We don't eat out often. With two small children, it's easier (and healthier and cheaper and more peaceful) to eat at home.
That said, I can see that changing as our kids grow older because our 3-year-old gets so excited about going to restaurants...and she is so easy to take too (no need to worry about nursing, potty-training, or meltdowns). I imagine it will get even easier as the years go by...
A few weeks ago, we went to Souper Salad in Chandler, AZ...and we had a very pleasant experience:
Souper Salad is a national franchise chain that operates restaurants in 13 states. It's an all-you-can eat soup and salad buffet "where bread is baked fresh, all day, every day; where all vegetables are cut by hand; where soup is always made from scratch."
For approximately $6/person (prices vary from state-to-state), you can enjoy an extensive salad bar, fresh fruit, homemade soups, breads and muffins, a baked potato bar, pizza, a taco bar, and desserts.
If you have special dietary needs, feel free to ask for a Gluten-Free Menu and/or a Vegetarian/Vegan Menu when you arrive.
Kids (ages 4-10) eat for $3.49, Monday-Saturday...and littler ones (ages 0-3) eat FREE all day, every day. Sundays are Kids Fun Day at all Souper Salad locations, meaning that kids eat for $2.49. Upon arrival, kids are greeted with a placemat to color (with nutrition tidbits and pics of fruits and vegetables), crayons, and their very own tray.
Menu offerings are incredibly versatile so every kid is bound to find menu items their happy with - everything from broccoli cheese soup and pepperoni pizza to fresh melons and chocolate pudding. Our 3-year-old was satisfied with her huge salad. As she munched and sipped her apple juice, she happily remarked, "I love vegetables!"
Of course, she was equally delighted by the free ice cream bar (with rainbow sprinkles!).
Babies are also welcome in this cheerful, colorful environment. It's clean and friendly...and, if your baby is just starting solid foods, you'll find a large selection of healthful "smashable" and finger food options to choose from (sweet potatoes, sliced peaches, beans, noodles, cantaloupe, etc.).
My Suggestion for Souper Salad
Souper Salad is SOUPAH DOUPAH for families! The menu offerings are versatile, healthy, fresh, and delicious. The atmosphere is clean and inviting and undeniably kid-friendly. And the price is right. We'll definitely be going back!
YOUR TURN: What is your favorite family-friendly restaurant? If you have been to Souper Salad in the past, what was your experience like?
WIN IT! One winner will receive lunch/dinner for four at Souper Salad (any US location). To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Friday, February 19th at 11:59 p.m. (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.).
* I received a complimentary meal for me and my family for review purposes.
*UPDATE* The winner is #8 Christine Jensen. Congratulations!
Does a kid have to be fat to be at risk for diabetes? my little brother has such a poor diet, and my parents are not doing anything to change it. I'm so sick of it.
I love Souper Salad because they have such a great variety of toppings.
Our family loves Sweet Tomatoes!
I would love to have one of these restaurants where I live on Long Island, NY
Love that place!
My kids love Souper Salad - a buffet that has a lot of healthy options. The one near our house is so clean and the food is always fresh.
There is a buffet style restaurant here but it is not a chain I would love to win this We are heading to Houston on a trip in a few weeks and they have 6 locations there. We will definitely be visiting Souper Salad when we go. [email protected]
We love going to Soup or Salad. Their food always tastes fresh and they have a lot of good dishes and foods to choose from.
I like Olive Garden! The one near us is very family friendly :) Thanks for the great giveaway!
I love Souper Salad. I've been eating there for many many years. Thanks.
I went to Souper Salad in Phoenix in my pre-kid years. It was great. Our favorite place in Tucson now (at least my little ones' favorite place) is Sweet Tomatoes. Some don't think it is as kid friendly, but my kids LOVE it! Lots of great fresh foods with tons of variety. I enjoy watching my kids try a bunch of new things, and this is the place for it! They also love that the little "baker" brings around fresh cookies! My little one commented that he made those cookies "just for me!"
Sweet Tomatoes also has a Club Veg you can join. They email you announcements, new menu items, and best of all coupons for free meals.
If I had to choose MY favorite family place to eat, it would be Cafe Rio, but there aren't any in Tucson. There is one in Gilbert, AZ though. Delicious Mexican food, and you get a free quesadilla for kids with each entree. Great stuff!
My Gramma was a huge fan of the Souper Salad in Chicago but I never got to go with her! I'd love to try it out since I'm a soup fiend!
We love Souper Salad, and so do our kids! I agree though, more toppings on the ice cream bar would be good (and more tempting to me too)! =)
Souper Salad is our go to spot for girls day out. My daughters love it and I do too.
Since we moved I can eat at Souper Salad more often. I love taking the grandkids there. They always eat well since there is so much to choose from. Thanks for the giveaway.
My in-laws rave about this place. We are visiting soon so would love to try it out. My 2 year old loves her vegetables too!
It's been a long time since we've eaten at Souper Salad, but I really enjoyed it. They had lots of food choices and the price was reasonable. We usually eat some buffet type place such as Golden Corral so there is something for everyone. Thanks!
We love Souper Salad. It's been a while since we've been but now just thinking about makes me hungry. Thanks for the giveaway.
I've always found Pizza Hut to be family friendly-have not tried Souper Salad, but I would certainly like to! Thanks!
