Family-friendly fare

The Hop Ice Cream Café is a mecca for the pint-sized. Parents dig the desserts, too. Photo by Jonathan Welch
The Hop Ice Cream Café is a mecca for the pint-sized. Parents dig the desserts, too. Photo by Jonathan Welch

When you’ve had it up to here and there’s nary a baby sitter in sight, there are a few options to feed the kids and blow off a little steam at the same time. If nothing else, these places certainly won’t bat an eye if your rugrat seems to be in a slightly, er, exuberant mood.

Early Girl Eatery

Early Girl Eatery is known for its friendly service and comfortable Southern fare, accessible to children and adults alike. The owners of the restaurant, John and Julie Stehling, have children of their own. Perhaps that’s how they know that a pailful of crayons and brown butcher-paper tablecloths appeal to kids of all ages. Particularly colorful masterpieces adorn the walls of the restaurant as you walk in. 8 Wall St. 259-9292 earlygirleatery.com

The Hop Ice Cream Café

The Hop Ice Cream Café has frozen treats for everyone. Kids can have their cones rolled in sprinkles and topped with gummy bears, while adults can order flavors like curried coconut or bacon/dark chocolate. Bringing Fido along? The Hop also has ice cream for dogs. Seriously, Scoob! 640 Merrimon Ave. 254-2224 and 721 Haywood Road 252-5155 thehopicecreamcafe.com.

Tupelo Honey Café

Tupelo Honey Café serves modern Southern comfort fare with broad appeal that has helped to put the eatery on the map. The restaurant proclaims that kids’ menus “should bust out of the basic hot dogs and chicken fingers rut.” The menu has a grilled cheese with fries, but there are also veggie-burger sliders and organic dippin’ carrots with ranch dressing. 12 College St. 255-4863 and 1829 Hendersonville Road 505-7676 tupelohoneycafe.com.

Earth Fare

Earth Fare is a supermarket, but this natural foods mecca is family-minded. Every Thursday, from 4 until 8 p.m., the café offers a deal that’s hard to beat. With the purchase of an adult meal for $5 or more, kids eat free. 66 Westgate Parkway 232-9951 and 1856 Hendersonville Road 210-0100 earthfare.com.

Twisted Crêpe

Kids love gooey cheese — which is why they love the Twisted Crêpe. The Shuurman’s Monte is a surefire hit with the kids. Why? Because it’s filled with melty mozzarella, ham and turkey. Plus, it comes with a side of sweet syrup for dipping, ensuring happy faces every time. The management assumes no responsibility for sugar crashes. 62 Haywood St. 505-3855.

Chai Pani

The Indian street food of Chai Pani has earned accolades in GQ and the New York Times. But will kids go for it? They will when the menu includes rice and daal with chapati, kids’ potato parathas or grilled corn on the cob with lime, salt and ghee. Plus, kids eat free every Wednesday. 22 Battery Park Ave. 254-4003 chaipani.net.

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