Finding a restaurant that appeals to adults while satisfying children’s palates, and interests, can pose a challenge. So here’s a short list of local favorites offering child-sized and shareable menu items, great souvenirs and engaging activities.


It isn’t often that kids get to see a small train gently deliver burgers and fries to the table, from a ceiling-hugging track. But Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant has offered this unusual experience since the classic diner opened more than 50 years ago. Train memorabilia lines the walls and each child who visits receives a cardboard engineer hat. Kids age 12 or under can order burgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets or grilled cheese from the Lil’ Engineers menu for about $5. They also may enjoy creamy shakes or root beer floats. There are plenty of Fritz’s souvenirs available too, including logoed wooden train whistles, T-shirts, Frisbees or cloth engineer hats.

Crayola Cafe

Cheerful, bright-hued walls and napkins and color-your-own placemats make the one-and-only Crayola Cafe a kid magnet; and its open-air view of Crown Center appeals to everyone. Children, 12 and younger, can order the Kids Meal Deal, featuring a cheeseburger or chicken strips served with fries, and a beverage. Soda or juice is also available in a very popular Crayola Café collectible cup. The large kid-friendly version of macaroni and cheese features just noodles and cheese; and customers have been impressed that ground chuck and hot dogs come from local producers L&C Meats and Kurzweils’ Country Meats. 


The original Fun House Pizza Raytown has operated for more than 50 years. Sure, there’s pizza—with a gooey blend of mozzarella, Provolone and cheddar cheeses, but the menu also includes Fun House Chicken, burgers, tacos and even spaghetti. Kids can order pint-sized portions of chicken tenders, burgers, or grilled cheese with tots and a drink; or spaghetti with a drink, for less than $5. In addition, this popular Raytown restaurant is known for their video games, air hockey and kids’ rides, in a dedicated game room. Happy hour and lunch specials, and food and drink deals for parties, are available too.

Spin! Neopolitan Pizza

Founded in Kansas City, Mo., there’s a casual vibe, quick service and hand-tossed pizza crust at Spin! Neopolitan Pizza. Per Bambini – For the Kids, features a child-sized cheese or pepperoni pizza, or mac and cheese, as an entree. Priced under $5, each meal also includes a mini gelato portion chosen from a dizzying array of flavors, with milk, apple juice or a soft drink. Older children and parents may enjoy a personalized ‘mini mia’ pizza as well as soups, salads and sandwiches, too.



‘Choking their own chickens’ since the 1930s, Stroud’s is known nationwide for its crisp-tender pan fried chicken and family-friendly atmosphere. Gingham-checked table cloths and rustic wood chairs promote the old-fashioned ambience. Children 12 years or younger have their own dinner menu too, priced at under $10. They can order a kid-sized burger, or chicken fingers, as well as plates with two chicken legs, or with one leg and one wing. Kids can also share family-sized portions of mashed potatoes, creamy gravy, plump green beans and even cottage cheese.

Freshly ground steakburgers and Skyscraper milkshakes, large enough for several children to share,  are two great reasons to visit Winstead’s Steakburger with family and friends.  Kids six years of age or younger can also mix and match items from the Tiny Tot Treat menu, which features mini steakburgers, hot dogs, a chicken strip plate or grilled cheese, paired with a soft drink or shake and choice of fries, onion rings or applesauce. And Winstead’s is a great place for baby boomers or grandparents to share authentic 1950s diner ambience, with youngsters from loads of neon to a vintage soda fountain.

Whether you choose pizza, burgers, chicken or spaghetti, the Kansas City area offers plenty of kid-friendly restaurant choices.

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