As parents, we know it’s our job to teach our children proper table manners, the least of which is to remain seated throughout a meal. While we do our best, we also know the best way to keep all members of the family happy is to find a place where kids are welcome.
When we won’t have to worry about the littles disturbing others, we all enjoy dining out more. And it’s always a #parentingwin to find a restaurant that pleases all palates and offers space for kiddos to do what they do best: play. We’ve got you covered with our favorite family-friendly restaurants in San Antonio.
Beto’s has been a family-favorite in San Antonio for a long time. First opened near La Tuna in Southtown, the restaurant relocated to its current spot on Broadway in the early 2000s. Offering a break from traditional Tex-Mex, Beto’s is “where Mexican street food meets Latin American soul food.” Grown-ups can enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail including mojitos or strawberry, mango, and watermelon margaritas. The patio out back boasts a playground and the menu features favorites like fish tacos; empanadas (try the chicken mole or spinach, potatoes, and cheese); Peruvian-style ceviche; sopa de fideo; roasted Mexican street corn; and fried yucca. For kids, check out the “Lil Betitos” menu, including mini nachos and chicken strips served with carrot sticks, chips, and Jell-O.
Dough Pizzeria at Hemisfair
Technically, there is no playground or space to roam for the kiddos here. However, reward them for politely staying seated during the meal by taking them to the adjacent Yanaguana Garden at Hemisfair, where they can climb the huge playscape, enjoy the splash pad, or check out a giant checkers and chess set and foosball tables. But first: dinner. Try the Spiedini appetizer — oak-roasted, house made mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto and served with marinara. Pizza choices run from kid-friendly cheese or pepperoni to options adults can savor, like the Fontina with caramelized balsamic onions, seared mushrooms, and fontina cheese.
La Gloria Dominion
The Johnny Hernandez empire extends west to a sprawling Texas Hill Country location on I-10. With the same menu as the original location at The Pearl Brewery, get your fill of tacos, tortas, tostadas, molcajetes, and other street food specialties. Don’t forget the cocktail menu, and treat yourself to a paloma or a prickly pear margarita while the kids burn off some energy on the playground. Bonus: There is live music on weekends, too.
La Hacienda de Los Barrios
End your week by heading north of Loop 1604 with the fam for puffy tacos, live music, and a playground for the littles. Long wait times on weekends may cause panic as you wait for a table (and those chips) to ease your hangry brood. Just grab a Guavarita (that’s a margarita swirled with guava fruit), let the kids run free while you wait, and your table will be ready in no time.
For more adventurous palates, try chef Andrew Weissmann’s chill counter-service concept near the San Antonio Museum of Art. A welcoming outdoor space overlooks the San Antonio River, and picnic tables offer plenty of space to spread out. The menu features a crispy fish banh mi sandwich, kale salad, fries with a farm egg, and more. Desserts alternate, but the salted caramel chocolate pudding with crushed pretzels is a great way to reward children for trying new flavors. With more than 20 beers on tap and an admirable wine list, there are bonus treats for grown-ups.
Jason Dady’s oyster bar on Grayson Street resembles a quaint seaside cottage, but if you’re bringing the crew, you’ll want to be outside near the playground. In addition to oysters, dive into the white cheddar jalapeño hush pups, lobster roll, spicy banh mi fish tacos, or clam chowder with whole clams. The kids' menu features some of the usual favorites like a grilled cheese sandwich, burgers, and chips.
Two Bros. BBQ
Another Dady concept, Two Bros. BBQ has been serving up Texas pit barbecue on the North Side for almost a decade. Menu highlights include brisket, baby back ribs, and sausage, but don’t be a barbecue purist and skip the sides. If you do, you’ll miss out on creamed corn, barbecue beans, and mac 'n' cheese, which the kids will likely devour. The deep fried strawberry pie is a reward for good behavior (for both kids and adults alike) and there’s a playground to occupy the kiddos while adults catch up.