Eating Adventures

The Best Place to Eat With Kids In Ten Denver Neighborhoods

Acova's outdoor play area is a hit with energetic kids and their exhausted parents.
Acova's outdoor play area is a hit with energetic kids and their exhausted parents. Linnea Covington

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click to enlarge The outdoor space at Acova in LoHi. - LINNEA COVINGTON
The outdoor space at Acova in LoHi.
Linnea Covington

LoHi: Acova

3651 Navajo Street

Sean and Betsy Workman, owners of Acova and the Hornet on South Broadway, wanted a dedicated spot for kids to play in while at their Highland restaurant. So Betsy planned and built a mini play yard just off the sunny patio. When the weather is nice it's the perfect place to have dinner and a drink al fresco while the little ones explore the swing, colorful tires, things to climb on, textiles, twists and turns and objects that make gentle sounds. The menu, too, has a side of whimsy. For example, if your kids say they want "nothing" for dinner, order just that, which is Acova's name for mac and cheese. Or if they say "I'm not hungry," they'll get a hamburger with a side of sweet-potato fries. Other clever menu names include "I don't care," "Whatever" and "I don't know." As a bonus, $2 from every kids' menu order will be donated to a children's charity.
click to enlarge Kids can make their own pizza at Blue Pan. - MARK ANTONATION
Kids can make their own pizza at Blue Pan.
Mark Antonation

RiNo: Sushi-Rama

2615 Larimer Street

Though not every kid loves sushi, they do love being able to see the food and pick what to eat. The intimate but color-splashed space at Sushi-Rama sends dishes loaded with sushi rolls and nigiri rolling past your eyes on a conveyer belt. Let your little dining companions grab what looks good, such as shrimp tempura rolls, old-school salmon rolls and glossy unagi nigiri. Aside from the grab-your-own options, a printed menu includes steamed pot stickers, grilled Korean chicken skewers and mochi ice cream. Chef/owner Jeff Osaka opened the original Sushi-Rama in RiNo in 2015, and since then has added outposts in the Denver Tech Center and Lone Tree. It's a fun and unique way to introduce young ones to sushi. Who knows? They just might get addicted.

Sloan's Lake: Sloan's Lake Tap & Burger

1565 Raleigh Street

After a jaunt around Sloan's Lake and time at one of the two playgrounds there, your family will be famished. The nearby Sloan's Lake Tap & Burger is an easygoing option with good food for both kids and adults. On Tuesdays, kids eat free from 3 to 6:30 p.m. with the purchase of an adult meal; otherwise, it's $7 to pig out on pulled pork sliders, chicken tenders, grilled cheese sandwiches or hamburgers. All come with fries, a veggie plate, a drink and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. No one will go hungry, that's for sure, and the adult options range from sandwiches to grass-fed beef to an entire plant-based menu.
click to enlarge One of the many kids' meal options at Steuben's Uptown. - STEUBEN'S
One of the many kids' meal options at Steuben's Uptown.

Uptown: Steuben's Food Service

523 East 17th Avenue

For years, Steuben's has offered one of the best children's menus in town, with grilled chicken, hot dogs, grilled cheese, hamburgers, buttered pasta, peanut butter and jelly, and macaroni and cheese. Each order comes with edamame, carrots and ranch dressing, as well as a side such as fries, seasonal veggies or tomato soup. There's even a milk tasting menu, if your kid is feeling fancy. Not only does the food work for little eaters, but the setting does, too. It's a laid-back sort of place with a friendly staff who won't make you feel bad if your kid throws a fit. The menu doubles as a coloring sheet, too, complete with games. There's a branch of Steuben's in Arvada, too, in case you're in that area and hungry.
click to enlarge Rice and beans are a favorite for kids at the Blue Bonnet Restaurant. - LINNEA COVINGTON
Rice and beans are a favorite for kids at the Blue Bonnet Restaurant.
Linnea Covington

Washington Park West: Blue Bonnet Restaurant

457 South Broadway

Blue Bonnet has served the Washington Park West and Baker neighborhoods for fifty years under the guidance of owners Arlene and Philip Mobell and their family. Over the decades, it has been one of the best places to take a horde of hungry kids. The food comes out quickly, with options to make most children happy: cheese enchiladas, chicken taquitos and chicken or cheese quesadillas, to name a few. Each plate comes with rice and beans or fries, along with a little dessert. The casual setting also makes things easy on families: If your child feels the need to throw a fit or be noisy, it's easily ignored over the din of the space.
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Linnea Covington moved back to Denver after spending thirteen years in New York City and couldn't be happier to be home, exploring the Mile High and eating as much as possible, especially when it involves pizza or ice cream.
Contact: Linnea Covington