5 to Try: Gourmet Kids Menus in San Diego

These days, kids are becoming foodies, too. Artificially orange mac 'n cheese, frozen french fries and sad pepperoni pizza just doesn't cut it with modern kiddos--or their parents. So we went looking for the new standard in kids menus: Organic, locally grown and all-natural are the new buzzwords, and there are plenty of San Diego restaurants answering the call.

Updated: September 01, 2009

5 to Try: Gourmet Kids Menus in San Diego

Blind Lady Ale House

3416 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116

We love the amazing list of craft beers available at Blind Lady in Normal Heights (one of the owners was also a founding member of Stone Brewing Co.), and we also love that we don't have to get a babysitter to go and enjoy them. Blind Lady is completely kid-friendly, with a simple kids menu of organic pizzas and even crayons and paper available for impromptu art projects while the 'rents sip and sample some of the best local and international beers available.

Tender Greens

2400 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92101

From locally grown produce (greens from a Temecula farm are just the start) to wholesome entrees like flank steak and pork chops with mashed potatoes, parents can feel good about taking their kids out to Tender Greens. During the school year, they offer a cookies+milk special in the afternoon hours, and they also offer kids cooking classes during the summer months to get kids excited about eating and preparing all-natural, organic, and local food. A plus for parents? Nothing on the menu is over $10, and they have a great by-the-glass wine selection.

El Camino

3023 Juniper St, San Diego, CA 92104

South Park cocina's bright Mexican murals, chicklet-covered walls and funky decor make for a fun, lively atmosphere for kids and families, especially before 8pm when the bar area gets a bit more "adults-only." But prior to 8pm, booster seats are readily available, and the menu of simple tacos, tostadas and quesadillas is perfect for kids. Mom and Dad: Don't miss their signature sangria ($1 off during happy hour until 6pm).

Burger Lounge

1101 Wall St, La Jolla, CA 92037

The kids meal at this mod-style diner is perfect for little ones looking to eat the same thing as mom and dad: A mini, grass-fed beef burger with sharp, white cheddar cheese, plus their never-frozen french fries or a salad (lemon basil dressing!) on the side. For tweens? Try the "baby lounge burger" -- it's a tad bigger than the kids meal one, but not a full quarter pound like the original "lounge burger."

Cafe 222

222 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

From the chandeliers dangling with forks and spoons to the tea-cup light fixtures and neon orange plastic water glasses, Cafe 222's whimsical decor and casual attitude makes it perfect for a rough-and-tumble group of kids. The menu is full of jazzed-up breakfast classics like pumpkin waffles, banana pancakes and chocolate chip French toast. Note to parents: They are only open until 2pm daily, and the wait during prime brunch hours (10-11am on weekends) can be up to an hour or more. Plan ahead!