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Looking for Chowish eats in Boston with a baby

  • j

We'll be visiting Boston next week with our 14-month old. We're staying at Stuart and Charles, just south of the Boston Common. We're looking for good eats within walking distance of our hotel, and also within walking distance of the attractions that we plan to visit: the NE Aquarium, the Children's Museum, and the Science Museum. Low cost but chowish places would be ideal, but we also would love your recs for mid-range and upscale restaurants that might be child-friendly early in the evening (before 6pm). And your favorite family-friendly North End Italian is appreciated!

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  1. The Bristol Lounge, in the Four Season Hotel a block from where you are staying, is a good choice for a very nice upscale casual lunch. I've been going there with my daughter since she was a newborn. Although it's a fancier lunch place, the tables are well spaced, so you're less likely to disturb others.

    1. Antico Forno may be good for kids - there were loads of them there when I was there last. Oh and great food too.

      1. I have been to the bristol with friends and kids. I think the bristol is by far the most accomodating restaurant. the food is great also, but i don't think i have ever been to a more kid friendly place, which doesn't feel like a chucky cheese :)

        1. I always think dim sum is a great kid-friendly way to go. Have been taking my kids to China Pearl since they were tiny babies. There's been lots of discussion on the board about which dim sum place rates the best... so do a search, but it's fast, easy, noisy... and no one cares if the baby throws a little food on the floor! :)

          1 Reply
          1. re: fullbelly

            The dim sum idea is excellent. My favorite dim sum place is Chau Chow City; when I lived in Boston, the wait was not as long as at China Pearl, and the food was less greasy.

          2. Our favorite family-friendly place in the area is Jasper White's Summer Shack (in Cambridge). Great casual seafood and a fun environment for kids- we've taken our infant son there numerous times.

            1. Go to Upper Crust at 20 Charles St. for thin crust pizza. Very casual. Communal eating. Slices are large. For 2 adults, you might want to get 2 or 3 slices. Then walk over to Cafe Bella Vita at 30 Charle St. for ice cream. Walk in the opposite direction less than a block and you will be at the Boston Gardens. When you enter from Charles St., the duck statues from Make Way for Ducklings are right there. Great photo opp for a 14 month old. You can then go to the Swam Boats.

              As a tourist, I wouldn't bother trying to get to Jasper White's Summer Shack in Cambridge. Not that easy to get to if you don't know the area. Lots of other places that are more accessible.

              Antico Forno is fine. Don't consider it gourmet but very good.

              You might want to check to see when the Italian Festivals are being held. Gets very crowded and congestive. Sure if you Google Italian Festivals and Boston North End, you would get the schedule. If you go, you might want to just try some of the street vendors.

              Have fun. Please post your adventure.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bearzie

                Great ideas, bearzie! I love Bella Vita. FYI, JT123, if you're interested in trying Summer Shack & some great seafood-- just hop on the MBTA's red line from Park Street (cross the Boston Common) and take it to Alewife station. The restaurant is right across from the station, a 2 minute walk (just did this with some friends from NYC who visited Boston-- they stayed at a hotel downtown with their 3 kids and took the subway everywhere)

              2. I'm not advocating for Summer Shake but if I was visiting Boston, I wanted to go to Jasper White's restaurant, I would rather go to the Back Bay location than take the train to the Cambridge Street location.

                Both are very causual. But if you go to the Back Bay location, you could take a very pleasant walk down Newbury Street which would be more pleasant than riding the public transportation system.

                Just know before hand that by casual, it means picnic atmosphere at either location. Good picks for a 14 month old.

                Their website is: summershackrestaurant.com

                1 Reply
                1. re: bearzie

                  I've had several out of town friends go to Summer Shack in the Back Bay with kids as young as 18 months and it is definitely very kid friendly... what with the almost Disney-esque clam shack vibe and the loud casual dining area... Plus, the lobster tank. And if Jasper is there, he loves interacting with the kids... pulling lobsters out of the tank and showing them to the kids. And as bearzie pointed out the Back Bay location is more in the middle of things location wise than the Alewife one.

                  Be warned though, Summer Shack is not an inexpensive clam shack. The menu prices are definitely more in the mid to high range.