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When you’re at the country’s largest mall, you’re going to want to eat! Check out these 15 kid-friendly restaurants at the Mall of America.
15 Kid-Friendly Restaurants at the Mall of America
If you’re lucky enough to be among the 40 million annual visitors to Bloomington, Minnesota’s Mall of America, perhaps you’re wondering the best Mall of America restaurants to eat at with kids? With endless crowds and over 50 unique dining options to choose from, the choices can be downright overwhelming.
Hold on to your taste buds! I’ve uncovered the best kid-friendly restaurants at Mall of America that go well beyond nuggets. Don’t wait until the family’s hangry; check out these best Mall of America restaurants before you go. Your tummies will thank you.
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Things get a little wild at Mall of America’s Rainforest Cafe. With animated gorillas and misting waterfalls located among beautifully lit fish tanks, the tropical atmosphere here is specifically designed with kids in mind. In addition, the kids’ menu, titled “Wild Bunch Favorites,” includes perfectly themed items such as Jurassic Chicken Tidbits and Gorilla Grilled Cheese Delight.
Perhaps the most exciting menu item at Rainforest Cafe is the gigantic “Volcano” chocolate cake for dessert. It’s large enough to be shared by a group of 4-6, and waiters sing their way through the restaurant to deliver this giant edible volcano adorned with a lit sparkler on top.
TravelingMom Tip: Wait times can get incredibly long at Rainforest Cafe during the traditional dinner hours of 5-7 p.m. Consider eating here for lunch for less of a wait.
Hard Rock Cafe
Families who love music will appreciate the musical and energetic vibe of Mall of America’s Hard Rock Cafe. Located inside of Nickelodeon Universe theme park, this 3-story restaurant includes a huge gift shop which is stocked with collectible pins, t-shirts, glasses, and more. While Mom and Dad enjoy viewing the autographed musical memorabilia, kids can dine on Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hot Dog or Twisted N’ Tasty Cavatappi Pasta.
TravelingMom Tip: Head to Hard Rock Cafe all day long Monday through Friday when kids 10 and under eat free with the purchase of an adult entree.
As one of the most family-friendly sit-down restaurants in Mall of America, a dining experience here is worth the wait time. After all, who wouldn’t want to eat a burger in paradise?
Kids love the pirate on stilts who walks around Margaritaville making free balloon animals. For adults, the non-stop Jimmy Buffet music videos playing on the TVs are the perfect addition to the Caribbean vibe and tasty margaritas. The catchy tune of “It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere” will have you and the kids humming your way home.
Buffalo Wild Wings
One of our family’s personal favorite Mall of America restaurant is sports-themed Buffalo Wild Wings. An MOA restaurant big enough to accommodate large groups, the atmosphere here is loud and totally family-friendly.
If watching sports on one of the many flat-screen TVs isn’t your thing, consider keeping the kids occupied with the free tabletop gaming tablets. Either way, get ready to chow down on delicious wings along with their signature rubs and sauces. Other casual classics such as wraps, burgers, and kids mac-n-cheese are also available.
One of the newest Mall of America restaurants is the Sugar Factory. This place is sweet! No pun intended. The swanky black and white decor and crystal chandeliers make eating milkshakes served in chocolate-covered mugs and burgers with rainbow-colored buns feel sophisticated. Though we have not had a chance to dine here or visit its signature floor-to-ceiling candy wall, I know we’ll be there soon. The Nutella Banana Milkshake is calling my name.
Don’t miss a chance to visit the Sugar Factory! Word is out that it is now one of the best things to do at Mall of America!
As the only Wahlburhers franchise in Minnesota, this sit-down burger joint is a real treat! Wahlburgers specializes in freshly made ground beef burgers, housemade condiments, and a focus on heartfelt hospitality. The friendly, music-filled atmosphere makes your family feel right at home here!
We love that Wahlburgers is a peanut-allergy friendly restaurant and that they have plenty of gluten-free options as well. Our menu favorites include the kids 3oz. Smahlburger (automatically cooked to well done), signature-flavored cupcakes, and housemade frappes.
TravelingMom tip: Due to its popularity, there is often a wait to be seated at Wahlburgers. Add your name and phone number to the waitlist upon your arrival and they’ll text you when your table is ready.
