Our Favorite Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Asheville

The best restaurants to dine with kids in Asheville

We are excited to share a guide to our favorite kid-friendly restaurants in Asheville. We have dined with our kids at every single restaurant on this list and highly recommend each depending on what you are looking for.

This guide highlights kid-friendly restaurants in Asheville. Don’t miss our kid-friendly breweries article where we share our top picks for the best breweries in Asheville with kids.

Most of the spots on our kid-friendly restaurant list are counter service because they are just inherently easier with kids than table service. We like that it cuts out any additional waiting time to order, pay at the end, etc.

We have also highlighted a few table service restaurants that go above and beyond for kids. Like, Pizza Mind in West Asheville with a make-your-own pizza option. And Chai Pani because it’s such a casual environment and they are quick to bring food to the table.

We hope this list of kid-friendly restaurants is useful whether you are visiting Asheville with kids for the weekend or are a local looking for new restaurants to bring the family.

Map of kid-friendly restaurants in Asheville

And finally, onto the list! We hope this guide to our favorite kid-friendly restaurants points you to your next favorite spot to dine with kids in Asheville.

Food hall in downtown Asheville with restaurants, ice cream and a taproom

Starting this list off with an absolute favorite of both ours and our two kids! The S&W Market is Asheville’s only food hall and has a ton of great kid-friendly options (chicken nuggets, hot dogs and ice cream come to mind!)

We especially like to recommend S&W for large groups who have a variety of palates to satisfy. Apart from several food vendors, you’ll also find a Highland Brewing taproom at S&W. There are actually two spots– a taproom with 18 taps upstairs and a smaller bar on the main floor next to the food vendors.

S&W Market has indoor seating as well as tables on Patton Ave right out front. You’ll have a view of the drum circle in Pritchard Park on Friday evenings in the summer.

Local taco shop with counter service and outdoor seating

If you kids love queso, we can highly recommend Taco Billy! Not only is the inside super casual and laidback, but they have a hidden outdoor area in the back. You can access it on the side or through the back of Taco Billy.

Taco Billy serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is served all day (and they have self-serve coffee!) You can either pick from their 6 breakfast taco specials or build your own.

For breakfast, try the migas taco with crispy-fried tortilla strips. The sweet potato + sausage on a plantain tortilla is also a great choice.

As far as food for kids goes, they have a ‘Billy the Kid’ quesadilla on the menu and a variety of tacos. They also have salsa, queso and guacamole. Adult drinks include a frozen margarita, draft beer and canned beer. Draft beers are $4 on Wednesdays.

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Let your young chef make their own pizza in West Asheville

If you have a budding chef in your family, make time for lunch or dinner at Pizza Mind in West Asheville. Their kids menu includes a ‘make your own pizza‘ option. Our boys love this so much that we listed it on our list of fun things to do with kids in Asheville.

If you opt to make your own pizza, your server will bring out dough, sauce, cheese and a choice of one topping. And then your kids can get to work!

It’s a really fun activity that not only keeps kids entertained, but also gets them excited to try their meal. NOTE: The make-your-own pizza option is available for children ages 12 and under only.

Apart from the kid-friendly fun, Pizza Mind also happens to have some of the most delicious pizza in Asheville. We especially love their Happy Wheel pizza (think: Big Mac on a pizza) and Caesar Salad. Their croutons and crust are excellent!!

A James Beard Award winner that also happens to be super kid-friendly

I know that it may sound crazy to hear that the big winner of the 2022 James Beard Awards would be kid-friendly, but it’s true! It’s such a laidback and casual Indian restaurant with great food and wildly quick service.

Chai Pani has a kids section on the menu that includes kids cheese paratha (mozzarella melted between flatbread) and kids rice & daal (mild lentil soup, rice, sweet yogurt.) We always get either the matchstick okra fries or kale pakoras to share.

There are always several kids when we go and the noise of the restaurant just kind of drowns everyone out. Also, everyone is just so nice and accommodating.

If you arrive and there’s a wait, just add your name to the list. You can monitor the progress on the Yelp app and pop back once your table opens. We recommend checking out Curio Toy Shop just down the block if strolling around with kids. Woolworth Walk is also a great stop for this.

Cheeseburgers, counter service, outdoor seating and occasional trains

We enjoy going to Baby Bull in the River Arts District because their burgers and fries are great and their outdoor seating is perfect for our family. Counter service is the cherry on top!

Baby Bull is near train tracks, so if you are lucky your kids will spot a train or two while you eat. Happy kids, happy parents!

One thing to note about Baby Bull is that their dishes come ‘all or nothing.‘ If you opt for ‘nothing’, the condiments/toppings will all come on the side. I personally love the double cheeseburger with American cheese, pickles, Duke’s mayo and onions. All the way, please!

Baby Bull has a kids cheeseburger on the menu that’s plain and you can add condiments as needed. There’s a separate area where you can get mustard, ketchup, etc. Gluten-free buns are available for an additional charge.

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Awesome ribs, counter service, outdoor seating and next to a brewery!

12 Bones Smokehouse has two locations in Asheville but we are focusing on their River Arts District one for this kid-friendly list. There’s also a 12 Bones in South Asheville.

The RAD location is pretty cool because you can either eat there or head next door to Wedge Brewing. Our kids prefer dining at Wedge because it’s near the train tracks.

12 Bones doesn’t have a kids menu, but they do have a ‘just a taste‘ section on the menu where you can grab a small side of meat instead of a full plate. We typically each get a plate that comes with 2 sides and then order an extra side or two and an additional side of meat for our family of four.