It has been a while since I have been to Souper Salad, but when I was last there it was very good. I really like the varity, the freshness of produce, and the liesurely atmosphere. It is definitely for everyone, families, business people, and large groups.
Thank you. :-)
We've been looking for a place like this! No fuss for the kids!
I've never been to Souper Salads. I really like Red Robin as a family restaurant.
I love Souper Salads. There's one right down the street from mr and I'm a regular. The cornbread is the best on the planet. Mmmmmm
Souper Salad sounds great - why can't ALL restaurants offer substantial healthy alternatives?
Our family has not tried this restaurant, so I definitely appreciate the review. Sounds like our kind of place.
My family likes to eat at this restaurant. They have a good variety for everyone. [email protected]
we love this combo [email protected]
I love Souper Salad! Their many different salads (potato salad, macaroni salad, pasta salad), their bread section with hot rolls or cornbread, are very delicious!! The atmosphere was nice and quiet and the tables weren't too close together, so you have plenty of room to be carrying 2 plates of their delicious food at the same time! lol!
I ate at one of these when I visited my daughter in Colorado Springs, pretty good, lots of variety
I love eating out there with my husband and 10 month old. We go there often on Tuesdays when it is only 5.99 buffet. Super kid friendly!
I wish there were more restaurants like this! I haven’t tried Souper Salad
We've been to Souper Salad and it was great. It has kid friendly foods, as well as more adult selections too, but the atmosphere is more like a cafeteria, so not so formal that the kids can't be kids. The food we ate all tasted very good, and we all left feeling very full.
I'm going to have to look up this restaurant, I haven't heard of it. But if there isn't one near us, I'm sure a good friend lives by one.
As for eating out, I've found it's fun to find restaurants that have open kitchens. As you're walking the 1 yr. old around, you can spend quite a bit of time watching the staff and fires jump! Near us, there's also a great italian restaurant called Tutta Bella that gives kids pizza dough to play with. I liked your salad review - when our son is a bit older, I can see it being a hit! You're lucky (although, I'm sure it was through your effort!) to have a veggie lover. :)
We have a Souper Salad close by and we have eaten there often. My whole family enjoys soup and I am a big salad eater. It is a great family restaurant and there is something there for everyone.
no souper salad around here :( but what a fun place to take my sister and her kids when we visit them!
I would love to try this out. My sister was just talking about this place...made me hungry!
We love Souper Salad too! My mother in law lives in Mesa and its a family favorite when we go to visit because its affordable and healthier than the other choices!
I have never eaten at souper salad, so thanks so much for the review! I am lovin' what I hear so far and of course love the chance for my family to try it out! I love the entire idea behind souper salad, and it is a buffet you won't feel guilty about later! awesome!
We don't typically go out to eat, but when we do we love when there were chairs for kids. Easy to please, right?
I think I went to Souper Salad once many years ago. Guess it is time to try it again, especially since the price is more than reasonable for a buffet.
We love those all you can eat/buffet style restaurant.
They loose money on our family. ;)
I havent been to the Souper Salad here...I'll have to try it!
I love Souper Salad! I could get my money's worth from the gingerbread muffins alone. And much of the stuff on the salad bar is so toddler friendly.
I agree with you - I've eaten there once (not a lot in our area), but it was a great experience! Plus, I'm planning on heading out to Phoenix area during Spring Break so it would be a great place to eat! :)
Thanks for the giveaway
we don't live near one so don't enter me but i this place looks fantastic!
I used to go to Souper Salad a LOT in high school, and I love it! Still love it! I don't take the kids out too often, but I also want them to have practice eating out, so we take them now and then. I like places that are fast and have kids menus!
We enjoy local restaurants that are usually not part of a chain or just a local chain. When we do go to a big name chain it is usually California Pizza Kitchen. I have been to souper salad and I loved it. I usually don't like buffets at all but this is fresh and healthy and you don't leave feeling stuffed!
We have these in our area and we have yet to try them, though they do sound yummy!
We used to love Souper Salad when we lived in Dallas. I don't know of any in Boulder though.
Chipotle is my very favorite place to go out to eat. The kids love the rice, beans, chips and guac. Funny, Souper Saled was the very first place I had a job.
my 4 year old loves salad bar restaurants - cherry tomatoes, olives, cheese, egg and croutons. Do you have a Grimaldi's pizza - they give kids pizza dough to play with - which is fun for the adults too!
My husband and I have eaten at Souper Salad before baby. I'm glad I read your review of this place because I had forgotten about it. I think it would be a great place to take my 2 year old; he is sooo picky. With the array of choices placed before him, he's sure to like something!
I agree with you Souper Salad is a great restaurant! We don't eat out much at all but when we do I would rather go to a family/kid friendly restaurant like this one than a fancy steakhouse. I enjoy the food and atmosphere of a fancy steakhouse, but not when my little ones are along - they need to be able to enjoy themselves, we are all much more comfortable in an informal atmosphere these days. :)
I miss having a Souper Salad in Tucson, I loved it! We like going to Sweet Tomatoes for the same food-related reasons, but they are not as kid friendly as Souper Salad.
Another advantage of this type of restaurant for kids is that it's not a quiet environment. When I'm at nice restaurants and my son squeals (happily), people sometimes seem annoyed. At Sweet Tomatoes no one even notices.
I wish there were more restaurants like this! I haven't tried Souper Salad but it looks great!