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May 8, 2009 10:42 AM

MSP-Fav place for dinner w/ toddler

As my daughter has gotten older, we've actually had a tougher time figuring out where to go on Friday nights. It was so easy when she was in an infant seat and just eating strained peas.

Please share your favorite places to go with child in tow.


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  1. Context: two toddlers, one a 'good' eater, one a picky one...

    So, in no particular order:
    Jun Bo for dim sum
    Evergreen or the Tea House, too, for plain old Chinese meals.
    On the chain front: Panera
    Bryant Lake Bowl (there's bowling to watch if the meal takes a while to get there)
    Longfellow Grill/Edina Grill

    I'm sure I'll think of more the minute I hit "post"...

    1. Midtown Global Market. Great food, a FABULOUS play area in the SW corner, and even booster seats if you hunt around. Best, a noisy toddler won't be noticed in all the other ambient noise. Go - you'll love it.

      We have most of our family parties at U Garden Restaurant - our local neighborhood Chinese place - because they have a nice buffet (instant food, hooray!), great order-from-the menu food (try the whole fish steamed with ginger and garlic), and because the owner is a parent himself so quite understands classic toddler behavior. Plus, they have a liquor license...

      Anne (the doting aunt of a hyperactive toddler niece and nephew)

      1. We have a toddler and take him out to eat almost every weekend. Live in SW Mpls, so tend to stick closer to home when we take him out. Most child-friendly have been:
        Edina Grill
        D'amico and Sons-kids eat free Sundays
        Cafe Twenty Eight

        Although Cafe Maude does not have a kid's menu, they have fun non-alcoholic drinks (that can keep your toddler entertained), and will modify recipes (mac and cheese) for kids. It's loud enough in there, so if your toddler is noisy, no one notices.
        We've also had good luck with Grand Cafe. They made grilled cheese last time and had a variety of toys tucked away that they brought out. Food/wine is delicious for adults.

        2 Replies
        1. re: karakutie

          I can't imagine toddlers at Cafe Maude unless you fed them before going or brought snacks to tide the toddler over while waiting a good while for your food. And I really can't envision a wait person at Maude being in any way accommodating to the parent of a toddler as every staff person I've encountered the three times I've dined there has seemed pained to do anything. My one special request? I once asked for a water refill and was met with the heavy sigh eyeroll combo I so enjoy. Yeah, not so much a fan of Cafe Maude.

          1. re: MplsM ary

            Sorry to hear of your experience at Cafe Maude; in the three times I've been there, service has always been friendly, though slow beverage-wise (never had what I considered an above-average wait for food, but drinks took ten minutes once). Food would seem to me to be relatively kid-friendly, too.

        2. Agree with most of karakutie's suggestions as we live in Uptown and visit the same haunts.

          I'd add:
          Quang (or any other Vietnamese restaurant)
          Bad Waitress
          Bar Abilene (kids eat free and have a kids menu)
          Broder's Cucina (not pasta bar) although seating may be at a premium during peak hours.
          Amazing Thailand
          First Wok

          We tend to eat out earlier, so your mileage may vary on seating and kitchen speed.

          1. We take our 18 mo old to Blackbird frequently and they're very accomodating. They'll make special dishes for her, have lots of kid's books on hand and, most importantly, are very understanding. They even stow the stroller for you...