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Where To Eat in Gainesville With Kids


Where To Eat In Gainesville With Kids

We visited Gainesville with the kids recently and where very surprised to find that this is not just a wonderful destination for families but it also has so many great options when it comes to family dining. We loved every single restaurant we ate at in Gainesville and not only was the food wonderful, whit lots of choices, but we also found some really fun places to eat at!  Here are our favorite places to eat at when visiting Gainesville with the family:

Satchels Pizza

If you are visiting Gainesville with kids Satchels Pizza is not to be missed.  This pizza joint offers amazing pizza, calzone and salads all served in a whimsical and quirky setting.  When you travel with kids you never know what will be that experience that provides them with a magical memory, that one thing that they will be telling their friends at school on Monday and one of those Wow! moments for my 7 year old was eating his lunch in a table inside a classic VW bus!

Salad at Satchel's Pizza

While we waited for our order the kids burned some energy in the playground and after our meal we all checked out the kitschy junk museum in the back.  The frosting on the cake was checking out the dessert menu through an old time viewfinder!

Dessert at Satchel's Pizza

Emiliano’s Cafe

Emiliano’s Café is the ideal place to dine if you are looking for a nice meal but still want a restaurant where you will feel comfortable bringing the little ones who might have a hard time staying put. We chose a table on the outdoor patio where we could enjoy the fabulous weather while the kids where entertained painting.

Ceviche at Emiliano's Cafe

Ceviche at Emiliano’s Cafe. Photo Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz, all rights reserved.

The menu offers enticing Latino dishes blending Caribean, Latin American and Spanish flavors while the kid’s menu offers the favorites like chicken fingers and sliders.  The food was outstanding from the fresh scallop ceviche to the melt in your mouth churrasco with chimichurry sauce and a side of amarillos.

Emiliano’s fun and welcoming atmosphere is enhanced by the friendly service. I love that this is a family owned restaurant where it’s not uncommon to have the owner come to your table and check on you.

I had a pan seared tequila glazed red grouper over a couscous and arugula salad with fresh avocado and strawberries. It is hands down one of the best seafood dishes I have ever had, the combination of the strawberries and avocado was fantastic!

Emiliano's Cafe in Gainesville

Southern Charm Kitchen

If you are in the mood for some comfort food head to Southern Charm Kitchen. This cozy restaurant is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of downtown it’s easy to miss but well worth the drive.  The relaxed atmosphere and the friendly service make this unpretentious restaurant the ideal place for a family meal.

Roasted chicken with caramel and sea salt at Southern Charm Kitchen

Roasted chicken with caramel and sea salt at Southern Charm Kitchen

While the menu offers some classic southern dishes there are also some interesting twists like the Roasted Chicken with Caramel and Sea Salt and a surprisingly good selection of vegetarian Southern dishes including Country Fried Tofu, BBQ Black-Eyed Tempeh, and Country Fried Seitan

The food is delicious, everything is made fresh and unlike other southern restaurants I’ve been to none of the dishes feel greasy or heavy. Both locals and visitors agree Southern Charm Kitchen offers the best fried chicken you’ve ever had, so make sure you order the Pentecostal Fried Chicken.

Dragonfly Sushi

If your kids are a little more adventurous head to Dragonfly Sushi for the best sushi in town.  Located in downtown it’s a great place to enjoy lunch while people watching.  The sushi was fresh and fantastic and the there was a great variety of offerings including some pretty creative rolls.  The crab wonton with apricot reduction is a deliciously combination of flavors and this sweet appetizer will have your kids licking their fingers!

Dragonfly Sushi in Gainesville. Krab wontons with peach reduction. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

Dragonfly Sushi in Gainesville. Krab wontons with peach reduction. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

The Hyppo

If you are in the downtown area make sure to stop at The Hippo where you will find a variety of gourmet popsicles that will appeal to everyone in the family from Straight Up Strawberry for the picky eater to a Chipotle Peach or Riesling Pear for the adventurous foodies.  You can enjoy these grown up childhood favorites at a second location in Archer.

Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops
Where to eat in Gainesville with kids

About the author

Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

Paula moved from her native Guatemala to SW Florida with her husband and two children and together they are discovering what it means to live life between two languages.

Paula studied architecture who now makes a living as a freelance writer, traveler and amateur photographer. She started her writing & publishing career as the editor of Bebé y Mamá, the first parenting magazine in Guatemala. She is the founder of www.GrowingUpBilingual.com and www.365thingsswfl.com and writes articles in Spanish and English for both magazines and the web on travel, food and bicultural and bilingual parenting .

When she is not on a plane or road trip she likes to create recipes inspired in the flavors of her native Guatemala.

Permanent link to this article: http://growingupbilingual.com/2017/latino-parenting/where-to-eat-in-gainesville-with-kids-2/


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  1. Tomi

    Thanks for the recommendations Paula. The cerviche at Emiliano’s looks delicious. I so want to try Southern Charm Kitchen’s “Pentecostal Chicken” just for the name alone. LOVE IT!!!

  2. Sarah Bailey

    What some great sounding places to eat, I have to admit I do love pizza so that one would be right up my street.
    Sarah Bailey recently posted…Why Aruba Should Be 1 of Your Must Travel DestinationsMy Profile

  3. Stephanie Jeannot

    Sounds like there were some pretty great eateries. I think I would enjoy having a meal on a vintage bus. Sounds cool. Love that they have a great sushi spot and also a place that does cator to vegeatarians.

  4. Jenn @ EngineerMommy

    We are always looking for family friendly places to eat with kids on vacation. These sound like great restaurants in Gainesville.
    Jenn @ EngineerMommy recently posted…7 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Look More ExpensiveMy Profile

  5. Jenn

    Those look like fabulous places to eat. I think I would love to try dragonfly sushi!

  6. Eileen | yesmissy.com

    Those sound like a great options for places to eat with kids. There’s quite a variety there too, so something for everyone!
    Eileen | yesmissy.com recently posted…Giveaway with Happy MapsMy Profile

  7. Ladonna Maxwell Dennis

    That first picture is precious! All of the photos of food you showed made me hungry and I ate well earlier lol. Now if people ask me where is a good place to eat in Gainsville I can share your post with them.

  8. Maurene Cab

    Eating is definitely part of any family vacation. I haven’t been in Gainesville, but I’ll sure remember the things you shared when I get there.

  9. rika

    These meals look so good! I want to try everything, especially the southern food!

  10. Dawn McAlexander

    There’s lots of tasty food here. There must be a ton of good places to eat in Gainesville. It all looks so good. It is making me hungry.

  11. lily@militaryfamof8

    Foods. Foods. And foods. No diet for the entire stay in Gainesville. I love all of it.

  12. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen

    Wow! there are lots of places to eat in Gainesville and from the looks of it they all serve good food!

  13. Ave

    Oh, yumm! So many delicious dishes! I really would love to eat in Emiliano’s Cafe and Satchels Pizza too! The food there looks amazing!

  14. leighanne borders

    Satchels Pizza sounds absolutely amazing. Actually they all do but pizza is my favorite. If I am ever in the area, I will certainly stop by these places for dinner.

  15. Lisa Marie Heath

    Luckily my kid will eat anything! These look so yummy though! if I ever make it to Gainesville, I’ll have to check some of these out

  16. Adaleta

    These all sound like great places to eat the food looks great!

  17. Jilly Spellman

    All of the food looks so delicious. I would love to try each of them someday.

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