Family Friendly Restaurants in Franklin & Whiteland

Franklin’s food scene has grown tremendously in the last ten years.  From cafes to pizza parlors and Mexican restaurants to Japanese steakhouses, your family is sure to find something everyone will enjoy.  Dine on a golf course at Big Woods or try a margarita flight at Blue Cactus.  Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Franklin has something delicious to offer for every meal. 

Willard

99 N. Main Street, Franklin

With a fascinating history dating back to 1860, the Willard provides great food and atmosphere.  Known as the place with the best wings, sandwiches, and pizza, it is a casual eatery your family will love.  We usually order the pizza, but they also have a kids’ menu.  For just $5, your child can choose chicken strips, PB&J, or grilled cheese, along with a side and a drink.

Richard’s Brick Oven Pizza

229 S. Main Street, Franklin

The centerpiece of this unique restaurant is the authentic brick oven.  Your kids will love watching the pizzas being slid in and out of the 650-700 degree piece of masonry art.  We often like to build our own pizza, but they also have specialty pizzas and pastas from which you can choose.  Kids’ pasta options are also available.  Don’t forget a S’mores pizza for dessert!

Main and Madison Cafe

100 N. Main Street, Franklin

My absolute favorite breakfast and lunch spot, Main and Madison has the best quiche and pecan chicken salad.  Kids will also love the locally-made bagels, nutty granola, or the kids’ ham and cheese griller.  Order a lavender honey latte or hot chocolate with homemade whipped cream to go along with your meal.  Watch for their fun holiday specials, such as Valentine Breakfast in Bed or their themed take-and-bake cookie kits, with buttercream icing.

Twisted Sicilian Market and Eatery

175 N. Morton Street, Franklin

Started as a food truck in 2011, the Twisted Sicilian opened the Franklin store in 2019.  Touted as having pastas, paninis, and more, it has something to satisfy everyone’s craving for Italian food.  The extensive $6 kids’ menu includes choices of Grilled Cheese, Fig Nutty Jr, Mac-and-Cheese, Butter Penne, subs, sliders, and more.  Each meal includes a side and a drink.  Be sure to check out the market to find locally made food and products to take home, too.

Blue Cactus

188 W. Jefferson Street, Franklin

Opened in 2020, Blue Cactus is already becoming a favorite of many with its margarita flights, house-made tortillas, and more.  Our favorites are the Quesadilla Sampler and the Tinga Tacos.  The kids’ menu includes pizza, taco, Arroz con pollo, cheese quesadilla, or chicken nuggets.  On Mondays, kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal.

Kacey’s Pizza Spot

89 US Highway 31, Whiteland

Established in 1978, Kacey’s has great food and memorabilia.  Unofficially Whiteland’s museum, you will see old newspaper clippings, pictures, and plenty of Coca-Cola collectibles.  The menu includes pizza, pasta, and sandwiches.  The $5 kids’ menu includes choices of corn dog nuggets, spaghetti, grilled cheese, chicken bites, and cheese pizza.

Big Woods Franklin

1800 E. King Street, Franklin

Located on the grounds of Hillview Country Club, you can dine inside or on the patio to enjoy a scenic view.  Open to the general public and club members, you’ll find local craft beer from Quaff On, as well as local spirits from Hard Truth Distilling on the menu.  Food offerings include burgers, salads, sandwiches, and the famous Big Woods pizza choices.

Hoosier Cupboard Candy, Snacks, and Ice Cream

370 E. Jefferson Street, Franklin

Located in the historic Franklin Depot, Hoosier Cupboard offers an extensive menu to satisfy your sweet tooth.  The Smith Family owns the shop and created the menu with over 600 candies and 22 ice cream flavors to choose from.  You’ll find everything from truffles and old fashioned soda, to Sixlets and nickel candy.  There is even a Railroad Memorabilia Collection you can check out while at the shop.

Ann’s Restaurant

77 W. Monroe Street, Franklin

Ann’s was first established in 1952 as “Alta’s Place” and consisted of only 13 seats.  Now seating over 100, there is often still a line to get in.  Breakfast is served all day and includes omelets, biscuits and gravy, breakfast sandwiches, and more.  You can’t go wrong with the kids combo, which includes either bacon or sausage, an egg, and the option of toast, pancake, or biscuit for $5.  Salads, sandwiches, and burgers are offered for lunch, along with many kids’ menu choices, including chicken fingers, PB&J, and turkey or ham sandwiches.

Greek’s Pizzeria and Tapp Room

18 E. Jefferson Street, Franklin

Kids can choose from chicken nuggets, mac-and-cheese, spaghetti, or a mini pizza on the Greek’s kids’ menu.  They may opt to just share pizza with you, though, because there are so many choices.  Our kids love half cheese and half pepperoni sausage, while our fave is the Greek’s Special and the Greek Salad.  The breadsticks are true crowd pleasers while you wait for your meal, and the Tapp Room showcases local craft beers on rotating taps. 

