Ralphie’s Sports Eatery: Kid-Approved Foods, Friendly Atmosphere

Ralphie’s Sports Eatery checks all the boxes

Philly Steak at Ralphies Photo by Laurie BertkeThe Short Course

Online ordering? Yes

Carryout? Yes

Delivery? Yes, through Doordash

Outdoor Dining? Yes, at Oregon, Holland and Findlay locations

Changing Table? Yes

Booster Seat/High Chair? Yes


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The first Ralphie’s Sports Eatery opened in 1991 on Navarre Avenue.
Photo by Laurie Bertke

When our kids were younger, we rarely ventured out to restaurants, largely because it just felt like too much work. If we did eat out, the spot we chose had to meet very specific criteria to minimize the risk of disaster. 

Ralphie’s Sports Eatery is the type of restaurant that would have checked all the boxes for us in those days. Chicken nuggets? Check. Relatively fast service to accommodate squirmy toddlers? Check. Moderate noise level to mask the occasional high-pitched baby squeal, shriek or meltdown? Check. Kids eat free? Yep — every Tuesday. 

While our kids are older now, they still love the menu at Ralphie’s, loaded with all the classics you would expect. Guests can choose from an array of burgers, chicken chunks or wings and four different types of fries — waffle, crinkle, hand-cut and sweet potato. The menu also offers a nice variety of other hot sandwiches, soups, salads and shareable appetizers.

Chicken Tenders Wrap at Ralphie’s
Photo by Laurie Bertke

Casual dining for families 

Ralphie’s Sports Eatery has been a Toledo mainstay since the first location opened in 1991 on Navarre Ave. The regional chain is owned by Bennett Enterprises of Perrysburg, a family-owned business and the largest restaurant and hotel owner/operator in Northwest Ohio. 

Mark Wallace, who oversees Ralphie’s operations for Bennett Enterprises, says the company developed the concept for the chain around the time the wings fad was expanding in the market. The restaurants were named after the architect who worked on the original layouts, who was also a good friend of company co-founder David Bennett.

Champion Chicken Chunks kids meal at Ralphies
Photo by Laurie Bertke

“Our burgers, our chicken chunks and our chicken wings are the top three items we sell,” says Wallace. “We have several appetizers that are unique, and then just a lot of the typical pub food.”

Guests can choose from 18 different sauces ranging from mild to very hot for the chicken chunks and wings. The rest of the menu is updated regularly with a combination of old favorites and new items, and the Spring Meadows and Ralphie’s To-Go location on Monroe St. also serve JoJo’s pizza. The full bar has a selection of rotating craft beers, and the decor is that of a standard sports bar with walls lined with neon beer signs and flat screen televisions tuned in to various sporting events and Keno drawings. Several locations have outdoor patios. 

“We’re just a nice, casual-dine location geared towards families,” says Wallace. “We do a lot with our local communities, especially with sponsorships and support for high school sports programs.”

Fast, friendly service

We stopped in at the Spring Meadows location in Holland for lunch on a Friday afternoon and were promptly seated in a roomy booth and greeted by our friendly server. Our drinks were served and we were able to place our order within about five or ten minutes of arriving.

My oldest went for the classic cheeseburger and waffle fries. My 11-year-old son opted to be more adventurous by ordering the breakfast burger,  topped with a fried egg, bacon and cheese. Some of the other unique burger toppings on the menu include peach habañero or strawberry jalapeño jam, peanut butter and bacon, or mac ’n cheese. 

My daughter ordered the Champion Chicken Chunks off the menu for kids ages 10 and under. For $4.99, kids receive an entree, choice of side, a drink and a bag of Goldfish crackers. Guests can receive a free kids meal with each purchase of a regular adult meal on Tuesdays.

I opted for the chicken tenders wrap, which comes with lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing in a soft tortilla. My husband ordered the Philly steak and cheese, featuring shaved ribeye, sauteed mushrooms, onions, green peppers and melted mozzarella on a sub bun. 

Our table sampled the crinkle cut fries, the waffle fries and the hand cut fries. We all agreed our favorites are the waffle fries, which have a nice light seasoning.

Our total bill before tip came to just over sixty dollars, which is pretty typical if not on the lower end of what it usually costs to eat out with our family these days. 

Bottom Line

While there is nothing particularly unique about the tried-and-true sports bar formula employed by Ralphie’s, the atmosphere is friendly and prices are reasonable, especially if you take advantage of the Kids Eat Free promotion on Tuesdays. Whether you are looking for a comfortable spot to gather with a group or just need a night off from cooking, Ralphie’s is a Toledo favorite that checks all the boxes for families with young children. 

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