It’s hot, and you don’t feel like cooking. The kids are (always) hungry. But the idea of eating at another chain restaurant makes you want to throw chicken tenders across the dining room.
Luckily these new restaurants are kid-friendly but also have plenty of ambiance (and cocktails) for adults. And if you’re lucky you may even get a few words in with your grown-up companion.
Housed in a cute cottage on the edge of Wynwood, this Italian comfort food spot is easy on the wallet, big on portions and takes its red sauce seriously. Hospitality veteran Alan Roth makes sure things run smoothly up front while his friend John Parlavechio cooks from his grandma’s recipes and makes sure everyone’s bellies are full and happy.
You can’t go wrong with Nonna’s homemade meatballs smothered in Sunday gravy, the spaghetti bolognese or the veggie lasagna. Besides the delicious menu options, Jack’s now has a summer lunch special that includes a salad, pasta or sandwich and drink for $15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Two words: free arcade. That’s right. Nestled inside this waterfront burger spot at the newly-refurbished Diplomat Beach Resort is a video arcade with unlimited free plays. Which means you can sip a craft beer while the little ones bask in the joy of Ms. Pacman and wait for their custom blend burgers with toppings like Nueske’s bacon and and homemade cheddar whiz.
Three types of “loaded” fries like the NYC Reuben topped with chopped pastrami, kraut and Swiss cheese round out the decadent menu. Save room for one of the milkshakes in flavors of Twinkie and Banana Foster Bread Pudding.
Hank and Harry's
A throwback to the old school delis that used to populate Miami Beach, this counter-service spot is conveniently located off Lincoln Road so you can hit this place after the little ones have grown tired of the the pedestrian mall.
Classic sandwhiches are stuffed with half a pound of meat and include hot corned beef, roasted turkey, kosher salami and the must-have pastrami on rye. Matzo ball soup, potato knishes and black and white cookies keep the Seinfeld vibes going. The place is open for breakfast too, with plenty of egg-based sandwiches and a variety of bagels with spreads.
Lolo's Surf Cantina
SoFi’s Baja-inspired eatery is great spot for strong margaritas and creative Mexican dishes like Tostadas de Atun and Pollo a la Plancha or Carne Asada. The Corn Cake dessert with Creme Fraiche Ice Cream is a fun treat. Best of all, it flanks an outdoor playground on Ocean Drive so you can tire out the little ones before heading inside for tacos.
Ricky's South Beach
A loungey arcade hybrid owned by the same folks who own Bodega (which is located right next door), Ricky’s is great for happy hour with the kids, because adults get all drinks for half price from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Bonus: Each drink comes with two arcade tokens, which means the kids get to battle it out on vintage games like Mortal Kombat and air hockey.
As for noshing options: Ricky’s recently introduced an outpost of the famed New York pizza spot Artichoke, which means expertly-prepared pies like the thin-crust Margherita, the thicker Sicilian squares and the signature artichoke slice made with spinach, cream sauce and artichoke hearts.
A hip and colorful newcomer to Brickell City Centre, this taco place is perfect for a casual bite and cocktails after a day spent perusing the upscale mall.
The third floor dining room is bright and airy. Grab a table flanking a balcony for views of the mall and dig into fresh guacamole with chips, ceviches and more than a dozen types of tacos including a great lamb Barbacoa and the Asada steak. The drinks here come in Mexican skull mugs (great for Instagram) and vary from the classic margarita to newer craft-like concoctions.