El Abuelo Mexican Restaurant

989 N. US Highway 31, Whiteland

A Whiteland favorite for authentic Mexican food, several cheese dips and nacho favorites are listed on El Abuelo’s appetizer menu.  Tacos, salads, create-your-own-combo, enchiladas, and more are also offered.  The kids menu includes several items, from cheeseburger and chicken nuggets to an enchilada or kids’ sized nachos.  Don’t leave without trying the fried ice cream!

Coffeehouse Five

41 W. Monroe St., Franklin

Known as a “For-Benefit” coffeehouse, net revenue from Coffeehouse Five is used for free premarital counseling, marriage counseling, addiction recovery programs, and more.  Coffee is roasted in-house daily and pastries are baked fresh in-house, as well.  The Peanut Butter Mocha blended is my favorite treat, while my kids love the brown butter and chocolate chip cookies, as well as the Nutty Monkey smoothie (with chocolate added!).  Be sure to try the breakfast sandwiches served on homemade parmesan chive biscuits. Yum!

1823 Bakehouse

25 E. Court Street, Suite A, Franklin

Located just across from the Franklin Court House, the Bakehouse serves over 80 teas, along with desserts, quiche, sandwiches, soups, and more in their 100% gluten-free kitchen.  Your kids will love anything on the menu, but  the bakery items, donuts, and cinnamon rolls that are offered on the weekends are huge hits.  Be sure to check out their selection of gifts, such as tea accessories, soaps, and local artwork.

Kumo Japanese Steakhouse

1051 W. Jefferson Street, Franklin

If you like sushi, Kumo is the place to go.  The extensive menu includes over 50 types of sushi, as well as Hibachi dinners, fried rice, and Teriyaki dinners.  Every item from the kids’ menu also includes clear soup, a vegetable, and fried rice.  Offerings for kids include Chicken Teriyaki, Katsu, and Hibachi of chicken, shrimp, steak, or filet.  If you go for lunch, you can try the sushi bar lunch, Bento box lunch, or Hibachi lunch.

Chicago’s Pizza

1047 W. Jefferson Street, Franklin

Chicago’s has excellent breadsticks, pizzas of every kind, and even a salad bar with toppings and dressings to meet every palate.  The lunch buffet (currently closed) is a great way to try all types of pizzas they offer.  The dessert pizza with cinnamon and icing on a traditional crust is a must-have finale to your meal.  

Athens Greek Restaurant

1800 Northwood Plaza, Franklin

With excellent service and a mix of Greek and American foods offered, Athens is a great place to visit with kids.  The flaming cheese known as Saganaki is my family’s favorite.  Be sure to yell, “Opa!”  Spanakopita and moussaka are excellent Greek dishes they offer, or try the steak, seafood, and other American classics.  The kids’ menu has several options, including cheeseburgers, grilled cheese, and spaghetti.

El Pueblo Mexican Restaurant

1904 Northwood Plaza, Franklin

Serving Franklin for over 20 years, El Pueblo prides itself on great Mexican food at a great price.  From appetizers like chile con queso and specialties of the house such as El Pueblo Pizza, Mexican Street Tacos, burritos, and fajitas, all will find something they love.  Little Amigos can choose from an enchilada, quesadilla, taco, or burrito meal.  Don’t forget churros or fried ice cream for dessert!

Benjamin’s Scoops and Treasures

49 E. Court Street, Franklin

It’s a coffeehouse, ice cream parlor, and a deli.  Try the hot cocoa, chai latte, iced tea, bubble lemonade, or more from the drink menu.  Breakfast is served all day and includes crowd favorites like biscuits and gravy or build your own bagel.  Or you can choose a sandwich for lunch with names such as the Flying Kite, Ambassador, or General.  The kids’ menu includes PB&J, grilled cheese, or turkey and cheese.  Don’t forget dessert since the kids’ cone is only $2.

Court Street Cafe

39 E. Court Street, Franklin

Featured multiple times in Indy South magazine, the cozy atmosphere, scratch food, and burger that “requires two hands and extra napkins” is what this café is best known for.  The lengthy menu includes starters, salads, flatbreads and wraps, soups, burgers, and more.  The Saturday menu has a generous offering of breakfast favorites, such as French Toast specialties and Panfrunolas (folded pancake with Greek yogurt and granola inside), as well as some lunch choices.  Kids lunch items include a mini burger, grilled cheese, PB&J, kids’ nachos, or a mini pulled pork sandwich.

Mi Abuelito Mexican Restaurant

377 E. Jefferson Street, Suite B, Franklin

Friendly staff and fast service make this restaurant a Franklin favorite.  Your kids will love the brightly painted furniture all around them.  Cheese dips, nachos, and more are popular appetizers.  The chimichanga dinner, burrito bomba, Acapulco, and Pina Loca are house specialties to try.   The kids menu includes several items from cheeseburger and chicken nuggets, to an enchilada or kids’ sized nachos.  Be sure to get dessert!

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