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April 7, 2021
One of the top trending stories on TampaBayParenting.com is about kid-friendly restaurants to try in Tampa Bay. Some of our top picks include the St. Pete Pier, Sparkman Wharf and the Columbia Cafe at the Tampa Bay History Center—all conveniently outdoors.
When we wanted to grow that list with some other amazing options, we knew exactly who to turn to: foodie expert and mama of three, Kiva Williams of @thefunfoodiemama.
Before we get to her top picks, let’s get to know her.
TBP: Kiva, what inspired you to start @thefunfoodiemama?
KW: My love for finding fun things to do and eat in Tampa Bay and wanting to share it with other moms and friends.
TBP: What do you love about the food scene in Tampa Bay?
KW: It’s constantly growing! I love that depending on what side of town or city you’re in, you can find authentic cuisine anywhere. Of course, it helps to have the inside scoop on the newest restaurants that are popping up.
TBP: Has your passion for food rubbed off on the kids?
KW: Yes! My oldest is a total foodie just like his mama. We’re basically the same person when it comes to enjoying food and being willing to try anything at least once. His favorite food to eat is sushi and his favorite fruit to eat is mangoes and pomegranate.
TBP: What are some of your favorite things to do as a family in Tampa Bay?
KW: We love taking a family stroll on the Tampa Riverwalk, spending the day at the St. Pete Pier and St. Pete Beach or taking a Dolphin Cruise at Clearwater Beach.
Eggs Up Grill, 3920 US-301 N., Riverview 33578 | Eggs Up Grill serves breakfast and lunch food which most kids enjoy any time of the day. I love that my oldest can order a burger from their lunch menu and my two younger kids can order pancakes or waffles, and all three will be happy!
Bavaro’s Pizza Napoletana & Pastaria, 945 Central Ave., St. Pete, 33705 | (Additional locations in Tampa and Sarasota) | This restaurant is a family favorite! The authentic Italian flavors of their sauces and cheese shine through with each bite. I love that they have a pizza that fits everyone’s taste buds, even my vegetarian husband’s.
Armature Works, 1910 N. Ola Ave., Tampa, 33602 | With over 10 food concepts to choose from, your kids are bound to find something they like here. The best part for our family is the outdoor seating area, a perfect location to enjoy the beautiful views of downtown Tampa while your kids run around and play.
Sparkman Wharf, 615 Channelside Dr., Tampa, 33602 | Come for the food and stay for the family activities. This place has a calendar full of daily events your family would be sure to love. Whenever we come here, my kids never want to leave because they’re having too much fun playing. Be sure to check out Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream and The Corner’s pizza spot while you’re here.
Little Midway, 1205 S. Howard Ave., Tampa, 33629 | I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Need I say more? No complaints from any of my kids if I say we’re coming here. We love their ice cream, pies and shakes.
Fresh Healthy Café Wiregrass, 28139 Paseo Dr., Unit 170, Wesley Chapel, 33543 | It’s never too early to introduce your kids to the healthy side of life. Come here and check out their smoothies and fresh juices that taste great and are also great for you!
New York New York Pizza, 1512 E. Seventh Ave., Tampa, 33605 | (Additional locations: Temple Terrace, Riverview, Carrollwood and Wesley Chapel) | Authentic New York pizza resides here! We haven’t had the chance to take our kids to New York yet so this as close as we can get. They enjoy the pizza and wings here so much!
Samurai Blue Ybor, 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Unit C208, Tampa, 33605 | (Additional location: Carrollwood ) | We always come here when we want to treat our oldest for special celebrations and accomplishments! His favorite food is sushi, and this is some of the best and fresh sushi in Tampa.
Mama’s Southern Soul Food Restaurant, 3701 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Tampa, 33610 | (Addition location: Brandon) | Most kids enjoy their grandma’s cooking, so I’m sure the just-like-homemade fried chicken and macaroni and cheese will be a family favorite just like it is for my kids.