Whether you head to Big Bear Lake, California in the winter for skiing and snowboarding, or look forward to a relaxing summer vacation, you’ll find plenty of great eateries ready to welcome your entire family. Many of the town’s most popular restaurants are concentrated in Big Bear Village, but you can also find dining spots spread out along the lake itself and near ski resorts. Ranging from spacious ski condos to classic log cabins, the numerous Big Bear Lake vacation rentals are advantageously located in proximity to the town’s best kid-friendly restaurants.
1. Gaby’s Latin Flavors
Gaby’s Latin Flavors doesn’t confine itself to the Mexican dishes everyone knows so well, although those are certainly on the extensive menu. Explore Bolivian dishes featuring spicy chicken and pork, carne asada with an over-easy egg, or silpancho: a thin, breaded steak served over hash browns and eggs. If the kids aren’t feeling as adventurous, the menu includes standard kids’ fare like tacos, enchiladas, burgers, and chicken.
2. The Teddy Bear Restaurant
Kids feel instantly at home at the Teddy Bear Restaurant, a neighborhood classic in the heart of Big Bear Village. The ample menu gives your kids lots of choices for every meal, including chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, grilled cheese for lunch, and shrimp at suppertime. They’ll have a lot of fun trying to answer the riddles printed on the menu.
3. Bone-Side Down Barbecue and Grill
After an exhilarating and exhausting day on the ski slopes, you might not feel like sitting in a restaurant. Stop by Bone-Side Down Barbecue and grab a Family Feast to take back to the rental. It gives you two pounds of either brisket, pulled pork, chicken, or sausage, plus ribs, your choice of bread, and plenty of sides. Take all that delicious barbecue back to your vacation rental so you can all relax and enjoy supper in front of the fireplace.
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4. Sweet Basil Bistro
Elevated Italian is the name of the game at Sweet Basil Bistro, a fine dining restaurant where your kids get to choose their favorites from the Bambino menu. Warm yourself up with a warm sangria spiked with brandy while you’re eating sautéed sand dabs or gorgonzola-stuffed filet mignon. The kids will love the pasta, grilled chicken, and salami pizza. Locals rave about the Caesar salad, and all the pasta choices are ideal for carbo-loading after a challenging day on the slopes.
5. 572 Social
On the main drag of Big Bear Village, 572 Social is another spot that combines delectable foodie specialties while welcoming your kids with a great kids’ menu. Start with the mussels, and move on to short ribs, poke tacos, or salmon that melts in your mouth. If you’ve brought your dog with you to Big Bear Village, he’s welcome to join you around the firepit on the patio. Live music most evenings make 572 Social a place you’ll want to hang out again and again.
6. The Himalayan
If your family enjoys Indian or Nepalese food, head to The Himalayan. Kids can enjoy homemade noodles prepared several ways, and the cook will happily dial down the spiciness of any of the regular dishes upon request. The Himalayan is also a great choice for vegetarians, with a wide range of tasty choices.
7. Grizzly’s Bear Belly Deli
Plan on stopping for lunch at the Bear Belly Deli if your day takes you snowboarding up at Bear Mountain. Hearty sandwiches give you the fuel you need for an afternoon on the slopes. Build your own sandwich just the way you want it, or choose from a variety of handmade selections on the menu. Bear Belly Deli is also a great place to grab a big, juicy burger, and kids can choose between hot dogs, egg salad sandwiches, PB&Js, and grilled cheese.
8. Get The Burger
“Get the burger” is great advice when you come to this local burger joint, but be prepared to wait, because everything is made by hand and to order (a sign directs you to local fast food chains if you don’t want to wait.) Smaller burgers are available for kids, and adults can order the smaller burgers, too. Sure, Get The Burger has fries, but try the tater tots — they’re loaded. Try a hand-scooped shake or order the Purple Gremlin, a float made with grape soda.
9. Captain’s Anchorage
For a special dinner, head to Captain’s Anchorage, where even the kids’ menu lists prime rib. This old-school surf-and-turf restaurant feels like a classic mountain lodge with charming old-fashioned service. Enjoy classics like shrimp scampi, crab cakes, filet mignon, or melt-in-your-mouth prime. Keep your eyes open for mysterious goings-on, because Captain’s Anchorage is reportedly haunted.
10. Azteca Grill
The kids’ menu at this popular Mexican restaurant satisfies even the pickiest eaters with standard kids’ fare including Mexican dishes such as tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and quesadillas. Choose from traditional combination plates, or dive into something a little more unusual, such as avocado fries, spinach enchiladas, or deep-fried shrimp wrapped in bacon. Relax on the covered patio on a warm day, and don’t be surprised if the friendly wait staff bring you water for the family dog.
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