I’ve been eating out in Bloomington for 7+ years and have been utterly amazed at the sheer number of restaurants.
You can find places that are unique and quaint. We have all varieties of ethnic, mainstream, chic, fancy, or tiny hole in the wall cuisine. The sheer volume of this variety is staggering. After a few quick brainstorming session, I came up with over 100 places totally unique to Bloomington, and I keep running across more every day! As newlyweds, my husband and I, savored the variety and local flair. We loved finding a new place to share with out of town visitors. Bloomington was and is a downright fantastic place to eat.
Eating out After Baby
Deciding where to eat with the two of us was easy: do we feel like eating this type of food, and do we like the service? Our love of eating out didn’t change when we added our son, but the criteria certainly changed. Favorite restaurants took serious hits when we discovered there wasn’t a changing table. Sometimes there was only one cracked and Cheerio-caked high chair, or we were seated in far off corners out of fear that the baby might disturb someone’s dinner.
While some restaurants fell off the favorites list, others rose to the top. “Look, honey! There’s a changing table. In the men’s room!” “The server brought our kid’s food first? Without asking? Give this one a gold star!”
I started asking around to get recommendations for places that were considered kid-friendly. I also wanted to know what other parents felt was helpful in ensuring a good dining experience.
Questions like these rose to the top:
- are there crayons or do I need to pack the toy bag?
- does the kids menu consist of rubbery chicken fingers and goopy mac n’ cheese?
- is there space for a stroller if we want to take a walk before or after we eat?
Here’s what made my list:
- Broad range of kid menu options with similar flair of the adult menu
- Kid-friendly beverages
- Menu available online for pre-visit prep
- Clean and functional highchairs, boosters, and slings
- Changing tables in women’s and men’s restrooms
- Stroller friendly spaces
- Efficient ordering and quick service
- Provided kid entertainment (crayons, special treats)
What things make the top of your list when looking at where to eat out around town?
Bloomington Mom’s Blog will be sharing reviews of our favorite local places with you! Have suggestions for super kid-friendly places in Bloomington? Let us know! Submit a Restaurant using the link below.