Best Restaurants in Asheville, NC for Families
Dining out with your children can be a lovely experience if everything goes according to plan. In my book that means they offer fresh and tasty food with kid-friendly options (for the picky eaters); have enough commotion and noise taking place so that your kids won’t be the main attraction; and provide other ways to entertain those pint-sized companions, just in case they get bored with relaxing conversation and actually sitting down for a few minutes.
Yes, I’m pretty sure that I understand what makes for the perfect kid-friendly restaurants, according to moms, and I’d like to share three excellent choices we found in Asheville, North Carolina.
Located in the heart of the newly renovated Pack’s Square in downtown Asheville, Pack’s Tavern is an excellent choice for the entire family. They have a large eclectic menu with over 60 items, which means there is definitely something for everyone. They serve up everything from wonderful appetizers, creative and fresh salads, juicy hand-pattied burgers and fresh meatloaf to fresh cut steaks and even seafood. In addition, they also provide a separate kids menu with real (not frozen or boxed) homemade favorites like mac and cheese and hand-battered chicken strips, and all in a family-friendly and vibrant atmosphere.
One of my favorite parts is that they also offer over 30 or more local, national, and international craft beers, in addition to a full bar so that mom and dad can enjoy a relaxing moment…ahh. They even have live music on certain days and a table-type shuffle board which inspires fun and kept my kids happily entertained. Score!
White Duck Taco Shop
Sometimes you just need to run in and grab a quick meal in the midst of your vacation bliss, and it can be especially difficult if your family isn’t one that enjoys those fast-food type establishments. Well, I’ve got good news, folks. If you find yourself in downtown Asheville, near the River Arts District and in a bit of a hurry, White Duck Taco Shop is the perfect answer.
With a plethora of interestingly-strange yet crazily-delicious taco options, like Philly Steak and Cheese, Honey-Roasted Duck Mole, Shrimp-n-Grits and Crispy Chicken BLT, this little joint is a family-friendly winner…ding, ding ding! You just walk up to the counter, order your meal and within a few minutes you get some deliciously-fun chow delivered right to your table. It’s kinda like a Tijuana Flats with an exotic twist and it’s pure fabulous. The whole family gave it a two thumbs up. Yum!
Early Girl Eatery
With locally-sourced ingredients, a plethora of delicious menu items and the option to order breakfast foods all day, Early Girl Eatery is, as they tout themselves, a farm to table comfort food experience…and then some!
Conveniently located in central downtown Asheville, this restaurant is a great place to dine with kids. First of all, they have small toys at your disposal, and every kid gets crayons to draw or play games like hangman and tic-tac-toe on the paper tablecloths. (For some reason, tinkering around with someone else’s toys and creating a masterpiece on the table-top just never seems to get old.) Next, the noise level in here is just perfect and full of happy commotion so when one kid screeches after beating their sibling at an intense game of Dots or gets upset when they drop that borrowed toy, no one will even notice.
They also offer an excellent and fresh kids menu with favorites like PB&J, grilled cheese and even a veggie plate complete with sides like homemade macaroni and cheese. The heap of great “adult” choices includes everything from sautéed local mountain trout and a locally-raised hormone-free beef burger topped with farmstead cheese to a very big southern breakfast and a fried chicken and bacon salad. Absolutely delicious!
Tell us about any other great kid-friendly restaurants you know and love in Asheville. After all, your suggestions might save another mom’s sanity!
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Belonging to the rare breed known as native Floridian, Mary Ellen is a wife, mother and freelance writer, currently living in Sarasota, on Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast….