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Washington D.C. with my 10 Year Old Son

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Hello, I am a Los Angeles Hound and will be arriving next Monday June 18th with my 10 year old son. We will be departing Friday June 22nd. We will be staying at the Hotel Rouge in Dupont Circle. Any reccomendations for kid friendly spots that are somewhat mid range in price and good eating as well. He is not the Hot Dog, Pizza, Chicken Finger Kid. Heck his dad (me) is a fellow Hound. Any help will do. Breakfast spots close to the Hotel, Lunch spots near the sights. Dinner where ever. Thanks in advance..

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  1. For breakfast near your hotel, I recommend the Tabard Inn on N Street and 15 Ria Rhode Island Avenue. Both have excellent sit-down breakfast service. For something quick to grab in the morning, check out any of the Au Bon Pain bakeries in the area. Oh - you also have a Krispy Kreme Donut Shop right at the Dupont Circle Metro.

    For lunches and dinners - it will obviously depend on where you are at any point of day. Some suggestions include:

    Pizzareia Paradisio on P Street at Dupont Circle
    Matchbox near the Verizon Center (also great pizza, mini burgers, etc.)
    Zola at the Spy Museum
    Food Court at the Native American Smithsonian
    Logan's Tavern on P street near Logan Circle
    Lauriol Plaza on 18th Street for Mexican
    Luigi's on 19th Street for Italian
    Greek Deli on 19th Street for a good carry-out lunch

    hope this helps some! Enjoy your visit!

    11 Replies
    1. re: DC Gal

      I would also recommend the Tabard Inn for dinner...if the weather is nice sit in the court yard area...it's beautiful.

      You might also want to check out Kramerbooks and Afterwards...its a restaurant/book store. When I came to DC with my parents when I was 13 I thought this was the coolest restaurant in the world. Plus the food is good and has large servings. They also serve brunch.

      If your son is an adventurous eater you might want to take him to Cafe Atlantico (either for lunch of dinner). It's a very cool Nuevo Latin restaurant. The food is uniquely prepared and if you can sit near the Minibar (a tiny restaurant within a restaurant) your son can peak at the exstrordianary creations being made for the 6 lucky diners seated there.

      And for lunch near the Smithsonian museum highly recommend the Food Court at the Native American Museum. I know you are thinking "blah food courts" but this place is really good and the choices span the culinary favorites of the various regions around the US---quite a unique history lesson.

      Besides Zola (which if your son is at all interested in spy movies or novels this will be very cool because it looks like one giant James Bond set) there is Poste and Zaytinya...both I believe open for lunch and dinner and across from the Portrain Gallery.

      1. re: Elyssa

        Tabard for dinner? You're really optimistic. Same with Kramerbooks.

        Good call on Native american museum.

        1. re: jpschust

          Optimistic how? That they would need reservations? Or that the food would be good. I think both have consistently good food (not excellent but good) and offer something in terms of atmosphere which would be nice for a 10 year-old and his Dad.

          1. re: Elyssa

            Yeah -- I also feel not-so-enamored of Tabard Inn for non-brunch.... and Kramerbooks basically all the time. Not that I feel either is bad... just, not really anything special at all.

            I would say, if you like Japanese food, check out Sushi Taro (for lunch they do amazing specials... 17th and P) or Sakana (cheaper than Sushi Taro by a long shot for dinner and also good - 20th and P). Of course, you have great Japanese out in LA so you may not care -too much-. But they are both very good places, and right near you.

            I would second DC_Gal's -entire- list. All great spots. I would definitely, super-strongly, recommend *not* trying to eat anywhere on the mall proper; instead, whenever you are going to be down there, try eating somewhere in the area between 6th-9th streets and F-H streets NW either before or after, and you'll have something good. It's an easy walk from the mall / Smithsonian areas, and the metro station there is Gallery Place / Chinatown, from which you could take the subway back to your hotel (alternatively, there are always lots of cabs there as well).

            Also, you should consider bringing your son down to Bar Rouge one of the slow nights (not Thu or Fri). They will probably mix him up something virgin and special, and it is, IMO, a very, very cool bar. and right in your hotel!

            1. re: Elyssa

              I've had a series of terrible meals at Kramer Books and I've had 1 good dinner and 2 terrible dinners at Tabard inn- they really need to stick just to brunch.

              1. re: jpschust

                We had an excruciatingly bad dinner at the Tabard Inn about a month ago. Everything that could have been horrible about it was horrible, really... service, food. Ick. Not recommended.

