Best Family-Friendly Places to Dine Outside in Cincinnati and Dayton

A great patio can make all the difference between an everyday meal and a fun lunch date with your kiddos. We’ve rounded up 11 kid-friendly restaurants from Dayton to Cincinnati with fun outdoor dining and kids menus for your summertime cravings. 

Sugar n’ Spice Diner 
1203 Sycamore St., Cincinnati 

Nostalgia meets summertime with pops of pastel at Cincy’s most colorful diner. Whisk your cares away with an immediate serotonin boost from tasty, wispy thin pancakes and a family-friendly atmosphere. Everyone goes home with their choice of rubber ducky. For a kiddo, outdoor dining doesn’t get any better than that.

Jimmie’s Ladder 11 
936 Brown St., Dayton 

For your aspiring firefighter, Jimmie’s Ladder 11 makes dreams come true. Authentic firehouse memorabilia fills the walls of the highly rated burger, pizza and wing joint with a beautifully landscaped covered patio. Buttered noodles and chicken fill up our pickiest young eaters. 

Fireside Pizza 
773 E McMillan St., Cincinnati 

When the tall sliding door opens up at Cincinnati’s oldest standing firehouse, you know it’s sweet summertime. With gluten-free options available, Fireside Pizza is home to authentic wood-fired pies. A bookshelf of activities and coloring contests make this a perfect dinner spot before a trip to the nearby Eden Park playground.  

Sunrise Cafe 
259 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs 

We love the true village feel of Yellow Springs with great hiking, boutique shops, fresh coffee and beautiful courtyard patios perfect for outdoor dining. Known for their breakfast, Sunrise Cafe keeps it local and from scratch. The impressive kids menu offers healthy options like veggie burgers, grilled chicken and organic macaroni and cheese.  

Putz’s Creamy Whip 
2673 Putz Pl., Cincinnati 

Under the tall shade trees of Putz’s Creamy Whip, cool down with a Westwood-famous chocolate soda and Queen City Sausage chili cheese footlong. The Kings Island-esque blue ice cream is a family favorite. 

Fifty West 
7605 Wooster Pike, Cincinnati 

Pack your beach bag, we are heading to Fifty West! Burgers, tenders, shakes and secret fry sauce may keep bellies full, but the sandy picnic table areas make our kiddos the happiest. Beach shovels are encouraged as little ones can kick off their shoes and play in the sand while slurping up a delicious shake. Conveniently on the bike trail of the Little Miami River, finish up your meal with a ride over to Bass Island for skipping rocks.  

1100 Summit Ave A, Blue Ash 

Steps away from Summit Park’s impressive playground, Senate’s gourmet hot dogs and location keep us coming back for more. Blue Ash’s Summit Park is a hotspot for flying kites, dabbling into the water nature scape and spending time with family. Burn off that extra energy and replenish with Senate’s delicious duck fat fries, hot dogs and famous poutine. Senate is located in Summit Park and is our featured photo!

Local Post 
3923 Eastern Ave., Cincinnati 

Settled into a historic post office building, Local Post is a short half mile drive from Lunken Airport’s viewing area, a favorite amongst aviation-loving kids. Whether you’re indulging in Post Fries or an (absolutely amazing) Emerson salad, kids eat free pizza on Mondays with an adult meal! The pet-friendly patio is a perfect spot for the entire family, fur babies included.

Arthur’s Café in Hyde Park 
3516 Edwards Road, Cincinnati

A true Cincinnati establishment with a quaint neighborhood feel, Arthur’s in Hyde Park is a great place to bring the family. Serving up comfort food like chili cheese fries, buffalo chicken sandwiches and a long list of mouth-watering burgers, Arthur’s offers a little something for everyone. While Arthur’s offers plenty of indoor seating, it’s worth the wait for a table on the back patio, a great space with a secret-garden vibe and a veranda lined with lights that twinkle when that summer sun finally goes down.

Eli’s BBQ 
3313 Riverside Drive, Cincinnati

Eli’s BBQ upgraded from food truck to brick and mortar restaurant back in 2012 and quickly became a Cincinnati foodie destination. Serving up southern-style favorites, Eli’s is always crowded and always delicious. Seating is mostly outside at picnic tables and there’s a large, grassy area for kids to run and play in. Bring your own lawn toys from home and kick back while the kids entertain themselves in this park-like setting.

Rita’s of Kettering 
3371 E. Stroop Rd., Kettering 

Rita’s Italian ice gelati is a hidden gem for Swedish fish-loving kiddos! Layers of Italian ice and creamy custard paired with delicious flavors like dragonfruit, pear, key lime and s’mores. Rita’s is a light yet filling dessert under the red and white striped umbrellas.  


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