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All parents want to eat good food, but kids need to be taught that everything doesn’t need to be dunked in ketchup. These Boulder restaurants offer menu options that will test your kids’ comfort zones, as well as selections for picky eaters. Warning: You may find yourself actually wanting to help finish your child’s meal.
This sushi restaurant just off Pearl Street gives kids a chance to sample Japanese cuisine. The menu lets them choose two items from a list of six choices that include sushi, dumplings, and tofu teriyaki; and the meals come with miso soup, rice, fruit, and ice cream.
Chef’s Pick for Kids: Chicken yakitori and the shrimp and tamago (egg) sushi
For the Not-So-Adventurous Eater: The kids Udon, a simple soup with noodles and broth
Visit: 1221 Spruce St., 303-440-0733
Arugula Bar e Ristorante
This North Boulder restaurant features a main menu that adjusts twice weekly to focus on seasonal ingredients. Kids can choose from different pasta options and meals with grilled proteins. Chef and proprietor Alec Schuler says he tries to keep the kids’ menu simple, and created from the same ingredients that go into adult meals.
Chef’s Pick for Kids: The grilled shrimp or chicken with fresh vegetables and potatoes
For the Not-So-Adventurous Eater: The penne pasta with butter and parmesan
Visit: 2785 Iris Ave., 303-443-5100
FATE Brewing Company
The beer isn’t the only good thing on the menu at this brewery in East Boulder. Parents can eat house-smoked brisket and sip local brews from a made-from-scratch meny while they dine with their kiddos. Owner and founder Mike Lawinski says kids can nosh on healthy options, like hummus and hot or cold veggies, as well as mini versions of meals on the regular menu. A kids’ ramen dish is coming soon.
Chef’s Pick for Kids: Chicken and sausage gumbo or chicken and cheese flatbread
For the Not-So-Adventurous Eater: FATE also offers staples like mac ‘n’ cheese and cheeseburgers, and Lawinsky says that if a kid can’t find something they are happy with, the kitchen can create something custom.
Visit: 1600 38th St., 303-449-3283
Give your kid a chance to try unfamiliar food. Gurjeet Dhanoa, the owner of this South Boulder spot, says the Indian options on the the kids’ menu—like tandoori chicken and chicken pakoras—were created based on what her son has liked eating from a young age.
Chef’s Pick for Kids: Meatball Masala, beef meatballs served in creamy Masala curry
For the Not-So-Adventurous Eater: Pepperoni and cheese naan—the cheese and pepperoni are baked into the bread so it’s a twist on a familiar favorite
Visit: 619 S. Broadway, 303-543-7339
Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
The intricately hand-carved teahouse located near Boulder Creek was a gift from Boulder’s sister city of Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Both kids and adults can sample items from different cuisines around the world in a unique setting. The kids’ menu features international cuisines including flautas and a croque monsieur.
Chef’s Pick for Kids: Bakmie Goreng—Balinese stir-fried noodles and vegetables prepared with a sweet soy sauce and choice of chicken or tofu. General manager Matt Kiefer says the noodles are a unique item that is still accessible for kids.
For the Not-So-Adventurous Eater: Tori No Karaage—chicken nuggets with rice and Japanese dipping sauce that is similar to a sweet soy sauce
Visit: 1770 13th St., 303-442-4993