Phoenix With Kids

Tempe Restaurants with Kids – Our favorite family restaurants in Tempe

Chris and Jana Tingom

It’s no secret that Tempe is home to some of Arizona’s best places to eat! And when we eat, we almost always take the kids! Our two kids, ages 2 and 5, don’t quite have the same culinary palette that we do, but we drag them along anyways.

Here are some of the best restaurants for kids in Tempe.

The Normal Diner – Breakfast and Lunch Diner

I had the Chicken ’N Waffles (amazing red velvet waffles and fried chicken), and my wife had the Turkey Avocado Sandwich (with smoked turkey). What an awesome restaurant! Located inside a renovated hotel called “Graduate Tempe Hotel” the Normal Diner serves breakfast and lunch until 2 pm. I should mention that they also have a coffee bar, with separate seating, and it’s called The Normal Coffee.

There’s plenty of free parking out front, too. Inside is a huge mural with crazy paintings of various scenes (a bird, a car, some snow covered mountains, and a dozen celebrities). There’s also a really cool wall with old 8 track tapes lined up.

The Normal Diner
225 East Apache Boulevard
Tempe, AZ 85281

Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill – Tempe Marketplace Tavern

Don’t miss the sensational appetizers here at Thirsty Lion.

The runaway favorite in our household are the Traditional Scotch Eggs (boiled eggs that are deep fried and wrapped in pork sausage). They’re epic! Or, try the awesome Soft Pretzel (served with fondue!), Our family has eaten at Thirsty Lion several times.

It’s a great pick at Tempe Marketplace and serves a wide selection of food. While they do have a huge selection of beer, cider, and cocktails, they also have an extensive menu that features local and regional produce. For the main course, we’ve been tasting off of the seasonal menu. We recently tried a pork and black cherry medallion and it was fantastic.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill
Tempe Marketplace
2000 East Rio Salado Pkwy.
Suite 1041
Tempe, AZ 85281

NCounter – Breakfast & lunch in downtown Tempe

We’ve enjoyed NCounter on a few occasions. It’s a terrific stop when you are downtown and looking for a delicious breakfast, or a salad or sandwich.

A post shared by Ncounter (@ncounteraz) on

310 S. Mill Avenue
Suite A101
Tempe, AZ 85281

Crepe Bar

Don’t miss this amazing place to go for coffee and awesome crepes! They have some amazing crepes which make a really great breakfast or lunch. Crepe Bar is located in the south part of Tempe.

The owners are pretty involved with the local coffee community as well and really know the coffee craft. On top of all of that, it’s a REALLY great place for breakfast or lunch! They serve delicious crepes and have lots of variety on the menu. Try the breakfast burro crepe, or the basil chicken.

Crepe Bar
7520 S Rural Rd
Tempe, AZ 85283

Cartel Coffee Lab

One of Arizona’s best coffee shops, and located right here in the heart of downtown Tempe, AZ. Cartel Coffee Lab has six locations statewide and roasts coffee at this location. Located on the south west side of University and Ash. We’ve written more about Cartel Coffee Lab elseware, but go and enjoy a great coffee, or one of their craft beers.

Some days it’s so busy that it’s hard to find a parking place. I’ve been coming here since they first opened.

Cartel Coffee Lab
225 W University Dr
Ste 101
Tempe, AZ 85281

The Chuck Box

Definitely one of Tempe’s more interesting and casual hamburger spots. The Chuck Box has been serving great hamburgers in Arizona since at least the ’90s. They have a huge grill and cook burgers while you wait in line. Ask for the “Big Juan” for a delicious burger with cheese. A classic Arizona restaurant, for sure! Good burgers, served rapidly.

The Chuck Box
202 E University Dr
Tempe, AZ 85281

Cornish Pasty Co.

A fascinating niche restaurant concept that has been serving unique Cornish Pasty’s. For over 10 years they’ve been serving pasty’s and beer. A pasty is a bit like an empanada, but comes from the United Kingdom. They were created for miners who worked underground.

Miners would bring them underground and they could eat them with minimal light. There are over 40 different pasty filling options, so you’ll never be bored!

Cornish Pasty Co.
960 W. University Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85281

425 S. Mill Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85281

Press Coffee at Skywater Apartments

One of the newest entrants to Tempe’s vibrant coffeee scene is the prestigious Press Coffee. They have locations in Scottsdale, and at the airport. They are located in the base of the beautiful Skywater Apartments just across the street from Tempe Center for the Arts on Rio Salado Parkway.

Plenty of free parking, free wifi, and great coffee.

Press Coffee
601 W. Rio Salado Pkwy.
Tempe, AZ 85281

Thai Elephant Bistro

One of the best Thai restaurants in Tempe and a favorite for business lunches. Thai Elephant has been dishing up excellent and authentic Thai cuisine for more than 15 years. I’ve been going steady with the Red Curry all these years. If you don’t like curry, try the Pad Thai, or any of the noodle dishes.

Thai Elephant
815 W University Dr
Tempe, AZ 85281

Umami – Ramen noodles

Ramen noodles are making a comeback! But, the real and authentic ramen noodles! There are several terrific places to try for ramen in Tempe, and three of our favorites are Republic Ramen, Tampopo Ramen, and Umami. We tried Umami recently and had a terrific time and loved the options for customizing our ramen dish.

This is authentic ramen, so it’s way better than those little packets you can buy at the grocery store. Enjoy!

26 E University Dr
Tempe, AZ 85281

Dehli Palace – Indian food

One of the go-to places for Indian cuisine in Tempe. I have friends that drive 30 minutes just for the food at Dehli Palace! Lots and lots of traditional entrees available, as well as a large buffet.

Dehli Palace
933 E University Dr
Ste 103
Tempe, AZ 85281

Cheba Hut

Looking for a quick sub sandwich? Try a local favorite called Cheba Hut. I should warn you, it’s a little strange. The whole restaurant and menu have a marajuana theme. No kidding! Everything on the menu is named after something in drug culture, even though they don’t include marajuana in the sandwiches. Locals swear by Cheba Hut and claim they make the best submarine sandwiches in Tempe. I would agree, they’re quite marvelous and unique. There are 4 locations that we know of valley wide, and they’ve been opening locations in other states, too.

Cheba Hut
960 W University Dr
Tempe, AZ 85281


Another family favorite. Haji-Baba is a middle eastern grocery store and restaurant. The restaurant is extremely casual, but serves delicious gyros, falafels, schwarma, and baklava. Definitely a great place to stop for both dine-in and take-out! Plus, it’s fun to see all of the interesting middle eastern food in the grocery section.

1513 E Apache Blvd
Tempe, AZ 85281

Have you found a great restaurant in Tempe that’s good for kids and families? Leave a comment, and let us know!

As a side note, you might like our recommendation of Tempe coffee shops.


  • Chris and Jana Tingom

    We live in Scottsdale, AZ and have three children, ages 10, 7 and 3. They are full of energy, and so we're always looking for new things to do. Come join our family adventures!

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