La Jolla Mom

Upscale San Diego Restaurants That Kids And Parents Both Love

We are lucky there are so many upscale restaurants in San Diego that cater to families. Let’s face it, parents don’t always want to chase kids around a pizza joint or an arcade. There comes a time when we want to take the whole family to dinner, but also want to sip a specialty cocktail and order a more gourmet meal. I mentioned 4 San Diego restaurants on a recent NBC San Diego segment where this is a real possibility. They also all have high chairs and some form of entertainment for the kids, such as crayons.

Beaumont’s Eatery (La Jolla)

Beaumont's La Jolla Interior

Bird Rock’s neighborhood eatery boasts a diverse kids menu with large portions. Kids menu prices are around $6 which includes a drink (unless they decide to splurge on the new kids strip steak at $13). The owners’ kids help decide what should go on the menu. Their new menu items debuted just this past Wednesday so head over and try them. A great time to come with your kids is at happy hour, because it’s early and not too crowded on the weekends. Beaumont’s turns into a bit of a casual nightlife destination late at night. If you want to bring your dog, make a reservation on the patio. Try the pork chile relleno, Taste of Bird Rock salad, and/or duck tacos. Bartender Gavin mixes a mean martini too.

This is La Jolla Girl’s favorite restaurant and we often run into her friends here.

Ignite (Carlsbad)

Ignite is a go-to spot in Carlsbad with excellent wood-fired pizza. Flour is made from wheat grown in Italy and mozzarella is made fresh in-house daily. Kids are given dough and toppings to make their own pizzas at dinner service. Cost is $8.95 and includes a drink. Or, there’s design your own mac and cheese on the adult menu, if parents feel like sharing. Most order pizza (I had the Margherita – pretty good!) and craft beer. They have decent wine list too and a bottomless mimosa brunch on the weekends.

R Gang Eatery (Hillcrest)

R Gang Eatery Cheese Tots

Every time I see this photo I get hungry. Season 5 Top Chef contestant Rich Sweeney is behind the contemporary Retro-American menu at R Gang Eatery. He is modernizing classic favorites such as tater tots, which is what they are known for. Feel free to bring your “gang” as all are welcome. Motto: Pretension is not on the menu and fun is. There is no kids menu, however, it doesn’t matter as there is plenty of options. Kids typically order cheese tots ($7 or $4 at happy hour). They can also order from the side dish menu for smaller portions, like mac and cheese. Parents will like the tots (get the ones with the blue cheese), the cool but home-like atmosphere and happy hour value. And, weekend brunch is festive and delicious.

Zenbu (La Jolla and Cardiff)

Coming soon, there isn’t a better place for your kids to try sushi than Zenbu. The kids sushi menu has always been Omakase (chef’s selection), however, there’s about to be a special kids sushi menu they can order from. There’s plenty of Bu Bites and other small dishes on the menu for kids to snack on too. But, look at HOW CUTE some of the new sushi menu items are going to be. Examples are in the main post photo above. Again, we like coming to Zenbu on date night or with La Jolla Girl at happy hour and order the Jackie Chan roll, Zenbu roll and much more.

Here is the segment. I also have examples of non-smart phone books and toys to keep the kids entertained, because at places like these, you won’t want to be rushed home.

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Where else do you take your kids for a more upscale dining experience?

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