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May 4, 2009 07:50 PM

Recommendations for kid-friendly (no chains) restaurants close to city center.

we are driving into Philadelphia from NYC this Friday. have 2 young kids. We like good food but not chain restaurants. Staying on Race street near the Reading terminal. Any recommendations for places that will welcome kids?


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  1. The reading terminal is great for kids and chow-adults alike. Jones at 7th and Chestnut is also very nice - comfort food done up. What do your kids like food wise?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Bigley9

      I have one picky eater who will only eat french fries. but my other child will eat anything from Sushi to greek food -he will try anything and everything and so will we. thanks for suggestion!

      1. re: braque85

        Sazon is perfect. They have great fried and other kid friendly stuff plus really good Venezuelan food.

    2. Anyplace in Chinatown is great with kids. How old are they?

      1 Reply
      1. Any of the locations of Marathon Grill would be great they have good fries

        4 Replies
        1. re: rocknroll52

          Hm. I've never been to a Marathon that had a decent, much less good, fry. The worst is the 40th St one, where the fries are either grease-laden and soggy or so dry that it crumbles to dust. Until Marathon, I didn't even know you could mess up fries to the point where even I won't eat it. Terrible. (Also, the OP mentioned no chains, and Marathon is definitely a chain.)

          OP: Why not try Reading Terminal Market? You could get something to please everyone (from fries to sushi). The suggestions by Hungryin theBurbs (below) are all smart, as is Parc.

          1. re: Ali

            Yes, Marathon Grill has a number of Philadlephia locations, but is not really what I think of as a "chain" (for that I'm thinking, Fridays, Applebees, etc.) I eat frequently at the Marathon Grill at 18th and Market, where I've enjoyed the fries, but certainly that's a matter of taste. The reason I recommend it is not just for the fries, but because its very family friendly. They have a kids menu that includes such items as chicken "toes", PBJ, pizza, pancakes, grilled cheese & pasta. They also have fruit smoothies and you can order breakfast all day long.

            I also agree with Pietro's for family friendly pizza, pasta and salads.

            1. re: Ali

              We are staying v. close to the Reading terminal so will definitely check it out. thanks so much!

          2. They sound just like my kids (same ages too). The Reading Terminal has lots of choices and would be great for breakfast or lunch. My kids like Marathon Grill. It's not the most gourmet, but will have something for everyone and is easy to bring kids to.

            Most places in Chinatown are great for kids. Specifically, I'd recommend Shiao Lan Kung for Chinese (my picky eater will usually have lo mein) and Rangoon for Burmese. We've been bringing our kids to Rangoon since they were babies and are always welcome. The food is unique and delicious. My picky eater loves the crispy fried Taro, which are very french fry-like. She doesn't eat much else, but it keeps her busy while we get to eat yummy stuff. They also bring out the food really quickly.

            Around the city, make sure you go to Franklin Fountain (old fashioned ice cream parlor), Capogiro (world's best gelato, amazing array of flavors); and Naked Chocolate Cafe. The kids will love all three for treats. If you are in the Rittenhouse area, Pietro's is kid-friendly for pizza and other italian offerings.

            Have fun!

            3 Replies
            1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

              Also over on Rittenhouse square is Parc - a french bistro by Steven Starr - it is huge and noisy, but pretty good - so you could get French Bistro food and your youngest could get frites!

              1. re: Bigley9

                Love this suggestion! We love French bistro food.

              2. re: Hungryin theBurbs

                I really appreciate all the suggestions here -thanks so much!

              3. The original comment has been removed