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Sophisticated 3 year old + Volcano = ???

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We're brooklyn based foodies coming to DC this weekend for a visit that has been thrown into turmoil by the Icelandic volcano: all of our plans have been canceled because our relatives couldn't fly out of Switzerland. So now we need to find new plans, including places to eat. Our three year old loves good restaurants, good food, and is properly behaved. We are looking for non-stuffy, child-friendly (but not child-oriented), restaurants for Saturday dinner, Sunday breakfast/brunch and Sunday dinner. Any cuisines/suggestions welcomed - though would be particularly happy with places focusing on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Also, if there are any amazing snacks to be had - ice cream parlors or treats - that would be great to know about also.

I should also mention that we're staying downtown - near 14th and K streets - and will be getting around by Metro.


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  1. Treat - toasted marshmallow milkshake at Good Stuff Eatery near the Library of Congress (a must visit.)

    Good Stuff Eatery
    303 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC

    2 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      Agreed on Good Stuff Eatery. It has very good burgers -- and the BEST shakes in town; they are phenomenal. My personal favorite is the Black and White shake - short of like drinking a creamy, high quality hot fudge sundae. Their basic chocolate shake is wonderful as well - it has these little, mysterious, (to me, anyway!) chocolately, crunchy bits in it which make it special. The toasted marshmallow and the delechable leche are both very good - but a bit too sweet for my individual taste.

      To echo some of what ktmoomau said below, for ice cream Dolcezza in Georgetown is excellent. At least as good as Dolcezza is Pitango Gelato across from Whole Foods at 14th and P. I'd skip Giffords if I were you (it's a corporate shadow of its former self). ACKC on 14th around R St. is a nice, sit-down chocolate emporium. Baked and Wired in Georgetown is great for wonderful coffee and baked goods of all kinds. Georgetown Cupcake has the best cupcakes I think, if cupcakes alone are what you are after. But for me, if I want something sweet, the Black and White shake is my #1 choice! It haunts me in my dreams!!

      Sunday brunches that are highly touted on this board are at Againn and the latin dim sum brunch at Cafe Atlantico - both are still on my list of places to try. I had brunch recently at Co Co Sala - I wouldn't recommend it (except for the amuse bouche, a chocolate fritter, which was fabulous).

      From 14th and K it's easy to get a bus headed north on 14th (the 52/54 or the red Woodley Park Circulator which only costs $1.00) to get to Pitango Gelato, ACKC and a plethora of good places on 14th St. and/or U St.

      Cafe Atlantico
      405 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

      Co Co Sala
      929 F street NW, Washington, DC 20004

      Pitango Gelato
      802 S Broadway, Baltimore, MD

      Georgetown Cupcake
      1209 Potomac St NW, Washington, DC

      Good Stuff Eatery
      303 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC

      1. re: woodleyparkhound

        All the shakes are good, for sure. Will try the black and white next time!!! Have also tried the Milky Way and a guanabana/strawberry combo - not sure if it's still being served. They listed Bananas Foster as a special last time I was there, but they had run out.

    2. I think Corduroy is quite nice. I don't think they would be unpleasant to a well behaved child. They normally are local oriented. Palena would be a great choice if you can sit in the front cafe (where you can order off the formal or cafe menu) the only fall back is they don't take reservations for that section, but it is casual, but with a lovely vibe. They are local oriented too, as well as, Dino next door which is very child friendly.

      Blue Duck Tavern might also be a good place, the space is very cool so it might be entertaining. And the tables are nicely spaced. Brasserie Beck is nearby if you end up needing somewhere close and good. Not as locally oriented in terms of food.

      For brunch you might try Bistro Bis or Cafe Atlantico. I have heard very good things about brunch at Againn, but haven't been.

      Treat time:
      Dolcezza for really good gelato made with wonderful ingredients. It is in Georgetown and Bethesda.

      Giffords downtown has good ice cream. AKCK has good chocolates, and there are more cupcake places than you can shake a stick at, but Georgetown Cupcake is my favorite.

      Cafe Atlantico
      405 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

      Bistro Bis
      15 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

      3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

      Brasserie Beck
      1101 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

      Georgetown Cupcake
      1209 Potomac St NW, Washington, DC

      Blue Duck Tavern
      1201 24th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

      1 Reply
      1. re: ktmoomau

        I took a slightly older child to Brasserie Beck and the staff were all quite nice to us.

        Be warned that G'town cupcake often has lines, so you might consider one of the places that are less popular but more convenient to downtown, such as Red Velvet.

        I hear a lot of raves for the salty oat cookies at Teaism (also a good place for lunch), and I always like taking little ones to visit the koi pond in the basement of the Archives outpost.

        Brasserie Beck
        1101 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

        2009 R St NW, Washington, DC 20009

      2. Dino is welcoming to children and even has a kids menu.

        1. Thanks everyone for the suggestions so far!! I actually used to live in DC 8 years ago and NONE of these places were around - or at least on my radar screen (well, Teaism and its salty oatmeal cookie were....)