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Balancing foodie grandparents and small baby

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My parents are traveling from the East to meet their new grandson (seven months old now). They love fancy restaurants and visit California mostly to eat and drink, and I'm sure they will want to eat out as much as possible. My baby is a well-behaved one, but I don't want to interrupt anyone's dinner or make a fuss. Does anyone have recommendations for restaurants (especially in the East Bay) that both serve interesting cuisine and might be baby-friendly? (Yes, we plan on hiring a babysitter on some nights. But we'd like to dine en famille at least occasionally, if possible.)

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  1. i had dinner at helmand palace the other night and it may suit your needs. my sister is 5 and had enough space to move around a bit. the afghani food was great, reasonably priced, and totally interesting! it's a family-run restaurant from what i understand, so i would guess they would be more understanding of children. the waiters were perfectly nice to my sister.

    don't miss the vegetarian special entree, which has all the great veggie dishes in a sharable plate that is a perfect appetizer. i wouldn't call the restaurant "fancy" though. still, it doesn't seem like an every day sort of place. not noisy either, which should help keep the baby soothed.

    and there's always aziza, a solid winner for out of town guests.

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    Helmand Palace
    2424 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109

    1. Where in the East Bay? The upstairs cafe at Chez Panisse is known to be child-friendly.

      1. Pappo in Alameda is very baby friendly -- we had our family December birthday dinner there around my niece's first birthday.

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        Pappo
        2320 Central Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501

        1. If you're willing to go on the early side, almost all of my favorite places in the East Bay are baby friendly. Pizzaiolo, in particular, has lots of babies and toddlers in the 5:30-6:30 hour. Upstairs at Chez Panisse also works, as does Sea Salt.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JasmineG

            Ohhh ... Sea Salt is a wonderful idea. Great food and easy access to the outdoors ... on a warm day even dining outside is pleasant.

          2. A 3rd on Chez Panisse Cafe. Should be pleasant. I'd book closer to 6 p.m.

            1. I don't have a specific suggestion, but as a veteran parent I need to say that almost everywhere will be fine if you go earlyish and if your baby is well-behaved. With my firstborn at that age we had many a dinner at some nicer establishments in SF at 5:30 or 6:00. We had great luck and were pleasantly surprised by how welcoming most places were.

              (wait until the toddler years, that's a whole 'nother story)

              1 Reply
              1. re: raeclark

                I agree. Up until about 15 months of age, babies are pretty easy to take out to dinner, as long as you don't stay too long and you bring a few quiet toys or favorite books.