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Visiting Boston with children - looking for kid-friendly recommendations


I will be visiting Boston next weekend (June 4-6) with my wife and two children (2 1/2 and 8 months) and am looking for places to go to eat - breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We are looking for places with good food, that are also kid-friendly. Somebody already recommended Zaftig's, so I think we are going to try that for Saturday breakfast. Anybody have any other suggestions? Outdoor seating would be great, if the weather permits.

Thank you!

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  1. Where are you staying?

    Lots of good places around with outdoor seating. There's a current thread on outdoor seating in Cambridge and Somerville, and a lot of those places are family friendly.

    I know the regulars on this board hold Legal Seafood in the same esteem (if that) as Red Lobster, but they're a good seafood place that we've taken our kids to numerous times.

    Depending on when you're here, one of the Italian feasts in the North End would probably be fun for the 2 1/2-year-old:


    1 Reply
    1. re: scratchie

      Scratchie - we will be staying at the Radisson in the Theater District. Thanks for the info on the feasts - that could be a lof of fun!

    2. We just went to Stonehearth Pizza in Needham with our two young kids, but I know they have an outpost in Cambridge, too. It's very kid-friendly. In fact, when we got there, a little after 5:30, most of the tables were taken up by families. But the best part is that it's pretty good pizza, with interesting, fresh toppings (they favor local ingredients) and a thin crispy crust, not greasy in the least. I liked the pasta fagioli soup I ordered, too, light and flavorful.

      2 Replies
      1. re: javelina

        Stenehearth Pizza looks yummy!! A pizza dinner is definitely a great idea too. It'll just depend on whether we feel like driving out of Boston or not. Thanks!

        1. re: javelina

          Heh. I ate at StoneHearth in Needham last night! Although it's fine for children, and we go there regularly, I wouldn't recommend anyone drive out there from Boston! Too many options in town, including the North End (whether or not it's a Festival weekend).

          Sullivan's in South Boston, at Castle Island might be fun, with the boats and the airplanes and the hotdogs and clam rolls. That's what I recommend to out of town friends who want something fun for the kids (car or very good walking shoes from the Silver Line or bus required)

        2. Most of the places in Chinatown are very kid-friendly. Dim sum is always a fun experience, especially if you go with the cart scenario like at Hei La Moon. Also, Peach Farm Seafood for killer salt and pepper fried everything, including pork, squid, and shrimp.

          Hei La Moon
          88 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

          Peach Farm
          4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

          1 Reply
          1. re: yumyum

            I was going to suggest Emperor's Garden for dim sum, as it's so elaborately decorated in there.

            Right by the Raddison is the Motor Mart building with the (unholy?) trifecta of Fleming's, Maggiano's and Legal.

            I've already mentioned Legal's, and we all know that real Chowhounds consider it barely preferable to a Raisinet you found stuck on your shoe, but it's a good seafood place and kid-friendly for a somewhat upscale place.

            Maggiano's would probably come in second to the Raisinet around here but it's an acceptable (if unspectacular) red-sauce Italian chain. The faux-vintage decor may be of interest to kids.

            Finale (in the Park Plaza Hotel building) has great desserts.

            Otherwise, if you head down Tremont Street away from the Common, you'll come into the South End, where there are a lot of restaurants with outdoor seating. I don't have any specific recommendations in that neighborhood but I'm sure others will.

          2. Viga, down the block from you on Stuart Street, has very good sandwiches and italian takeout, perfect for eating in the Commons when you go on the carousel or swanboat. Yankee Lobster, down on Northern Pier, has great fish, lobster, fried clams, outside tables, and you can wander over to Marine Park, the waterfront, etc. Good breakfast is a little scarce right near the Radisson: maybe head in to Back Bay to Steve's or the Otherside, Newbury near Mass Ave, or over to Mike's Diner, South End, Washington Street I think. Be careful about Zaftigs: very long wait on Saturdays and Sundays. There is a little playground next door and they will call you if you tell them you are waiting there.

            Yankee Lobster
            300 Northern Ave, Boston, MA

            1. Picco in Boston's South End has excellent thin crust pizza, decent salads and homemade ice cream. Pleasant brick and wood atmosphere, lots of families and kids. Worth checking out.

              You'll need to travel over the river to get to Full Moon on Huron Ave. in Cambridge, but it is a restaurant with generally well-regarded adult food, fun kids food and a play area for kids.

              (The address for Picco should read 513 Tremont St. according to the website.)

              505 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116

              Full Moon
              344 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

              1 Reply
              1. re: bear

                Picco's and Full Moon both look like great ideas for us. They are on the short list ;-) Thanks

                Full Moon
                344 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

              2. A friend of mine with six year-old twins recently mentioned they'd had a nice lunch at The Barking Crab after a visit to the nearby Children's Museum. They have outdoor seating. This is not generally considered a chowish destination, but the few times I've been there the food has been perfectly fine. If you decide to take one of the harbor cruises or go to the Aquarium, Sol de la Terre and Legal's are right there - they have to be kid-friendly, given the location. Last time I was at that Legal's there on a weekend there were kids all over.

                If you like traditional red sauce Italian for dinner, L'Osteria in the North End has had a recent thread about being kid friendly.

                The Barking Crab
                88 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA 02210

                104 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113

                1. I have to mention Sel de la Terre as always.

                  Agreed on Chinatown restaurants. I also find many places in the North End to be quite kid friendly (with your kids' ages, I'd probably go with Antico Forno - that was a regular spot for us when my daughter was that age).

                  Antico Forno
                  93 Salem Street, Boston, MA 02113

                  Sel de la Terre
                  1245 Worcester Street, Natick, MA 01760

                  1. Second Peach Farm. Also in Chinatown I'm a big fan of New Shanghai for Sichuan cuisine. Lots of other options, do a board search for Chinatown for ideas. I think Montien (Thai; right in theater district) would also be reasonably kid-friendly, and is quite good (ask for the authentic Thai menu if you want to try something other than the standard Americanized fare).