When it’s time to take the family out for a meal, finding the right spot to please little palates and a cozy place for young diners can be challenging. We’ve put together a list of 10 family-friendly restaurants in Oakland, California, so you have plenty of ideas when one of those “I’m not cooking” or “it’s time to get out of the house” moments arrive.
Fat Apple’s Restaurant and Bakery
Kids are sure to love the pastry options at Fat Apple’s as well as the homey comfort-food entrees. International choices like chicken enchiladas, goulash, and spaghetti Bolognese fill the menu alongside quiches, salads, and sandwiches. Order whole pies or sample one by the slice in flavors like blackberry, chocolate cream, and lemon meringue.
Location: 1346 Martin Luther King Junior Way, Berkeley
Hours: Monday through Sunday from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
TrueBurger restaurant grinds its burger meat daily to create juicy patties free of antibiotics and hormones. Tempt your kids with a milkshake after a Cheesy TrueBurger or a fried chicken sandwich. Fun mix-ins for shakes include Twinkies and Oreo Cookies. The simple menu makes decisions easy for parents and kids.
Location: 146 Grand Ave. and 4101 Broadway, Oakland
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.
Fenton’s Creamery offers lots of options for kids’ meals, including hot dogs, chicken and egg salad sandwiches, burgers, and chicken or garden nuggets. After the meal, treat your kids to super-sized shareable sundaes or single scoops from Fenton’s long list of ice cream flavors. Choose from flavors like butter pecan Butterfinger, mocha royale, or bubblegum for the kiddos. Parents will love the lengthy menu of grilled sandwiches, burgers, fish and chips, chili, and other classic fare.
Location: 4226 Piedmont Ave., Oakland
Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
If you’re up for a little drive into San Francisco’s Mission District, Urban Putt offers food and fun for the family. This high-tech and fantastical mini-golf course features 14 holes that weave in and out of rooms with different themes. After playing a round, head to the restaurant upstairs for tasty choices like tacos, burgers, sandwiches, and thin-crust pizzas. Plan to make it an early adventure, though, as Urban Putt becomes a 21-and-over spot after 8 p.m.
Location: 1096 S. Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Zachary’s Chicago Pizza
Walls adorned with pizza art make Zachary’s a fun place for kids and parents to enjoy the scenery while waiting for delicious deep-dish pie. Zachary’s Chicago Pizza serves stuffed pies with its signature red sauce baked on top and classic thin pies with cheese and toppings. Favorites include Zachary’s Special stuffed with Italian sausage, onion, green pepper, mushrooms, and mozzarella and the barbeque chicken pizza with free-range chicken breast, and sweet-smokey barbeque sauce, Monterey jack cheese, red onion, and cilantro. With two Oakland locations, Zachary’s is a convenient, family-friendly stop.
Location: 5801 College Ave. and 3917 Grand Ave., Oakland
Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday through from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Beauty’s Bagel Shop
Bring the kids to pick from their favorite kettle-boiled bagels at Beauty’s, which features options like cinnamon raisin, everything, or plain. Top off your bagel with seasonal preserves, Nutella, almond butter, or one of Beauty’s cream cheese options. You can also order a tasty treat from the bakery. Choose from chocolate chip cookies, chocolate Babka, or assorted Rugelach. Grab a cup of hot or iced coffee to wake up for another day of parenting.
Location: 3838 Telegraph Ave., Oakland
Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily
Uncle Willie’s BBQ and Fish
Featuring Texas-style barbeque in the bay area, Uncle Willie’s offers plenty of delicious options for the whole family. Order a full slab of ribs to share accompanied by two large sides like macaroni and cheese and baked beans. Uncle Willie’s also serves fried catfish, sole, snapper, and prawns with a heap of fries. Don’t skip the pie, cobbler, and cake offerings for dessert.
Location: 2908 W. Cary St., Oakland
Hours: Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 3 p.m to 9 p.m.
A pan-Asian food hall in a quirky storefront, SAGA Kitchen is actually four restaurants in one. The aptly named Slurp Shop offers Kitsune Udon, a simple broth with plump noodles that kids can enjoy slurping from their bowls. Koharu offers Japanese favorites like curry and chicken teriyaki plus a choice of beef or kurobota katsu sandos (sandwiches). Sachi offers fresh sushi and sashimi, while Yue Club serves Chinese dim sum and soups. Try the fried sesame balls for a sweet treat.
Location: 1701 Lincoln Ave., Alameda
Hours: Wednesday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for dinner
Once a bustling marketplace for the city that was refurbished in 1917, Swan’s Market is designated as a historic landmark where you can live, shop, and eat. Kids have ample room to stroll past eateries like The Cook and Her Farmer with farm-fresh specialties, La Guerrera’s delicious Mexican cuisine, and Cupcakin’ Bake Shop, a haven for sweet treats.
Location: 510 Ninth St., Oakland
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Spinning Bones offers a loaded kids bento box that features a choice of chicken, beef, pork, or tsukune served with rice, fruit, edamame, and veggies. Parents can enjoy plenty of Asian fusion dishes from this Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand Award-winning spot, too. Try the Koji chicken cooked with orange salt, tare, pickled onions, and greens served with roti or a prawn Caesar salad with poached prawns, sliced egg, and miso Caesar dressing.
Location: 1205 Park St., Alameda
Hours: Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m and Friday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
That’s our list of top spots where the entire family can eat, relax, and have fun in Oakland and our surrounding areas. If we missed one of your family favorites, let us know so we can add your ideas.