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Apr 14, 2009 12:55 PM

Dining suggestions near JW Marriott...for parents with two young boys

We'll be in DC over the weekend. Need to scope out places for dinner on Friday and Saturday and lunch on Saturday and Sunday. We will be located near the hotel & the Smithsonian. My children are 3 and 6 and not good eaters. Mostly bread basket scarfers. Are there any places that have both good food for adults and a childrens' menu of boring standards (chicken nuggets - cringe)? thanks

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  1. You might look at the menus at Firefly and Central. Firefly's children's menu was recently talked about in the post. While they both have good adult fare. But if you search the threads there have been a lot of children mentioned as of late.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ktmoomau

      was the mention in the print edition or online? Can't seem to find it. thanks

      1. re: lollypop

        Hmmm I am having a hard time finding it too. I believe it occured after this chat:

        But now I can't find it either. I know it mentioned Firefly though. You might also check out Zola, they have things like Mac and Cheese and other approachable things. And Old Ebbitt or Clyde's too. All not too far from the Marriott.

    2. You're not too far from either ESPN zone or Hard Rock, if you think the kids would enjoy that sort of thing. The adult food is, you know, what you'd expect at an ESPN Zone or Hard Rock, but the noise level and stimulation might be good for kids.

      Ella's wood fired pizza on 9th near the Spy Museum is very good with kids. The pizza is good - not great.

      If you're in the Air and Space Museum, there's a huge McDonald's...which is good for the kids...but take the steps to the top level and there is a little cafe type place that serves BEER AND WINE. Maybe you'll need that after a long day with the kiddies.

      Dinner choices are plentiful in the Penn Quarter area, a short walk from your hotel. Clydes of Gallery place is quite reliable and very child friendly. Your kids might like Nando's peri peri chicken, or at least the french fries. There's a lot of fast casual places on 7th - Fuddruckers, Chop't (salads), California Tortilla.

      Take advantage of the bright red circulator buses that circle the mall and go north on 7th and south on 9th when the walking becomes too hard on the little ones. The bus is $1 and it will take you to many sightseeing and dining options.

      2 Replies
      1. re: dcandohio

        Good call on the McDonalds. It would not be the first time I fed the kids before dining out somewhere else for the adults' meal. And wine to boot! I'll be looking into the other suggestions as well but would probably end up in the hotel restaurant over ESPN Zone or Hard Rock.

        1. re: lollypop

          Here's another suggestion that is not likely to come up, but might be fun for all of you. Get on the circulator bus headed south (along 9th until Penn, where it cuts over to the mall and goes down 7th). Get off at the Waterfront (ask the bus driver to tell you when you're on Maine Avenue by Arena Stage). Walk toward the water - there's a parking lot - and look for a bright blue and yellow place right on the water. It's called Cantina Marina. It's a popular weekend spot for boaters, softball teams, etc. You can sit outside. There is plenty the kids will like. You can watch the birds, the boats, and takeoffs and landings at National Airport right across the channel. It's very un-DC, but it makes for a pleasant nice weather respite from all that touring.

      2. I agree with ktmoomau....The Old Ebbitt grill is a good location, very kid friendly. And also is very nice for the adults joining you.

        Also, not too far is Chef Geoff's....I think on the corner of 13th and Penn

        1. Hi everyone,
          Thought it was only fair to report back. Thanks for all of your suggestions. Friday night my husband took the kids to Five Guys Burgers. It was close to the White House & was part of a Food Court so Son #1 could get a slice of pizza instead of a burger. Easy meal, but left a lot to be desired for the parents. Breakfast at the JW Marriott was amazing. It was one of the most extensive & well stocked buffets I have ever come across. I think it was $22 for adults and under $6 for the kids. Lunch at McD at the Air & Space museum. I had to skip that meal (seriously). Dinner at Chef Geoff's. Chef Geoff's was a good place for adults & children alike. The kids could get pasta or pizza and the adults could choose from so many different items on their large menu. Breakfast at Starbucks on Sunday. Lunch at Old Ebbitt Grill. There looked like a long line when we got there but the hostess saw we had kids & seated us in under ten minutes!!! The adults had the French Dip sandwich and fresh crab appetizers -- very good although the portions seemed very small but I guess that's best for everyone involved. The kids' menu was great & had several several choices -- $6 and included milk/soda and ice cream for dessert!