Best Family Friendly Restaurants in Scottsdale

10 Best Family-Friendly Restaurants in Scottsdale: Kid-Approved Eats and Treats

When it comes to family friendly dining in Scottsdale, there's no place like the Sugar Bowl.

This venerable Scottsdale ice cream parlor has been in operation since the 1950s. For many Scottsdale visitors, a family vacation in Scottsdale is not complete without a stop here. There are dozens of ice cream treats, including floats, sorbets, shakes and sundaes. But if you're hungry for something a little more solid, the kitchen also dishes out great diner food, including sandwiches, burgers and salads.

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but sometimes it's hard to convince young kids to fuel up in the morning. You won't have any trouble getting the kids to eat breakfast at Butters Pancakes & Cafe. Don't expect a greasy spoon - the food here is prepared fresh with quality ingredients. Pancakes, fruit salads, fluffy omelettes, and fresh-squeezed orange juice, along with a special children's brunch menu, make this a good family destination.

Brat Haus may seem like an adult-only beer garden, but this popular Scottsdale destination for brats and craft beer is actually pretty kid-friendly. There is a kid's menu featuring all-beef hot dogs, grilled cheese, and chicken fingers, and families will appreciate the laid-back ambiance and comfortable outdoor patio at this lively Old Town spot. 





Carlsbad Tavern
Photo courtesy of Carlsbad Tavern

Carlsbad Tavern & Restaurant in Scottsdale embraces New Mexico-style Mexican food and culture, making for one of the most colorful, fun lunch and dinner spots in Scottsdale. Authentic New Mexican grub uses fresh New Mexico chiles in a variety of creative and delectable meals, such as the luscious Crab Stuffed Poblanos, two poblano chiles stuffed with crab, peppers, onions, and cilantro served with smoked cascabell and yellow bell cream sauce with sides of rice and black beans. Or try the inimitable Machaca & Tomatillo Chimichanga, slow cooked machaca beef with roasted tomatillo sauce and pepper jack cheese wrapped in a deep-fried tortilla.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Carlsbad Tavern is a fun, colorful family restaurant serving a fresh American and Southwestern cuisine.

Patricia's expert tip: Hamburgers and other classic American fare is also a specialty here.

Read more about Carlsbad Tavern →

Coconut's Fish Cafe is a Hawaiian-style, fast-casual taco joint decorated with surfboard tables, bamboo, bright colors and a soundtrack of island music. The ambiance is fun, casual and friendly, but you'll come for the expansive menu of fish tacos, fish fillets, salads, and fish and chip plates. The tacos are the house specialty, which you can enjoy with the house wasabi coleslaw balanced with coconut milk and topped with fresh tomatoes and mango salsa. If you choose the house fish fillet, you can have it cooked in a variety of styles with your choice of signature sauce, which includes tartare, Thai chili, sriracha aioli, Asian flair and the spicy South of the Border.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: If you're looking for a no-fuss place to grab lunch or dinner, Coconut's Fish Cafe offers fast-casual service and kid-friendly eats.

Patricia's expert tip: Try the coconut shrimp, a house favorite.

Read more about Coconut's Fish Cafe →

There's no use trying to resist the pull of Rehab Burger Therapy. The restaurant, which is located in the heart of downtown, is almost always filled to capacity. One look at the menu - and one bite of their burgers - and it's easy to see why: Rehab Burger Therapy puts out a consistently delicious burger. And not just one burger, mind you, but more than a dozen different varieties of gourmet burgers. Some menu stand-outs include the cheesy spectacle that is the jalapeno popper burger, the veggie burger, and the irresistible spicy mac 'n cheese burger. Apart from delicious burgers, the restaurant also serves specialty salads, soups, sandwiches and homemade desserts.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Rehab Burger Therapy is a good option for families seeking a tasty, quick meal in downtown Scottsdale.

Patricia's expert tip: Try the spicy mac 'n cheese burger, a house favorite.

Read more about Rehab Burger Therapy →


Hopdoddy marries two great things: handcrafted beer (the "Hop" in the restaurant's name) and great burgers ("Doddy" is a Scottish nickname for Aberdeen's native cow). The menu is chock full of gourmet burgers, including a classic Angus beef burger, Ahi Tuna burger, a Greek burger with lamb and feta cheese, and a veggie pattie burger with a Mexican twist ("La Bandita"). That's just scratching the surface - you'll find plenty of other variations on the burger here. There are also gourmet salads and excellent sides - don't miss the truffle fries. Kids will love the restaurants handmade shakes, with unique flavors like red velvet cake and nutella and chocolate pretzels.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Hopdoddy Burger Bar offers gourmet hamburgers, shakes and a lively downtown location that will keep both adults and kids happy and satisfied.

Patricia's expert tip: Don't miss the gourmet ice cream shakes.

