5 on Friday: Kid-Friendly Restaurants

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This month I’m sharing our personal, top 5 go-to restaurants for eating out with kids. These are our standbys, the places we know our kids will eat and it won’t completely break the bank. There’s nothing fancy here, we don’t find these places stressful to take our kids and they serve food our kids like. Plain and simple.

You’ll have to forgive me because my kids like hot dogs, mac and cheese and pizza. We did baby-led weaning and only making whole foods at home and trying to keep them (well, our first child 😉 ) from eating sugar until he was two. And they still turned out to like hot dogs, mac and cheese and chocolate milk the best. When we pay for them to eat in a restaurant, I want them to actually eat their food and that’s what they usually choose. If your kids love kale and hate chocolate, I’m jealous and this probably isn’t the list for you. 😉

1. Jason’s Deli

Two locations in Columbus.

It probably goes without saying that the best thing about Jason’s Deli is the free ice cream! 😉 It helps that all four of us also have a “real food” favorite there, too! (You know, something to eat before you get to the ice cream!) They have a decent kids’ menu and a drink is included in the price! Jason’s Deli has a lot of healthy and organic options, a great salad bar and everyone gets free ice cream!

Photo Credit: Jaden

2. Pizza Cucinova

5 locations in Columbus

I like Pizza Cucinova because, not only do we like their pizza, but it’s fast and it’s affordable! Cheese pizzas are $5 and my kids can split one. It’s great for the adults because you can choose whatever toppings you like and the salads are good, too. This is a place I feel confident taking both of my kids by myself!

3. Giant Eagle Market District, Grandview

840 W 3rd Ave., Columbus, OH 43212, 614-294-2186

I honestly think we might eat here as a family more than any other place! Of course we used to live less than a mile from the store, which is probably why, but my oldest still routinely asks if we can go here for pizza! We love it because after 4:00 PM large pizzas are $7.99 and one will (just barely) feed our whole family. There is a large seating area and we love the outdoor patio. It also helps if you fill the kids up with the free fruit and cheese samples first before the pizza. Afterwards we circle around for a cookie from the bakery! It’s a whole night out! See Cheap Family Outings in Columbus for Every Day of the Week!

4. Whole Foods Market, Upper Arlington

1555 W. Lane Ave., Upper Arlington, OH 43221, 614-481-3400

The Social at Whole Foods Market, Upper Arlington is definitely our go-to breakfast and brunch spot and we nearly ALWAYS get the farmer’s breakfast. The breakfast used to be $5, which admittedly, was a steal, but it’s now $7 and my kids can still share it. (I know, wait until they’re teenagers.) The Farmer’s Breakfast includes 2 eggs, 2 pieces of toast, your choice of meat and potatoes. My oldest also requests to come here for his birthday cupcake! See Whole Foods Market in 20 Free Indoor Play Areas in Columbus!

5. Dirty Franks West EDIT: Dirty Franks West is no longer open. The location on N. 4th St. is still open!

2836 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH, 43204, 614-947-0074

Now that we’ve moved to Westgate, Dirty Franks is our new, less than a mile away, go-to spot! The fact that it’s quite a bit larger than the downtown location makes it a more kid-friendly option! There are so many choices of hot dogs and you can also get classic favorites like tater tots and soft pretzel bites. We went on Mother’s Day this past year and they even had Nick Jr. on the TV, making it my most peaceful Mother’s Day lunch yet! See Visitors Guide to the West Side!

What’s your family’s stress-free, go-to favorite when eating out?


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3 Places I Love to Take My Kids in Columbus: Eryn Gilson

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Each month I will be featuring a local parent who will tell us about three places they love to take their kids in Columbus! Thanks to Eryn for sharing 3 of her favorites with us this month!

1. Cambridge Tea House

My oldest daughter and I love Cambridge Tea House.  It is our go to spot for mommy/daughter dates, lunch before our annual Christmas shopping trip, to celebrate good news, really any excuse to leave the boys at home and escape for some girl time. 🙂 The experience is everything, we have so much fun chatting  about Kindergarten over scones and tea. I hope we will be able to continue this tradition through her high school years and into adulthood.  You can’t go wrong with anything on their menu – my daughter loves the Princess Tea (complete with a tiara to wear during your time there), we both love the scones and they have THE BEST tea. I’m kind of a tea snob so I promise you’ll love it.  Note: They are closed on Mondays and I highly recommend making reservations.

2. Columbus Metro Parks – Prairie Oaks and Inniswood Are Our Current Favs

You can’t really go wrong with any of the wonderful Metro Parks in Columbus but I am just sharing my top two because I could talk for days about all of them. 🙂 Prairie Oaks is our go to for those moments we need to get out of the house, donut picnics on Saturday morning, or nature walks – it’s about 10 minutes from our house and even on the weekends there is a max of 4 other families there with us.  My kiddos love the playground and I love that I can see both of them even if one is playing on the jungle gym and one is climbing the hill to the slides.  We also really enjoy exploring the walking paths and the lakes.

Inniswood Metro Gardens is a favorite for family pictures, exploring, and nature walks. They offer GREAT summer programs which is a huge bonus. They offer so many educational programs year round but the summer programs are some of our favorites.  Inniswood is so beautiful, while walking around we talk about colors, bees, types of flowers, dirt, gardening, and so much more. It really opens up so many wonderful conversations with my kids.

