The best casual dining restaurants for families – eating out with kids in Calgary

Eating Out with kids in calgary - Casual Dining

I’m always looking for great places to eat out with kids in Calgary. So, I asked around and even conducted a survey looking for suggestions for great places in Calgary to take the kids out to eat.

The restaurants on this list are recommendation by Calgary families for great sit-down restaurants (where you order at the table).  This isn’t an exhaustive list but it has some great options with a large range of prices and styles.

What’s your favorite sit-down restaurant to take the kids to? Is there another restaurant you think should be on this list?

Independent Restaurants

Essence of Saigon Garden

128, 3604 – 52 Avenue NW

The food at this restaurant gets rave reviews and they are very welcoming to families. They even offer a kids menu with rice, soup or vermicelli options.

Pelican Pier

4404 14 Street NW

Pelican Pier specializes in seafood and makes a great chowder, fish tacos and fish and chips. If you’re not into fish they have fantastic chicken strips as well. Kids will love the quirky decor and casual atmosphere. Their kids menu features popcorn shrimp, chicken fingers and fish and chips.

Sushi Ginza

Willow Park Village #276, 10816 Macleod Tr. S.

The décor at Sushi Ginza complete with a bridge, fish pond and waterfall will be a hit with kids. The quick service and the option to sit at the sushi bar serving up floating sushi boats will make you want to go back again and again.


McKenzie Towne 4600 130 Avenue SE

Looking to try taking the kids out to eat for Indian food? If you are in the South Karma is a great option. Family owned and operated, they have lots of variety and friendly service. They also have a lunch buffet.

Nick’s Steakhouse and Pizza

2430 Crowchild Trail NW (across from McMahon Stadium)

Nick’s Steakhouse is a family run Calgary original – founded in 1979 by Nick Petros. Nick’s has a retro feel but the quality of their food is excellent. They are very family-friendly and welcoming to kids.

They serve classic thick crust pizza, great steak and fresh made burgers. They also have a kids menu with typical kid friendly fare as well as steak sliders.

Pfanntastic Pannenkoek House

2439 54th Ave. SW

The Pfanntastic Pannenkoek House serves up Dutch style pancakes, which are more similar to crepes than what we normally think of as pancakes with sweet or savory ingredients (like potato, onion, bacon and cheese) cooked right into them.

The pancakes are bigger than you might expect so you will probably be happy with one per person. Although you may also want to split a sweet one for dessert. There can be a line up on weekends but if you get your name on the list the line moves pretty quickly.

See Merry About Town’s Review of the Pfanntastic Pannenkoek House

Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus - Black Forest
(photo courtesty of Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus)

Pho Thahn

6626 4 street NE

This Vietnamese restaurant rivals fast food restaurants for how quickly you are able to get your food. The atmosphere is very casual and the food is great.

Pio Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken

104 2929 Sunridge Way NE

Pio is a great place for kids to try out some Peruvian flavours and dishes. The rotisserie chicken is fantastic and you can also find some unique dishes such as cassava fries and fried plantains. They offer a kids menu with smaller portions of their regular menu items.

Sauce Italian Market Restaurant

3326 17th Avenue SW  –

The kids menu at Sauce offers linguine alfredo, mac & cheese, spaghetti & meatball or cheese pizza. For an extra charge, you can add different proteins or ice cream to the kids meal. Meals include a cookie and a drink.

Tacos Mexico

3725 Memorial dr SE –

If you are looking for a more authentic taco than you usually get in Calgary, give Tacos Mexico a try. They don’t have a specific kids menu, but their 2 taco options will be filling for most kids for a reasonable price.

Madison’s 1212

Inglewood – 1212 9 Ave SE –

Madison 1212 is all about craft. Craft nachos, craft salads, craft cocktails and craft beer. You can also get brunch and dessert.

The nachos are great for kids because they are so shareable. They don’t have a special kids menu but you don’t really need one. They do however, have highchairs and super delicious food. I recommend the Korean nachos. 

