuisines under one roof, but when that roof is actually over a train car, all bets are off. Yes—you read that correctly—a restaurant inside a train car. Your kids will flip, and you will get to sip sake as they squeal with excitement

The Little’s Will Love:  It’s in a train car! There is an extensive Chinese menu with lots of options for the kiddos and Hibachi is always a hit. The staff is super cool with the kids, always plucking an umbrella in a sprite, or making “training” chopsticks. Don’t miss the coy pond. Did we mention it’s in a train?

2921 NW Paces Ferry Rd Atlanta, GA 30339 • (770) 438-9090

Where do you like to take the tots for a little culinary culture? Tell us below!

–Candice Rose

Photos courtesy of Creative Commons via FlickrDouble Zero NapolentanaEl Taco via Facebook, Chai Pani via Facebook and Orient Express