Taking your kids out to dinner can sometimes feel like a daunting task–but some restaurants make it easier than others to bring your littles along.
If you pick an eatery that is small-child friendly, there is less pressure for “perfect behavior” and more room for letting you all enjoy a meal out in our community.
Below you will find recommendations for dinner spots in and around Carmel that provide a welcoming atmosphere for families with kids. Broken up into categories, this list is ever-evolving with changes in seasons and new restaurants opening up!
Be sure to check back every couple months to see what has changed and who has made the list.
210 W Main St, Carmel, IN 46032
With locations in Carmel, Zionsville, and Westfield – Bub’s Burgers is a staple for family dining. Our favorite location is the flagship store in Carmel, right off the Monon Trail in the Arts and Design district.
The service is fast, the food quality is good, and there is an ice cream parlor on site for an after dinner treat. My kids love to play the “hook game” if we are sitting on the patio, and every table has a family friendly card game like UNO waiting to be played. They even give kids a “bub’s bag” when you are seated, including crayons and a pre-dinner snack in case the kids are ravenous!
Fork and Ale
350 Veterans Wy #150, Carmel, IN 46032
Photo Credit: www.instagram.com/forkandalehouse
Located in one of my favorite spots in the city, Midtown Plaza, Fork & Ale may look like more of a bar-vibe from the outside, but it is actually very family friendly. The food is AMAZING and you can get it to-go and sit at a table out in the plaza while the kids play on the green, etc. The food on the kids menu is all scratch made, including hand breaded chicken tenders that my kids go crazy for!
1435 E 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 4624
Photo Credit: www.instagram.com/biglugcanteen
Just south of Carmel, Big Lug Canteen has a fun vibe with a cool outdoor seating option perfect for families when the weather is right. You can walk right up to the restaurant from the monon trail.
The kids menu is classic, and the adult menu is a modern take on traditional bar food. They even have seasonal menus that align with fun events going on in our city throughout the year. For example, they launched a 2 week “fair food” menu during state fair time. Live Music on the weekends!
632 E. IN-32 Westfield, IN
Photo Credit: www.birdiesindy.com
Otherwise known as the restaurant by the putt-putt place, Birdies Grillhouse and Bar is adjacent to the Birdies mini-golf course off 32 in Westfield. The environment is casual and the menu is family friendly. They are so welcoming to kids, they let them EAT FREE every Tuesday! The best part? After you’re done eating, you can walk over and play a game of mini-golf to help walk off your dinner.
Pizza & Italian:
303 E 161st St, Westfield, IN
Photo Credit: www.instagram.com/urbanvineswine
One of my favorite spring, summer, fall locations on this list, Urban Vines is truly one of the easiest places to take kids for dinner. With open outdoor seating, there is literally a playground, on site. We love to order a couple pizzas and sit near the playground so we can eat and the kids can play (while coming back to take bites).
They have live music most weekends, as well as life size connect 4, and a large pond where you can feed fish! If you are there later in the evening, they have fire pits and s'more kits you can buy onsite for dessert and a fun activity with the whole family!
13674 N Meridian St, Carmel, IN &
2510 Harleston St, Carmel, IN
With two locations in Carmel, Puccinis is your classic local Italian joint. Pizza and pasta are the most popular menu items. The environment is no-frills, but the food is just the opposite. One of the best places for takeout for the family too!
111 W Main St, Carmel, IN
Photo Credit: https://www.bazbeaux.com/
This is probably THE staple for family pizza dining in Carmel. Located on the Monon Trail and Main St. in the Arts and Design district, the atmosphere is casual and welcoming to kids of all ages.
The outdoor seating is along the monon trail which makes for some built-in entertainment for kiddos as they watch all the people and bikes go by! They don’t take reservations and it can get crowded on the weekends, especially in the summer at dinner time (6pm or later). You may want to consider going for an early dinner if you need a bigger table or don’t want to wait!
13190 Hazel Dell Pkwy, Carmel, IN
Photo Credit: www.pizzologyindy.com
Another great pizza option on Carmel’s east side, Pizzology is home to some of the best woodfire pizza options. Their menu has more than just pizza, which includes the kids menu. It’s nice to have options if not everyone is in the mood for pizza!
Kids can do spaghetti, chicken parm, alfredo, etc. Environment is relaxed and casual, everything you want in a family friendly pizza joint!
1400 S Guilford Rd, Carmel, IN 46032
Photo Credit: www.calientemexicanrestaurant.com
Caliente may win the award for most fun and colorful atmosphere on the list. They have taken traditional Mexican cuisine and jazzed it up with a fun environment and unique menu items.
The biggest bonus? The service is incredibly fast. You can be in and out before a child melts down–or at least quick enough that the meltdown doesn’t get drug out for over an hour.
11503 Springmill Rd., Suite 100
Carmel, IN 46032
Photo Credit: www.losarroyosindy.com
A Mexican restaurant favorite for Carmel westsiders, Los Arroyos food is some of the best Mexican food I’ve had. I’d also recommend their skinny margarita for the parents. The atmosphere is very family friendly, you’ll see lots of kids and families dining there while you are there!
On the weekends, the vibe gets turned up a notch with live music in the main indoor dining area. They also have a cute covered patio for dining in the warmer months! You can make a reservation here also if you want to ensure no wait times.
Farm to Table:
303 E. Main St. Westfield, IN 46074
Photo Credit: www.instagram.com/fieldbrewing
Don’t let the brewery reference in the name scare you away from bringing your kids to Field Brewing. While they do have an awesome selection of beers on tap, they also have a full farm-to-table lunch and dinner menu that is incredible. Farm-to-table in this instance means lots of the ingredients come from the literal farm they have growing in front of the restaurant!
In the summer, the outdoor seating is fun because of the open faux grass area in the middle of the seating area with a bocce ball court. Kids can roam around and play while they wait for their food, etc.