Silver Dragon

106 3rd Avenue SE

Considered to be one of the best places for Dim Sum in the city, Silver Dragon is another great option for a food adventure. You can choose to order from their menu or if you are there during their Dim Sum daily brunch instead you can choose from dishes made for sharing from the Dim Sum carts circling around.

If you go on the weekend, there can be a line-up but once you’re seated you get to start eating right away.
Note: I’ve been told that Silver Dragon does not have the best washrooms and are lacking change tables. 

Want to do Dim Sum but have some unadventurous eaters in your party? Check out this post.

Amici Italian Grill

313-500 Country Hills Blvd NE

Causual italian restaurant specializing in pizza and pasta. Great day of the week specials like 2 for 1 pasta or 2 for 1 pizza with purchase of a beverage. Kids menu is $8.99 with a drink and dessert.

Local Chains

Big Ts BBQ

2 Calgary locations – 2138 Crowchild Trail NW & 14935 Deer Ridge Drive SE-

Big Ts offers big platters which are great for kids because they can try a bunch of different things and find out what they like. They also have a excellent kids menu with options like, home made mac & cheese, ribs, chicken fingers and cheese burgers. Kids meals come with a side, drink and choice of ice cream or jello for desert.

Boogies Burgers

2 Calgary Locations –  Edmonton Trail and Marda Loop

The food at the locally owned, Boogies burgers is made fresh but comes fast. The restaurant is casual and in their words “modest” but it’s cool in a retro kind of way.

They serve up some interesting burgers including a pizza burger and a deep fried mac and cheese burger as well as more standard fare and a huge selection of milkshakes. For kids they offer a reasonable priced single patty burger, hot dog and a kids chicken fingers and fries.

Boogie's Burgers
(photo courtesy of Boogies Burgers)


3 Calgary locations –

If your family loves pasta, Chianti’s is a great pick. With tons of different pasta options, this family friendly restaurant is sure to have something for everyone. Check out their pasta specials on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights. The staff is said to be great with kids and the atmosphere is vibrant making it less stressful to take the kids.


6 Calgary locations –

Kinjo was by far the most popular response for the best sit down restaurant for kids and it’s easy to see why. Although Sushi is their specialty, they have lots of options for kids (and adults) that are fish free too.

They make an extra effort that keeps families coming back including kids chopsticks and pocky sticks at the end of your meal.
See our review of Kinjo here.

Kinjo Sushi and Grill - Eating Out with Kids in Calgary

Ginger Beef

2 sit down locations

The Ginger Beef has been around since the 80s and offers classic Canadian Chinese food and is named after Calgary’s signature Chinese food dish. The staff is known for being friendly and welcoming to families.

Ginger Beef - Ginger Beef
(photo courtesy of Ginger Beef)

Saigon Y2K

McMahon Stadium Centre and Downtown –

Even though most Vietnamese restaurants don’t have a kids menu, they typically have a casual atmosphere and quick service. Saigon Y2K is no exception. They restaurant is spacious with lots of seating.

They can accommodate larger groups easily and if your kids are a little restless you aren’t right on top of the next table. The food is fresh and the meat is always good quality.

Saigon Y2k

4th Spot/Spot On

2620 4th Street NW   –
2 Richard Way SW   –

Serving up Canadian comfort food, these two restaurants have a family friendly atmosphere. Their kids menu has options such as pizza, spaghetti and meatballs and mac and cheese and includes a drink and a small dessert.  The cauliflower bites are surprisingly good. 

See our review of the 4th Spot

Chain Restaurants

Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria

4 Calgary locations –

Famoso’s serve Neapolitan style thin crust pizza. It cooks quickly so you usually don’t have to wait too long for your food. While you are waiting you can get coloring pages or pizza dough to for the kids to play with if you ask.

