Find the Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Myrtle Beach

Ultimate California Game Zone in Myrtle Beach
Photo: Ultimate California Game Zone

You’re on vacation, you’ve spent a day on the beach, and now you want to fill your belly. But you’ve got kids in tow, so you know as a parent, not every restaurant will do. While the Myrtle Beach-area touts itself as a family-friendly destination, finding a place to eat that doesn’t serve McHappy Meals or attract tequila-swilling partiers and raucous spring breakers can sometimes be a challenge.

That’s where we come in.

We’ve scouted five kid-friendly Myrtle Beach restaurants (some with multiple locations) for stress-free dining with the family. They’ll please young palates and occupy their short attention spans while satisfying your adult taste buds, too,

Ultimate California Pizza Game Zone

Ultimate California Pizza Game Zone: Restaurant in Myrtle Beach
Photo: Ultimate California Game Zone

Think non-corporate Chuck E. Cheese’s, but with pizza that’s actually top notch. If you’re not into pizza, the menu also offers a full array of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes.

Arcade games galore keep the kiddos occupied while an abundance of flat panel TVs tuned to sporting events keeps the “big kids” up to speed on real world games. And there’s a full-service bar, too, so adult beverages are in play (couldn’t resist). It’s a fun, loud, let-down-your-hair kind of atmosphere, akin to a carnival midway.

What you need to know
Ultimate California Pizza Game Zone Menu
Phone: (843) 449-1160
Address: 959 Lake Arrowhead Rd, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572

Thorny's Steakhouse & Saloon

Thorny's Steakhouse & Saloon: Myrtle Beach Kid-Friendly Restaurant
Photo: Free 80-ounce Steak Dinner | Thorny's Steakhouse & Saloon

Locally-owned, this sprawling, kid-friendly restaurants in Myrtle Beach is festive, and a little bit wacky, with colorful merchandise and decor, and booths equipped with personal TVs to alleviate boredom (no more bringing your ipad to the table). There’s also a designated Kids Zone with arcade games and nursery-style play equipment. Kids meals are served on Thorny’s Frisbees, and are $6 for ages 10 and younger.

And then there’s the legendary 80-ounce Steak Challenge being held currently at Myrtle Beach Pelicans games. The upshot – if you can gobble down an 80-ounce steak dinner in less than an hour, you win a Thorny’s prize pack (doesn’t sound worth it to me, but go for it).

What you need to know
Thorny's Steakhouse & Saloon Menu
Phone: (843) 448-BEEF
Address: 600 S Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

River City Cafe

River City Cafe: Kids Restaurant in Myrtle Beach
Photo: River City Cafe

My kids call it “The Peanut Place,” but more accurately, it should be “The Peanut Places.” That’s because there’s a half dozen of these kid-friendly restaurants in Myrtle Beach, stretching from Murrells Inlet to North Myrtle Beach.

Whichever locale you choose – it’s got a laid-back, shack-like vibe where you’re encouraged to throw your complimentary peanut shells and leavings on the floor. If you spill a sippy cup or make a mess of some French fries, who cares?

And with disposable brown paper serving as table cloths and complementary crayons, your kids are invited to let loose. Leaving graffiti on the booths and benches is no sweat, either. The Socastee location near the Swing Bridge looks out onto the calming Intracoastal Waterway where you and the family can watch boats passing by. The oceanfront Surfside Beach location faces the Atlantic where you can sit out on the deck and hear nothing but the crashing of waves with the breeze cascading through your hair. You can tell I like this place!

What you need to know
River City Cafe Menu
Contact River City Cafe

  • 404 21st Avenue N, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
  • 208 73rd Avenue N, Myrtle Beach, SC 29578
  • 9550 Shore Drive, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572 (open seasonally)
  • Barefoot Landing, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
  • 11 North Seaside Drive, Surfside Beach, SC 29575
  • 4393 US 17 Business, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
  • 5835 Dick Pond Road, Myrtle Beach (Socastee), SC 29588

Joe’s Crab Shack

Joe’s Crab Shack: Kids Restaurant in Myrtle Beach
Photo: Sdrogers 2010 via Flickr

It’s a national chain, but it doesn’t feel cookie-cutter. The raucous atmosphere and the freshness of the seafood makes you feel like some wild and crazy dude named Joe really owns this ramshackle joint decorated with beach motif and old record album covers.

The music is loud at this kid-friendly restaurant, the servers and bussers dance in conga lines, sing, clap, and embarrass birthday celebrants, and there’s no way your screaming baby or mid-meltdown toddler is going to make waves here. So sit back, order a Shark Bite – a humongous cocktail featuring Bacardi Limon Rum, Seagram’s Vodka, Bacardi 151, blue curacao, grenadine and sweet and sour. It’s so potent you’re only allowed to order two Shark Bites per person (for good reason).

The one at Broadway at the Beach sports an outdoor playground overlooking the water for when your brood gets restless and needs to burn off some energy.

What you need to know
Joe’s Crab Shack Menu

Broadway at the Beach
Phone: (843) 626-4490
Address: 1219 Celebrity Cir, Broadway at the Beach, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Barefoot Landing
Phone: (843) 272-5900
Address: 4846 US 17 S, Barefoot Landing, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582

Lincoln Park Bar & Grill

Lincoln Park Bar & Grill: Kids Restaurant in Myrtle Beach
Photo: Lincoln Park Bar & Grill

Here’s a less obvious entry on our list of kid-friendly restaurants. Don’t let the “bar” part of Lincoln Park Bar & Grill throw you. The bar is contained as it would be at many other places you’d take your family, such as TGIFriday’s, Applebee’s, or Chili’s.

It’s basically a nice, clean, and spacious sports bar. You simply have the option to enjoy a game (or two) on the multiple large flat panel TVs hung throughout while eating with your family.

If the kids aren’t into sports, bring along your tablets as Lincoln Park has free WiFi.

It’s not quite gourmet, but Lincoln Park’s food is a definite step above typical pub grub and features made-from-scratch dishes, not frozen pre-made and dumped into the fryer.

What you need to know
Lincoln Park Bar & Grill Menu
Phone: (843) 668-4642
Address: 8739 US 17 Bypass S, Surfside Beach, SC 29575

Honorable Mention: Other Great Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Myrtle Beach

If the aforementioned selections don’t tickle your fancy, here are few more kid-friendly dining along the Grand Strand that I’d recommend:

Wild Wing Cafe, Barefoot Landing, North Myrtle Beach
Fat Jack’s Wings and Things, Surfside Beach
Carolina Tavern, Murrells Inlet
Creek Ratz, Murrells Inlet
Pawleys Raw Bar, Pawleys Island
The Coliseum, Socastee
Angelo’s Steak & Pasta, Myrtle Beach
Hot Fish Club, Murrells Inlet
Frank Theatres Cinebowl and Grille, Murrells Inlet
Mellow Mushroom, Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach

Westgate Myrtle Beach Pool
Photo: Westgate Myrtle Beach

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About Kent Kimes

Kent Kimes is an award-winning journalist who writes for a number of publications. He’s also the creator of The Weekly Surge, the entertainment and lifestyles section of Myrtle Beach Online. He’s lived in the Myrtle Beach area for 14 years with his wife and two children and performs with local garage rock act, Rhombus.