10 of Our Favorite Family Restaurants in Cincinnati

July 12th, 2019 by

A happy couple is eating at a restaurant.

When you’re hungry and looking for a new place to eat, our car dealership is probably not the first thing you think of. And yet, we have customers every day ask us where they should go to get something to eat – whether they just finished getting our discount tire service and they’re looking for lunch, or they are driving away in a new car and hungry for dinner, we are always happy to help. As a part of the Cincinnati community, we love visiting local businesses and restaurants – especially the restaurants.

Whether you are coming in for a new set of tires to be quickly installed by our expert service technicians, or you are shopping for a new vehicle, we are always happy to help. While you won’t have time to grab something to eat while waiting on your new tires, you’ll certainly want to try some of the amazing restaurants in Cincinnati afterward. We asked our amazing team here at McCluskey Chevy where they like to go with their families, and here’s what they said (in no particular order).

#1: Maplewood Kitchen and Bar

A restaurant with “bar” in the name might not be your first choice for a family eatery, but trust us, it’s a great option. The focus here is on American cuisine so you don’t have to worry too much about picky eaters – just be sure to ask for a kid’s menu if you need one. The burgers are absolutely amazing, plus there are other great sandwiches and some excellent pasta dishes to choose from – though you won’t want to miss out on the French fries. Maplewood is also quite vegetarian-friendly, so there really is something here for everyone to taste and enjoy.

#2: Mazunte

If you have a taste for Mexican food, then look no further than Mazunte, which offers lots of traditional options while still keeping the menu accessible. This is a great choice for either lunch or dinner, and you can trust us: you will not walk away hungry. The menu is perfectly sized with something for pretty much any palate – including both vegetarian and vegan options if you have some family members with dietary restrictions. You can even order gluten-free and everyone here is very friendly and they always seem happy to be there.

Beef tacos, available at restaurants near a shop for discount tires in Cincinnati, are shown next to limes.

#3: Zip’s Café

Here’s another great option if you’re looking for classic American fair that is absolutely delicious and perfect for a wide range of eaters. The focus is on burgers and sandwiches, as you might expect, with excellent grilled cheese and French fries that will keep you coming back for more. Not only is this restaurant quite family friendly, but there is even a train that runs along the inner wall of Zip’s Café, giving your kids something to watch and enjoy while eating. And if your kids are a bit lively, then they’re going to fit right in – this is not a quiet and intimate restaurant, but a wonderful and exuberant place to eat.

#4: Eli’s BBQ

If you have some meat-eaters in your family, then you absolutely must head to Eli’s BBQ, which (as the name suggests) offers some of the absolute best barbecue in all of Cincinnati. Not just Cincinnati, in fact, but according to some sources, among the best barbecue in the entire country. Eli’s has a laid-back atmosphere that is perfect for families and kids, with an open eating area that feels more like a family picnic than going out to a restaurant. The prices are also incredibly reasonable – making it the perfect place to feed a big family. Great prices, absolutely amazing food, and a warm, friendly atmosphere; what could be better?

#5: The Gruff

Okay, so we’re cheating a bit here – The Gruff is technically in Covington, Kentucky, but it’s just right across the river, and so close you’ll still feel like you’re in Cincinnati. This just might be the single most-fun restaurant to head to if you have kids – they’ll love the food and the environment. There is a designated play area especially for little ones, with coloring books, toys to play with, and blackboards they can write and draw on. The kid’s menu is specially designed to be a hit with picky eaters – and all of the food is absolutely delicious.

#6: Dewey’s Pizza

Although part of a small chain throughout Ohio and nearby states, Dewey’s Pizza here in Cincinnati still feels very much like a local restaurant. The staff here is always warm and friendly, greeting everyone and priding themselves on being the most attentive wait-staff you’ll ever see. Not only are the pizzas amazing, but the salads are delicious (some of the best we’ve ever tasted at a pizza place), and they have an excellent selection of beers and wines. If you have kids, they’ll certainly be entertained by the huge window that lets them watch the pizzas being tossed and made just before going into the oven.

A closeup of pizza is shown.

#7: Skyline Chili

Another great choice on where to eat with little ones is Skyline Chili, which has numerous locations for you to choose from. The food here is delicious – especially the different chilies (does that even need to be said?) – and the complimentary crackers are a great way to keep your kids from complaining while you consider the menu. The staff is always friendly and makes you feel right at home while you wait for a big bowl of deliciousness to show up in front of you.

#8: The Schoolhouse Restaurant

If you’re willing to head a little out of town, then strongly consider The Schoolhouse Restaurant, which is up in Camp Dennison. They are open for either lunch or dinner, so plan your visit carefully, but they are absolutely perfect for family meals – in fact, they serve their dishes family style. While this might not be a great choice if you have a lot of eaters who never agree on what they want, the fun and casual approach can be a welcome relief when you’re not sure what to have for dinner. Plus, the nostalgic schoolhouse environment will keep your kids enthralled with their surroundings and make for a fun, delicious evening out.

#9: The Original Pancake House

We’ve talked a lot so far about great places for lunch and dinner, but what about breakfast? Never fear – we heard from many of our people here that The Original Pancake House is the place to go for the best pancakes – with a name like that, we don’t doubt it. Who doesn’t like pancakes? The Original Pancake House is a great choice if you have kids because there are tons of different options and you’ll easily find something they’ll love. They’re up in Montgomery, so plan ahead, but the trip will be more than worth it.

#10: The Root Beer Stand

Speaking of heading north, if you’re up near Sharonville, then you absolutely must stop at The Root Beer Stand for one of the simplest and most timeless delights anywhere: delicious drive-in hot dogs. You’ll feel like you stepped back in time the moment you arrive, but don’t worry – the food and root beer are better than anything your parents ever enjoyed. There’s a playground outside if you have kids (a great way for them to run off some of that root beer) and you’ll have no problem finding something here for just about any eater. This is a Cincinnati tradition that must not be missed.