baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    for chopin4scherzi

    A few of our favorites...


    Of course Full Moon in Huron Village, Cambridge.
    The food is eh and the noise level is out of control, but on the up-side nobody will hear the screaming of your own child above it! They have a play area for kids. They serve beer and sangria. We actually recently outgrew this place, but it was a real lifesaver when our daughter was an angry, squalling baby.

    Redbones, Davis Square
    Noisy and messy, so again you don't need to worry about your kid being the noisy, messy one. Soft meat is perfect for gumming. Lots of vegetable sides. They provide paper and crayons.

    The Green Briar, Brighton
    Some of the food is good, some is just okay, but they have booths and an outdoor area and they give you crayons and a paper placemat. The staff is exceptionally accomodating.

    Soundbites, Somerville
    I love soundbites! They always go out of their way for us. Once the owner even helped park my car (I'm a terrible parker). We hit that place once during Sunday brunch with four adults, two babies under 6 months, two strollers, and a bag of toys (for distracting the babies) and they had us seated, with stroller parking, in about thirty seconds flat. Lots of soft foods for baby gums, and lots of fun food for older kids.

    Friendly Toast, Cambridge
    Of course the FT is awesome. The decor is fun, the food is fun, the staff is fun. What's not to love? Nobody cares if the baby squawks, and the baby squawks less because there's so much crazy stuff to stare at.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    Good idea, lemon! Let's give a thumbs up for all the great restaurants that welcome families! Here's my list, covering a different part of town:

    --Any Legal Seafoods, whether downtown or in the burbs. We have ended up here a lot, not just because we like the food but because the staff has always bent over backwards to accomodate us and make us comfortable whenever we've had DS with us. We even had his Christening dinner at Legal's.

    --West on Centre (West Roxbury). They have a great pub and American cuisine menu. Always lots of families in the dining room. A real gathering spot for a lot of neighborhood folks.

    --The Dogwood Cafe (JP, across from Forrest Hills): AWESOME pizza, along with salads, sandwiches, entrees, etc. Every Friday evening there is a singer/guitarist and it's totally kid-friendly. Kids can get up and dance, etc. Also loud enough to help conceal kid noises!

    --Doyle's (JP): typical Irish pub. Heavenly pint of Guiness when mummy and daddy need that kind of break!

    --Corrib Pub (West Roxbury): Good pub food (my favorite place for a tuna melt). Wait staff have always been wonderful with our son!

    I want to hear from other folks, too. I always love a new suggestion!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    How could I have forgotten Doyle's? What a great place to bring a kid, and also feel like a human again and not just a frazzled parent. Thanks for the reminder -- I'll have to go back there soon.

    We also love Devlin's in Brighton -- great food, very accomodating, warm staff, and lots of seating. The Sunday brunch is great because they have a band, which is fun for kids and covers up the sound of squawking.

    Spike's in Allston is a great place for a quick lunch. Limited seating but very nice people and great dogs.

    We're maybe more adventurous eaters than other parents, but we also enjoy Garlic'n Lemons and Azama in Allston -- excellent, inexpensive Middle Eastern food.

    John Harvard's in Harvard Square is a pretty good place to bring a kid too.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from chopin4scherzi. Show chopin4scherzi's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    A couple weeks ago we went to Boston Beer Works in Salem for lunch without incident.  My wife was breast feeding when the waitress came to ask how everything was and she didn't flinch.  So the nursing was a non-issue there.  They were also really cool about the stroller.  Not sure if every Boston Beer Works is like that, but this one was really welcoming.  Try the Cajun catfish and the pumpkin beer.