I say this every time I mention 12 Bones but… try the brown sugar ribs!! We also love the blueberry chipotle ribs and our kids could live off of 12 Bones’ corn pudding. Their mac & cheese, collard greens and sweet vinegar slaw are also family favorites for us.

Excellent spot for an outdoor breakfast in a garden setting

Liberty House Cafe is a coffee shop in Asheville with amazing food. It’s tucked away in North Asheville and is a charming place for an outdoor meal.

Our kids love the sourdough pancake, pastry treats, classic breakfast plate and Honest Co juice boxes. They also enjoy exploring near the garden while we wait for our food. There are usually other kids around and it’s overall a very peaceful setting.

I always tell people that Liberty House is perfect for families with younger babies who want to sleep peacefully in their stroller while you dine al fresco by the garden. That sounds idyllic, right??

Read more about dining at Liberty House, including info on parking and what we love to order!

Neighborhood cafe in West Asheville with all-day breakfast

Sunny Point is a table service cafe in West Asheville with breakfast and lunch menus. Their food is wonderful and it’s always at the top of best brunch in Asheville lists.

The inside is casual and they have a great outdoor seating area. They also have a garden where you can explore and admire.

All of their food is delicious but we can especially recommend the carrot hotcakes and anything with bacon.

If there’s a wait, grab a pastry from Rabbit Hole, their sister bakery in the same parking lot.

Tacos, queso, counter service, picnic tables and a view of the river

White Duck Taco shop is a great order-at-the-counter restaurant for tacos in Asheville.

Their River Arts location is on the river and they have tons of colorful picnic tables with umbrellas around. The river is down a steep hill but there are plenty of trees in the way that acts as a barrier for curious kids.

Their South location also has great outdoor seating with a ton of picnic tables. Both locations also have indoor seating.

White Duck Taco has so many fun taco flavors (think: Korean Beef Bulgogi tacos.) They also have more kid-friendly ones like a traditional ground beef taco and a crispy chicken BLT taco (which is essentially a chicken finger on a taco!)

You’ll also find a kid’s chicken or cheese quesadillas on White Duck Taco’s menu, as well as queso. Our kids are obsessed with their queso!

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The perfect restaurant for macaroni and cheese lovers

Luella’s Bar-B-Que is an Asheville BBQ institution with two locations– one in North AVL on Merrimon and a second in South AVL in Biltmore Park Town Square.

They have absolutely amazing chopped pork in a vinegar sauce and their mac ‘n cheese can’t be topped.

The kids’ menu includes a bowl of mac ‘n cheese, chopped pork bbq, pulled chicken, BBQ tempeh, Brunswick stew or 3 wings, each with one side.

Another thing we love about Luella’s is their proximity to a few of Asheville’s best playgrounds. The North one is next to Weaver Park and their South location is down the road from Lake Julian.

A board game cafe in Asheville!

Another one on our list of fun things to do with kids in Asheville! The name alone should make it obvious that kids will love this South Slope cafe. Inside you’ll find a wall with over 700 games!!! And they also have food and snacks, so you can stay all day. Oh, and beer, wine and coffee for the grownups.

They have daily breakfast starting at 8am with everything from croissant sandwiches to a spinach feta pocket. And coffee, of course.

There are also a ton of small plates, including dino nuggets— a hit for picky eaters of all ages– mini quesadillas and cheese sticks. For my fellow dessert lovers, you’ll be happy, too! Well Played has ice cream, brownies and milkshakes on their daily menu.

Choose from an all-day pass or if you are local, opt for a membership. Kids under 6 are free with a paying adult and children 13 and under are $5 per day.

Casual Thai restaurant with outdoor dining

Little Bee Thai is a great spot for Thai food in Asheville. It’s on the outskirts of downtown next to Pollen coffee shop.

We recommend Little Bee for kids who have a bit of a foodie soul.

The menu is pretty small compared to other Thai eateries but it’s big on flavor. You’ll find a few curries, Pad Thai, mango sticky rice, salad with house-made ginger dressing and spicy chicken wings, among other dishes.

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Kid-friendly Italian restaurant in Asheville

Vinnie’s is an Asheville treasure! It’s an interesting spot because I like to recommend it for date night and also for family dinners. They have delicious Italian food and a welcoming atmosphere.

You’ll find a ‘bambino’ section on Vinnie’s menu with spaghetti, baked ziti and chicken tenders. You can also opt to get one of their signature dishes family-style that feeds up to three people. We love doing this with their chicken parm.

Vinnie’s original location is in North Asheville and they have a second in South Asheville. Both have outdoor seating.

If you are looking for a side of nostalgia with your lunch, head to The Soda Fountain diner at Woolworth Walk downtown for a grilled cheese and float.

Here you’ll find a diner serving up BLTs, grilled cheese, hot dogs and egg salad sandwiches. And of course, awesome ice cream in Asheville! Everything from a classic banana split to hand-dipped ice cream! You can view the full menu here.

The Soda Fountain is a fun stop if you are shopping around downtown and need a place for your kids to sit back and enjoy lunch with a side of ice cream.

Bonus: it’s inside the Woolworth Walk, which is filled with the work of hundreds of local artists.

Pizza, corn hole and ping pong near Biltmore Village

Standard Pizza is a great local pizza joint with two locations in Asheville (West and near Biltmore Village.) Their Biltmore Village location is a great place to dine with kids because they have has several games set up, like corn hole, ping pong and shuffleboard. They also have outdoor seating.

The menu at Standard Pizza is pretty straightforward with various pizza sizes and the option to choose from a signature pizza or build your own.

Pizza slices are served on metal plates at Standard like you’d find at an old-school pizza parlor.

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