There are a million restaurants in Los Angeles, and there are plenty of great places to dine with the family. This list includes not only places that will please the whole family but also those places that have an added “experience” factor that only LA can deliver.
7290 Beverly Blvd.
Cookies, cakes, ice cream, milkshakes, and anything sweet, MILK has it. It’s a dessert shop that will definitely add a few pounds; but hey, you’re on vacation! MILK’s ice cream macaroons set social media on fire, but whatever your sweet tooth is craving, you can’t go wrong. $$
8351 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
At Carney’s, hamburgers and hot dogs are served on a train car. That’s right, hop aboard an old Pacific Railroad passenger car in the middle of town and have lunch. The food is tasty (and a bit greasy, but it’s a hamburger joint) and reasonably-priced for Los Angeles. Kids love the atmosphere, and you’ll find everyone from tourists to post-soccer game teams pigging out on chili dogs, fries, burgers, and shakes. Additional location: Studio City. $
6333 W 3rd St.
It’s a farmers market but not your typical farmers market. Farmers Market is a permanent fixture with dozens of restaurants and produce shops. The beauty is that you have all types of food to please all members of your family. Send everyone off to find the food they want and dine together in communal seating. $-$$$
9010 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood
Jessica Biel’s organic kid-friendly restaurant will give you a taste of L.A. The unique restaurant offers wholesome food geared towards kids in what it calls a “creative space.” The Creative Space (admission: $15) is a supervised area, where kids can play games, make crafts, and make music while parents dine. There is a 30-kid max, and little ones (age 2 and younger) must be accompanied by an adult at all times. The Creative Space is also rented out for special events, so call or check the website calendar before visiting. Au Fudge isn’t very big, so I’d recommend booking a table in advance. $$$
Photo courtesy: Justin Coit
5/Tomato Pie Pizza Joint
7751 Melrose Ave.
Tomato Pie Pizza Joint serves up thin crust and Sicilian-style pizza with a neighborhood feel. Good pizza is harder to find than you may think on the West Coast, and Tomato Pie provides a pizza that will please the whole family. They also offer gluten-free pizza, and their namesake, “Tomato Pie” which is a square pan, homestyle pizza with marinara sauce, Romano cheese, parsley, oregano, and no mozzarella. Additional locations: Silver Lake and South Pasadena. $
3737 Cahuenga Blvd., Studio City
Home of the Doner Kebab, Spitz is an easy stop for quick Mediterranean street food. Throw in some street cart fries topped with garlic aioli and feta cheese or Doquitos (lavash bread rolled with feta, onion, and garlic aioli; then deep fried). Spitz offers kid-sized wraps with a side and a juice box. There also are games in the restaurant to help pass the time. Additional locations: Los Feliz and Los Angeles. $
7/Giggles N' Hugs
10250 Santa Monica Blvd., #155
Giggles N’ Hugs is an indoor play place and restaurant all in one. The playground features a giant ball pit and padded climbing towers with large slides. Every 30 minutes, an employee starts a special activity, like hula hooping or face painting. Every seat has a view of the enclosed play area, so kids can go off on their own while parents watch from the table. My son likes the mac n’ cheese (which has a full serving of vegetables blended into the cheese sauce!) but loves the cookies and milk. There’s a $12 admission fee for kids, but siblings are $9, and if they’re only crawling, it’s $6; adults are free. Additional locations: Canoga Park and Glendale. $$
648 S. Broadway
Grab your tray and get ready for a dining experience! A giant indoor redwood tree, waterfall, taxidermy animals, and a 250-pound meteorite are just some of the intriguing sights inside Clifton’s Cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles. There are plenty of food options to pile upon your tray, but you’re more likely to remember what you see and experience than what you eat. $$
9/Ray's and Stark Bar
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Located at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Ray’s and Stark Bar serves farm-to-table cuisine. The modern décor matches the museum and makes for a great stop before or after checking out the museum or any of the other attractions in the area. There is also a great outdoor seating area, complete with people watching and LA sunshine. $$
10/Malibu Country Mart
3835 Cross Creek Rd., Malibu
Malibu Country Mart is the perfect place, if you need a little getaway from Los Angeles. A short drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, you’ll pass plenty of beaches on your way to this well-known Malibu gem. Technically, it’s a shopping center, but with an outdoor playground and restaurants that surround it, the Malibu Country Mart delivers lunch and play with an ocean breeze. The food options include, sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, smoothies, and ethnic choices like Italian, Chinese, and Greek. With ample outdoor seating, you can relax, eat, and watch the kids play. $-$$