21 Carmel Indiana Restaurants Perfect for Families & Kids

21 Carmel Indiana Restaurants Perfect for Families & Kids

Dining out with kids can sometimes feel daunting. Attention spans, food preferences, and cost are all things you have to consider when choosing somewhere to eat. Luckily, many restaurants are family-friendly and you don’t have to feel like you are too loud or out of place. I’ve put together a list of 21 Carmel Indiana Restaurants that are perfect for families and kids.

The restaurant scene in Carmel is a real treat, offering a variety of international experiences and comfort food locations. You don’t want to miss out just because you’ve got kids! We’ve found all of the best family-friendly restaurants in Carmel where you can rest easy knowing kids are welcome and you can enjoy your time out. You might even find new cuisines or dishes the kids will eat!

a mom, dad, a girl, and a boy gather together to enjoy pizza and orange juice

21 Carmel Indiana Restaurants Perfect for Families & Kids


Texas Roadhouse

14758 Greyhound Plaza, Carmel
The kids never stop asking to go to Texas Roadhouse! It may be because they are a big sponsor of children’s sports and frequently give away free appetizers and kids meals. It is a great place to dine in after a game or tournament. There are long picnic tables for big groups and booths for families. They feature steak and ribs, but also offer kid-friendly entrees. The Kids Meals offer Lil’ Dillo steak bites and the bigger-kid Ranger Meals offer a child’s portion of steak or ribs, in addition to the regulars. Texas Roadhouse is famous for the cactus blossom, a fried onion petals appetizer, but I love the fried pickles!

Pizzology Craft Pizza & Pub

13190 Hazel Dell Parkway, Carmel
We love sitting at the little bar that has a window peeking into the kitchen so the kids can watch the chefs preparing food while we are waiting. Regular tables are awesome, too, because you get crayons immediately to draw on the paper table covering. Fire-baked, farm-to-table gourmet pies add a bit of variety to your family pizza night. Pizza is always shareable, but if you want a more sophisticated palate option for grown-ups there is also a kids menu featuring chicken parmesan, spaghetti, alfredo, or an individual pizza.

Old Spaghetti Factory

918 S. Rangeline Road, Carmel
Are your kids obsessed with everything vehicles and trains? Have dinner in a trolley car! The Old Spaghetti Factory offers a fun, family-oriented atmosphere with a menu that includes Italian favorites like bruschetta and spaghetti and meatballs. Kids love the trolley car and the fact that every meal comes with dessert. Reserve a seat in the open-air trolley car for the ultimate themed dining experience. The trolley car has tables that seat up to four people so larger groups will have to split up.

old spaghetti factory is one of the most unique Carmel Indiana restaurants with a trolley you can dine in

Loren & Mari Mexican Grill

2293 E. 116th Street, Carmel
Loren & Mari is an excellent Mexican restaurant conveniently located at the corner of 116th and Keystone. The restaurant is very big and there is a lot of space between tables so you don’t feel like you’re on top of the table next to you. We’ve been with a large group of 4 or 5 families and had our own little area so we didn’t feel like we were bothering anybody else.

The food is delicious and kids will find all of their favorites from quesadillas and tacos to hamburgers and chicken wings. There is an extensive kids menu for only $6.59 each, including a side. If you go during brunch, there is a buffet so you can try a little of everything to find out what you like.

Mellow Mushroom

2340 E. 116th Street, Carmel
My kids love the bright wall décor covering almost every surface—the giant mushroom statue, and the bus front that leads the booths. (You know we will be sitting in the bus booths if they are available.) We love getting the pretzel bite munchies appetizer to share and the Funky Q. Chicken (their BBQ chicken stone baked pizza, which is visually appealing to all with the fun swirl of barbecue sauce on top). They also are food allergy and sensitivity-friendly, which makes it great for meeting family and friends here.

Fork + Ale House

350 Veterans Way, Carmel
If we have spent the day playing in Midtown Plaza Carmel, Fork + Ale is a great option for grabbing a bite to eat before heading back home. The menu features pizzas, shareable appetizers, and more. There isn’t a dedicated kid’s menu here, but everything is shareable size. The patio opens up to the Midtown green space, which means we might get to check out a movie or concert with our meal. If they kids finish eating early, they can play ping pong just a few feet away while we finish our drinks.

midtown plaza Carmel is home to several Carmel Indiana restaurants including fork + ale. the outdoor seating area opens up to a plaza with a pool table and a wooden stage.