When you dine-in they have a kids’ special which comes with a kid sized pizza (as well as a few other entrée options), a drink and a scoop of Fiasco gelato or sorbetto. Did I mention they have Fisaco gelato and sorbetto? The pizza is excellent and the atmosphere is nice but very family friendly.

See our review of Famoso.


The Old Spaghetti Factory

472 – 36th Street NE  –

The Old Spaghetti Factory used to be found downtown near Eau Claire, but now has a new North East location. The kids menu includes, soup or salad, bread, a drink and spumoni ice cream for dessert.

White Spot

Barlow Trail – 3322 23rd Street NE

This BC and Alberta chain has been around for 85 years! They specialize in breakfast, Burgers and milkshakes but you can also get soup, salad, sandwiches and a selection of other entrees.

They pride themselves on providing a great place for families to eat and offer crayon and an activity booklet while you wait for your food. They have a flexible kids menu where kids can order a main and side with a drink and ice cream for dessert served in a little pirate boat. They will also rush the food for the kids if you ask.

Buffalo Wild Wings

2 Calgary locations – Sunridge and Macleod Trail

Buffalo Wilds Wings is a Sports bar but they have a seperate restaurant space which is completely kid friendly. They specialize in wings which you can get with a wide variety of sauces. You can get the wings regular or boneless (breaded chicken) and they have a solid kids menu as well.

They have tablets and crayons for the kids to play with while you wait for your food. There are also tons of TVs playing sports everything.
Note: this restaurant may be a little overwhelming for some kids.

Buffalo Wild Wings

Boston Pizza

Multiple locations –

Boston Pizza is a Canadian based chain with multiple locations in Calgary, across Canada, in the US and Mexico. They offer regular and thin crust pizza. Boston pizza is a super popular place to take kids and it is easy to see why.

They have a great kids menu with lots of options, kid cups and coloring for while you wait. The atmosphere is very family-friendly and you don’t have to worry if your kids are acting like kids. Service is typically fast so you don’t have to wait a long time.

Jack Astor’s

1 Calgary location – 9823 MacLeod Trail SW   –

Jack Astor’s is a Canadian based chain with over 40 locations. The restaurant has a fun atmosphere that includes drawing on the tables. The kids menu has great options including sirloin steak, chicken wings, chicken stir fry and more. Kids meals come with a drink and choice of side and dessert.


6 Calgary Locations

Originating in Calgary, this Canadian chain offers a diverse Canadian menu. The atmosphere is a little more upscale than most of the restaurant on this list but they are still very family friendly.

The kids menu offers typical kid friendly options and comes with unlimited drinks as well as dessert. The dessert is the best part – the impressive looking volcano sundaes with dry ice will definitely impress the kids.

East Side Marios

2 Calgary locations –

East side Mario is a Canadian based chain offering Italian-american food such as pasta, steak and chicken. The atmosphere is casual, bright and family oriented. Their kids menu has options for kid with smaller and bigger appetites and offers free dessert too.


5 Calgary locations –

This Canadian chain specializes in ribs, steaks and burgers. They have a lot of interesting décor that kids love to look at and are very casual and family friendly.

The tables have a huge sheet of brown paper on them that you can draw all over. The kids menu offer smaller versions of the adult menu and is served in a blue canoe and comes with a drink, dessert and an activity sheet.


2 Calgary locations –

Pacini’s is an Italian restaurant chain that originated in Quebec. Not only do they have a kids menu with pasta and pizza options, they also have a special kids menu for kids under 6. They also feature an all you can eat bread bar with a variety of breads that you can toast on the grill.

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5 thoughts on “The best casual dining restaurants for families – eating out with kids in Calgary”

  1. Thanks for the great list! Will take the kids and try out a few places!

    Just FYI, East side Marios Sunridge location is closed permanently.

    • It re-opened under new management in 2018. They were still working out a few bumps after the new opening but probably have things smoothed out now.

  2. Big T’s also has a really awesome family-friendly location in Deer Run for us southies. They even have a really nice patio in the summer as well. That’s my kids favourite place to go. 🙂


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