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Family/Baby-Friendly Restaurants

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We have recently entered parenthood and would like some recommendations on good family-friendly restaurants. Right now, the baby is still in a car seat and travels easily, but we still feel a little uncomfortable taking him into fine-dining establishments.

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  1. Although it is focused on Columbus, Ohio, the website KidsEatOut.com does restaurant reviews for families with little ones. Maybe you could check it out and find reviews on some chain restaurants that are in your area too. Just a thought.....

    1. What part of town do you do most of your dining?

      2 Replies
      1. re: missmitzi

        Mainly Northwest Austin, but we like variety and enjoy going downtown and East Austin on Friday/Saturday nights. Right now, we have an infant who just hangs out in a car seat, so we can pretty much cart him around anywhere. It's just a matter of where can we go without gettiing funny looks.

        1. re: alexvictoria

          Waterloo on 360 is absolutely-positively family friendly. In fact, I'd say it's adult-only dicouraged.

        1. We have a 14 month old (who is a good quiet diner for now at least) and we hit all the Waterloo Locations, Brooklyn Heights Pizzeria (more RR but very good pizza), Saccone's on 620, Maudie's and Feugo's on N. Lamar, Cafe Java, Sambetts, Hyde Park Bar and Grill, Billy's on Burnet. Our all time favorite for a cheap breakfast is La Tapatia at Anderson Mill and 183. I've also did lunch with her at most of the restaurants in the Domain before she started eating solid foods. I've been surprised at how accomodating most places are as long as you're respectful too.

          We have also brunched at East Side Cafe and Moonshine with her. I think you could do lunch or an early dinner at Vivo's (outside especially). When they are still sitting in the car seat, you can go just about anywhere that isn't super loud (don't want to hurt baby's ears) or super quiet (don't want to annoy patrons if your baby cries). Hope this helps and enjoy your little one. Everyone says it and it's true...it goes fast!

          1. As a parent of 6 and 9 year old boys, I say LIVE dammit! Until that kid is old enough to have an opinion, take advantage of all the places you love and don't feel uncomfortable about it. If you are considerate and take the baby outside if he/she is crying, I don't see why you couldn't go anywhere you want. You will spend MANY meals at "family friendly" restaurants - Central Market playground, Amy's/Phil's, EZ's, Chuy's, etc, etc, sniff, I'm starting to cry... Enjoy the babyhood while milk is the only thing they require.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Allison L.

              I totally agree. It's so much easier when they are infants and sleep so much. I took my daughter to Mars last year when she was a couple of months old and she slept through almost the entire meal. This year we've done Perla's twice and we've had to be more creative in keeping her entertained.

              As long as you are prepared to take your child outside to console if he or she starts crying, then I'd try almost anywhere.

              I like places that have good walking areas outside, like the Domain, South Congress, so you have somewhere to go/something to look out if you need to take the kiddo out of the restaurant for awhile.

              The other thing I do is to let the host/hostess know when I make reservations that we'll have a small child with us. I figure that way they can stick us at a table in the back/off to the side/etc.