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7 Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Downtown Columbus

Downtown Columbus has been adding restaurants left and right since we moved here in 2008! The options for eating downtown outside of business hours have increased greatly! There are tons of downtown Columbus restaurants so it can be difficult to know how kid-friendly a restaurant will turn out to be if you’re unfamiliar with the area!

We’ve got you covered if you’re visiting Columbus or taking your kids to see a show downtown and need to find a bite to eat for the whole family! Check out this list of some of the best kid-friendly restaurants in downtown Columbus where kids and adults alike can chow down with ease!

If you are new to dining in downtown Columbus make sure to download the Park Mobile app so that you can use it as a convenient way to pay for street parking. If you’d like to park in a garage, I always recommend the Columbus Commons parking garage at 55 E Rich St, Columbus, OH 43215.

1. Dirty Franks Hot Dog Palace

  • Address: 248 S. 4th St., Columbus, OH 42315
  • Visit Website
  • Parking: street parking only
hot dogs at Dirty Frank's in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
Hot Dogs at Dirty Franks Hot Dog Palace!

Not only is Dirty Franks the most unique place to get a hot dog in Columbus, it’s also home to some crazy takes on your favorite side dishes! How about a hot dog octopus over Mac & Cheese (The Octodog) or tater tots with coney sauce and cheese sauce on top!

Some of my favorite dogs include a classic Chicago and any of the dogs with cream cheese on them! If your kids are as risk averse as mine, rest assured you can get your hot dog plain or with two toppings of your choice!

Veggie dogs, bratwurst and polish sausage are also available if hot dogs aren’t your thing! Lettuce wraps and gluten free buns are also available!

2. The Little Palace Restaurant + Bar

  • Address: 240 S. 4th St., Columbus, OH 43215
  • Visit Website
  • Parking: street parking only
boy eating a pizza at Little Palace Restaurant in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
Pizza at Little Palace!

The Little Palace is a great spot to hit up for happy hour and dinner! This spot on N. 4th St. in downtown Columbus has a cozy 60’s vibe and reasonably priced plates. We’ve taken our kids here before seeing a show at one of the downtown theaters!

For kids, check out the Small Sandwiches Menu for reasonably priced sandwiches like a burger, mini meatball, chicken sandwich, or grilled cheese! They also have pizza and stromboli!

At the time of writing, Little Palace opens at 4:00 PM every day so keep this in mind for a dinner spot!

3. Aracri Pizzeria

  • Address: 51 E Gay St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Visit Website
  • Parking: street parking only
Pizza at Aracri Pizzeria in downtown Columbus

I gave my 11 year a list of options of restaurants in downtown Columbus to eat at before seeing Swan Lake at Ohio Theatre and he chose Aracri Pizza on Gay Street. I was not mad about it!

The pizza was SO GOOD! I will definitely be bringing my family back here when we are are looking for a place to eat downtown! In addition to pizza, they also have Italian dishes like calzones, subs, and pasta dishes including lasagna, rigatoni, chicken parmigiana with spaghetti.

There are a few tables to sit at towards the back of the restaurant and in front, the area is lined with bar seating, which would probably be fun for kids to sit at, too! If you visit before 4:00 PM, you can buy pizza by the slice, so keep this in mind as a great kid-friendly option for lunch in downtown Columbus!

4. North Market Downtown

  • Address: 59 Spruce St., Columbus, OH 43215
  • Visit Website
  • Parking: paid parking lot is available. Make sure to get your parking ticket validated when you make a purchase for discounted parking!
Boy eating pizza at The North Market Downtown in Columbus, Ohio.
Pizza is a hit at North Market Downtown!

There are plenty of 5 star restaurants in Columbus, celebrity chefs, inventive dishes and fancy, special occasion meals, but if if your family only has one meal in downtown Columbus, I highly suggest making it at North Market!

North Market is your one stop shop for coffee, bakeries, flowers, spices, wine, pasta and unique, local restaurants! Filled with vendors selling their culinary delights, there is something for everyone at North Market!

My personal favorite is Lan Viet, a vietnamese restaurant! Other good bets are Hot Chicken Takeover (located upstairs) and Jeni’s Ice Cream for dessert! My kids head to Sarefino’s for pizza! You really can’t go wrong at the North Market!

(If you’re looking for more coffee options you can check out my list of coffee shops in downtown Columbus!)

5. Pecan Penny’s

  • Address: 113 E. Main St., Columbus, OH 43215
  • Visit Website
  • Parking: street parking only
BBQ food at Pecan Penny's in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
BBQ is best at Pecan Penny’s!

Pecan Penny’s gets lots of kid-friendly points for their great patio and relaxed atmosphere! Plus they have mac and cheese and all kinds of BBQ goodness!

There’s no specific kids menu here so if you have eaters with smaller appetites, I suggest sharing meals or trying a Downtown Sampler to split amongst the family with some added sides! Kids might also enjoy side items like soft pretzel sticks, nachos, and mac + cheese.

You don’t have to be afraid to make a mess at Pecan Penny’s – you eat your food right off the tray and don’t forget to lick the BBQ sauce off your fingers!

6. House Taco

  • Address: 79 S 4th St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Visit Website
  • Parking: street parking only
Boy with tacos at House Tacos, a restaurant in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
Tacos at House Taco

House Taco is a convenient place to have dinner before a show at Ohio Theatre or if you’re visiting Columbus Commons! The vibe is laid back and they are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout most of the week. (Check the link above for the most up-to-date hours!)

We took our kids here after seeing The Nutcracker at Ohio Theatre during the holidays and it was just a 5 minute walk to the restaurant. They do have a kid’s menu but it only includes two items: tacos and a bowl option. However, if your kids like Mexican food and tacos, they will probably be happy with many of the items on the menu!

House Taco also offers a Family Meal that serves 4-5 people and includes 2 proteins, 12 tortillas and taco toppings!

7. Spaghetti Warehouse

  • Address: 150 S High St, Columbus, OH 43215
  • Website

The new location of Spaghetti Warehouse opened in late 2023 and, I’ll admit, it opened to much controversy. Everyone loved the ambiance of the old location and families grew up making many memories there!

To be honest, I love the new location! The old one was super cool and kids loved to eat inside the trolley. with the trolley, but I love how they’ve given a nod to the train with the train car booths in the middle of the restaurant. They’ve also kept the famous stained glass lamps!

A loaf of bread with garlic butter inside Spaghetti Warehouse in downtown Columbus.
Inside the new location of Spaghetti Warehouse in downtown Columbus

Also, I love that the new location is right on Columbus Commons!

Spaghetti Warehouse has a kids menu for kids 10 and under and they also have a Family Meal option that seems very reasonably priced.

I think this new location is a great spot for the family to eat before seeing a show in Downtown Columbus or seeing the holiday lights at Columbus Commons. I suggest giving it another chance and making new memories!

I hope you enjoy one of these kid-friendly restaurants in downtown Columbus! If you’re looking for more things to do in Columbus, check out my list of Over 100 Fun Things to do in Columbus, Ohio or narrow down your fun to the Top 10 Things to do with Kids in Columbus!

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