I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: we have no shortage of excellent options for dining out in downtown Lawrence. But when you’re dining out with a three year old and a one year old, you tend to consider your options a little bit differently. Which restaurants have the space and atmosphere that will accommodate a laid-back kind of family-style dinner? If you don’t want to break the bank, but want a sustainable meal, where should you head? With my sister-in-law plus family in town last weekend, we headed to Cielito Lindo, knowing full-well that it would be prepared to take care of our needs.
Located one block east of Mass Street, Cielito Lindo is one of the bigger restaurants in downtown Lawrence, which makes it an ideal spot to go for family gatherings or larger parties. It even has a spacious front patio that comes in handy when the weather turns warm and you need a cold margarita! We didn’t have reservations for our 6pm Saturday night dinner – and I was initially a bit worried this would cost us some serious wait time – but to my delight, our party of six (including the two bity ones) was seated immediately.
Vibrant and lively, the surroundings here are abuzz with laughter, conversation, and celebration, which only seems fitting for a Mexican restaurant. It’s easy to relax in this family-friendly environment. The food, too, is fairly inexpensive and quite substantial. Many entrees are under $10, and chips and salsa is on the house! This was especially helpful with my three-year-old niece, who was thrilled to have chips and salsa to enjoy before her meal came (admittedly, I shared in her happiness).
The menu here includes everything; there are salads, fajitas, enchiladas, burritos (chicken, beef, and pork), and plenty of vegetarian and seafood options as well. A kid’s menu is available, too. The mister and I both ordered enchiladas (although different dishes) and margaritas, and it hit the spot. The service was surprisingly quick (especially for how busy they were), and the foot was hot and flavorful.
There are plenty of restaurants to pick from when dining out in Lawrence, but considering your expectations for your night first can help inform your choice. With two small kiddos in our party, we knew it would be most enjoyable (for them, and for us!) to find a restaurant that would make us feel comfortable. Cielito Lindo is a great option whether you’re a family, party of kids, or party of wild and crazy adults. Ole!
Find Cielito Lindo at: 815 New Hampshire, Lawrence Kansas 66044. [785.832.1545]
You can also find me in the Lawrence Journal World’s CheckOut publication which prints weekly on Thursdays.