I really like to eat good food. Cooking it, not so much. I would venture to guess that my family eats out more often than the average family (though we have really been making an intentional effort to keep this in check). But, because of this, we have quite a lot of experience with taking our children to restaurants (sometimes even ones they definitely should not have been at). Because of this experience, I consider myself somewhat of an expert in restaurants in my area that are truly appropriate for young children.
A real, honest-to-goodness family-friendly restaurant is a godsend.
When choosing a restaurant where we want to dine with our kids, it is important that the restaurant offers delicious and affordable food while also being friendly to our kids. I’ve decided to share my family’s favorite restaurants in and around the Rutland area. I intentionally did not select chain restaurants.
Here are my top picks for family-friendly restaurants near Rutland:
Hop’n Moose, Downtown Rutland
My kids beg to go here. Sometimes, they even just decided we’re going here and let us know. Most of the waitstaff know my kids by name (and if not, at least by face). We usually pick a table by the kitchen. It is open to the floor and the kids can watch the pizza dough being tossed. My kids always order a Jumbo Bavarian Pretzel and pizza. The pizzas are all wood-fired. My husband and I usually split the wings with Gringo Jack’s sweet and spicy chipotle sauce. My husband also enjoys their wide variety of unique ales and lagers.
Maple Sugar and Vermont Spice, Mendon, VT
This is a family restaurant and operating sugar house. Service is quick and friendly. Kids are welcome and doted on by the staff. I don’t think we’ve ever entered or exited without a warm welcome and high five (for the kids). They also have a huge gift shop in the basement. All of these things do make this spot a bit touristy, but the prices, friendly atmosphere, and yummy food still make it worth it. My pick is always the Maple Walnut Pancakes.
Harvest Moon Café and Bake Shop, Pittsford, VT
This is my family’s absolute favorite spot. We take the kids here for breakfast and lunch, but I’m not sure they would behave quite so well at dinner (reservations are suggested for dinner). The chef and staff pride themselves on offering quality and goodness and they sure follow through. The building looks like an old barn or sugarhouse and is decorated really warmly. The ingredients are mostly all fresh and wholesome. My son’s favorite breakfast choice is the ChocoFlufferNutter-cakes, I love the Oatmeal Cakes, and my husband always goes for an omelet. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Death by Chocolate cake and admit that I let my picky eater order this for breakfast the last time we visited. Hey, how much more sugar can it really have than ChocoFlufferNutter-cakes?
Sushi Yoshi, Killington, VT
My kids LOVE Hibachi. They love the action and they love the food. The kid’s hibachi menu has great prices for the amount of food served. In addition to the traditional hibachi show, they also offer craft beer and amazing sushi. The staff is super friendly and even helped me select a dinner option that my picky eater was most likely to eat (turns out, sweet and sour chicken without the sauce is the closest thing to chicken nuggets). They have great specials in the off season. In years past, they’ve offered free kids Hibachi on Sundays. They also have a location in Stowe.
Franklin’s, Proctor, VT
Franklin’s is a true local joint. They have all of my kids’ favorites, like pizza, french fries, hot dogs, and chicken fingers. My husband and I love the wings, especially the Franklin Spice wings. Sunday’s wings are half price all day (eat in only). Every weekend, Chef Dan has great dinner specials and a special cheesecake. They are known for their prime rib. This place is great for eating in or take out. The atmosphere is always friendly, and as their motto says, “Come on down for food, friends, and fun.”
I love to try new places, so please let me know your top picks for family-friendly restaurants in the Rutland area!