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One of the best perks about living in Austin with kids is that there are so many amazing restaurants with playgrounds. Truth – There’s no need to even eat anywhere that doesn’t offer fries with a side of slide!
Dining out with the littles isn’t always easy, but it can still be fun. Austin has an abundance of kid-friendly restaurants with playgrounds and dining options to suit nearly any palate. From food trucks to cafes, and even full-service restaurants, here are some of the best family-friendly places to eat and play in Austin.
*Originally published in 2018, this post has been updated as of January 2020.
Eating Out with Kids: Our Favorite Austin Restaurants with Playgrounds
Central Market (4001 N Lamar Blvd, Austin) is a favorite local gourmet grocery store. It features a restaurant, gelato counter, and coffee bar inside, and a huge deck, patio, stage, and playground outside. Order food at the counter, dine on the patio and listen to live music while the kids play on the playground. Note: The playground is not enclosed and can get crowded during peak times, so plan to keep an eye on little ones.
Waterloo Ice House (6203 N Capital of Texas Highway, Austin) is perfect for making new memories with the littles, and a great spot to dine after hiking at Bull Creek. The kids love will love playing on the playground and in the sand pit. The playground is enclosed.
Phil’s Icehouse/Amy’s Ice Creams (13265 US Hwy 183 N, Austin) is such a genius idea. Phil’s is attached to Amy’s and there’s a playground on the patio. The kids can play while beers are sipped and burgers are enjoyed. Proceed to end the meal with Austin’s favorite local ice cream. It’s a go-to spot for out-of-town guests and never disappoints. Note: The playground area is not fully enclosed, so watch those kiddos. Bonus – Eastside Pies is in the same parking lot and Papalotes Tacos is right across the street, so there are plenty of tasty options! The South Lamar location also has a playground.
Salt Lick (3350 E Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock) is authentic Texas BBQ and a local favorite. When we went, the boys played while we waited for our food under a tree-covered patio lit with globe lights. PSA – Make sure to try the pickles and the cobbler a la mode during the visit. Note: The playground isn’t completely enclosed and it’s right next to a parking lot, so watch kiddos closely.
Dahlia Cafe (2450 RR 1869, Liberty Hill) is kind of far outside of Austin, but is an experience worthy of the driving. There’s a great patio/playground scene with some old-school equipment and the food was fantastic. Note: The playground is enclosed for the most part, but there are some places where kids can hide (along the tree border).
Kerbey Lane Cafe (2120 N Mays St, Round Rock) has a nice playground right off the patio. The best part of Kerbey Lane Cafe is that kids eat FREE every Tuesday, so this place is a family favorite. Note: The playground area is completely enclosed, but it sits next to the parking lot and has a gate that kids can open.
Whole Foods Market Lamar (525 N Lamar Blvd, Austin) or Domain (11920 Domain Dr, Austin) is a great place to eat and play. Both locations offer food options for everyone in the family. There’s a salad bar, hot and cold food bars, sandwiches, pizza, sushi, tacos, and more. Grab food and dine on the rooftop plaza of the North Lamar location and enjoy the view and playscape, or out on the outdoor patio at the Domain location. Both locations offer playgrounds, although the one at the Domain location is much smaller. The Domain location offers an interactive kid’s club on Tuesdays. This includes story-time, snacks, crafts and more! Check it out here. Note: The playground at the Domain location is not enclosed and sits next to a parking lot.
Hat Creek Domain (3210 Esperanza Crossing, Austin), Hat Creek Round Rock (3700 E Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock), Hat Creek Burnet (5400 Burnet Rd, Austin), Hat Creek Westlake (5902 Bee Cave Rd, West Lake Hills), and Hat Creek Georgetown (201 San Gabriel Village Blvd, Georgetown) all have playground areas. The food is fresh and yummy (those sauces!), and the friendly staff and atmosphere are awesome. Pro Tip – Spend a morning at the Creative Playscape in Georgetown, and then drive over to the nearby Hat Creek for a lovely afternoon, eat lunch and let the kids play some more!
Oz Taphouse (1060 Ranch Road 2222) This family-friendly and playground-included spot allows the unique experience of pouring your own beer by the ounce. They offer a pretty tasty burger to boot!
El Mercado (1302 S 1st St, Austin) has a fun little playground on their back patio. There’s a climbing dome, slides, and toys. Enjoy snacking on chips and queso while the kids play.
Joe’s Crab Shack (2401 I-H 35 Frontage Rd, Round Rock) has a fantastic playground below their back deck patio. Kids will love the slides and the sand too. Note: It’s all enclosed so the kids can’t escape, but unless seated at one of the nearby tables, it’s hard to keep an eye on the kids while they play.
Oasthouse and Flores (8300 N. FM 620) Oasthouse and Flores share a playground but boast two completely different experiences. Oasthouse is a gastropub with dishes ranging from pork belly meatloaf to house-made fettucine, whereas Flores serves a variety of authentic Mexican dishes. The things they have in common? Amazing happy hours and a large playground that will keep the kids occupied for hours!
The Triangle restaurants, Mandola’s (4700 W Guadalupe St #12, Austin), Galaxy Cafe (4616 Triangle Ave, Austin), Maudie’s (4600 W Guadalupe St, Ste B5, Austin), all share this public playground. Maudie’s is the closest to the playground. Mandola’s also has a Cedar Park location with a playground (12100 West Parmer Lane, Ste, 200) and offers FREE gelato with every kid’s meal. Galaxy Cafe offers many kid favorites, so it’s another great choice.
Homeslice (501 E. 53rd Street) – The second location of this beloved Austin classic offers tunnels and turf for the littles to explore. It was modeled after a playground in Washington Square, and is meant to be as fun as it is organic. Mission Accomplished.
Napa Flats (8300 N FM 620) When parents want to enjoy a wood-fired, unique and quality meal while the kiddos play, this is the place to be. Napa Flats offers hand-tossed pizza, homemade gelato, beer + wine on tap and an array of tantalizing meals cooked in their signature wood-fired oven. The playground is a nice bonus, but the entire experience is a delicious one.
More Favorite Kid-Friendly Restaurants with Playgrounds:
- Torchy’s Tacos (11521 RR 620 North #1000, Austin) is located in Plaza Volente, which is on the southeast corner of RM 620 and Anderson Mill Road in northwest Austin. There is a playground on-site.
- Lucy’s (Multiple Locations) – Fried chicken, tasty cocktails, mouthwatering cornbread AND a playground? This Austin classic delivers with all of the food and the fun.
- Flores Mexican Restaurant (8300 N FM 620, Austin)
- Ski Shores Cafe (2905 Pearce Rd, Austin) Enjoy margaritas and burgers on Lake Austin while the kiddos play!
- The Midway Food Park (1905 S Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin) Here you can find eight food trucks, a playground, live music, picnic tables, and bathrooms. Check Facebook for updates and hours of each vendor. See the list of vendors here.
- Doc’s Backyard (5207 Brodie Ln, Sunset Valley)
- Southpark Meadows (9300 S IH 35 Frontage Rd, Austin) has a shared community playground. Click here for a link of dining options.
- Santa Catarina (500 Cypress Creek Road, Cedar Park) This Cedar Park gem offers a large covered playground and patio.
- Homespun (131 E Mercer St, Dripping Springs)
- Austin Pizza Garden (6266 West HWY 290)
- Casa de Luz (1701 Toomey Road)
Featured photo via Amy’s Ice Cream.