3. North Market

I am passionate about sharing my love for shopping and eating local with my kids and The North Market is one of the best places for me to share that passion with them. From picking up fresh flowers or grabbing a bite to eat while we’re downtown, or heading to the Farmers Market there on Saturday morning, we can’t get enough.  We each have our favorite spots in The North Market but really you can’t go wrong.  I love Little Eater and Dos Hermanos, my husband is obsessed with Hot Chicken Takeover (but come on who isn’t?), my daughter goes back and forth between Destination Donuts and Taste of Belgium, and my son loves Sarafino’s.  We also love exploring the area using this scavenger hunt from one of my fav local bloggers. Make a day of it and head just a few steps away to explore Goodale Park or take your picture in front of the infamous teal and orange wall.


We are so lucky in Columbus to have so many amazing opportunities to explore, learn, and play.  My husband and I are passionate about showing our kids the world and giving them plenty of opportunities to explore. We are proud to live in a city that gives us the opportunities to do and share so much with our kids so effortlessly. When Julie asked me to write about our top three favorite places – I knew it would be a challenge because we love so many places but I think I’ve narrowed it down pretty well.  Above are our top 3 favorite places but it needs to be said we also love going out for ice cream, hiking, exploring art exhibits, attending the theatre, and so much more.  Make sure to follow along with me over at 614 Mom (Facebook and Instagram as well)  to learn more about the places we love.


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5 on Friday: Chocolate Chip Cookies in Columbus

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You guys – would you believe Friday, August 4th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day? Can you even believe my luck? When I was deciding what this month’s 5 on Friday feature would be, I could NOT pass this one up! I know I already featured 5 Bakeries, and at nearly all of them I got a chocolate chip cookie, so, in an honest effort not to repeat myself too much, I took on the great hardship of trying out a few new options to add to the list! 😉

1. Fox in the Snow

1031 N. 4th St., Columbus, OH 43201

A while back, Fox in the Snow posted a picture of a chocolate chip cookie with the statement that they had wanted to add a cookie to their amazing arsenal of baked goods (oh my!) but had just not been satisfied with a recipe – until now! Well, you know if Fox in the Snow has worked hard to perfect a recipe, it’s gonna be good. Still, I was still taken aback with my first bite. I know, that is a lot of hyperbole for a cookie, but when something is hyped up in your mind and it doesn’t disappoint, that’s saying something! Give a try to their brown butter, toffee, chocolate chip cookie (sprinkled with sea salt) and I just can’t imagine you’ll be disappointed!

P.S. I never thought I would take my kids to Fox in the Snow. It’s hip, trendy and not somewhere I have felt confident taking a 3 year old. HOWEVER – whenever I have gone, there have always been kids there. (Ok, a good number of them have been in infant car seats or just a single child) but I guess it boosted my confidence because when I stopped in to get the cookie, I actually let my kids talk me into a cinnamon roll and staying there to eat on their great outdoor patio. Granted, the patio is probably better for kids than inside, but I guess the moral of the story is don’t be afraid to take your kids there – the pastries are so good they’ll be guaranteed to sit still for at least 60 seconds. 😉


2. Northstar

Multiple Locations

So, I’ve been eating the double chocolate chip cookies at Northstar since 2008, but a few months ago I saw a regular chocolate chip cookie for the first time and couldn’t pass it up. (Have you noticed yet that chocolate chip cookies are my weakness?) It was gooey and yummy and I’m so glad they have them at Northstar now!


3. Kittie’s Cafe

2424 E Main St., Bexley, OH 43209,

Ok, I’ll admit, Kitties Cafe in Bexley is a repeat. But I just couldn’t leave off my favorite chocolate chip cookie. This salted chocolate chip cookie is the first one that made me stand back and say, “Whoa!” Plus this spot is across the street from the amazing Bexley Library and next door to Gramercy Books – so you’ve got complete outing already planned!


4. Freedom a la Cart

Inside the Northside Library, 1423 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43201

Speaking of another complete package, Freedom a la Cart has a cafe inside Columbus Metropolitan Library’s newly remodeled Northside Branch in the Short North! The cafe is on the first floor of the library and has a lot of treats to offer! Before I even knew I was going to write this post, I chose the salted chocolate chip cookie. Yum! Salt + Cookie is the best thing ever! Freedom a la Cart employs victims of human trafficking, giving them skills, experience and a safe place to learn a trade. Top your cookie off with a stop at the fish tank on the same floor and a visit to the kids’ area of the library and you’ve got your day’s outing done!


5. Sweet Carrot

1417 W 5th Ave., Columbus, OH, 43212, 614-488 – 7151

The chocolate chip cookie at Sweet Carrot looked so good from behind the counter the first time I ate there, but I passed it up. I had to try it out for this post so I stopped in to pick one up a few weeks ago. It was definitely yummy! I noticed a lot of other tasty looking desserts that will now get inside my head to try next! Sweet Carrot is a kid-friendly restaurant with a rabbit theme. They serve BBQ options (think pulled pork), mac and cheese and those two things together in a tasty combo! The decor inside is lots of fun! There’s an outdoor patio, too, so give it a try this summer!

Who makes your favorite chocolate chip cookie in Columbus?


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