Let’s be real for a moment. Eating out with little people can be one of the most stressful things to experience as a parent.
Sometimes we just want to get out of the house and enjoy a meal that we did not have to labor over and cook. Some days the last thing we want to do is dirty up the kitchen, and have another mess to clean up. So, in lies the ever-daunting question of, “Where can we take the kids to eat? Is it loud? Is it a family restaurant? Is it affordable? Do my kids have room to move around? Will it upset others if my kid decides to throw an epic meltdown? Is it even worth it?!”
All of these questions are so legitimate, and ones that I have to constantly ask myself, especially with having a rambunctious five and three-year-old. I have had a personal experience at a family restaurant where a woman angrily accosted me and my (at the time) nine-month-old daughter because “she was ruining everyone’s meal with her screaming.” It’s safe to say that since then I am extremely paranoid about taking my kids out to eat somewhere.
My solution has been to find places that have OUTSIDE seating, and a relaxed environment that is kid-friendly, and luckily, living in St. Augustine we have just those kinds of places!
This little hole-in-the-wall taco and burrito joint is a local treasure. Right in the heart of St. Augustine Beach, it is located directly across the street from the ocean off of A1A. It carries a mix of people that includes locals, vacationers, surfers, and everyone in-between. Once you arrive, you order inside and wait for your amazingly fresh UFO to be delivered at the outside window. Picnic tables are located outside for seating. It is in a nice shaded area that is perfect for everyone! Kids are able to move around freely and no need to worry about disturbing those around you!
An awesomely re-purposed building, this place has all the relaxed vibes you need. Just minutes from downtown and close to the Alligator Farm as well as the St. Augustine Lighthouse, Mojos Tacos is an ideal place to take the family after a day of exploring. Mojos has both indoor and outdoor seating with a welcoming environment for everyone in the family. If anyone in your circle loves shrimp and burritos combined, this is the place to indulge!
If you are looking for custom, out-of-the-box, and completely delicious tacos, this is where it’s at. Located minutes from downtown, and right beside Old Coast Ale’s Brewery and Taproom, this place is perfect for everyone in the family. The seating here is kid-friendly with picnic tables that are under plenty of shade. This place has been such a hit for my family!
Crave is everything you’d ever want in an outdoor food joint. Known for its fresh and healthy menu options, this one is a must eat according to all the locals. You only need to taste it once to know you’ll be back! Their menu includes salads, wraps, smoothies, as well as Pb&J’s for the kids. Located near the marina off Riberia Street, it comes with a fantastic setting for the family to enjoy a delicious lunch. Seating is at shaded picnic tables and overlooks the San Sebastian River. This place is such a must if you are visiting or a local!
If you are in the mood for a good old-fashioned picnic, nothing can beat sitting on the lawn at our famous fort. With plenty of room for the kids to run and play, views of the nations oldest city, the bayfront and sitting in the shadow of one of our kids’ favorite things to see in town. Our family has even ordered from Al’s Pizza right across the street and enjoyed a pizza party sitting on the lawn of this scenic location. So in short, options abound with this location and is a great way to create an afternoon of fun for the whole family.
When I moved to this amazing city back in 2012 BC (before children), one of the things that I loved most was the food. After having kids it was a challenge to be able to enjoy the delicious options our city had to offer and finding these family-friendly options was just want we were looking for. So the next time you are wandering our city, or just need a break from the kitchen, give one of these a try, you won’t be disappointed!