    Right around the corner from there is Jaho.  It's a coffee shop that serves probably the best coffee drinks you will every have.  Again we went in with the stroller and breast fed and everything was cool.  I recommend the Mocha Orange Latte and the Vietnamese iced coffee (coffee and condensed milk).  
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    Border Cafe is fantastic for kids.  I've heard the one in Harvard Sq. doesn't have a kids menu, but all of the other ones do.  For $3.98, you get a decent sized meal, milk or juice (or soda?), and a full-size pack of M&Ms or Starburst for dessert.  They've also been very accomodating when we've requested that they do a small bean and cheese burrito for our kids.  Even when we've only ordered one meal for them to split (they're 2), they still give us 2 milks and 2 desserts at no extra charge.  They have crayons and placemats to color and almost always have balloons to give them.  The waitstaff is always attentive and brings more napkins as needed, etc.  DH and I can go with the kids, get 2 entrees, a beer or wine each, the kids meal(s) and spend less than $30--often including tip (and we're good tippers).  This is our go-to spot for dinner out with the kids.

    We've had good experiences at the standard chain restaurants:  Bertucci's, On the Border, Chili's, Macaroni Grill, to name a few.  Not Your Average Joe's is good for kids too.  We used to avoid most of these places when we lived in Boston and the immediate suburbs, but now that we're farther out, the smaller locally-owned places are fewer and farther between.

    Beer Works has been mentioned already, but they're good too.

    Friendly Toast (also mentioned already) is awesome for kids.

    I'll keep thinking.  I feel like I've left out someplace important.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    We love taking our twins to California Pizza Kitchen.  They are always really nice to us - the kids like the food and I can get a (much needed) glass of pinot grigio and a decent pizza. :)
    If you go around 5:00 it's full of families.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    oh oh! Highland Kitchen in Somerville! Always lots of families, jazz brunch, delicious food, spacious booths!
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from crackersandcheese. Show crackersandcheese's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    We eat out a ton with our little guy. Some of our favorites:

    Union Street in Newton. We basically ate here once a week while I was on maternity leave. It is very loud so if your baby does cry most likely no one will hear. As a newborn, our guy always slept here. I wanted to make a recording of the background noise because he wouldn't sleep like that at home! Big menu with lots of options. They have outside seating in the nice weather too.

    Hillstone Restaurant in Boston. We were here early for dinner one Sunday. They won't let you bring your stroller to the table but they have those neat seats that hook on the table. DS started getting fussy when our food arrived. Our waitress said it was slow so she would love to walk the baby around while we ate if we wanted. After about 10 minutes she told us she had another table but that her manager wanted to walk around with him if that was ok. Awesome.

    The Cottage in Chestnut Hill. Just went here recently. Neat high chairs that flip to hold the infant seat or can be a regular high chair. Nice, clean full size changing table in the ladies room. Plus its pretty loud in there. Yummy food and nice atmosphere.

    The Local in Newton. Another restaurant that is fairly loud. Great small plates to start and a good, reasonably priced lobster roll. We seem to always get the same waitress when we go here and she is so sweet to DS.

    Not Your Average Joe's in Watertown. Loud, big menu, really good food and delicious bread.

    I was terrified taking DS out to a restaurant the first time. Luckily, my husband insisted, I think mostly because he wanted to get me out of the house (baby was born at the end of December). I am so glad we ate out as frequently as we did those first few months. He slept through the meal every time until he was about 5 months old. My advice to new parents is to not be afraid to get out. If you have a bad experience take your business elsewhere. For the most part we have found that both the staff and the patrons have been friendly.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from beastsgirl. Show beastsgirl's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

     The Dogwood Cafe Is really good with children. D.D., and neices,nephews love going there.bg

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from cwagner13. Show cwagner13's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    How about any places in Waltham/Weston/Lincoln/Wayland area? We will be staying in Waltham in Oct (MIL is in Weston).
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bostongal19. Show Bostongal19's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    I recommend Watch City Brewery on Moody Street in Waltham.  Kid/baby/breast feeding friendly.  Try the lamb burger. 

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bostongal19. Show Bostongal19's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    I second the Cottage and California Pizza Kitchen.  Zaftigs in Natick is kid friendly.  Also- I've had lunch at Met Bar in the Natick Mall a bunch of times with my friends and their babies- very accommodating. 

