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Atlanta with a 4 year old

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My husband and I are taking our 4 year old daughter to Atlanta for her birthday May 3-5. We are looking for some good kid-friendly restaurants for lunches and dinners. We don't want anything fancy (we want jeans-friendly places), but we'd like good food. My husband and daughter aren't interested in Asian food, but we all love Mexican/Southwest, Italian, and just plain American. My husband and I like barbecue, but daughter doesn't. If there's a place that has good barbecue in addition to other stuff, that would be okay. My daughter is a good eater--she likes chicken fingers, pizza, etc., but she also loves a good steak or a simple fish dish. We don't want to do The Varsity (bad experience from when we lived in Athens). Any suggestions? We're going to be at the zoo one day and at the Aquarium another day, so if we can go someplace close to those, it would be great. Also, are there any suggestions for good "snack" places--ice cream, candy, desserts, etc.? Thanks for your help!

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  1. Two suggestions for your day at the zoo. Mary Mac's Tea Room on Ponce de Leon, is wonderful. They have kid friendly stuff (check out their veggie plate options for some great food). The staff are friendly and understanding with tired toddlers. The other is Fellini's Pizza, also on Ponce. A hot slice and a cold fruit punch or soda feeds what you need after a day at the zoo. Another place to try (don't know how close you will be) is some of the world's greatest barbecue at Dreamland BBQ (several locations in the Atlanta area). For kids, the mac & cheese, banana pudding, and small sandwich are great. For adults... the greatest ribs and chopped pork you will ever eat. Go to www.dreamlandbbq.com

    2 Replies
    1. re: danishcheez

      If you want to take a little drive, I would recommend taking her to Crescent Moon in downtown Decatur. Always yummy and very kid friendly.

      1. re: danishcheez

        Dreamland in Atlanta is the franchised, pale-by-comparison version of the original one in Tuscaloosa, AL. I wouldn't recommend driving all the way to Alpharetta just for that. I would, though, for Greenwoods or Swallow at the Hollow in Roswell. Rolling Bones on Edgewood is pretty good, too, for staying in town.

        I haven't been to the Fellini's on Ponce in a while- great idea, but the one in Candler Park (on McClendon) might be more neighborhood-y. I had a moratorium on the one on Peachtree in Garden Hills b/c the Chowpup just wanted to run around the fountain instead of eating. She'll be 3 this weekend, so similar birthdays.

        Other ideas- Six Feet Under (either location), Figo Pasta (Howell Mill, Moreland, or Virginia-Highlands), Star Provisions (Huff and Howell Mill); Taqueria del Sol (not the one at Huff and Howell Mill; they're downright rude to families; at least Cheshire gives lip service to that good-sized chunk of their customer base).

        Not sure about snack places, except for Alon's Bakery in Morningside. Think most of the dessert-only places haven't survived.

        Oh, and I fall on the Colonnade side of the Colonnade vs. Mary Mac's debate.

      2. Thanks for the suggestions. Due to our scheduling, unfortunately, we ended up eating most of our meals in the touristy locations we visited (Fernbank, aquarium, and zoo). Not great food, but that's where we were when it was time to eat. We did try Mary Mac's. I enjoyed my meal immensely. My daughter was not very pleased with hers. She opted for the chicken tenders, mac & cheese, and applesauce. The chicken tenders were good, albeit huge for such a little kid. She didn't like the mac & cheese because it had "brown stuff in it." It was baked. So, if your kids are picky about their mac & cheese, you might want to opt for something else. She did eat the applesauce. I had a veggie plate with turnip greens, fried okra, mac & cheese, and brocolli souffle. I enjoyed everything. My husband had chicken & dumplings, mac & cheese, and fried green tomatoes. He said the chicken & dumplings were "good" and the fried green tomatoes were "okay." So, my picky eaters weren't overly impressed, but I thought it was pretty good.