The boys and I recently made a stop in Alton, IL. on our #90DayRoadTrip. You might have read the post I wrote about Alton’s family friendly attractions. In addition to taking in a lot of history and outdoor adventure in Alton, we had some incredible family meals together at a wide range of dining locations. I would no hesitate to recommend any of the restaurant on this list for a kid friendly meal while exploring the area.
Located right in the heart of downtown Alton, this is the perfect choice for those looking for a nice sit down atmosphere that is still kid friendly. This neighborhood favorite has been serving the community since 1954, and it is easy to see why. Before we were even seated, a local woman was telling us about the delicious Cesar salad, we had also been advised to try the pizza.
While ordered the stuffed flounder, the boys each chose kid’s meals, except Joshua, who decided he needed an entire 14″ cheese pizza to himself. I am telling you, as these boys get older, they threaten to eat me out of house and home. Everything was delicious, but Joshua’s cheese pizza was the clear table favorite. We all shared this thin crust, square cut pizza with a sweet sauce and carmelized cheese on top. Tony’s Restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday, and seating is on a first come, first served basis.
My Just Desserts
This quaint little restaurant serving fresh sandwiches, soups and daily casserole specials, as well as baked-fresh daily desserts is the perfect spot for lunch in downtown Alton. Located inside the Old Krug Flower Shop that was built in 1845, My Just Desserts does have a down-home country feel to it. With drinks served in mason jars, quilts draped around various antiques in the dining room, you instantly feel at home here.
The $1 meat and cheese rolls are a great choice for little ones, and daily specials are written on the chalkboards around the room. Sit down and take a look to see what you would like to order, but be sure to order dessert first! My Just Desserts is known for their homemade pies, tollhouse brownies and multitude of other desserts that are made fresh every morning. We sampled quite a few during our visit, including the Cherry cobbler, strawberry pie, chocolate bread pudding and pecan pie. It was all just incredible, and we had a hard time finishing every last bite. My Just Desserts is open 7 days a week from 11am-4pm.
Pere Marquette Lodge
If you are an outdoor loving family like us, you will want to head to the Pere Marquette State Park before your lunch or dinner reservation in order to take in the sites and activities that it offers before visiting the lodge. Built by the CCC, the Pere Marquette Lodge was completed in 1939, and its rustic beautiful is definitely something to behold. You can’t miss features like the 700-ton stone fireplace that dominated the main entryway and restaurant. Stop before or after your meal to play the jumbo sized board games in the great room.
If you visit the Pere Marquette Lodge restaurant for a meal, you have got to try the fried chicken, it is cooked perfectly and served with a sides of mashed potatoes, corn and dinner rolls. It is definitely finger licking good. The setting here is casual yet elegant, and families are welcomed with open arms. The Pere Marquette Lodge Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner beginning at 7AM.
The Loading Dock
If the weather is nice, and you fancy sitting by the bank where the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers converge in Grafton, IL., then head on down to the Loading Dock. This waterfront restaurant is lively, with bright yellow decor, funky statue work and other quirky touches throughout. The menu is small but mighty when it comes to flavors.
The fish tacos are incredible served with black beans and corn, and the catfish fritters are light and crispy. The kid’s menu here has just two choices, but the prices are affordable enough to purchase smaller children adult meals or even split a few full sized entrees. You can’t beat this location for sites and sounds when the weather is nice. The Loading Dock is open during the Summer Sunday – Thursday 11am-10pm and Friday – Saturday 11am-midnight.
Fin Inn Restaurant
Want a unique local experience? The Fin Inn is a delicious seafood restaurant located in Grafton, IL. If you have a hard time getting little ones to sit still, then this is the restaurant for you. The original owner James L. Sieb collected and laid each of the limestone rocks that make up the restaurant by hand, and there are four 2,000 gallon aquariums located throughout the restaurant for guests to enjoy.
Eat and incredible meal while gazing at the tanks filled with local Mississippi fish and turtles. Entrees include seafood favorites like catfish and cod, as well as unique items like turtle soup and frog legs. Not a seafood lover? No worries, there are down home favorites like country fried steak, roast beef and salads too. The Fin Inn is open 7 days a week from 11am-9pm.