Great Denver Restaurants for Kids
Going out to eat with the kids needn’t be a chore when you’re in The Mile High City. There are dozens of great restaurants who know how to feed and entertain even the rowdiest youngsters.
1000 Osage St.
The Buckhorn Exchange, Denver's original steakhouse, is a National Historic Landmark located in the city's oldest neighborhood. The restaurant has been serving Old West fare since 1893! A charming rooftop patio overlooks downtown, and is open year round, thanks to the patio heaters. Downstairs, you'll dine with HUNDREDS of mounted game heads - FYI, this is a spot for meat lovers: vegetarians and animal-loving kids, beware! Prime grade beef steaks, buffalo prime rib, elk, salmon, quail, game hen, and baby-back pork ribs are just some of the offerings on the menu.
1201 16th St.
Don't be led astray by the name. Sure, you'll be tempted by the vast array of exotic cheesecakes on display, but the Cheesecake Factory at the Tabor Center's encyclopedic menu and enormous portions of pre-dessert foods just might have you taking the cheesecake home in a take-out box. You can order just about anything here - from pad Thai to gooey pizza to shrimp tacos to a sophisticated steak. It's a great place for picky eaters (AKA - kids!) and features a nice patio from which to people-watch those 16th street strollers while you indulge.
2641 E. Second Ave.
Always packed and hugely popular, this is a family-priced establishment in Cherry Creek North. Fantastic burgers, great Tex-Mex, salads and sandwiches - all in a friendly, neighborhood pub-like atmosphere. Cherry Cricket is one of those rare places where EVERYONE is happy - you with your brew and smothered burger, your kids with their tasty fries and bottomless Cokes.
Dave and Buster's
2000 S. Colorado Blvd.
Wow - 48,000 square feet of action-packed fun for the whole family. Dave & Buster's features pocket billiard tables, shuffleboard, golf simulator, a "million-dollar midway" full of arcade games, virtual world digital theme environment, skeeball, a huge menu and a winner's circle room to redeem prize coupons. Head over here when the natives are restless and you're craving some loud music, lots of lights and people-watching galore - Dave & Buster's is not for the timid!
Hard Rock Cafe
500 16th St.
This über-cool chain now has over 138 venues in 42 countries. Hard Rock Cafe all started with one guitar, once owned by Eric Clapton. The party ambiance deals out loud classic rock, walls completely covered with rock memorabilia and a hipness that's hard to beat, along with good burgers, sandwiches, and other bistro-type dishes. Even the smallest kids will be all agog at the guitars, drums, pianos, harmonicas, microphones, shirts, pants, scarves, shoes, handwritten lyrics, cars, bikes, a bus and more hanging on the walls. In total, more than 70,000 items - by far, the largest, most valuable such collection in the world - hang on the walls. Denver's Hard Rock Cafe is right on downtown's lively 16th Street Mall, in the Denver Pavilions complex.
Lucky Strike Lanes
500 16th St.
Lucky Strike is not-your-father's bowling alley. The Denver Pavilions location sports 16 lanes, with a 100-foot by 10-foot video wall that stretches over the pins and shows music videos and fine art. You can bowl, chill on the comfy lounge furniture, enjoy burgers and beers or something more upscale. Lucky Strike aims to please the whole family
Maggiano's Little Italy
500 16th St.
Styled after a New York Little Italy neighborhood café, Maggiano's in the Denver Pavilions serves up hearty traditional southern Italian fare - lasagna, eggplant parmesan, ravioli, manicotti - you know, the stuff Grandma made, done family-style. If the kids just want buttered noodles, the chef won't be offended here. Maggianos is lively, well-lit and perfect for a festive evening, complete with Sinatra and Dino's singing piped in.
Super Star Asian
2200 W. Alameda Ave.
"An unexpectedly delicious dish is always just a cart away" - Westword. Dim sum, which literally means "to touch your heart", is a variety of small treats ranging from dumplings to duck feet. At dim sum restaurants, like Denver's massively popular Super Star Asian, carts of goodies are wheeled around the room; people choose only those they like. At first, everything looks unfamiliar and more than a little scary. Then you realize that thinking about what you might be eating is pointless and pointing to what looks good is the way to go. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, families pack Super Star's tables for Dim Sum brunch, making for a festive and fun atmosphere.
Gunther Toody's Diners
Four Denver locations in Englewood, Thornton, Littleton and Northglenn
Enter the world of Happy Days at Gunther Toody's, of the '50s and '60s - of pink poodle skirts and jukeboxes, root beer floats and old Chevy's, of bubble gum and sassy wait staff. Your kids will love the fun and games here, as well as the arcade games and the 5-cent burger night every Wednesday, the all-you-can-eat chicken tenders on Tuesdays, and free kids' meals on Mondays - including a drink AND a sundae. This chain of diners, which exists in Colorado and Tennessee, is ideal for parents (who CAN get a beer,) as well as for kids - who CAN be kids here.
6715 W. Colfax Ave.
An old-time Denver family favorite, Casa Bonita is a theme park inside an all-you-can-eat restaurant. With 30 attractions ranging from Old West gunfights to cliff divers to an amusement arcade, families can spend several hours entertaining the kids here. The inside of Casa Bonita is designed to look like a Mexican village at night, complete with areas such as Plaza, Poolside, Caverns, Gold Mine and Silver Mine. Lively, noisy and huge, Casa Bonita is an experience that your kids won't forget.