Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!
posted at 9/23/2011 11:39 AM EDT
I will second (or third, etc.) Legal's is great for kids, and once they get out of the bucket stage, the kid's menu is great (includes fish and even a half lobster, not just hot dogs and mac & cheese). I also love the 99s. They seem to be really on the ball every time we go, asking if we want DDs food right away or with our meal, and they make a "punch" out of fruit juices that DD likes. Bertucci's does give both crayons and dough to play with. All of these places also have decent to very good food. P.F. Chang's is another chain that has been kid friendly as well.
As far as non-chain type places, I live in Quincy, and love going to dim sum at the China Pearl (there is also one in Chinatown that is good, but not as easy for us to get to). The place is a barn, there is always a line out the door, but it is because so many multi-generational families come for dim sum. DD loves the udon noodles, and will try many other dumplings. It is the first restaurant she has asked to go to. Another good Chinese place is Quincy Dynasty, htey have a fish tank that kept DD mesmerized. We also like La Paloma and Acapulcos for Mexican. For breakfast, there are several tiny places nearby that we love, Early American and OBs place both are great, but I wouldn't bring a stroller.
On the downside, the Boston Beerworks at Hingham shipyards didn't impress me. Maybe the other locations are better, but when we went the service was terrible (and the place wasn't even half full, so busy-ness wasn't the reason) and the food was only so-so. The pizza place at the shipyards (I can't remember the name) is much better, in terms of food and service.
In all, I think the most important thing is to go to places you like, often, and your kids will learn what is expected of them in restaurants, so as they get older you can bring them to more and more places. And know your (and your LOs) limits. There have been evenings where I would have loved to go out, but I could tell that DD was going to be terrible, so we got takeout or cooked at home instead. I have never regretted not going out when I suspected a meltdown mood, but I have regretted staying out too long when I suspected she was done for the day.