Thai & Go

2796 E. 146th Street, Carmel
Thai for lunch? Yes, please! This quick eatery (conveniently located next to Cookie Cutters kids’ hair salon) serves authentic Thai cuisine. Their lunch specials are affordable and the perfect size (although I usually always end up with leftovers). If spicy and diverse is your kid’s jam, go for the regular menu. Two can share a lunch special. If not, there is a dedicated kid’s menu with chicken nuggets and fried rice for more delicate preferences. This laid-back, order-at-the-counter eatery also offers an outdoor patio.

Bru Burger

12901 Old Meridian Street, Carmel
American fare, a local beer menu, and portion sizes that are more than generous (especially since the kids are going to want to try whatever I order). The kids meals are big enough to fill one up, and if I’m adding a dessert or appetizer, kids meals can be easily split as well. Excellent food across the board and delicious dessert means everyone in my family leaves satisfied. I also love that we can make reservations ahead of time to skip the wait.

Social Cantina

350 Monon Boulevard, Carmel
Social Cantina Carmel is a modern take on traditional Mexican street fare. This hot dining spot is along the Monon Trail across from Midtown Plaza Carmel. There is outdoor seating, a covered patio, a full bar, and lots of seating inside. With twelve tacos to choose from, everyone can find something they love on the menu. You’ll even find a couple of vegan options for those with dietary restrictions.

There’s so much more here than just tacos. Choose from delicious bowls, enchiladas, empanadas, chips and salsa flights, fajitas, and more. At $5 per meal—including an entrée, side, and drink—kids meals at Social Cantina are a bargain! Kids can choose from a cheese quesadilla, beef or chicken tacos, chicken tenders, or side taco salad. Kids will also enjoy the queso fundido and house-made chips. I loved their ahi tuna tacos!

Carmel Indiana restaurants: several trays of tacos and drinks sit on a wooden table at social cantina. several arms wearing pink sweaters reach over the table to grab food.

Kona Grill

14395 Clay Terrace Drive, Carmel
My personal favorite of all the Carmel Indiana restaurants, Kona Grill offers a variety of American food, along with sushi options. We love all of the choices for the Kids Meal Bento Box. Each one comes with a meat or sushi choice, 2 side items, an orange cut up like a bear, and a drink. It’s such a great deal! I love that you can add a brownie sundae to their meals for only $1.99 more, which means I can order a dessert all to myself. My kids always like to pass the time checking out the giant fish tank here while we are waiting for our food to arrive.

Blaze Pizza

12697 N. Pennsylvania Street, Carmel
When the day has gotten the best of me and there’s no time to feed everyone before they get hangry—but fast food is out of the question—I know I can count on the speed and efficiency at Blaze Pizza to make hungry bellies full. By the time I have finished helping everyone fill their drinks, we’ve got our pizza in hand. We love the fast-fired convenience of Blaze Pizza and the fact that each person gets to choose exactly what they want on their pizza. Also, the brownies are warm ooey-gooey goodness, if you need a pick-me-up after all that.

Woody’s Library Restaurant

40 E. Main Street, Carmel
Housed in the historic Andrew Carnegie Library, this American-fare restaurant and pub has a family-friendly ambiance. The inside is decorated with bookshelves and lots of wood, giving it a really cozy feel. There is also a fish tank my kids love to check out when we visit. They have large kids menus and dessert menus, so everyone finds something they enjoy!

Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream

210 W. Main Street, Carmel
The outside of Bub’s looks like a house, and for good reason—all of the comfortable ambiance inside. This is a burger joint through and through, offering beef burgers, elk burgers, and a giant burger known as the “Big Ugly.” This burger of insanity is a solid pound AFTER cooking, and if you finish this monster off, your picture goes on the wall. We love the sweet potato fries. With the marshmallow dipping sauce, it’s more like dessert! Little Bub’s kid’s meals have a price point that includes an entree, side, drink, and a busy bag to occupy them while waiting for their food.

Carmel Indiana restaurants: a little girl smiles at the camera standing in front of a sign that reads "Bub's Home of the Big Ugly Burger"

Red Robin

14599 Clay Terrace Boulevard, Carmel
Red Robin is one of the favorite Carmel Indiana restaurants for the whole family. The burgers are good and thanks to the bottomless sides, our family never leaves hungry. Their kids menu also features two bottomless entrees—the Mac It Yours and Swirly Twirly Pasta. Sometimes when our kids are extra hangry, we have the server bring out the sides first. Regardless of which Red Robin you go to, they are decorated brightly with lots of neat burger fixtures. And, usually, the kids get to leave with a balloon!

