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Baby Friendly Restaurants?

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My husband and I have a 3-month-old daughter and are just starting to go out for dinner again, but most of the places we used to frequent seem too small to drag a stroller with a car seat into. I looked at some past Chowhound boards, but they seem geared more toward fine dining and parents with small kids. Our daughter is very well behaved and generally will sleep through meals out in her car seat regardless of how noisy a place is. We're just looking for moderately priced restaurants that we'll be welcome at. Any area of the city is fair game. We live up in Riverdale in the Bronx, but the dining options are awful here so we tend to take the Subway down to the UWS and Hells Kitchen or take the train to Grand Central. We like all kinds of food but especially Thai, Italian and Mexican. Good wine and beer lists are a plus. We're willing to eat early if we have to, just let me know if that's what's expected at a given place. Thanks!

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  1. Maybe you can just take off the car seat and fold up the stroller and leave the stroller up front and not bring it to the table....? Put the car seat with the baby in it next to you on the floor....? This might give you more options.

    5 Replies
    1. re: gutsofsteel

      Gutsofsteel,

      Great suggestion regarding not taking the stroller in. I think that will free up some option. However, putting the baby in the car seat on the floor seems a bit dangerous. I am sure we can place the cute baby on the chair.

      I love seeing babies in the restaurants.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        But that means a table for 3 with only two people eating - restaurants won't love that. You could tuck a car seat under a table near your legs....or between you...

        I thinks it's great to have kids in restaurants...as long as they are quiet. If the kid starts making noise though.....up and out.

        1. re: gutsofsteel

          :) Good point, but that is only true for some restaurants. I t hink some restaurants won't mind.

          As long as the babies are not screaming loud, I won't care. I think even a little crying can be cute. That is just me.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            It's cute if I choose it - but it's not cute when it's imposed on me in a restaurant.

            A restaurant ALWAYS wants to fill its seats with paying customers.

            1. re: gutsofsteel

              Gut,

              I didn't say you need to find baby cute. I only said what I feel and I reiterate that point quiet clear. As for restaurants, many restaurants are not always full, so it does not costing them anything to sit a baby, so they don't mind. Maybe we have been to very different restaurants, but I have always seen babies on the tables, and I have never seen a manager denied a baby a seat. Now, if you have seen that regularly, great, that is your experience, but that is not my experience.

    2. Here's some previous discussion on stroller-friendly restaurants. I searched specifically for the words "stroller" and "friendly" over the last 5 years, not sure what search terms you were using.

      It seems like you'll have the most flexibility if you can fold up the stroller and park it somewhere inside the restaurant.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/475500
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/480118
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/471545
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/234429

      1. i've found that if you go off peak, i.e. weekend lunch, or 5:30 - 6PM for dinner, the sky's the limit. i've almost never had an issue getting a 3 / 4 seater or booth at those times at some pretty good restaurants - they're probalby happy to fill seats that would be otherwise empty.

        Some more recent ones we've been to with our kid are the West Branch for dinner, Locanda Verde for brunch, Nougatine for lunch and all were great about the kid. I always think its nice to call ahead and make a reservation and let them know your situation. If they aren't "kid friendly", most restaurants have very subtle ways to let you know, i.e., its loud or crowded or very busy, etc.

        Good luck. We found it was easieest to eat out when our son was under 9 months because he could always sleep. after that, it became more difficult because he was much more alert and needed to be fed / entertained.