Two words: Kid Corral. Sometimes the best family dinner is the one where you get to drink margaritas and have adult conversation while your offspring run wild in the controlled environment of Cowgirl’s backyard playground.
With a menu full of kid-friendly food (spaghetti and meatballs, pizza, quesadillas), perpetually understanding staff, and a laid-back atmosphere, Harry’s makes it easy.
Back Road Pizza
The award-winning pizza will keep them at the table just long enough—then the kids are certain to abandon you to go play Pac-Man or pool upstairs.
Many restaurants have a kids’ menu, but La Choza is a parent fave for the range of healthy sides (applesauce, carrot slices, cucumbers) that come with the pint-sized burritos and tacos. Plus, as one reader says, “You’ll always see people you know there—or make new friends.”
The whole gang can cram into one of the long booths for a Wednesday night special of blue corn chicken enchiladas. Some chips, queso, and guacamole keep the kids quiet while you work on a Swirl of frozen margarita and sangria. Mmm … Swirl.
Kids are not just indulged but heartily welcomed at the Range, where the Little Annie Oakley (Sprite with a heavy dose of maraschino cherries) can be ordered in a spill-proof cup. Crayons and coloring paper come standard.
Farina Alto <
This is the kind of pizza adults like (charred spots on the bottom; grown-up toppings), and kids will eat, too. Farina’s far Northeast Heights location is roomier (and frankly, less hip than the downtown original). Either way, kids fit right in.
Weekend nights are a party at this red-and-white-plastic-tablecloth pizzeria, where the trick is to call ahead so your pie is ready when you get there. Good kids (and well-behaved adults) may be rewarded with cannoli.
Michael’s Kitchen and Bakery
Children are more than welcome at this Taos institution, where the reward for finishing your vegetables can be a junior chocolate sundae—or even better, absolutely anything from the bakery case.
This colorful, welcoming spot a short drive north of town is where Taoseños go for a chile fix. Kids can burn off a little energy on the patio before digging into a Frito pie.
Ranchos Plaza Grill
In the famous shadow of the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church in Los Ranchos de Taos, you’ll find classic New Mexican food in a rambling hacienda with a cozy portal and a shady patio for the kids to explore.
Peppers at Double Eagle
The formal dining at Double Eagle is nowhere near as fun as the more casual Peppers, in the courtyard, where you can dig in to fried guacamole and Pancho Villa’s Fajitas without worrying about perfect table manners.
A Bite of Belgium
It’s waffles for dinner at this European café. Big, beautiful, and perfectly sweet on their own, the waffles are a treat. For family members with special food needs, ask for the menus omitting gluten and common allergens.
Don’t let Trattoria de Bernardone’s highfalutin name turn you away from one of Farmington’s best pizzerias, where a side of spaghetti marinara or penne Alfredo is only $6. The Blue Moon Diner’s retro décor and classic diner menu make it a popular place to take hungry little athletes after the game.
Five and younger eat free from the kids’ menu at the new Burgers, Brownies & Beer Oh My! in Silver City. Bigger kids love the gourmet burgers, build-your-own hot dogs, and seven kinds of brownies. (Nab their carrot cake recipe on p. 64.)
Fratelli’s Bistro is the place to go in Gallup for pizza, pasta, and gelato.
Readers raved about Bovine ’N’ Swine’s BBQ Co. in Hobbs, where you can choose from six different “family packs” of pulled pork, smoked sausage, corn coblettes, and scalloped potatoes.
When you hear hollering from the backseat for the “place with the cow on top,” that’s Del’s in Tucumcari, the old-timey diner with the kitschy gift shop.