    Lots of great suggestions, I'm def. going to add a few new restaurants to my repertoire. 
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    I second the Met Bar in the Natick, ahem, Collection (lol) as being kid friendly - I've been with a girlfriend and her 1 year old, and it's very loud in there at any hour which seems to be a recurring "kid friendly" theme.  Not to mention they have delicious burgers and homemade pepper relish (too hot for the kiddos, though!).
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from GC1016. Show GC1016's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    Other good non-chain options:

    The Franklin in Southie -- we used to be regulars here and I would often see local families with babies/toddlers. 

    I can confirm that almost any Beerworks is good for kiddos.  I would probably not venture into the one by Fenway pre-game with my child, but that's just common sense. 

    We had a very pleasant early dinner with friends and our DD at Caffe Italia in Marblehead recently.  There were lots of families with kids as we were leaving (7pm on a Saturday). 

    Honestly, the list of places I can't go with DD is much shorter.  Standard caveats apply: we eat off-hours, we bring amusements & her food, we frequent places where we have had good experiences and relationships with the staff, we clean up after ourselves. 

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALS76. Show ALS76's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    I think most of the chains have been mentioned, but I will also add the 99 to the list. 

    For non-chain options, I'll add a few south-shore places since that is where I am most familiar with these days:  Satuit Tavern in Scituate and The Tinker's Son in Norwell.  Both very friendly places with good menus and kids menus.  A good amount of background noise too.

    Someone mentioned Devlin's in Brighton.  I will add that they are also very dog friendly (on the patio of course).  We used to live over there before baby, when it was just the two of us and our pup.  On nice days we would eat out on the patio and our dog was always treated with a big welcome there and always given a nice big bowl of cold water without us even having to ask.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from am1028. Show am1028's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    I agree with GC1016, the list of places we wouldn't go with the kids is much shorter than the list of places we have been and had good experiences with and I have BF pretty much wherever we are.  Most places have been quite accomodating and no one ever even flinched.  To mention some place that hasn't been mentioned before, we had good luck at the Yard House at Legacy Place in Dedham.  Good beer, good kids menu, they give you crayons and are super friendly to the kids. 

    For the person that asked about Wayland, Weston, Lincoln, etc.  There aren't that many restaurants in those towns to begin with, and most of the ones there are are a bit fancier (The Coach Grille, Primebar).  I have been to the Coach Grille with my kids, and I BF there without incident, but I wouldn't really call it kid friendly.  You'd be better off at one of the places in Waltham which has already been mentioned and
    checking out the places in Natick (Zaftig's, CPK, the Met Bar)

    Same caveats as GC said, though.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from GC1016. Show GC1016's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    I wish we had eaten out more.  Much more.  The Blissful Bucket Days were so easy -- we would get a booth, pop her right on the table, and she'd nap while we ate.  Now she wants to interact and eat and stuff and we have to avail ourselves of high chairs and share our food.  It's fun in a different way and I think it's important for her to see how to behave in public, but certainly not as easy. 

    I never got the horror about going out to eat with a kiddo under 12 months.  Given a choice between a baby in a bucket and a 3yo in a restaurant, I'd pick the baby Every Time.   

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    I agree with GC... we should have gone out WAY more during the bucket days.  Now we have to get a high chair, stop her from throwing food, et cetera...

    One place that was always super great to us in the bucket days was The Independent in Somerville.  We would go mid-afternoon or very early dinner on the weekend.  They set us up with a table where we could even park the stroller, and they were always kind.

    Now that we are in the high chair days, the Not Your Average Joe's in Medford has been awesome.  Chain, but I always enjoy the food and it is VERY kid friendly.
    Also, the Za in Kendall Square.  The Arlington one is also kid-friendly, but it's really tight in there.  I like the Kendall one because it has so much room that I don't feel bad about the stroller.

    Thank you guys for reminding me that there's the Friendly Toast in Cambridge now!  I will see you there... ;)
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from KMMZ1012. Show KMMZ1012's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    John Harvard's in Framingham has always been great.  They have a kids' menu, crayons, etc.  Super patient, super nice, always accommodating.

