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Denver Kid-Friendly Restaurants

Restaurant dining is often a comedy of errors when you’ve got tots in tow, but a night out with your kids—whether they’re babies, toddlers or tweens—doesn’t have to be a stressful exercise. In fact, most restaurants in The Mile High City—even those that are hoity-toity—welcome sticky fingers, strollers and picky eaters. Here are our top recommendations for destinations that satisfy the food and activity cravings of your entire brood. 

Chook Chicken

Chook, with a trio of locations scattered across the city, including its flagship Platt Park storefront, is a come-as-you-are fortress of fowl that pleases parents and kids alike with its crème de la cluck. Here, parents can sip a glass of wine and share a splendid charcoal-smoked whole chicken and a chopped salad, while the kids crunch through rotisserie chicken sliders, falafel sided with tzatziki sauce or elevated macaroni and cheese bathed in a creamy white cheddar sauce. 

Ace Eat Serve

Neither kids nor adults can get enough of Ace Eat Serve, an Uptown powerhouse of playtime providing fun-filled afternoons and evenings, coupled with a wicked-good Pan-Asian menu that unleashes crisp-skinned Peking duck, soup dumplings, curried mussels and pork-studded potstickers. The Korean-influenced chicken wings are unassailable, and the crispy beef and broccoli is the kind of dish that everyone can agree on. Bonus: All of the kid-only plates arrive with a complimentary order of doughnut holes sprinkled with five-spice sugar. The food will undoubtedly keep the little ones happy, and the collection of Ping-Pong tables, including several on the expansive (and heated) patio, probably means that they won’t want to leave. 

The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa by Marriott

The Brown Palace, the grand dame of downtown Denver hotels, is elegant, prim and proper, expensive and, at first glimpse, the last place you’d ever think of taking your children. Still, there’s something wonderfully fetching about getting your kids all fancified in their frilly dresses or pressed suits and taking them to the hotel’s afternoon tea, a glorious affair that your kids likely won’t forget. The swanky signature spread grandstands tiered china splayed with handmade pastries, scones with jam and Devonshire cream and dignified finger sandwiches, all of which is accompanied by a pot of loose-leaf tea. For the ultimate experience, splurge on the Royal Palace, which includes a decadent truffle, a kir royale for adults and a non-alcoholic glass of bubbles for the regal young prince or princess. 

Sam’s No. 3

French toast and pancakes are always an easy sell, as are hamburgers and chicken strips, which is why you’ll find a parade of kids and adults at Sam’s No. 3, a kitschy downtown Denver diner with old-school charm and an old-school menu that dates back to 1927, the same year Charles Lindbergh flew from New York to Paris, resulting in the first solo transatlantic flight. You can school your kids on that slice of history while they enthusiastically crush their Mickey Mouse-shaped pancake, syrup-soaked French toast or cheeseburger from the kids’ menu, a lengthy roster that includes juice, milk, chocolate milk or a soda with each dish. And if your kids haven’t scribbled on the walls since their last timeout, treat them to a wedge of cherry pie. While Sam’s is about as kid-kind as it gets, adults aren’t left out in the cold: Enticing bloody marys, beer, wine and a half-dozen different mimosas come quickly, as do huge plates of biscuits and gravy, seam-busting breakfast burritos and hearty salads and sandwiches. 

Avanti Food & Beverage

This high-energy food hall in Lower Highland (LoHi) shelters a collection of self-contained shipping containers, each of which is a mini restaurant. Families can feast from a world-spanning variety of cuisines—everything from Venezuelan arepas and leopard-spotted Neapolitan-style pizzas to Asian noodle dishes and pudgy burgers—and relish their feast at a communal table or in the lounge on the main level, or at an upstairs community space. While the youngins swell their bellies, parents can enjoy a cocktail, glass of wine or craft beer from one of two bars, including the brilliant rooftop terrace, one of the city’s best perches to snap Insta-worthy photos of the beautiful downtown Denver skyline. 

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