Visiting DC - need some ideas
I'll be in DC with my family (2 kids - 5 & 8, husband and my mom) and we are looking for a wide array of places to enjoy. My mom is vegetarian, but does not like the "typical vegetarian restaurants" as she says. Anything good, she usually finds something. We will be there for one week and will pretty much be eating all our meals out and about. So economical is important. Though we would like to splurge on at least one nice meal as well. The kids eat the typical "kid fare" - but I can usually get my son to be adventurous and my daughter will go along if she thinks there's dessert in it for her. We're always on the lookout for some sweet treats!
You might also want to check out Jaleo or Zaytinya. They offer small plates and there are plenty of vegetarian choices as well as things that younger children would like. In fact the veg mezze menu at Zaytinya is almost twice as big as the meat-and-poultry one.
While it is not the thing for children who are not adventurous because of the spicyness, Ethiopian food also offers many vegetarian choices. Finally, Chinese restaurants are always good for vegetarians as they offer many choices while still allowing the carnivores to have choices too.
For your "nicer" meal, but still a child-friendly restaurant (i.e. I've seen children there before) I would try Central, Brassiere Beck, or Blue Duck Tavern. All of these are top DC restaurants with excellent food without being too pricey (depending on what you order). In addition, I think all would be able to easily accommodate a vegetarian.
If you end up in Georgetown (perhaps for cupcakes) you could also consider TackleBox they have really good freshly grilled fish with 2 sides for $13 and other things too. I wouldn't recommend the mac and cheese or coleslaw as sides, but they have excellent fries, and fresh made veggies like asparagus and broccoli.
1. MATCHBOX (Gallery Place Metro.) I love their mini-burgers & apple, bluecheese, pecan salad. I have not had their pizzas, but they look great, too. Place has a cool vibe.
2. 2 AMY'S for amazing pizzas 3.MOBY DICK HOUSE OF KEBOB for quick kebob pita sandwiches, kebobs with rice. Warm veggies on pita or rice and falafel. Speciaties are the kebobs, however. VERY casual, counter-service only. There are several of these restaurants in the area, but if you are sight-seeing, the closest one most likely will be Dupont Metro. These are my favorite places! Hope you have a great time.
For a fun sweet treat you might want to check out one of the new Pinkberry-style fro-yo spots in DC. I personally like TangySweet but I hear good things about Mr. Yogato.
Another really fun thing for the kids would be to do a cupcake tasting tour in Georgetown. You can go to Baked and Wired (my personal favorite), Georgetown Cupcake and Dean and Deluca and sample various cupcakes.
In terms of restaurants here are a few places to check out:
Dino-rustic Italian in Cleveland Park. Could be your nicer dinner (although still moderatly priced) but they are also kid-friendly.
Filomena-Red Italian, family friendly in Georgetown. Big portions and your daughter will flip over their HUGE and delicious slices of cake.
Jaleo-Famous tapas restaurant in DC. Veggie friendly options as well.
Matchbox or Pizza Paradisio for pizza. 2 Amy's is also a favorite among families but it is not metro accessible if that is an issue.
Hank's Oyster Bar for New England style seafood.
Creme-Homestyle cuisine with a Southern flair.
Mai Thai for affordable and yummy thai cuisine
Heritage India- Lots of veggie options and great Indian food.
Georgia Browns- Amazing, if not very crowded, brunch buffet on Sundays. Food is Southern and there is usually always something for everyone (including a chocolate fountain and my favorite grits in the city).
And make sure to go to the American Indian Museum Cafe for a fun and delicious lunch. It's not your usual museum cafeteria but they have food from the various regions of the US. I went there last weekend and had an amazing chicken dish with mango and plaintain mole and a wild rice salad. It's a good way to teach the kids about different cultures (whatever you do, don't let them choose chicken fingers...the other options are so much better!)
Make sure to report back when you finish your vacation. It's always nice to know what worked well for visitors with kids.
I won't list my recommendations, but I do want to second the American Indian Museum cafeteria. Maple turkey for the northeast, plank salmon for the northwest, bison burger and frybread for the Plains....it's actually an educational eating experience!
OK, one recommendation. If you go to the Spy Museum, which I think is a must, then Zola is a nice restaurant in the same building.