    Someone mentioed Zaftigs above, and I'll second that.  But it's super crowded for brunch.

    Cheesecake Factory in Natick, surprisingly, was one of the best, most kid-friendly places we've been, for Sunday brunch in particular, but they were also great at dinner.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    In Response to Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!:
    I wish we had eaten out more.  Much more.  The Blissful Bucket Days were so easy -- we would get a booth, pop her right on the table, and she'd nap while we ate.  Now she wants to interact and eat and stuff and we have to avail ourselves of high chairs and share our food.  It's fun in a different way and I think it's important for her to see how to behave in public, but certainly not as easy.  I never got the horror about going out to eat with a kiddo under 12 months.  Given a choice between a baby in a bucket and a 3yo in a restaurant, I'd pick the baby Every Time.   
    Posted by GC1016

    It depends on the baby. Ours was a real screamer! But now she enjoys going to restaurants and is very well behaved.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    In Response to Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!:
    I agree with GC... we should have gone out WAY more during the bucket days.  Now we have to get a high chair, stop her from throwing food, et cetera... One place that was always super great to us in the bucket days was The Independent in Somerville.  We would go mid-afternoon or very early dinner on the weekend.  They set us up with a table where we could even park the stroller, and they were always kind. Now that we are in the high chair days, the Not Your Average Joe's in Medford has been awesome.  Chain, but I always enjoy the food and it is VERY kid friendly. Also, the Za in Kendall Square.  The Arlington one is also kid-friendly, but it's really tight in there.  I like the Kendall one because it has so much room that I don't feel bad about the stroller. Thank you guys for reminding me that there's the Friendly Toast in Cambridge now!  I will see you there... ;)
    Posted by medfordcc


    oooh, thank YOU for reminding me about the Independent. We went there for my bday in May and they'd just gotten a new chef and menu -- it was amazing! One of my buds DJs there so our group is always lurking. I'm putting that destination on the short list. Maybe this weekend!
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from prosemommy. Show prosemommy's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    Acapulcos at the Cummings Center is awesome.

    And another big thumbs up for Salem Beer Works
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    There are so many good things about the Independent.  Including that they have purse hooks under the bar.  Not that I've sat at the bar in a while, but still.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lostgrouse. Show Lostgrouse's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    Morton's, Smith and Wollinsky, The Capital Grille... oh wait, sorry, wrong thread.

    We've pretty much been issue free whereever we have gone.  However, given the wait time at many restaurants, Panera seems to win out every time.  
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from SoFresh. Show SoFresh's posts

    Re: baby and toddler-friendly restaurants!

    I am not sure what kid friendly means, but in Waltham we take the kid everywhere with no problems.  The Chateau is the best, they give you crayons and it's already pretty loud, they have a kids menu but the regular menu is just red sauce italian so it's pretty kid friendly anyway.  Early Bird specials and lunch are cheaper than dinner.  Not the fanciest  food in the world but we go there weekly. It is full of families.

    The Watch City Brewery has toys and a train table IIRC.  We often do Baan Thai on Main Street and while not kid oriented it is generally empty (brisk take-out biz.) and they have a fish tank for diversion.

    There are always tons of asian extended famlies in Mu-Lan on Main St. so I am sure they have high chairs, they also have some giant round tables if your party is large.

    There is a tiny mexican joint called Taqueria Mexico on Charles St. that has great food and is dingily casual and loud kids would be no issue.

    Most chains are going to be reasonably kid friendly so Bertucci's on Winter St. would be a good bet ( I think they give them pizza dough to play with) and Margaritas on Moody St. maybe even "Joe Sent Me" the pub on Main St.

    I am sure In a Pickle would welcome kids but it is often packed and is small, avoid Wilson's Diner and Josephs II as they are weirdly crowded with no place for high chairs.  In fact I don't think there is any kid friendly breakfast around since Bickford's closed down.  Unless it is at a hotel.
     
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