For restaurants’ pint-size patrons, favorite meals often consist of chicken fingers, pizza and macaroni and cheese. But if a restaurant has a friendly waitstaff, a kitchen open to the flexible whims of a child’s palate and a room of diners tolerable of tantrums, it all add up to a winning formula for feeding your children outside of the home. Here are the best kid-friendly restaurants in South Florida that can please both big and little diners.


Rainforest Café

Sawgrass Mills Shopping Mall
12801 W. Sunrise Blvd.
Sunrise, FL. 33323
(954) 851-1015

Diners are supposed to feel as if they’re in a tropical rainforest. Artificial trees and vines drape across the ceiling jungle-like, with mechanical stuffed animals dashing, popping, and swinging about, cawing and growling. Menu items are diverse and kid-friendly. A percentage of Rainforest Café’s profits are filtered into sustaining the real rainforests of the world.


Samurai Japanese Steakhouse

8717 SW 136th St.
Miami, FL. 33176
(305) 238-2131

The concept of dinner and a show is re-defined at this theatrical steak (and seafood) house, where dinner is the show. Samarai Japanese Steakhouse is housed in a pagoda, and the performance’s stage is your own table. On tabletop teppanyaki griddles, beef in various forms—plus seafood, chicken and vegetables are flash-cooked by cleaver-wielding warrior-chefs who follow the rapid-fire slice ’em/dice ’em/toss ’em-in-the-air formula made famous over forty years ago by Samurai’s owning chain, Benihana.


Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor

128 S. Federal Hwy.
Dania, Fl. 33004
(954) 923-4445

You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into “It’s a Wonderful Life” at this old-fashioned ice cream parlor and candy shop, where everything is made fresh on the premises. It makes more than 50 flavors of ice cream, from classics such as chocolate and vanilla to exotic tropical flavors like mango and passion fruit. If you’re feeling crazy, grab 20 or so of your closest friends and order the Kitchen Sink, a literal kitchen sink loaded with whatever the ice cream scoop dictates. It also serves hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches and salads.


Joe’s Crab Shack

4402 N. University Dr.
Lauderhill, FL. 33351
(954) 749-2722

Kids love to get crackin’ at Joes Crab Shack. The kids’ menu features standards like chicken tenders, pizza, burgers and, of course, fish sticks, but for those who want a challenge, kids can order the snow crabs and use the special shell crackers and forks to dig out the crabby goodness. Not recommended for impatient kids or anyone younger than 6, unless Mom or Dad wants to do all the work.


Dave & Buster’s

(2 locations)
11481 NW 12th St
Miami , FL 33172
(305) 468-1555

3000 Oakwood Blvd
Hollywood , FL 33020
(954) 923-5505

Dave & Buster’s is a place where both kids and adults can escape and play. Kids love the video and arcade games and adults love the sports bar setting. It’s fun for all ages.