Looking for kid-friendly Boston dining
We are coming to town next weekend with our 7 year old daughter and would like to try some of Boston's best Italian and casual seafood eateries. Any suggestions on places we could go that are family-friendly, but not your run of the mill and no chain eateries? We are staying at the Hyatt in Cambridge and would like to find things in easy walking distance or public transportation. Thanks for your suggestions!
As far as walking and public transport go, the Hyatt in Cambridge is a tough location. A search on Hyatt will turn up a few threads like this one http://www.chowhound.com/topics/331724 but you're probably looking at a cab ride to most places, or a good hard look at the bus schedule ( http://mbta.com/rider_tools/servicene... ).
As for kid friendly, outside of bars and clubs, and the fanciest of jacket and tie places, most restaurants are quite friendly for a well-behaved 7 year old. You know your daughter best, obviously, but I'd suggest going to dinner a little earlier than you might otherwise to avoid the rush and keep her from getting cranky. Other than that, go wherever.
For classic Boston Italian, search the board for "North End" and you'll find a wealth of recommendations; it's one of the most discussed topics here. In Cambridge, I'd suggest Dolphin seafood between Central and Harvard Squares for seafood, and Cambridge One in Harvard Square for an interesting (and very kid friendly) take on pizza.
One of the great strengths of Boston is the multitude of ethnic options. In particular, I'd suggest searching the board for "lusophone" to turn up Portuguese and Brazilian options, particularly around Inman Square in Cambridge. Also down toward the Hyatt, but still a long walk, cafe Baraka is fun and exotic North African with a super-friendly owner/hostess, if your daughter would be up for it.
If you have any more specific questions, for example: is restaurant X OK with kids, we'd be happy to help. Browse around the boards a bit and throw out some ideas...
Have fun in Boston!
I used to work next door to the Hyatt and there is nowhere within easy walking distance. Your best bet is to walk over the BU Bridge, which is across the street from the hotel, to Commonwealth Ave, and take the B line train into town- it runs down the middle of the street. A short distance is Kenmore Square- the first under ground stop. The Red Sox aren't in town so this will be a breeze. There are lots of good child friendly restaurants and lunch places around the ball park The Hotel Commonwealth is right at the T exit and they are family friendly. Look on this board for a zillion recs for Eastern Standard Kitchen and Great Bay, a seafood restaurant, both in the hotel
Fenway Park has tours if your 7 year old is a baseball fan and there is a new Taco place across from Fenway called La Verdad that is big on this board. And your 7 year old might like Jillian's next door to La Verdad- it's full of video games.
If you don't get off at Kenmore Square you will continue on to Copley Square (Back Bay and Newbury St,) Boylston (Chinatown) and Govermant Center (Faneuil Hall and the North End). I'm sure you'll be getting loads of posts about these areas. Have a great weekend.
Just to clarify: Easteran Standard does have a zillion recs on this board, but Great Bay has quite a bit fewer. ;-)
Also, the Hyatt's a decent hotel chain. I would not be surprised if they offer a shuttle service to, at least, the Red line subway line, which would connect you to downtown and Harvard Square. In fact, they probably have a shuttle into town itself.
Walking over the BU bridge to catch the B line with a 7 year old... that might be fun once -- "ooo look, a bridge" -- but that's not the most pleasant walk, really, as there is a lot of traffic. Look into shuttle service!
All of the Chinatown places are family friendly, especially dim sum.
I would recommend Antico Forno in the North End, but you'd probably have to take a cab. We go there with our 1-year-old daughter frequently, it's very family friendly, and the food is good.
I am the father of a 7-year-old and cannot think of a single restaurant in Boston that I like to go to but that I wouldn't bring her to. Our favorites include East Coast Grill (seafood and barbecue), B&G Oysters (seafood; I haven't taken her to Neptune Oyster Bar, but that would be another good choice), Solea (tapas), and Mr. Bartley's (burgers). She also has been to, and enjoyed, some of Boston's finer restaurants like Mistral and No. 9 Park. So peruse the board, pick out the places that sound best to you, and go.