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9 Tips for Finding a Family Restaurant While Traveling

Traveling and taking a trip with the entire family is a great way to spend time together and bond with the ones you love and those who mean the most to you. Finding a family restaurant while on a road trip is a great way to decompress, eat, and wind down. While you’re on the road, there are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to finding a family restaurant that can save you time while ensuring you make the best selection possible, regardless of where you choose to stop.

1. Use a Smartphone App

When it comes to finding a family restaurant, one of the easiest ways to do so with the use of modern technology is with a smartphone app. Whether you own an Android or an iPhone smartphone, you can search for a family friendly restaurant near you with solutions such as Google Maps and even food applications such as UberEats, GrubHub, and DoorDash. Using a smartphone app such as Google Maps will not only provide you with photos, directions, and exact addresses of specific restaurants you’re interested in stopping in, but also provides additional user reviews and in some cases, direct links to menus and official websites of establishments, depending on your current location.

Benefits of Using a Smartphone App to Find a Family-Friendly Restaurant

Finding a family-friendly restaurant with the use of a smartphone app is not only a way for you to save time, but you can also do so efficiently, ensuring you have access to as many restaurants near you as possible. The right app will also allow you to search for restaurants with the use of filters, allowing you to look exclusively for restaurants that are welcoming to families with children of all ages. Smartphones can also assist you in the process of generating directions and providing you with navigation assistance once you are ready to stop at the restaurant you have chosen.

2. Ask Locals for Recommendations

If you want to go about finding a family restaurant locally, you can do so by being direct with locals that you encounter. Asking locals for their personal preferences and recommendations is a way to get to know more about any area you are visiting, whether you’re in a rural town or in a metropolitan city with thousands, if not millions of citizens. When you choose to ask locals for their own recommendations, it’s extremely helpful to learn more about foods that are common or popular in the region.

Benefits of Asking Locals for Their Personal Recommendations

Choosing to take the time to ask the locals for their personal preferences and recommendations is a way for you to discover why certain foods may be more popular based on the surrounding culture and climate you are in. Becoming familiar with the culture of the locals of any new city, state, or country you are visiting is key to finding the best type of restaurants and foods near you. Locals are also more likely to be aware of which locations in their region and area are likely to serve the highest quality ingredients, regardless of the type of cuisine you’re interested in dining on at the time.

3. Check Social Media Groups and Online Communities

While you’re in the process of finding a family restaurant, you may also want to take a bit of time to check social media groups and online communities for leads on the best restaurants that are family-friendly wherever you are located. Online communities and social media groups that are dedicated to regional food in the area you are in are ideal and can provide you with information and in-depth reviews on various restaurants that are optimal for you and your entire family. Before heading out on a road trip or an extended trip with your family, be sure to take time to research social media groups and online communities ahead of time, as some groups may require a waiting period before you are permitted access to any posts or information that is shared in the community.

Benefits of Joining Online Groups and Communities

If you’re a traveling buff or if you simply enjoy preparing for long trips ahead of time, joining online groups and communities is a great way to do so, for both short and long trips. Online groups and communities dedicated to food and restaurants in specific regions can help you quickly learn more about various establishments that are not only family-friendly but also budget-friendly and delicious. Once you are a member of an online group or community, you can then begin searching for terms such as ‘family-friendly’ to find the most relevant posts and uploads that are appealing to you.

4. Browse Online Reviews

Anytime you are in the process of searching for and finding a family restaurant, taking the time to browse online reviews is a must. Online reviews are not only a way for you to determine if the food served at a local establishment is of high quality, but they will also allow you to learn more about the menu offerings and the type of customer service that is also provided. Online reviews for local restaurants can also provide valuable insight into whether an establishment is truly family-friendly and welcoming to large families or families with children, toddlers, and babies. You can also learn more about the exterior of a restaurant and whether it is in need of farming fertilizer or if the air quality is poor due to a lack of HVAC maintenance with verified online reviews.

How to Find Verified Online Reviews

Visiting the official website of a restaurant does not always guarantee that reviews or testimonials are authentic and legitimate. If you want to read online reviews before taking your family to any new family-friendly restaurant, you will want to do so by finding reviews that are verified by third-party users first. You can do so by checking websites such as Google and Yelp to find reviews that have been uploaded and posted by verified users with extensive knowledge of the region and surrounding restaurants.

