I’m a big fan of taking kids out to eat. Not only because it takes the pressure off the adult who needs to make dinner (usually, me), but it’s also a great chance to practice some life skills.
For example, show how the table is set, or how you would set it, once the silverware is unrolled from the napkin. Maybe there are items on the menu they can read themselves. They can also practice being all grown up by ordering for themselves. It’s sometimes even a chance to break out of the mold and try something new; although if you have a favorite place, like we do, the kids learn real quick what menu staple they always want to order. (That said, I’m never going to complain that my daughter prefers a cup of tofu cubes.)
But still, dining out is pricey—a recent Gallup poll found Americans spend $151 each week on food and, while our grocery items are generally cheaper than what our grandparents paid 50 years ago, we seem to be making up for that in eating out. Which is why, if you’re not planning to cook at home, you might as well head to a place that has a deal for the kids. I mean, $5 off a bill is $5, right?
Below, find a list of restaurants that have free meal nights for kids. Note that there are others with discounted kids’ menus on special days—for example, Sakura has a $5.99 kids’ lunch on Sundays, and Brett’s has $2 kids’ meals Mondays and Tuesdays—but I’m talking purely free, just for simplicity’s sake. Do you have a favorite that didn’t make the list? Check out the story on flagpole.com and add it to the comments.
Mondays: Barberitos (1739 S. Lumpkin and 1880 Epps Bridge Road): Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entree after 4 p.m. Fatz Cafe (4115 Lexington Road): Kids eat free all day; anything off the kids’ menu is free with the purchase of an adult meal. Pulaski Heights BBQ (675 Pulaski St.): Each adult who purchases a regular menu item can have one child eat free. Kids order off the kids’ menu, with 6-7 items on it.
Your Pie (various locations): Kids eat free with a paying adult. The kids’ pizza also comes with a small drink and a cup of gelato. Dominick’s (1430 Capital Ave., Watkinsville): Monday through Wednesday, all day, buy one entrée and get an item from the kids’ meal free.
Tuesdays: DePalma’s (only the downtown and Eastside locations, 401 E. Broad St. and 1965 Barnett Shoals Road): Buy any regular priced entrée and get an item off the kids’ menu free (a meat and a veggie item). Valid for dinner only.
Keba Spitfire Grill (1860 Barnett Shoals Road and 1850 Epps Bridge Parkway): For dine-in only, get a free kids’ combo with the purchase of any regular-sized adult combo.
Mirko (1040 Gaines School Road and 1075 Baxter St.): Get a free kids’ meal with the purchase of an adult meal after 5 p.m. Also note that Mondays are free pasta night, where you just pay for your sauce. Dominick’s (see above).
Wednesdays: Barberitos (259 E. Clayton St.): Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée on Wednesdays. Fox’s Pizza Den (2971 U.S. 78, Watkinsville): Get one free kids’ meal with the purchase of an adult meal. Dominick’s (see above).
Thursdays: Earthfare (1689 S. Lumpkin St.): Family Dinner night is 4–8 p.m. when up to six kids eat free with an adult purchase of at least $5. Moe’s Southwest Grill (1320 Baxter St.): Get a free kids’ menu item with the purchase of an adult item, 4–9 p.m.
Sundays: Buffalo’s Cafe (196 Alps Road): Kids eat free all day with the purchase of an adult entrée. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (810 Hawthorne Ave.): Kids eat free with any adult purchase, all day. Beef ’O’ Brady’s (1860 Barnett Shoals Road): Buy any regular entrée and get an item off the kids’ menu free, all day.
Also, stop by any location of IHOP for dinner any night of the week and your kids will eat free (4-10 p.m.).
I offer up this list with one request: Tip your server well. Not only are they dealing with a slightly smaller bill, but they have to put up with your kids—and let’s be honest here, they’re not always angels. Eventually, they’ll get better. And then they can pay their own way.
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