I worked in a microbrewery for almost 10 years. First as a server, then as pub tender (sounds so much more hip than bartender) and then, as a part time marketing/PR/Social Media Maven, so I found myself drawn to the small breweries and brewers who were making unbelievable, totally quaffable beers, ranging from blueberry wheat to dark, dry Irish stouts.
After having M almost 6 years ago—and upon quick discovery there weren’t many places new parents could “hang” with beers and babies-–we found that we truly enjoyed going to the brewpub when we wanted to have a meal out alongside a couple of beers. It’s a family-friendly hot spot, noisy and casual. Read: all that food my kid just threw on the ground? No biggie. The infant screaming the feed-me-now-or-else scream? No worries. Huge patio, live music, a pond with turtles, and all around good feeling.
It must be the beer.
Could it be the beer? Because to me, it seems this feeling transcends time and place. Or maybe the good-hearted folks who open up family-friendly establishments (a big thanks from me to you!) know parents appreciate a good pint of ale while their kiddos play to their hearts content. Or maybe it’s because great food always tastes better with a glass of suds to wash it down. I’m not sure. What I do know, however, is that Dallas has its share of kiddie-friendly spots serving up great microbrews, much of it local, and all of it tasty!
What makes it kid-friendly? Think play spaces, music, great food, popsicles.
Most of these places have fantastic outdoor spaces. Because let’s be honest, it’s being penned up in a chair and table combo that really gets our kids antsy. And we can only employ the iPhone or iPad for so long before they want to crawl under the table and escape (like you wish you could!) Others have great service, and all have a killer kids menu. And all of these places, will have your whole family leaving in a good mood.
However, let’s making something clear: As amazing as these spots are for families, I’m not telling you it’s ok to let your little people wander around a restaurant unsupervised. These places are busy and full of people working, dining, drinking. I’m telling you it’s okay if they sit in the dirt next to your table. I’m telling you it’s okay for them to be in the kid-friendly areas, somewhere you can keep eyes and ears handy at all times. It’s okay for them to enjoy any of the perks offered at these sweet spots.
Here are 5 of the top family-friendly spots to enjoy craft beer in Dallas:
These are must-try destinations if you are looking to enjoy the Deep Ellum IPA, or Peticolas Velvet Hammer, the Lakewood Temptress, Revolver Blood and Honey, or Community Wit, (some of the best local offerings) or any of the other amazing craft beers being brewed in today’s market.
Message from 2021: Restaurants come and go, and unfortunately that’s never been more true than during the recent pandemic. We have made lots of updates to this list to reflect the current state of things in Dallas!
Chicken Scratch / The Foundry – Located in North Oak Cliff, this home-style slow-fast food joint is so kid-friendly, you might be dragging them to the car when it’s time to go home. Picnic tables line the middle patio, which is surrounded by gardens, the restaurant, and the bar (your order food and drinks separately from one another.) Kids can wander over to a play area looking vaguely similar to a mini version of a Cross Fit workout—big tractor tires for climbing and iron monkey bars—then come back and try their hand at the jumbo-sized Jenga set. If they like to chill, they may just enjoy the ample seating space (my kid particularly enjoyed sitting in the gravel and pushing it around.) 2303 Pittman St. Dallas, TX 75208.
2021 Update: So sad to inform you that Chicken Scratch closed its doors permanently during the pandemic. *Crying emoji*
The Lot – This East Dallas gem is about a mile away from the Dallas Arboretum. It’s ginormous, with the biggest outside kid space I’ve ever seen. The sandbox (complete with chalkboards), I’m telling you, is jaw-droppingly awesome. There is a dog park, a place to play washers and corn hole, an outside wrap-around porch for parents (this is where the eyes- and-ears thing comes in handy.) Cool perk: your kids will be saying “Whateva!” to the hot summer days when the misters start.
Look for creative menu items made with locally sourced meats and veggies, a fab list of craft beer including local favorites from Four Corners, Franconia, Community Beer Co, among others, and popular out-of-state brews. They even have their own taco cart whipping up street tacos for large parties. Pretty much, your new home away from home. 7530 East Grand (at Gaston) Dallas, TX, 75214.
2021 Update: Another one bites the dust during the pandemic. The next few are still open, I swear! But if you are looking for more kid-friendly spots to have a beer, check out How to Pull Off Happy Hour With Kids or Family-Friendly Craft Breweries.
3. The Truck Yard – And you thought your days on Greenville Avenue were long-gone! Think again parents, Greenville Avenue has gone soft (and we like it!). Dallas Moms go-to foodie Bethany gives you the low-down on why Greeneville Ave is more kid-friendly than ever, right here. So get yourself and your kids over to the Truck Yard for seriously good grub and great craft beer. Oh, and the 15,000 square foot, well-shaded dining space doesn’t hurt when you’ve got strollers and hyped up tykes in tow.
The food trucks abound, and offer up yummy eats like cult favorites Simply Dosa, Easy Sliders, and Ssahm BBQ. These trucks rotate so what you had last month might not be there, time to try something new! 5624 Sears Street, Dallas, TX, 75206
2021 Update: The food truck rotation has changed a bit since this post initially went live in 2015, but it’s still a great spot for this list!
4. Goodfriend Burger – Because what goes better with a big juicy burger than a beer? Nothing. Owned by craft beer enthusiasts, Goodfriend always has 16 taps filled with amazing suds, a few hard to find, lots of local and plenty of classics. You can try the Stone Ruination, the Brooklyn lager and, for the hardcore fans, there’s a firkin/cask on rotation. The food rocks, too. Start with the loaded waffle cheese fries, then move on to any number of burgers, from beef to lamb, all of it 100% Texas-raised meat. This space boasts a large patio, wide open indoor space and super friendly staff. 1154 Peavy Road, Dallas, TX 75218.
5. Community Beer Company – One of the first breweries to pop up in the Design District, the Saturday brew tours and open house is a great way to enjoy one of North Texas’s top notch breweries. This is the real deal folks. Community is winning awards all over the place and it’s only beginning. Stop by for a sample or two, brewery tour and stay for the entertainment. Food trucks show up, games are played, local artists and musicians perform and families are welcome. Saturdays, 2-5pm. 1530 Inspiration Drive, Dallas, TX 75207.
2021 Update: They recently moved to a big, fancy new facility not far from the original location!