If you’re like most Ohio parents, finding a place to eat out with the kids can be a challenge. That’s why the staff at Crème de la Crème put our heads together and came up with this local dining guide. So whether you’re looking for a tasty kid’s menu or someplace where the little ones eat free, we know where to find it. Here are our favorite family-friendly restaurants around Westerville.

Starliner Diner

Image via Flickr by jeffreyw Licensed CC BY 2.0

The Starliner Diner on Main Street in Hilliard is a fun, eclectic eatery with funky, colorful artwork on the walls. Westerville parents love this local spot because even young infants and toddlers feel right at home dining here. Browse its menu filled with Cuban-inspired dishes any time of the day. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday and Monday until 3 p.m.

For breakfast, try the spicy huevos rancheros stuffed with jack cheese or a healthy omelet with fresh spinach and mushrooms. They also serve a delicious pile of pancakes topped with fruit or chocolate chips for the kids. Among the top choices for lunch and dinner is the Yucatan marinated chicken breast with sides of sauteed southwestern vegetables, black beans, and rice. The kid’s corner of the menu has all the classics, like cheeseburgers and chicken fingers, plus big-kid options like spaghetti.

Local Roots

Local Roots on East Olentangy Street in Powell features dishes made from locally raised chicken, pork, bison, and beef, while the owner’s nearby family farm provides the chefs with fresh, seasonal produce. There’s also a gluten-free section on the menu, as well as terrific menu options for children that even picky preschoolers will love. Parents will feel good about ordering kids healthy choices at this popular spot. Options include steak bites, barbeque ribs, salmon, and grilled chicken.

Local Roots also has a great happy hour for mom and dad, with drink specials on your favorite seasonal cocktails. The festive Campfire Martini, for instance, will warm you up on a cold Ohio evening. It’s a sinfully sweet concoction of OYO honey vanilla vodka, creme de cocoa, and marshmallow simple. Devour your meal inside or on the seasonally heated patio. You can taste the quality in every entree the chef serves up, from baby back ribs to brisket mac-and-cheese. You’ll also love the restaurant’s creative spins on appetizers, homemade soups, sandwiches, salads, entrees, pizza, calzones, and desserts.

Harvest Pizzeria

Harvest Pizzeria touts world-class pizza made from locally sourced ingredients. With two locations in Columbus, one on North High Street and the other on South Front Street, it’s easy to get a table here. Kids of all ages love pizza, so it won’t be hard to please the family here. Its gourmet selections include small plates, salads, pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, and desserts. In addition, there’s a kids menu and plenty of alcoholic beverage options for the adults.

Kids can get their own one-topping pizza, a burger, or grilled cheese, or the whole family can split a pie. There are 15 choices on the menu. Local favorite flavor combinations include tasty options like the Spicy Yuma with chorizo, a fiery chipotle sauce, and a blend of gouda and Havarti cheeses.

The Dublin Village Tavern

Located in historic downtown on South High Street, the Dublin Village Tavern offers families a neighborhood watering hole and a delicious Irish-inspired menu. It’s a great choice to bring the kids to, as the staff is welcoming and the meals are affordable. 

There really is something for everyone at this pub. The appetizer section offers an egg roll filled with corned beef and sauerkraut and classic hooley eggs. Get a hearty meatloaf plate or a tuna salad sandwich on 10-grain bread. The kids will gobble down the Irish sliders or the chicken tender basket with fries. The Dublin Village Tavern is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.

Cap City Fine Diner and Bar

If you’re in the mood for a classic diner, complete with a traditional blue-plate special, then Cap City is the spot for you. The ambiance at the Dublin location on Riverside drive is a bit more snazzy than that of your typical neighborhood joint, but so is the food. The dishes are seemingly endless, from southern fried chicken to a Philly cheesesteak sandwich.

The family-friendly vibe comes with a delightful kid’s menu. Your little ones can dine on homemade mac and cheese, chicken fingers, and grilled cheese with tomato soup. Remember to save room for dessert. In addition to creamy milkshakes, Cap City’s pastry chef bakes up plenty of sweet and scrumptious options, including its Seriously Big Chocolate Cake, a warm brownie sundae, a deep-dish apple pie, its 24K Carrot Cake, and a chocolate-covered peanut butter pie.

Swenson’s Drive-In

Swenson’s Drive-In is the ideal place to fill up hungry tummies after school. Located on Cemetary Road, it’s one of the best places near Westerville to grab a burger. This classic drive-in restaurant touts 18 flavors of hand-spun milkshakes, fresh hot fries, and crispy onion rings made just like they were in 1934 when Swenson’s opened.

When you arrive, a friendly carhop will meet you at your parking spot to take your order. We suggest the famous Galley Boy. Get your must-have signature double cheese patty with “everything,” including mustard, dill pickles, and onions, and don’t forget to tell them to drown it in both — yes, two — secret special sauces.

The kids won’t be disappointed at Swenson’s either. The cooks behind the counter dish up goodies like sloppy Joes, fried bologna on a toasted bun, and a Coney Island hot dog. To finish, add a scoop of malt to your peanut butter hot fudge milkshake and call it dessert.

So, there you have it! Crème de la Crème of Westerville just informed you of the best family-friendly restaurants in the area. What do you think of our picks? What is your favorite neighborhood restaurant for a meal out with the kiddos? Let us know so we can share your picks with other Ohio families.