Pies & Pints

14550 Clay Terrace Boulevard, Carmel
I love the Kid’s Plate menu option here for the littlest of littles. (If everything comes out already chopped and finger food friendly, that’s more time I have to eat my own meal before it gets cold). There are great specialty pies and build-your-own options on the menu and we love the nachos for a shareable appetizer to start.

Charleston’s Restaurant

14636 Greyhound Plaza, Carmel
When I am looking for something a little more hearty, like a prime rib, Charleston’s is where we are going. (The lighting can be a little dark in here at times, just so you know before you go!) This family-friendly steakhouse offers a wide variety of comfort food, and if you have room left, I highly recommend the key lime pie. I appreciate a kids menu that offers kid’s ribs and sirloin, which allows my little one to feel like a grown-up. All kids meals include an entrée, drink, and dessert. Reservations are accepted here, so I always call ahead to cut our wait time.

Papa Fattoush

15 E. Main Street, Carmel
Expanding our palette, the kid’s menu here features more adventurous options, including Chicken Shwarma and Gyros, but the portions are huge on the regular menu. This means I can either share a meal with one of my kids or take leftovers home for lunch. They also have flexible, build-your-own menu options, which means even my pickiest eater leaves here satisfied.

A fun highlight for the kids is getting to see their food being prepared through the glass that surrounds the kitchen area. Of all the Carmel Indiana restaurants, we take out from Papa Fattoush the most because it’s that delicious! We’ve also dined in. There is a small seating section inside and a patio with a few tables on Main Street.

Carmel Indiana restaurants: a delicious platter of hummus and finger foods like grape leaves and hush puppies over cucumbers and tomatoes.

Matt the Miller’s Tavern

11 W. City Center Drive, Carmel
Of course, we have to stop and admire the large fountain outside when going in AND coming out of Matt the Miller’s Tavern. My kids wouldn’t have it any other way. This family-friendly tavern offers fare befitting of the location. We appreciate the kid’s menu here, for offering different serving size options for different sized appetites, with a little kids and big kids menu.

Noble Roman’s Craft Pizza & Pub

1438 W. Main Street, Carmel
If you haven’t been to a Noble Roman’s in years, then you have to check out The Noble Roman’s Craft Pizza & Pub. The pub reimagines the pizza place of our childhood, but maintains the same great flavor! They offer daily food and drink specials and the kids menu options are all under $5! We also love that we can choose from a large beer selection, including local brews from Sun King, Taxman, and more.


111 W. Main Street, Carmel
Serving Irish classics and American pub fare, plus a good-sized kids menu, means there is something for everyone here. We love the fried cheese skewers, fish and chips, huge onion rings, and locally supplied tenderloins. The indoor family side and outdoor patio dining options make it a relaxed and family-friendly place to grab a meal. When you’re done, head on over to the World’s Smallest Children’s Art Gallery right across the street.

MCL Restaurant & Bakery

1390 Keystone Way, Carmel
My kids are always stoked to see all of the food already laid out and ready to put on their trays at MCL. There aren’t many Carmel Indiana restaurants that are cafeteria-style, so it’s a unique experience and I’m quite happy to not have to wait for the food to come before we can eat. Another win for me? You can get up to two free kids’ meals for every adult meal purchased every Monday, so we leave with full tummies and a happy wallet.

a cafeteria set up with all stainless steel counters and trays of food with tongs in each one to grab food.

Explore More in Carmel

Don’t just go out to dinner! There’s so much more to explore in Carmel! Hop on the Monon Trail, which intersects Main Street just one block West of the art gallery, to explore miles of hiking and biking trails throughout Carmel. You can walk on the trail to Meadowlark Park, just north of Main Street off the Monon Trail.

The first stop South of Main Street is Midtown Plaza Carmel. Midtown offers restaurants, shops, a popcorn store, a splash pad, a playground, a candle-making shop, and a brewery surrounding an outdoor plaza where you can eat, drink, play pool and ping pong, watch a show on the big screen or listen to live music. Next to the playground are bocce ball and shuffleboard courts.

There are so many other parks and playgrounds in Carmel to visit. Check out all of the other wonderful things to do in Carmel with kids. Or, visit Carmel without kids! Here are 22 Carmel date night ideas.

an aerial view of midtown plaza Carmel, home to several Carmel Indiana restaurants, shows a grassy area, several seating areas, and blue shade umbrellas

What are your favorite Carmel Indiana restaurants? Share your comments and best Olynpics pictures with us below or tag us on social media using #PLAYindy. Follow Indy with Kids on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest for all of the best ideas and things to do with kids in Indy!

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