Whether it’s been a busy day and cooking isn’t in the cards, or you want to treat your family to a special meal, consider going out to eat. Use this handy list to find diners in the area that specialize in classic kid’s favorites to make sure everyone is satisfied. Chow down at these family-friendly restaurants around Ellisville, Missouri.


A baby girl with her face covered in red marinara sauce from eating spaghetti with her family.

Image via Flickr by wickenden

Pastaria is a family-oriented Italian restaurant on Forsyth Boulevard in nearby Clayton. This place has a casual feel, with a menu that will please everyone from fussy preschoolers to parents on a rare date night. This restaurant serves up delicious organic pasta, including a gluten-free option, wood-fired pizzas, soups, salads, and appetizers that bring a taste of Italy to Ellisville.

Start with a shaved kale salad with creamy anchovy dressing. Order a Bucatini All’ Amatriciana pizza for the whole crew. This pie comes with tomato, red onion, pork guanciale, chili, and authentic Grana Padano cheese. Their kid’s menu offers classic favorites like spaghetti with meat sauce, cheese pizza, and mac ‘n cheese. Pastaria also has some of the best gelatos in town. With easy curbside pickup, you can get your meal to go or have them deliver it, and devour your feast at home.

The Original Pancake House

Freshly made pancakes covered with cinnamon dusted apple slices.

Image via Flickr by wuestenigel

The Hueneke family founded the first Original Pancake House in 1953. This Portland, Oregon, institution grew into a nationally acclaimed restaurant that now has locations all over the country. Our local O.P.H. is located on Chesterfield Airport Road where it’s cooking up some of the best pancakes in town on its griddle right now.

What kid doesn’t love pancakes? O.P.H.’s are the cream of the crop. They’re made from the finest ingredients, such as the highest quality butter, eggs, whipping cream, unbleached flour, and sourdough. Try one of their signature flavors, like the sauteed apple with a rich cinnamon-sugar glaze or the Dutch Baby, a light and airy concoction oven-baked to perfection and topped with a  mouthwatering blend of lemon zest and powdered sugar.

Kingside Diner

A picture-perfect double cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato.

Image via Flickr by milksss

With two locations close to Ellisville, Bonhomme Avenue in Clayton and Maryland Avenue in St. Louis, the Kingside is a convenient place to fill up on some good old-fashioned comfort food. This chess-themed eatery is a bit more upscale than your other local diners, with a heated, second-floor terrace that’s an inviting place to savor your blue-plate special.

The Kingside Diner is open daily for breakfast with hearty classics like country fried steak smothered in sausage gravy or a spinach omelet when you’re making healthier choices. The lunch menu features a double griddle burger that you’ll need to eat with both hands. The meatloaf melt is smothered with a caramelized onion and brown sugar glaze that will make you drool. Go ahead and get it with cheese fries.

Their “little pawns” menu won’t disappoint the kids either, with staples like chicken fingers, a cheeseburger, and fresh fruit on the side. They even have a nice selection of beer, wine, and cocktails for mom and dad.

Jilly’s Cupcake Bar

A young boy enjoying a tasty cupcake.

Image via Flickr by {Charlotte.Morrall}

Of course, you don’t want to have cupcakes for lunch — or do you? While Jilly’s Cupcake Bar on Delmar Boulevard in Ladue is home to some of the area’s best gourmet cupcakes, the menu also features a nice selection of classic breakfasts, sandwiches, soups, and salads.

The café’s adorable brick building is hiding some creative options to fill up everyone in the family, like the brisket chili, a fresh spin on a traditional Cobb salad, or a scrumptious veggie quiche. Stop by after school for a special treat. With its wide selection of ice creams and cakes, their bakery aims to please. Just remember to eat your veggies first.

Crushed Red

Someone roughly cutting small cucumbers into a metal bowl that is surrounded with various vegetables.

Image via Flickr by wuestenigel

Crushed Red on Maryland Avenue in Clayton is a chopped salad place, but hear us out. Its lineup of more than 10 yummy, urban-crafted pizzas will tempt even the pickiest eater. This counter-service bistro is a little fancier than your average fast food joint, and its eco-friendly vibe is nice too. This concept restaurant’s goal is to produce little-to-no waste, and with plenty of fresh, healthy food on the menu, it’s a win-win for the whole family.

Have a seat in the café’s warm, welcoming atmosphere. You’ll feel good about feeding your little ones pizza made on a  crispy whole-grain crusts and organic tomato sauce, while you munch on organically dressed salads featuring a colorful spectrum of nutrient-dense ingredients. Even carnivores will love the Yukon Gold Steakhouse pizza with bacon, parmesan, gorgonzola, and crushed red mozzarella. There are also bowls, soups, sandwiches called “flats,” and organic, freshly brewed tea to wash it all down.

Carl’s Drive-In

A cooked and dressed hot dog in a paper lined basket

Image via Flickr by wuestenigel

Ditch the big time fast food joints and discover something even better. This old-school drive-in still sticks to its carhop roots and cash-only service. Located on Manchester Road in St. Louis, Carl’s is the real-deal hamburger stand with unforgettable homemade root beer.

If you’re on the way to an event, swing by Carl’s drive-up window for flat-grilled cheeseburgers, sandwiches, and crispy fries. Kids will love their Frito pie or curly-q hot dog with a side of breaded onion rings. Finish up with a Ronnie’s Rocky Mountain dessert, a huge version of your traditional drumstick ice cream cone. You might even catch a classic car show in the parking lot. If you’re in a hurry, call ahead, and they’ll bring your order out to you.

That’s a wrap! This list of family-friendly restaurants near Ellisville was brought to you by Creme de la Creme of Ellisville, MO. Where does your family like to go for dinner? Let us know so we can add it to our list.