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  • Anna Kendall

The BEST Kid-Friendly Menus at Tri-Cities Eateries

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

As a mother of a fussy eating 2 year-old, I was interested in finding local restaurants that have unique meal options that my daughter would eat. While several restaurants serve the beloved mac + cheese, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese, and all the other 'cheesey' dishes, I was looking for additional unique options.

I was happy to find we have several restaurants that are preparing delicious meals for our kids with a new level of freshness and flavor to expand their palettes! Let's start...


Who can't resist going to Buttermilk? Between the modern farmhouse vibes to the delicious food, they never disappoint in flavor or portion sizes. They even have a ⅓ pound black angus hamburger on the kids menu!

They've kept their kids menu consistent overtime because it works. Kids love the fresh buttermilk pancakes. Parents love that you can add fresh berries to the french toast or a cup of fresh fruit to the omelet. Kids get excited about fresh fruit when mom doesn't serve it.


Colonial Cafe has the biggest kids menu of all the restaurants reviewed. They understand that happy kids make happy parents. Colonial Cafe actively works to keep up with trends by carrying specialized milk as well as a gluten free meal options. One thing that stands out to me the most is the quality of meat, something that I think many parents try to stay aware of. All of their meat comes from Reams Meat Market out of Elburn.

I'm more than impressed with their pursuit to keep up with what people are feeding their kids while ensuring they are using high quality ingredients.


Syrup is one of the newer restaurants to the community but it is quickly appealing to the Tri-Cities residents with their scratch-cooking family food. One of the highlights to the kids menu is that you can upgrade the kid's drink to a delicious smoothie with fruit puree or fresh squeezed orange juice.

The kids will enjoy their meal and they get to walk away with a couple stickers.


Riganatos has been a long-standing family restaurant serving our community for the last 10 years. Nothing beats the family-focused atmosphere with the fresh aroma of scratch cooking, the Italian way. It's one of the few restaurants where you know your child is getting food made from scratch including fresh made marinara sauce, hand dipped chicken tenders, and handmade pita style pizza.


Located in the heart of Geneva, Gia Mia is a hotspot for fresh made Italian food. Just about everything on the kids menu is made from scratch including hand stuffed cheese ravioli, handcrafted meatballs, and perfected house-made mac and cheese. Both their pasta and pizza can be modified to be gluten free (there is a small up charge for this).

The best part after a delicious meal with your kids is that you can stroll through Downtown Geneva and browse the local stores, but you can also visit their restaurant on First Street Plaza in Downtown St. Charles too!


Alexander's Cafe conveniently serves our community with two locations, one in St. Charles and the other in Elgin. They have a full kids menu that takes care of both breakfast and lunch needs. Their kids menu is playful and the food options have been skillfully named to appeal to kids.

My daughter's favorite dish is called the Howdy Doody Egg, where the fried egg is hiding in the toast. The menu also includes fresh squeezed orange juice as well as Wild Strawberry OJ. What kid wouldn't get excited about these flavors?!

Have you tried any of these family-friendly hotspot eateries in the Tri-Cities? What did you think? Do you have additional suggestions of eateries and dishes we should add to this list?

TELL US ABOUT IT! Email us at to share your experiences! Better yet, send us a picture of you and your crew enjoying a meal at one of these eateries!


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