5. Visit Local Food Stalls and Street Trucks

For families who prefer outdoor excursions when exploring during a road trip, consider visiting local food stalls and street trucks near you. In most locations, street trucks and food stalls that are available to locals often offer high-quality food. Additionally, when you choose to stop in and dine at a food stall or street truck, you can do so regardless of the size of your group, as most of these locations set up shop near areas where there is plenty of available seating.

When you visit a food stall or street truck, you do not need to concern yourself with what the back kitchen may look like or whether there is a fire sprinkler system installation currently in place. Instead, you can often simply enjoy eating outdoors, with access to different garbage cans and receptacles within walking distance of the street truck and food stalls themselves. You can also find out more information about food trucks and stalls near you with a bit of research online.

Using social media, online groups, communities, and local search engines, discover when food trucks and stalls that are appealing to you will be present in your location. Review menus, stopping points, and cuisines ahead of time online. Compare food truck reviews to find a spot that is just right for you and your family.

6. Compare Photos of Food

If you consider yourself to be a foodie or if you have high standards for any restaurant you visit, even those that are family-friendly, you can also take a bit of time to research and compare photos of the food that is currently on the menu at locations you’re interested in. In order to find photos of the food that is served at local establishments, access the official website of your preferred restaurant. You can also visit local social media pages and groups or online communities that are dedicated to providing reviews of the local restaurants you want to learn more about to find the pictures you need to compare.

Advantages of Comparing Food Photos Ahead of Time

Even if you’re not a food critic, it’s important to choose an establishment that serves high-quality food whenever you are dining out to optimize your experience and to ensure your family is fed with the best ingredients possible. Comparing and reviewing photos of the food you’re interested in ordering or eating before visiting a local family-friendly restaurant will also help you feel much more confident in your decision. Photos taken by real guests and patrons provide transparency while also showcasing exactly how the items will appear when they come out of the kitchen. You can determine if an establishment requires rodent removal or a new asphalt parking lot by scrolling through photos before finding a location ideal for you and your family.

7. Search for Restaurants by Cuisine

Once you begin your search for a finding a family restaurant, consider which cuisine is most suitable for you and your family. If you have children who are picky or if you have specific preferences, you will want to conduct a bit of research ahead of time based on where you are headed and where you intend to stop and take breaks along the way. Learning more about various cuisines in specific regions you intend to visit will also help save time once you need to make a decision on where to stop and eat.

How to Search for Restaurants by Cuisine

Searching for a local family-friendly restaurant by cuisine does not have to be overly complicated if you have access to a smartphone or the internet. Finding the right restaurant for you is possible by using search engines such as Google, Bing, and even DuckDuckGo or Yahoo! You can also search for local restaurants and establishments if you currently have apps such as UberEats, DoorDash, or GrubHub installed. Even if you do not intend to place an order via the app with the use of your smartphone, you can still utilize the application to find a restaurant based on the cuisines you’re interested in or craving at the time as well as the zip code you are visiting.

8. Check Reviews for Kid-Friendly Endorsements

While you are in the process of finding a family restaurant, you should verify that the establishment you have chosen is genuinely suitable for families. Even after you read online reviews, it’s important to take it an additional step further to ensure that your family will be welcome, even if you are visiting the restaurant with toddlers or babies in tow. If you cannot find information about child-friendly accommodations on the official website of the restaurant you are planning to visit with your family, you may want to research third-party reviews with the use of social media and in some cases, traditional search engines such as Google.

9. Ensure There is Something for the Whole Family

Whether you’re searching for fast food, catering solutions, or a sit-down restaurant, you will want to find an establishment that has something for the whole family. Compare photos of food, reviews, and menus before choosing a location that is ideal for anyone you are traveling with, especially if you intend to go on a trip with all your children in tow. While you are reading reviews for restaurants that are suitable for families, you can also determine if a location requires new carpets or if they have recently had a new floor installed by a professional flooring contractor. Observing photos of the food, environment, and even the exterior of a restaurant will help you make a decision that is pleasing to the whole family.

Anytime you are out on a road trip with loved ones, finding a family restaurant can help break up the monotony while allowing you to explore local areas. Knowing how to go about finding a family restaurant with the help of locals and even smartphone apps can streamline the process and make your trip as enjoyable and memorable as possible. The more familiar you are with an area before entering it, the easier it will be for you to navigate it, even if you’re exploring restaurant locations for the very first time.

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