Philly with a toddler
We're coming to town this weekend from NYC with our 19 month old in tow. We plan to hit Reading Terminal Market for lunch on Saturday and perhaps Tony Luke's for lunch on Sunday. We're in search of a few good mid-range chowish suggestions for Saturday and Sunday nights. For what it's worth, we plan to eat on the very early side (5:30-6:00ish), we are very respectful of other diners, and our daughter is very well-behaved in restaurants. We were told Jones could be good, and we are considering that for New Year's Day lunch/brunch.
Any other lunch recs are also welcomed, as are Reading suggestions! We're staying at 12th and Market.
The Dutch Eating Place in the Reading Terminal Market has great breakfasts including pancakes and scrapple if you get there in time for breakfast. For lunch, definitely eat at DiNic's and get the roast pork with provolone and greens (others will chime in and give the nod to this one...just wait and see!). At the market they also have very good soft pretzels at Fisher's, baked goods at Bleiler's and Termini's, and ice cream at Bassett's.
As far as dining options, Jones is a very good place to go with kids that serves up better than average chow for older folks. If you go there for brunch, make sure to get the monkey bread.
You're very close to Chinatown too, but I don't think there's all that much in Chinatown in Philly that you already do not enjoy in NYC.
Jones is good, however, FYI they don't have a changing table when I needed one for my son, which was frustrating.
At the RTM, be sure to stop by Famous 4th Street stand for a cookie- the best choc chip cookies! and agree as well for a Fishers pretzel.
FYI...Rumor has it that Tony Luke's on Oregon Avenue is closed until January 2nd for the holidays.
If you like hard shell crabs - try DiNardo's on the 200 block of Arch Street; we have been taking our daughter Emma there since she was three. You'll have to pick the crabs for her - but you can't start them too young. This place is not fancy. You must have the fries with Old Bay seasoning. Order your crabs not cleaned with extra salt seasoning on the side - a vinegar type dip also comes with. By the way - not cheap.
As for the Reading Terminal Market--Don't forget the cannoli at Termini Bros - watching the Amish make and bake fresh soft pretzels - and Pearl's Oyster Bar. Oh yeah - soul food at Delilah's too. Sorry - the comma isn't working on my keyboard.
I think determining whether particular restaurants will be open is your biggest challenge. I can't think of many places you can't go with a well-behaved child, especially if you dine early. Radicchio, Chloe, and Melograno are 3 places that come to mind, but call to make certain they'll be open. None of these takes reservations; however, you should have no problem getting in between 5:30 and 6 p.m. They're all BYO. Also, Bellini Grill (BYO)and Marmont (serves spirits) are fine with children, tho the food is not as chowish as the others. All of these places are moderately priced.
If you head up to 17th and Chestnut, you could stop at DiBruno Bros. Their upstairs has amazing lunch options and some of the best fries in the world served with their Kobe Beef Burger. They have some great salads, sandwiches and gourmet lunches. They even have good sushi. If you're sticking to 12th and Market, you're pretty close to Maggiano's which is a bit pricey, but its right there and 12th or 13th and Filbert, and they have some very good italian food. I took my both my children there when they were toddlers and they were well behaved and no one minded them being there. With the family dining option and all the bread they give you the kids stayed occupied.
I agree that DiBruno's is nice upstairs and is a great place to take kids of all ages. Unfortunately, on our last visit there the Kobe beef burger has been surreptitiously transformed into an Angus beef burger. Either way, it's a great place to stop by and is reminscent of some of the gourmet shops you have in NYC with hundreds of cheeses and a charcuterie. http://www.dibruno.com
You could also take the kids to the Naked Chocolate Cafe on Juniper and Walnut Sts (about three blocks away from your hotel). They have great hot chocolate in three varieties, delicious frozen chocolate drinks, homemade chocolates and desserts as well as teas and coffees. Don't worry, everyone's fully clothed there. http://www.nakedchocolatecafe.com
Just thought of another good dinner option--Mandoline. Tiny, BYO, great food, and they take reservations.