With free popcorn and a mouth-watering kids’ menu, Cowboy Jacks is a great option when it comes to kid-friendly Mall of America restaurants. Themed after a western saloon, the atmosphere here is both rustic and laid back. Seating here overlooks the mall corridor, which sometimes makes Cowboy Jacks feel busier inside than it actually is.
While our adult favorites here include the jalapeno cheese curds along with a Steak Salad, kid favorites include made-from-scratch mashed potatoes and the Cowboy Burger with curly fries. Also popular are Minnesota favorite, Walley Fingers, that can be found on the appetizer menu.
Noodles & Company
For consistently good food and a large variety of flavorful pasta options, Noodles & Company is a trusted favorite at Mall of America. As one of the only restaurants that actually has ‘buttered noodles’ on the menu, pair it with a side of broccoli and applesauce for a kids’ meal that both parent and child can agree on! The portion sizes are quite large here, so do plan accordingly.
If a classic hand-spun shake is calling your name, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Shake Shack! Over 20 varieties of shakes are available daily. Check the rotation of flavors listed on a giant chalkboard as you enter. Though a $6.00 shake, combined with a ShackBurger, ShackMeister, or ShackStack can add up to an expensive meal, the combination is totally worth the splurge.
Dick’s Last Resort
Expect to be insulted as fun and jokes are prioritized over table manners at Dick’s Last Resort. Sassy waitresses tossing napkins and slamming plates down on the picnic-style tables make for an entertaining meal, to say the least. In addition, the paper bibs and large paper hats given to patrons provoke loads of laughter.
Dick’s Last Resort’s wacky decor and purposely obnoxious staff make Dick’s more suitable for tweens and teens, but perhaps not impressionable toddlers and elementary-aged kids.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Calling all seafood lovers! This super fun family-friendly restaurant in Mall of America is themed after the movie Forrest Gump. Though most kids are too young to understand the sentiment of “Run Forrest run!”, they will still have a great time at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Adults here love to feast on Forrest’s Surf and Turf and I’m Stuffed Shrimp. Or sip on Bubba’s signature Coronaitas during happy hour. Kids get a kick out of the huge Bubba Gump Shrimp mascot who visits the tables. And fun things like slow-roasted ribs and fish sticks are included on the kids’ menu!
Another one of the best Mall of Ameican restaurants for families with kids is Cadillac Ranch! The trendy country-western vibe, music-filled background, and gigantic booths make for a fun family experience. As the only restaurant in the Mall of America with a mechanical bull, Cadillac Ranch makes for fun conversation and scenery.
Service here is quick and kid-friendly, and plenty of high-chairs are available for toddlers. Our littles typically opt out of the pasta and burgers from the kids menu and request the awesome flatbread pizzas from the adult menu instead.
TravelingMom tip: Prepare the kids ahead of time that only people ages 18 and up are allowed to ride the bull.
Culinary on North food court
If you don’t have time for a sit-down meal, Mall of America has several convenient food courts and fast-food eateries. Our personal favorite is the Culinary on North food court that was added on during the recent Mall of America North Garden renovation. Culinary on North is located on the third floor of Mall of America near Nordstroms and the JW Marriott entrance.
Designed with huge windows to let plenty of natural light in all year-round, Culinary on North features casual food in a design-savvy dining area. Adult favorites include Italian flatbread wraps (Italy’s take on a burrito) from Piada Italian Street Food and the Truffle Melt sandwich from the Melt Shop. Kid classics include Burger King, A&W, and Mexican tacos from Qdoba.
CRAVE and Twin City Grill
There are plenty of amazing Mall of America restaurants that are more suitable for adults. If you’ve left the kids at home, our top recommendations for the perfect date night out are either CRAVE or Twin City Grill.
Both feature a trendy atmosphere and inviting cocktail bar. We’ve enjoyed sushi at CRAVE and filet mignon at Twin City Grill. Lift a glass and relax, as these places will make you forget that you’re dining in a shopping mall!
If your family travels find you in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, be sure to visit the world-famous Mall of America and try out these kid-friendly restaurants! Visit here for a list of free things to do in Bloomington!