Going out to eat with kids can be an adventure … and not always the good kind of adventure. If dirty looks could kill, many parents would never have made it out of certain dining experiences, especially in establishments where Happy Meals aren’t on the menu. Yet some restaurants – because of their atmosphere, menus, or service – are perfect for little ones.
Olson’s Ice Cream
611 N. Bridge St., Chippewa Falls
Heading to Olson’s for some homemade ice cream is a favorite local pastime. Their fresh ingredients and tempting sundaes have kept people coming back for decades. (How else could you sample all of the 28 ice cream varieties?) Now you can grab their famous soup and breadbowls along with a deli sandwich prior to dessert. They have a menu featuring even more wraps and sandwiches. An employee favorite is the Hot and Beefy Sandwich. Vegetarian friendly wraps and salads are also available.
Bug Eyed Betty’s
1920 S. Hastings Way, Eau Claire
Bug Eyed Betty’s is the place to go for pizza, burgers, sandwiches, and 13 different sauces for wings of all kinds. Also, for just $6.50, enjoy the pizza and salad bar for lunch from 11am-1pm during the week. With its eclectic menu, undeniably buzzy atmosphere, and friendly service, Bug Eyed Betty’s placed in a whopping 11 categories in Volume One’s 2016 Best Of poll.
505 S. Barstow St., Eau Claire
This downtown destination wants to make sure no one hungers for lack of a better sandwich. Known for their hot hoagies, the spacious and art-bedecked café also has pitas, soups, salads, a number of baked-from-scratch cookies, muffins, and more. Try their gourmet coffees and espresso. Expect live music on weekends, outdoor seating during seasonable times, and vegetarian-friendly options.
18143 Co. Hwy. X, Chippewa Falls
Nothing says summer like a trip to the drive-in. A local landmark located right across from Ray’s beach, LaGrander’s makes its own root beer and scoops up country-style ice cream in addition to classic drive-in fare. Eat in your car or one of the gazebos.
306 E. Main St., Menomonie
An authentic pizza parlor that crafts its own sausage, sauces, and crust, Ted’s is a family favorite. There’s something for everyone, as the menu also features roasted chicken, hot beefs, and gyros (complete with a creamy family recipe sauce). Games and TVs keep things fun and casual. Meatless pizza and pasta sauces available.
315 S Barstow St., Eau Claire
Looking to cool off during the hot summer months? Head inside for a movie and a bite to eat at the Micon Cinemas Downtown Budget Theater. It’s equipped with a full-service restaurant with plenty of options to enjoy during the movie, including appetizers like pretzel sticks and nachos; special features like hot dogs, pulled pork sliders, and hummus; and specialty pizzas topped with everything from pesto chicken to veggies galore and meat supreme. Don’t forget the popcorn!
The District Company
315 Graham Ave., Eau Claire
Eau Claire’s premiere downtown location for all things gaming, the District Company sports something for all kinds of gamers. They’ve got a console gaming room, a virtual reality gaming station, card and miniature game tournaments, arcade games, board games, and much more. A full-service restaurant serves up burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, fries, onion rings, and other classics to hungry gamers.
2823 London Rd., Eau Claire
A café, bakery, and coffee house offering fresh, made-from-scratch breakfast and lunch items everyday. Cozy up by the fireplace in a rocking chair and enjoy many unique menu items. Scones, cinnamon buns, sticky rolls, quiches, soups, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, and egg dishes served every day. Many gluten-free and vegetarian options available, too.