            2. re: jpschust

              I'll third the Native American Museum cafe. Very good stuff.

              Cafe Atlantico is great, too. Minibar is harder to get in to and will definitely need reservations. I still dream of 'White Wine Deconstructed' and 'Foie Gras Cotton Candy'.

              www.roguefood.com

              1. re: Pool Boy

                Not sure if the Minibar is appropriate for a 10 year-old though...even if he does have a foodie pallet! :)

                1. re: Elyssa

                  I have to agree with Elyssa on this one. It is not a place for 10-year olds, even those with a food bent.

                  I disagree with the recommendation for the food at the Native maerican Museum. It is a wonderful idea in theory but in execution, every meal I have had there has been disappointing. Plus it has all the charm and warmth of an insitutitional cafeteria.

                  1. re: Dakota Guy

                    The two trips I have had there have been fine. Sorry to hear about your not so great experiences. But come on, you have to admit for a museum cafeteria (which is what it is, it's pretty good and quite different from the usual garbage served up in these sorts of places.

                    www.roguefood.com

                    1. re: Pool Boy

                      Yep native american museum has excellent museum cafeteria food which is very different. I really enjoyed it, I was shocked a museum had such good food. I have had the indian taco once which I thought was great for lunch, I forget what I had the other time. My health nut friend was super impressed too because of what she could get and the amount of healthy food options. As a native I don't normally eat in museums, but I would here, especially because it is a little walk from there to any restuarants and if you are exploring a lot of the mall and smithsonians it is very handy to have lunch there. Also parts of the museum are so neat that you might want to make it a destination anyway.

        2. If you are going to be going to the Spy Museum, walk a few more blocks into Chinatown and go to Eat First. Best Chinese food in DC.

          1 Reply
          1. re: nutellacat

            DC Gal made some good suggestions. A few other thoughts:

            If your son is adventurous and not afraid of fairly spicy food, take him for some Ethiopian food. Etete or Dukem are considered the best, but there are others that are also pretty good. Look on the boards for other suggestions.

            He might also enjoy Zyatinya for the small plates thought it is more a see and be seen type of place as well as a bar.

            You could take him to Bistro du Coin for french food, I've seen kids in there often enough though it is very loud at times.

          2. For breakfast and or lunch try Teasim, one in DuPont and one in Penn Qtr near the museums. He might get a kick of making his own donut at Fractured Prune in Dupont. There are options in Penn Qtr area such as Jalo for spanish tapas-small plates that wont fill him as much and sometimes they have flamico (sp) dancers. You might want to take a small trip to the warf on Maine ave to see all sorts of seafood and grab some take away to eat near the river.

            1. Also in the Dupont area for lunch or dinner is one of my favorites...Hank's Oyster Bar. You might really enjoy this restaurant since it has a real East Coast vibe to it (something you can't get out in LA) and excellent food that a 10-year-old would enjoy. If you go, try their lobster roll---it's excellent!!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Elyssa

                I second the lobster roll -- had it a week ago! ...mmm....

              2. I think Kramer's/Afterwards is definitely worth looking into, but just for perusing books with your son, and maybe getting a dessert(?). I've never been for brunch, but I don't believe the food (or the service) is generally worth the usual wait.

                In Dupont, I would recommend Sette Osteria for wood-fired pizzas and Italian. For breakfast on the go, do unique, fresh donuts at the new Fractured Prune on P Street. I know it's a chain, but fondue at the Melting Pot on 19th might be fun with your son? I am also a huge fan of anything at Bistro du Coin on Conn. -- the curry steamed mussels and the steak are both delicious! Nice ambiance too!

                1. While it's smack between the two, I consider Hotel Rouge to be more in the Logan Circle neighborhood than the Dupont Circle neighborhood. Logan Tavern is a good spot for father & son.

                  I also love Mar de Plata (Argentine) around the corner (on 14th just above Rhode Island Ave.).

                  Also close-by is Rice for the best Thai around (and they deliver!).

                  http://www.logantavern.com/

                  http://www.simplyhomedc.com/Welcome.html (Rice)

                  1. Actually, you two gotta go to Dukem - steps from Metro or a 5 minute taxi from your hotel. I actually would put this in the don't miss category.

                    http://www.dukemrestaurant.com/

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Rosco1

                      Thanks everyone for your input. I will check out your some of your replies. I really appreciate the insight..