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Cambridge and Boston eats with kids

We're visiting the Boston area this weekend with two kids, 3 and 7. We're staying at a hotel in Kendall Square, and we're looking for great lunch and dinner spots. I'd love a great homestyle Greek place. a great sandwich/burger place, a dim sum place with carts for Sunday, and any other kid friendly( they're not picky eaters and don't necessarily need paper placemats and crayons, but the restaurant should welcome families) restaurants that are not pricey (entrees under $18) and good chowish kinds of spots, not chains. If you have any recs., please let us know how close it is to Kendall Square or any area attractions and what T stop is most convenient. We'll be doing public transportation all weekend.

Thanks!

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  1. All Star Sandwich Shop is a long walk or short cab ride away. Emma's Pizza is really nearby with great pizza, salads, and sandwiches - crowded for sitdown, but with a takeaway window. Other top spots nearby include Hungry Mother, Blue Room )(great brunch and outdoor tables), and The Helmand (excellent, reasonably priced Afghan - reservations a must), but I am not sure about how family-welcoming they may be.

    1. Right near Kendall Square (ten-minute walk for an adult) is Desfina, a pretty solid Greek place. My favorite Greek spot is called Greek Corner, located in North Cambridge, about a 15-minute drive from you.

      Sandwich/burger: I think the kids would like Bartley's in Harvard Square a lot, two subway stops away from you or a ten-minute drive (and best of luck with parking).

      The three pushcart-based dim sum places that are generally best regarded on the board are, in no particular order, Chau Chow, Hei La Moon, and China Pearl. If you do a site search for any of these, you'll get somewhere between three and four gazillion hits.

      Here's a thread from a few weeks back asking about family-friendly dining in your area:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/511960

      7 Replies
      1. re: finlero

        I second finlero's picks. Getting to Greek corner from Kendall would mean taking the redline to Porter (3 stops) and then taking the 77 bus for about 10 minutes.Depending on how the kids are behaving, it might not be worth it. They are very family friendly though, and the food is good.

        Harvard Square's Mayfair was postponed to this Sunday, so that could be a nice activity for you if the weather isn't bad. You could eat at Bartley's and also nosh on some street food too.

        1. re: Bluebell

          Don't miss Christina's Ice Cream in Inman Square!

          1. re: Bluebell

            Hey chowgirl, sorry I missed the pub trans comment. Bluebell is spot-on about the 77 bus to Greek Corner; depending on your kids' tolerances for walking, you could also take Red Line an extra stop to Davis, then walk a half mile up the bike path to Mass Ave.

            The non-Greek recs in my first post are all right on the T.

            1. re: finlero

              Greek Corner is a short walk from Davis Sq. Cut through the park behind the station. It's ok, don't think Boston has "great" Greek. They have a sister restaurant in Harvard Sq., I have no personal experience. If the weather's bad your kids might enjoy the Peabody museum at Harvard (glass flowers, dinosaur eggs).

              If you wind up in downtown Boston, Sultan's Kitchen is mostly takeout and has quite good Turkish.

              Mulan near Kendall for Taiwanese.

              1. re: Aromatherapy

                Aromatherapy--With all due respect, short can mean something very different if you are wrangling a three year old! The one is Harvard Sq is much more cramped and crowded, and on a totally different side of the square.
                Chowgirl - if you want to live dangerously, there is a spray fountain/rocks space just outside of Harvard Yard. kids love it, but if they are too enthusiastic, they can get soaked.

            2. re: Bluebell

              Dupe.

            3. re: finlero

              Note that Bartley's is NOT open on Sundays.

            4. This is more near Porter/Harvard Sq., but check out Fullmoon if you get a chance.

              http://www.fullmoonrestaurant.com/

              2 Replies
              1. re: Calico Jack

                Disagree about Full Moon. They try really hard, and for parents of really young kids it can be a godsend, but I find the place incredibly stressful -- kids running around and screaming everywhere (because the place is, after all, geared to families with young kids). There is just nothing relaxing about the place.

                1. re: Blumie

                  Yes, I've got to agree - Full Moon is a great idea, but we never go there precisely because there are too many kids there! (and we've got a 7 and almost 3 yo too). Too bad, the food is good, but the vibe is most decidedly not relaxing.

                  In H-Square, Charlies Kitchen is dive-y but has its devotees. Henrietta's Table is pretty good, and comfortable taking families. If you want to trek to Inman Square (site of All Star Sandwich Bar) we hit East Coast Grill with our kids once in a while. If you go early, there isn't too much of a wait. Food is great, staff is accomodating, vibe is fun and loud - and a table in the "volcano room" is perfect for kids (the volcano erupts every ten minutes).

                  We used to hit the S&S in Inman with the kids, it's a deli, but tending toward mediocre. Can't go wrong with brunch there, tho.

                  Christina's - a must. As is Toscanini's ice cream, in Central Square.

                  Love the Greek Corner, but don't go to H-Square branch, it's really just takeout. The North Cambridge one is better but maybe logistically challenging for you.

                  Summer Shack, at Alewife on the Red Line has its detractors, but I've never been unhappy with oysters and cocktails. Big, busy, definitely fine for families.

                  Doesn't Mary Chung in Central do dim sum on Sundays?

                  Oh, and the Porter Exchange mall, at the Porter Square stop on the Red Line has a little "food court" of tiny Asian eateries - noodles, ramen, sushi, that are really good, and totally easy for families. We love Tampopo. You can search this board for more on this place.

                  What about that diner, Zoe's? on Mass Ave b/w Central and Harvard? I 've never been, but others can comment. And this reminds me of the Dolphin, a solid, no-frills seafood place in the same building.