A vacation in Newport Beach, California consists of a mixture of relaxing on the shore, high-end shopping, and partaking in water sports. Beautiful Newport Beach vacation rentals are available up and down the coast, and are situated in Balboa Peninsula, Balboa Island, Corona del Mar, and Crystal Cove. Give yourself a vacation from cooking as well by taking your family to some of these popular kid-friendly restaurants in Newport Beach.
1. Mama D’s Italian Kitchen
Mama D’s really means it when they say they make every dish to your liking. That means if your kids want cheese pizza or plain pasta with butter and parmesan, they get what they want with no fuss. Meanwhile, you get to choose from a deep menu of Italian specialties, including classic veal and seafood dishes you won’t find in a lot of Italian restaurants. Each meal ends with a warm, just-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie – you can’t get more kid-friendly than that!
2. The Stand
The Stand’s entire menu reads like a traditional kids’ menu gone wild, with burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, potato chips, and all the other foods that grown-ups and children both love. Feed your kids off the kids’ menu with its incredibly reasonable prices, then choose the adult version, loading up your kosher hot dog or gourmet sausage with every topping imaginable, from garlic mushrooms to green apple slaw to pickled jalapeños. Innovative salads and sandwiches fill out the menu.
3. Patty Macs
It’s hard to imagine a more kid-friendly food than macaroni and cheese, and Patty Macs on the Balboa Peninsula serves up mac and cheese with style. While your kids indulge in the basics, feel free to sample jerked chicken mac, carbonara mac, or even lobster mac. Vegan options are available, and salads and flatbreads are available if someone’s not in a pasta mood.
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4. Bluewater Grill
This seafood restaurant on Lido Island is dedicated to providing kids with healthy options that are easy and fun. Your kids will love dipping their choice of grilled salmon, shrimp, chicken or fish sticks in a variety of sauces. Even the sides and drinks provide deliciously healthy choices such as edamame, pineapple juice, and scalloped potatoes. Meanwhile, you can enjoy freshly caught fish and locally sourced side dishes.
5. Sol Grill
Enjoy a really fine meal out without worrying about boring your kids at a nice restaurant with a visit to Sol Grill on the Balboa Peninsula. Whether you prefer rack of lamb, cioppino, or blackened ahi, you can relax with an adult beverage and a fine meal, while your kids choose between basic pasta, chicken, or the ever-popular spaghetti and meatballs.
6. Harborside Restaurant
Enjoy unimpeded views of beautiful Newport Harbor when you stop for lunch or dinner at Harborside Restaurant. This spot is a perfect choice when you’ve decided to spend part of a day at the Balboa Fun Zone, or book a spot to watch the famous Newport Beach Christmas Lights Parade if you’re heading to your vacation rental in December. Your kids can choose from a standard kids’ menu with a few nice touches like coconut shrimp, or they can opt for healthy choices like grilled chicken or fish.
7. Bear Flag Fish
Whether you stop for lunch on Lido Island or head down the coast a bit to Crystal Cove, Bear Flag Fish serves up perfectly prepared fish, including poke, fish tacos, and sushi. Kids can enjoy panko-encrusted fish sticks or try a small plate version of regular seafood entrees. For a daring dining experience, try the seaweed salad.
8. Crocker’s The Abundant Table
If your vacation rental is on Balboa Island, don’t be surprised if you find yourself paying multiple visits to The Abundant Table and the Crocker’s hot dog stand right next door. You may not find seating for your whole family – Crocker’s only has a handful of tables – but this is the takeout restaurant you’ve always dreamed of. Blueberry cheesecake and carrot cake melt in your mouth, and you can choose from a wide array of sandwiches to take back to your vacation rental or eat on the beach. Locals recommend the sourdough breakfast sandwich, the Cubano, and the Porker Joe.
9. Cucina Enoteca
After an afternoon shopping at Newport Beach’s Fashion Island, Cucina Enoteca is a beautiful and relaxing spot to stop for lunch. Your kids have a pleasant surprise waiting when they order pizza: your server will bring them their own dough, sauce, and cheese to assemble the pizza themselves. As they eat their own handiwork proudly, you can enjoy a pear and gorgonzola pizza of your own, or try the squid ink tagliatelle. When the weather’s nice, soak up the Southern California sun on the beautiful patio.
10. The Trough
The amazing breakfast burritos are one reason you’ll want to grab something to eat at the Trough. The fact that the shop is right at the Balboa Fun Zone is another. Freshly-baked bread is another. Try the pork dip sandwich, the chashu-braised pork, or the mushroom melt. Kids can find familiar fare such as tuna melts and mac and cheese on the menu.
11. Hopdoddy Burger Bar
As soon they hear the words “Nutella and chocolate pretzel shake,” your kids may be clamoring to head to Hopdoddy Burger Bar, and you may find yourself eager to agree. This trendy spot in Fashion Island grinds its own meat and bakes its own bread, and you can tell the quality from the first bite. Sure, there are plenty of specialty burgers here, and specialty fries as well, but you’re likely to be happy with the basics because the ingredients are so good. Head this way during happy hour to enjoy the burger of the month at a low price.
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