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Parents get royally shafted in the dining out department. Choices typically vacillate between places that are just way too fancy (and where kids and their harried parents are pretty much guaranteed to get the ol' stink-eye from patrons and servers alike) or mass market corporate chains with really boring food and zero ambience. Surely, the folks who are helping to shape the future minds of America deserve a little bit better than that.
With that in mind, the New Times has put together a list of ten of the best family-friendly/kid-friendly places to dine in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Sure, there are a few, smaller niche chains included on this list, but mostly you'll find family-owned, independent joints that just happen to make it easy for parents to bring their kids for a meal. Know of a spot we missed? Be sure to leave it in the comments section.
Mizner Park is generally a safe bet for parents overall: Plenty of restaurants with covered outdoor seating, wide sidewalks, and a little bit of green space where junior can run around and burn off some energy while waiting for a table. Uncle Julio's, with its huge dining room and outdoor patio, offers lots of choices for parents to set up camp. The noisy atmosphere is a deal-breaker in the romance department, but all that clatter may help to drown out the sound of grumpy kids losing their patience. Another bonus to consider? Plain cheese quesadillas for the picky eaters in your crew and frozen margaritas for you. It's a win, win.
Give the kids an early life lesson about the pleasures of roadside barbecue with this roving purveyor of brisket and St. Louis-style ribs. Winner of the New Times
2012 Best Of award for Best Barbecue, this truck occasionally ventures out into the greater Fort Lauderdale area, but can be found most days at SE First Avenue and SE Sixth Street. There's an area with tables set up and since this is an outdoor situation, you needn't worry too much about the inevitable mess that accompanies barbecue. Of course, if the kids aren't quite ready to appreciate the finesse that goes into homemade pastrami, you can order something kid-friendly like a hot dog and fries. A good pitstop after a morning spent at the nearby Museum of Discovery and Science. If things get really messy, you can load them into the car and drive them down to the beach for a rinse.
449 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL
1541 Cordova Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL
840 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, FL
1140 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL
775 N. Alt. Highway A1A, Jupiter, FL
4343 N. Ocean Drive, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL
128 S. Federal Highway, Dania Beach, FL
613 SE First Ave., Broward / Palm Beach, FL