• Rosa Sprinkle

Family Dining Done Right—Kids Eat Free specials and family meals from your favorite local spots

One of the most persistent and challenging aspects of raising kids is figuring out nourishment. Picking a menu and cooking every night can be a bit daunting. Enter: family specials.

Downtown Cramerton July 4 Celebration - Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

As kids go back to school and the days get busier and busier, parents tend to start looking for shortcuts to make feeding kiddos easier. For many, that means eating out or picking up take-out, preferably from a local restaurant—and all the better if they have a family-friendly deal.


Here are some local Gaston County restaurants that offer family meal deals, combo platters, and (of course) kids eat free specials.


Kids Eat Free Specials


It’s hard to overstate my thrill at hearing those magical words “Kids Eat Free!” We’ll try any restaurant offering such a deal.

Randy Rivera, Gaston Outside

Two Chicks Sandwiches and Scoops

102 S. Main St., Belmont

Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.


Not only do they have a family-friendly patio and are perfectly situated across the street from Stowe Park—every Tuesday Two Chicks offers one kids meal with the purchase of one adult meal all day long.


Edgewood Grill and Braggs Barbecue

621 Athenia Pl., Bessemer City

Monday-Saturday, 6 a.m.-2 p.m.


Kids eat free for breakfast and lunch on Tuesdays. One kids meal for each adult meal purchased.


Family Meal Deals To-Go


Love a one-and-done order? Call in, request the family meal, then pick up a giant bag of food to feed the whole family. Pro tip: Give yourself a good window of time for restaurants to prepare when calling in an order.

Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

B&J Smokehouse and Barbecue

1206 W. Franklin Blvd., Gastonia

Friday-Saturday, 12 p.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m.-8 p.m.

(704) 685-5494


Family meals on a pre-order basis and pig-out plate special for $27.99. Call B&J for details.


Grandma Hoyt's Country Cooking

421 E. Virginia Ave., Bessemer City

Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

(704) 629-9440


Enjoy a local cult favorite and let the Hoyt family put together a family-sized meal for you to take home. Call or order online.


Hillbilly’s BBQ

305 S. Main Street, Lowell

Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.


Downtown Lowell is blossoming with lots of local family establishments so why not grab a family meal? Choose from the Family Pack (1 lb. pork bbq, plus sides to feed 4 people $19.99) or Deluxe Family Pack (1 lb. pork bbq, half chicken, plus sides and tea to feed 5-6 $27.99).


Family Combos


Whose kids can eat their weight in shrimp, crab legs, and chicken tenders? Add in hush puppies and cole slaw and they are happy campers. These seafood restaurants offer large plates that can be ordered dine-in or to-go (and can be shared by multiple children).

Honey Hunters Opening Night - Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

Hot Plate Soul Eatery

141 W. Main Ave., Gastonia

Tuesday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.


Several large seafood platters are available starting at $21.99 and seafood boils starting at $29.99 that can include fish, shrimp, lobster tails, crab legs, red potatoes, corn on the cob, and more.


Surf & Turf Lodge

808 N. 14th St., Bessemer City

Wednesday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.


This Bessemer City classic offers combo platters of flounder, perch, catfish, oysters, devil crab, chicken tenders, or shrimp are available for “Choose 2” or “Choose 3” meals for $15.99 and $16.99. A Seafood Platter is also available for $16.99. Platters come with a choice of fries, baked potato or baked sweet potato and include hush puppies and slaw.


These are just some restaurants that can make feeding your family easier, but if you have a favorite local restaurant, it doesn’t hurt to contact them and ask if they’re running any family specials (and let us know if we missed anything!).