Chefs’ Picks: Kid-Friendly Snacks in Los Angeles

When it’s time for some food-centric adventures in Los Angeles, local chefs love to bring their children along. Here are a few chefs’ favorite places for a fun family meal.

Chefs’ Picks tracks down what the pros are eating and cooking from coast to coast.

With great restaurant options and mild weather year-round, Los Angeles is a city made for culinary exploration. And when it’s time for some food-centric adventures, local chefs love to bring their children along. Here are a few chefs’ favorite places for a fun family meal.

Say Goodbye to Silverware

Though Wurstküche may be billed as a beer hall, Erin Eastland, of Santa Monica’s Milo & Olive and Huckleberry, finds that it has plenty of appeal for the whole family. “Wurstküche is perfect because it's super causal and loud, the kids can draw on the brown paper-covered tables [and] there are copious amounts of fries,” explains Eastland. Both the no-forks-needed sausages and the fruit sodas are a win for her family, with exotic flavors (including elderberry, peach and cucumber) to suit practically every taste. “Pretty much a win all around,” she says.

Ted Hopson, executive chef of Studio City's The Bellwether, also favors sharing a not-so-standard meal with his kids: Lunasia Dim Sum House in Pasadena. Their go-to order? Soy noodles, followed by an assortment of dumplings. “The girls love it because they get to eat dumplings with their hands, which for them is a ton of fun,” Hopson says.

Exciting Eats

Chef Tomonori Takahashi, founder of JINYA Ramen Bar, has a few favorites for family dining. When it comes to special occasions, though, he and his brood head to Barton G. The Restaurant. “Everything on the menu is fun for the eyes, like dishes with giant forks and spoons or a cotton candy-topped Marie Antoinette,” he says. “The presentations are so unique and memorable, and my kids love it.”

A Taste for Toys

When Chef Philip Pretty steps away from plating seasonal cuisine at Restauration, he likes to take his daughters to the Starling Diner on 3rd Street in Long Beach. “Aside from being their favorite spot to get pancakes, the diner has great toys for the kids to play with before or after they eat!”

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