Read more about Hopdoddy Burger Bar Scottsdale →

Located at the edge of Old Town Scottsdale, Brat Hause brings a little taste of authentic German food, culture and - what else? - craft beer to the desert. The charming restaurant has a menu full of handmade, craft sausages served on a toasted French roll with your choice of toppings. The sausages are creative and come in unique varieties such as chorizo, Moroccan lamb and jerk chicken. Of course, you'll also find classic German-style brats spiced with fresh herbs and seasonings. One popular option here is the brat and beer flight, which allows you to sample various sausages paired with craft brews. If sausage is not your thing, the restaurant also serves gourmet burgers, sliders, salads and entrees (which include steak, pork schnitzel and meatballs). There is even a kid's menu, making this a good option for a fun family lunch or dinner.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: For a dining experience built to please both adults and kids in your group, drop by Brat Haus, a German-inspired eatery with a kid's menu.

Patricia's expert tip: Don't skip the starters! The cheese curds and fried pickles are winners.

Read more about Brat Haus →

Habaneros Mexican Grill is a favorite Scottsdale Mexican food eatery for dining in and take out. The menu delivers straightforward Sonoran fare dripping with flavor. A house favorite is the carne asada burrito, which served with fresh guacamole and pico de gallo. Other Habaneros specialties include chicken, steak and shrimp fajitas, flautas, chiles rellenos, tacos (seafood tacos are a specialty here) and the popular "Buenos Nachos," which come with your choice of ground beef, chorizo or chicken. For lighter fare, there are garden salads and taco salad. Flan and sopapilla are available for dessert, and there are a selection of refreshing aguas frescas at the fountain drink station.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Habaneros is a local favorite for Mexican food lovers, and the fast service and tasty flavors will please both adults and kids.

Patricia's expert tip: Try the delicious carne asada burrito.

Read more about Habaneros Mexican Grill →

This small, unassuming south Scottsdale cafe dishes out some of the city's best Mexican food. The Blind Pig may not sound like your typical Mexican restaurant, but the plates are brimming with traditional and authentic flavors. For starters, try the guacamole, made fresh daily and featuring a zesty kick. There's also the decadent queso fundido, made with beans, serrano peppers, butcher shop chorizo, and creamy white cheddar. For something more refreshing, try the tangy and fresh ceviche. The eclectic entree menu features everything from Mexican-style pork chops with mole to the house Mexican pizza and burrito combos. A full wine, beer and cocktail menu is also available.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Families craving savory Mexican food will enjoy friendly service and fresh flavors at The Blind Pig.

Patricia's expert tip: Try the nachos, a house favorite.

Read more about The Blind Pig →

Perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Randy's Restaurant and Ice Cream in Scottsdale promises great food at a great price any time of the day. Enjoy all your favorites at Randy's, from fried catfish to meatloaf, steak and more. After your lunch or dinner, make sure you have one of Randy's specialty desserts. Choose from a wide variety of ice cream and sundaes, as well as a variety of homemade pies and ice cream pies. This bargain Scottsdale restaurant will have you leaving a full stomach and wallet. If you're looking for a family-friendly dining room that won't break your dining budget, head to this friendly neighborhood restaurant.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: A large menu of classic American diner eats will satisfy both parents and kids at Randy's Restaurant and Ice Cream in Scottsdale.

Patricia's expert tip: Try a slice of the luscious, homemade apple pie - a la mode, of course.

Read more about Randy's Restaurant & Ice Cream →

Butters Pancakes & Cafe
Photo courtesy of Butters

"Egg-ceptional eggs," moist and fluffy omelettes, original skillets, scramblers, eggs benedict, fruits and grains, pancakes, French toast, and Belgian waffles are just some of the breakfast specialties you'll find at this bright Scottsdale cafe. Despite the name, don't expect a breakfast platter dripping in butter. The food here is prepared fresh from scratch with the most wholesome ingredients available. The orange juice is fresh-squeezed (no slushy concentrate here!), and the bright, impeccably spotless dining room makes this an ideal breakfast spot to get your day started right. There is even a special children's brunch menu featuring kid-approved breakfast dishes and treats.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Butters Pancakes & Cafe has a clean, bright dining room and a special children's brunch menu that kids will love.

Patricia's expert tip: Kids will love the fun "Children's Brunch" menu.

Read more about Butters Pancakes & Cafe →

Truly a trip back in time, Sugar Bowl has changed little since it opened in 1958. Pink-and-white decor, swivel stools, and plenty of cool, creamy treats make for an authentic soda parlor experience. All your favorites are here: malts, shakes, sodas, floats, ice cream cones, and sundaes in a multitude of flavors with toppings aplenty. If you're craving something more substantive, sandwiches, soups, salads, burgers, and hot dogs can also be had. A great dessert spot that will please the whole family. Parents with young children will want to check out the back room, where there are plenty of kiddie games to be enjoyed.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: The Sugar Bowl is a Scottsdale institution, famous for its homemade ice cream treats.

Patricia's expert tip: Fans of Bill Keane's Family Circle comic strip will want to stop by to see his original artwork, which decorates the walls here.

Read more about Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Parlor →


Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega works as a writer and editor in Phoenix.