Enjoying a quiet dinner at a restaurant is a luxury that you don’t fully appreciate until it’s gone. I certainly feel like I didn’t take full advantage of my dinners out before I had kids. The truth is, it’s just a lot harder to enjoy your meal with children, but it can be done. The trick is in the planning. Bring along some small toys for a distraction, ask that children’s meals are served first, and most importantly, pick a restaurant that is family-friendly. I’ve got a great list of places to bring the whole family out to eat in New Haven County, and if you’re venturing to Central Connecticut check our list of restaurants where kids eat free.
Aunt Chilada’s – Hamden, CT
Enjoy indoor or outdoor seating while munching on chips and salsa. Kids eat free on Sundays with the purchase of an adult meal between 4-8pm. Also on Sundays is a live performance from a magician that the kids will love.
3931 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518 203-230-4640
Chick's Drive-In – West Haven, CT
Located across from the West Haven Beach, Chick’s restaurant has been around for generations. It offers an array of fried seafood and quick service food to enjoy outside with the view of Long Island Sound.
183 Beach Street, West Haven, CT 06516 203-934-4510
Cracker Barrel – Milford, CT
Enjoy old fashion country cooking in a family-friendly environment for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They offer table games, crayons and a coloring sheet. After your meal, explore the old country store with novelty items and classic food.
30 Research Drive, Milford, CT 06460 203-877-7595
Friendly’s – North Haven, CT
Friendly’s is a family favorite for any meal of the day. They even have a coupon for a free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult entrée. There are several locations, so there is sure to be one near you.
140 Universal Drive North, North Haven, CT 06473 203-234-8528
Glenwood Drive-In – Hamden, CT
A family run business for 57 years, Glenwood offers freshly prepared high quality fast food in a fun and friendly environment. Looking for something sweet after your meal? Then head over to Kelly’s Kone Konnection (adjacent to Glenwood) for some ice cream.
2538 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518 203-281-0604
IHOP – Waterbury, CT
You might think of IHOP only being for breakfast, but did you know they have a dinner menu too? This restaurant makes the list because it works for my family, and hopefully will work for yours too. There never seems to be a wait for dinner and you can get blueberry pancakes for dinner! What’s better than that? There are also locations in Hamden, Orange, and Wallingford.
495 Union Street, Suite 2168, Waterbury, CT 06706 203-573-8822
Trackside Brick Oven Pizzeria - Wallingford, CT
Enjoy New Haven style pizza in a restored 1920’s Philadelphia subway car. Children will be amazed as they dine inside or outside while the trains roar past.
118 Dudley Ave Wallingford, CT 06492 203-697-1081
Originally published 7/9/2013.
Photo Courtesy Trackside Pizza.