6 Family-Friendly Places to Eat Near Downtown Greenville, SC

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You don’t have to travel far from The Children’s Museum to find food your kids will love!

Greenville, South Carolina is a foodie town. According to the Post and Courier, Greenville is home to nearly 200 restaurants, and 80% are locally owned. And while several have recently been recognized by the James Beard Awards, we know young palates don’t always appreciate refined cuisine fine dining offers. Fortunately, downtown Greenville’s culinary delights don’t discriminate. There is something for everyone—even pint-sized picky eaters! In addition to being a food-lover’s paradise, downtown Greenville is also home to the country’s seventh largest children’s museum. So grab the kids, make memories at TCMU, and indulge in a delicious meal that the whole family will enjoy! If you’re planning a morning visit to The Children’s Museum and need a place to refuel, or you want to grab a bite before taking in TCMU’s exhibits and programming, we’ve created a list of the best family-friendly lunch spots near downtown. These are perfect for every palate and every budget.

The Cook’s Station

The Cook’s Station is a 6-minute, flat walk from The Children’s Museum of the Upstate. The .2 mile journey will take you by Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville Theatre, and the Hughes Main Library. It offers indoor and outdoor dining, plenty of parking, and great shopping.

  • Location: 515 Buncombe St, Greenville, SC 29601
  • Café Hours: Breakfast 8am-11am M-F, 9am-11am Saturday. Lunch 11am-3pm M-Saturday. Café is closed on Sundays.
  • Price Range: $-$$
  • Family-Friendly Features:
    • Kids Menu: Yes, offering child-friendly options like grilled cheese, quesadilla, and a PB&J sandwich.
    • Discounts: TCMU Members receive a 10% discount on café orders. You must show your membership card to receive the discount.

Why it’s great for families:

  • The Cook’s Station provides a unique dining experience, with a combination of a café, cooking classes, and a gourmet shop.
  • Families can enjoy browsing kitchen gadgets and cookware while waiting for their freshly prepared meals.
  • The casual atmosphere and diverse menu options cater to both adventurous and picky eaters alike.
  • The outdoor seating is spacious and a great option for families.

Lewis Barbecue

Experience the flavors of Central Texas-style barbecue. Kids will love the legendary brisket and outdoor space to run. It’s just .6 miles from The Children’s Museum of the Upstate. Walk there in 13 minutes or drive in three.

  • Location: 214 Rutherford St, Greenville, SC 29609
  • Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat: 11am-10pm
  • Price Range: $-$$
  • Family-Friendly Features:
    • Kids Menu: No, but many items are very kid-friendly. Pick up a single side of mac & cheese for $4.50 or potato salad for $4.
    • Discounts: Kids eat free every Tuesday night with the purchase of an adult entrée.

Why it’s great for families:

  • Lewis Barbecue has a relaxed and casual atmosphere where families can unwind and enjoy a leisurely meal together.
  • There’s no plates here! Just sheets of paper and plastic silverware.
  • The large parking lot and ample seating both indoor and out make it very accessible.

Grill Marks

Craving a juicy burger or loaded milkshake? Look no further than Grill Marks, a lively burger joint known for its creative twists on classic American fare. It’s less than a mile from The Children’s Museum of the Upstate. Walk there in 15 minutes, or drive and be there in less than five.

  • Location: 209 S Main St, Greenville, SC 29601
  • Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 11am-10pm, Friday & Saturday: 11am-11pm
  • Price Range: $-$$
  • Family-Friendly Features:
    • Kids Menu: Yes, with options like grilled chicken, chicken fingers and cheeseburger sliders. Includes choice of fries, salad or apple sauce and a drink.

Why it’s great for families:

  • Kids’ meals are served on a Grill Marks frisbee!
  • Playful and vibrant atmosphere with colorful decor and funky music that kids will love.
  • Indulgent dessert menu featuring over-the-top milkshakes and sweet treats that are sure to delight kids of all ages.

Papi’s Tacos

Located on the beautiful Reedy River in downtown Greenville, Papi’s Tacos is an idea lunch location if you’d like to explore the Swamp Rabbit Trail as well. It will take less than 20 minutes to walk the .6 miles from TCMU to Papi’s Tacos. Or you could drive there in just 3 minutes. Described as a food truck without wheels the menu is simple and authentic.

  • Location: 300 River St #122, Greenville, SC 29601
  • Hours: Sun: 11am-9pm, Tues-Thurs: 11am-8pm, Fri-Sat: 11am-9pm, closed Mondays.
  • Price Range: $-$$
  • Family-Friendly Features:
    • Kids Menu: Yes, there is an extensive menu just for ninos including combos, and a la cart options like a cheese quesadilla for $3.75, or a chicken and cheese taco for $3.95.
    • Discounts: All tacos are just $2 on Tuesdays.

Why it’s great for families:

  • Authentic Mexican cuisine with fresh ingredients and flavorful dishes.
  • Casual setting allows for relaxed family dining.
  • The price point is perfect for feeding lots of littles.

Todaro Pizza

Originally a Clemson icon, Todaro Pizza opened its Greenville location in 2018. The outdoor space complete with turf and giant checkers is always a hit with kids. At 1.2 miles from TCMU, you’ll be smelling freshly baked pizza pies in five minutes flat. With its laid-back vibe and mouthwatering pizzas, it’s a top choice for family-friendly dining. Here’s why:

  • Location: 116 N. Markley St, Greenville, SC 29601
  • Hours: Monday-Sunday: 11am-10pm
  • Price Range: $-$$
  • Family-Friendly Features:
    • Kids Menu: There’s a no-limit lunch pizza buffet Mon-Fri from 11:30-2:30pm, which runs just $6.75 for kids ages 6-11. For kids under 5 it’s free with each paying adult. Otherwise, purchase pizza by the slice for $3.
    • Discounts: Every Wednesday is dollar slice night.

Why it’s great for families:

  • Casual and relaxed atmosphere perfect for families with young children.
  • Outdoor seating available for families who prefer to dine al fresco and soak up the sunshine.

Maple Street Biscuit Company

Looking for scratch-made comfort food? Check out Maple Street Biscuit Company, just .4 miles from The Children’s Museum of the Upstate. Walk there in 10 minutes or hop in the car and arrive in just three.

  • Location: 18 E. North St, Greenville, SC 29601
  • Hours: Mon-Sun: 7am-2pm
  • Price Range: $-$$
  • Family-Friendly Features:
    • Kids Menu: Yes, offering items like chocolate chip waffles or chicken biscuits, served with a juice box.

Why it’s great for families:

  • Maple Street Biscuit Company serves up comfort food favorites with a Southern twist, including mouthwatering biscuits and gravy.
  • Family-friendly atmosphere with cozy seating and welcoming staff.
  • Breakfast and lunch options cater to various tastes and dietary preferences.

After a fun morning of play at TCMU-Greenville your little ones will be ready to eat! Rest and recharge with a delicious meal with any of these family-friendly lunch spots on our list.

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