A few months ago my family stopped going out to eat. It was something my husband and I previously loved to do, but we were at a stage with our kids (just turned 4 and 18 months) where every attempt was a disaster. My picky kids wouldn’t eat anything. The oldest ran laps around the table, and my youngest screamed and writhed to leave her high chair after five minutes of being seated. No amount of crayons or even kid-friendly smartphone apps could save us. My husband and I ate as fast as possible and asked for our check before we were even finished so we could get the heck outta there! Why were we actually PAYING for this experience?
Well, I’m happy to report that we gave it another try last weekend, and all four of us had an overall lovely time! Still, I would never bet money on dining out with kids—except that I actually do place a losing bet every time I pay for those kids meals my children pick at in disgust for a couple minutes before choosing to be hungry and cranky instead. (What kids don’t like macaroni and cheese? My kids, unless it’s the boxed kind, apparently.) So for our next dining out adventure, I’m heading somewhere my kids can eat for free—or very cheap! Here are 20 local spots to try. (Offers verified as of March 18, 2015)
- Vita Cafe (NE Portland) :: They offer a daily kid’s happy hour (5 – 7 p.m.) where kids eat for $1 with an adult purchase.
- Izzy’s (7 Portland area locations) :: Kids under 4 years old eat free 7 days a week. Ages 4-12 eat for just $0.60 per year.
- Santa Fe Taqueria (Alphabet District) :: On Wednesdays from 4 – 6 p.m., kids eat free with an adult purchase. There is also a guitar concert for kids!
- Raccoon Lodge and Brew Pub (SW Portland – Raleigh Hills) :: Kids under 12 get a free kid’s meal for every adult entree purchased. Valid all day on Mondays.
- IKEA Restaurant :: Kids 12 and under enjoy a free kids meal when accompanied by an adult purchasing an entrée. (Up to 2 children can eat free with the purchase of one adult entrée valued over $3.99). Drinks sold separately.
- Ram Restaurant and Brewery (Clackamas, Willsonville, Salem) – Every Sunday kids eat for $1 with the purchase of an adult entrée.
- Pause Kitchen and Bar (North Portland) :: Pause offers free pasta with butter and cheese for kids 12 and under daily.
- Iron Horse Restaurant (Portland’s Sellwood neighborhood) :: On Tuesdays, one child eats free with each adult entrée purchase
- Raul’s Restaurant (SW Portland) :: Kids 10 and under eat free on Sundays and Mondays from 3 p.m.-close with purchase of adult meal.
- La Carreta (SE Portland) :: Kids eat free Tuesdays and Wednesdays with adult purchase.
- Hawthorne Fish House (SE Portland) :: Kids eat free all day on Mondays with the purchase of an adult meal.
- Sweet Tomatoes (4 metro locations) :: Kids eat free promotions are only offered at certain times of the year. Sign up for their emails to be notified.
- Pepino’s Mexican Grill (Locations on SE Hawthorne and NW 23rd) :: Pepino’s offers free kid’s meals all day Tuesdays with an adult meal purchase.
- Prontobella Italian Kitchen (formerly Pronto Pizza Bar) (Clackamas) :: On Mondays from 5 – 9 p.m., kids get a free one-topping kid’s pizza with the purchase of one large pizza or equivalent meal.
- Amalfi’s (NE Portland) :: Kids 6 and under eat free daily (closed on Mondays).
- Chang’s Mongolian Grill (5 Portland area locations) :: Kids 4 and under eat free every day with an adult purchase.
- Chevy’s (Lake Oswego and Hillsboro) – On Tuesdays, get two kid’s meals with the purchase of any adult entrée at regular price.
- Applebee’s (12 area locations) :: $1.99 kid’s meals with the purchase of an adult entrée (offered on Tuesdays at most locations, call your location to verify)
- IHOP :: Offers one or more days per week where kids eat free after 4 p.m. with an adult entrée purchase. The day(s) it is offered vary by location, so call ahead to find out when it’s offered nearest to you.
- Denny’s :: Kids eat free on Tuesdays from 4 – 10 p.m. Restrictions may apply.
So the next time you go to a restaurant with the family, save on the kid’s meal…and perhaps order yourself a glass of wine instead!
If you know of other local “Kids Eat Free” (or cheap) deals, share them below in the comments!