But everyone needs a break from the kitchen sometime. The best places to go with kids for a night out on the beach are reviewed below. Some are great for their outdoor eating options and some are great for their kid-friendly atmospheres. All are great for everyone and have something for everyone, even the biggest "kids" in your group!
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
PROS: Billed as the "Best Backyard on the Beach," Red Fish Blue Fish offers plenty of options for families and their most active members. With games (tether ball, corn hole, human-sized Jenga) and plenty of room to run around, kids are bound to work up an appetite before the meal arrives and have plenty to occupy them with after finishing. The menu offers choices for the pickiest eaters, with a kids' menu that includes burger, chicken fingers, fried shrimp and grilled cheese. The great sunset views and relaxed atmosphere mean parents and other adults can chill out with one of their "Sunset Sips" while watching both the kids and day wind down.
CONS: RFBF is popular enough to mean there is a wait most good weather evenings. And since all activities are outside, cooler or wetter weather can be an issue.
COSTS: Apps $5-18 Salads $10-22 Sandwiches $13-18 Specialties/Platters $16-24 Kids Menu $7 Adult Beverages $7-14
GOOGLE SCORE: 4.1 stars
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
PROS: A favorite of the locals, Paradise Bar & Grill is one of the locals' favorite open-air bars and restaurants on the beach. It is located behind Paradise Inn on the Santa Rosa Sound with one of the best views from the pier. Enjoy people watching as much as eating and drinking. The live music is also a plus.
You will be eating right on the beach, with an option of playing in the water! The food is simple and good with a kids' menu featuring hot dogs, chicken fingers, and burgers. Enjoy the food, and relaxed atmosphere while watching boats, jet skis, and paddlers arrive at the pier or beach to grab a bite or a drink. And with plenty of seating and hidden in the back of the Inn, there usually isn't a long wait.
CONS: There is a weather proof tent, but since most tables are outside, cooler or wetter weather can be an issue. There are no games to speak of, but room if you want to bring your own! And your kids will find others to play too!
COSTS: Apps $5-20 Salads $9-13 Sandwiches $5-13 Specialties/Platters $10-14 Kids: Under $6 Adult Beverages $4-12
GOOGLE SCORE: 4.4 stars
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
PHONE: 850- 934-4852
PROS: Shaggy’s is located on Little Sabine Bay, across from the Boardwalk. A fun, island-style atmosphere with water views from every seat, Shaggy's offers a Happy Hour, weekly specials and Kids' menu. They even have a separate gluten-free menu. They have themed kids' events, from 4th of July necklaces and St. Patrick’s Day clovers to decorating their very own gingerbread cookies for Christmas. The activities are free as well as fun. And can keep creative ones busy before the meal arrives. There are usually lots of toys available in an open area of the restaurant as well. The kids' menu includes crispy chicken tenders, mac and cheese and an ala carte menu to allow you to order just one chicken finger or shrimp. Great for those light eaters. A cookie monster, two chocolate chip cookies with whipped cream in the center, is sure to be an incentive to finish. Kids can even fish for free, tackle provided!
CONS: It can be crowded at peak times, but that is an easy fix. Just call ahead and ask when is the best time to come!
COSTS: Apps $7-14 Salads $5-15 Sandwiches $10-14 Specialties/Platters $10-26 Kids: Starting at $1.25 Adult Beverages $6-12
GOOGLE SCORE: 4.5 stars
HOURS: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
PHONE: 850- 934-3141
PROS: Frisky Dolphin is located on Little Sabine Bay, with the Sandbar. A casual beach restaurant and bar with indoor and outdoor rooms and water views. They serve breakfast on the weekends and offer some great specials during football season and festivals. The kids' menu in one of the only ones that includes a kids' sized shrimp dinner as well as chicken tenders, grilled cheese and corn dog. All kids' meals are served on a frisbee with a toy to take home. And their tater tots are yummy! They do have some things to keep little ones busy, but bring some table top activities for the easily bored.
CONS: It can be crowded at peak times and there is no place to really let kids wander or play so they need to stay at the table.
COSTS: Apps $4-17 Salads $7-14 Sandwiches $9-14 Specialties/Platters $9-21 Kids: $7-8 Adult Beverages $6-12
GOOGLE SCORE: 4.3 stars
If you have a favorite kid friendly place to eat on the island, share it with us below in the comments. We always are looking for places to share with visitors too!
Tiki House is a favorite vacation rental home on Pensacola Beach for families. We love sharing our home with multi-generational and multi-family groups who come to Pensacola Beach for their family vacation! Check us out when planning your next family reunion or vacation!