River City Cafe
Seven Grand Strand locations, including 404 21st Ave. N., Myrtle Beach, (843) 448-1990. rivercitycafe.com
With seven locations along the Strand, River City Cafe was described by USA Today as “one of the best places in the nation to feed the kids,” and our readers agree. Known for its great American fare with an assortment of delicious burgers, fresh seasoned fries and homemade onion rings, salads, sandwiches and more, River City Cafe is the place for comfortable family dining. Whether seated inside enjoying tossing peanut shells on the floor (fun for kids and adults!) or outside enjoying views, this menu will satisfy the whole family. Options for kids 12 and under include all the staples, so even the most discerning will find something they love. Served with fries, Doritos, Cheetos or a banana, main course options include a hamburger or cheeseburger, hot dog or corn dog, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets or a grilled cheese. Tip for the adults dining: head straight to the burger section that’s full of both standard and fun (but always delicious) selections. For instance, the OMG! Burger is two patties with bacon, Swiss and cheddar, mayo, lettuce, tomato and fried onion strings stuffed between two fried egg and cheese sandwiches. Nothing childish about that! River City Cafe is open for lunch and dinner daily.
1571 21st Ave. N., Myrtle Beach, (843) 444-1122; 3280 U.S. 17, Murrells Inlet, (843) 651-0909; 1101 U.S. 17 N., North Myrtle Beach, (843) 273-0595. mellowmushroom.com
Founded in Atlanta way back in 1974, this franchise has been serving up fresh, stone-baked pizzas to order for more than 40 years. The restaurants’ settings are eclectic, art-filled and family-friendly, and each location is locally owned and operated. Great customer service and high-quality food are the standard at Mellow Mushroom. With three locations spanning the Grand Strand, this is a great place for a sandwich, salad or creative pie like the Pacific Rim with mozzarella, ham, bacon, caramelized onions, pineapple and jalapenos. To say Mellow Mushroom is family-friendly extends to the menu. The kids’ section meals (which come with a drink and a sliced apple) are sure to please. The French bread pizza comes with either cheese or pepperoni (so the adults can go for a more creative pie). And if your kid is the rare exception and isn’t a pizza fan, other options include the pretzel dippers served with red sauce, meatball and mozzarella stacks, and mac and cheese. The locations also offer a great craft beer selection, which can be the perfect plus for parents dealing with those picky eaters. Each Grand Strand Mellow Mushroom location is open for lunch and dinner every day.
Wild Wing Cafe
4706 U.S. 17 S. (Barefoot Landing), North Myrtle Beach, (843) 361-9464. wildwingcafe.com
Located in the heart of North Myrtle Beach, Wild Wing Cafe delivers great food and good times. Serving up a variety of sandwiches, wraps, salads, burgers and, of course, delicious wings, the spot at Barefoot Landing features a large outdoor deck overlooking the water. The kids’ menu here is just as impressive as the views. Dubbed the “Wild Child Menu,” it goes far beyond the typical, pleasing both the picky and adventurous little eaters. Kids 10 and under can choose from a garden salad, grilled chicken (basted in any wing sauce), ham or turkey slammers (served with cheese on grilled Texas toast), fried shrimp, cheese pizza, chicken fingers, a cheese quesadilla, corn dog bites, cheeseburgers, and wings or nuggets in any flavor. If the main courses aren’t enough to impress you, the variety of side options will. Choose from a side salad, fiesta rice, fries (smiley or big fat), veggies or mac and cheese. This kids’ menu may even make adults a little jealous. Wild Wing Cafe is open for lunch and dinner every day.
El Cerro Grande
Multiple locations across the Grand Strand with newest location at 1002 29th Ave. N., Myrtle Beach. (843) 712-1844. facebook.com/elcerromb
El Cerro’s name has become almost synonymous with Mexican food across the Grand Strand. With its multiple locations, fast and friendly service and consistently good food, it has a recipe for staying power. You may not think of a restaurant touting Mexican fare to particularly cater to the younger and pickier set, but El Cerro Grande does. Their “Just for Kids” section, which is for ages 10 and under, is full of reasonably priced meals. Whether your child is a fan of ethnic food or not, this menu is full of options. Keeping in tradition with the rest of the menu, there’s a quesadilla and enchilada, as well as a mini taco salad. Stepping out to more standard kiddie eats, choose from chicken fingers and fries, mac and cheese, popcorn shrimp, the cheeseburger, a corndog and even a mini pizza. Kids will be hard pressed to say there’s nothing they like on this menu. El Cerro is open for lunch and dinner daily.
Ultimate California Pizza
Five Grand Strand locations, plus the UCP Game Zone at 950 Lake Arrowhead Road, Myrtle Beach, (843) 449-1160. ultimatecaliforniapizza.com
Ultimate California Pizza has been the home of gourmet, handcrafted pizzas on the Grand Strand since 1989. Pizza is their passion and they use only the best, freshest ingredients to make their hand-tossed pies. There are five Ultimate California Pizza locations in the area (including at Barefoot Landing and The Market Common) and the UCP Game Zone. All restaurants are family-friendly and great for kids, but the Game Zone tops the list. High energy and interactive games make what often feels like a long and boring meal fun. And with the ultimate sports bar, parents can relax and enjoy the game while the youngsters blow off some steam. There is an eat and play combo option, as well as a dedicated kids’ menu. Choices include a personal pizza with one topping of choice, a peanut butter and jelly pizza, chicken bites or wings (both served with celery, chips or applesauce) and ziti, a smaller take on the adult version with marinara and a garlic bread stick. There are plenty of great options for the adults too, with appetizers, sandwiches, wings and pies like the Buffalo Chicken, a hot wing inspired pizza with bleu cheese, mozzarella, roasted Buffalo chicken, red onions, celery and Monterey Jack. Ultimate California Pizzas are open for lunch and dinner daily.