The Mission District has no shortage of delicious options for dinner, but there’s only one restaurant where the long hallway to the bathroom is transformed into a Nerf Bowling alley, a play mat filled with books and toys beckons the toddlers, and the addictive chicken tenders can be served san the spice for little diners (we’ll get to the 20 beers on tap in a sec).
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The Whole Hog
Pig & Pie is a bustling eatery on 24th Street in the Mission serving up Southern comfort food— from homemade sausages to mac n’cheese to fried chicken salad—for the whole family. Owners (and husband and wife) Miles Pickering and Michelle Ticknor are parents to one-year-old Galileo, and thought their neighborhood lacked a casual, affordable place to dine where roaming, sometimes rambunctious kids are as welcome as hungry hipsters and discerning foodies. So in 2012 they transformed the landmarked Discolandia Record Store into Pig & Pie, a place where they thought their friends and neighbors would love to gather.
Dine Family Style
While the restaurant welcomes families seven days a week, it’s on Tuesday evenings when the spot is transformed into the Mission District’s hottest play space-meets-pie emporium. For the brand new Family Night, the owners roll out the play mats, stock the space with toys, and even set up a Nerf bowling set in the long hallway leading to the bathroom. From 4:30-7 p.m., the restaurant is filled with families eating, mingling and cooperatively watching over the gaggle of kiddos munching on homemade chicken nuggets and gooey mac n’ cheese, or keeping busy in the play area while moms and dads enjoy dinner and drinks with friends—yep, there’s more than 20 beers on tap and great wines by the glass or bottle. The motto for the night? “Run around, fling food, make lots of noise—nobody will care!”
There is also a fun, unique art project on offer each week inspired by the rotating exhibitions on display in the restaurant. On our last visit, the kid-loving curator was going table to table, taking photos of families and then printing them out as black-and-white coloring sheets (inspired by the photo exhibit on display). She handed them out with crayons, letting the littles color in their own family portrait.
Photo: Pig & Pie
Don’t Forget The Pie
Before you head home for bedtime, make sure and snag a piece of pie. The daily offerings are listed on the wall, and there can be as many as 10 to choose from. It will be a sweet ending to an even sweeter evening filled with laugher and lots of good eats—this is a family feast you may just want to make a weekly tradition.
2962 24th St.
San Francisco, Ca
Do you know of any other awesome family friendly nights at local restaurants? Tell us in the comments below!