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Nov 7, 2010 05:12 PM

Family Friendly Restaurant in DC

Visiting DC next week and looking for a family friendly restaurant with good food. Any suggestions?

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  1. What is your price range? Any area in particular are you looking for? Anything your family won't eat? How old are the kids?

    Without knowing details here are some ideas: Firefly, Etete, Spices, The Diner, Pizzeria Paradisio, Bistro du Coin, and Hank's Oyster Bar.

    Btw the address below for Hank's is only partially true. There is also a restaurant in Dupont Circle.

    1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

    Hank's Oyster Bar
    1026 King St Ste 1, Alexandria, VA 22314

    9 Replies
    1. re: Elyssa

      Sorry I am new to this site and now realize I didn't give enough information.
      The kids are 7 and 4.
      We are staying downtown by the air and space museum but we would be willing to travel a little within the city.
      Probably looking for a great burger joint, a seafood place or some kind of american restaurant but with good food.
      Price is not as much of a factor but we don't want very expensive.
      Read about the Capital Brewing Company but it didn't get very good reviews for food. Any thoughts?
      Thanks for responding.

      1. re: eschulki

        There are some really good and fairly new food carts in DC, which offer all kinds of fare during lunch. A very popular parking spot is near Maryland and 7th, which is really close to Air and Space. Also, if you take the Circulator bus (red bus, $1 for ride) north on 7th (there's a stop on the Mall right by Air and Space) you can head north on 7th into the Penn Quarter/Chinatown area, where there are lots of family friendly options: Matchbox, Nando's, various Chinese places, Ella's all the chain options such as Chipotle, Fuddruckers, Legal Seafood, Dunkin Donuts...

        14925 Shady Grove Rd Unit L, Rockville, MD 20850

        1. re: eschulki

          Don't go to the Capitol Brewing Company.

          For burgers you can go to Good Stuff Eatery up near the Capitol Building or BGR (which I prefer) in Dupont Circle.

          For seafood, I again would recommend Hank's Oyster Bar in Dupont Circle as well.

          Another good option, not too far from your hotel is Bistro D'Oc for french bistro---they have lots of options from steak frites to ham and cheese croissants.

          Clyde's is in Gallery Place/Chinatown...a local chain but has lots of options and probably a children's menu. Heading a little past Chinatown is Taylor's Gourmet which has amazing sandwiches. Matchbox would also be a good option for your family---you can get mini burgers, salads and pizza.

          And I 100% agree with the recommendation for Mitsitam...the food is delicious and a lot of fun. It's only open during the day (lunch hours) though.

          Bistro D'Oc
          518 10th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

          Hank's Oyster Bar
          1026 King St Ste 1, Alexandria, VA 22314

          Good Stuff Eatery
          303 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC

          1. re: Elyssa

            I really like Mitsitam, but I was there 2 weekends ago for the rally and the prices have gotten really expensive. I had a sandwich, one side, a dessert and a drink and it cost $22. My fiance got an entree, 2 sides and a beer and his was $29.

            The food is still really good but be prepared for pretty high prices if you go.

            1. re: reiflame

              I have always considered the prices rather high. But it's not typical cafeteria food and therefore you shouldn't be expecting cafeteria prices.

              My boyfriend and I go for lunch sometimes when he is in town. I like the cedar planked salmon a lot. While it is pricey considering the environment, if you think about it, paying $30 for salmon, 2 sides and a drink isn't really that different than what you would pay at a nearby restaurant.

              1. re: Elyssa

                He got 3 small slices of buffalo loin for $30. I honestly felt bad asking to try it since the portion was so small. The quality of the food is good, but it's not fine dining by any stretch, and it's still a cafeteria.

                Don't get me wrong, I like the food, but the prices have gone up considerably since it opened.

            2. re: Elyssa

              I had a great meal with the wife and kids at Hanks. They have great food and service. Also, Mac and Cheese is on the menu. I went early.

              1. re: Elyssa

                Thanks so much. We ended up going to Clyde's which was great with the kids and the food was ok. Next time in town we will try Hanks.

              2. re: eschulki

                Places my children love are Ben's chili bowl (just the photos of people are fun to see), Oohs and Aahs (southern), and Etete (Ethiopian--they love the injera and eating w/ their fingers). If you're willing to travel, the Eastern Market is fun to walk around and they can get what they want from the stalls.

                1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

            3. Penn Quarter's Carmine's is where its at!

              Happy Hour:

              This has become one of my new fav hot spots. A great place for great italian fare.

              During the October DC Food Blogger Happy Hour (hosted by Dining in DC's Lisa Shapiro), I got a chance to rub elbows with a few fellow foodies while noshing on yummy appetizers ($4 Meatball Sliders) and sipping delish cocktails ($5 Frozen Big Berry Cosmos).

              From 4pm-7pm, enjoy some of the great $4-5 Drinks (cocktails, beer) and $4 Tasters (appetizers) they have available.

              Carmine's is all the rave in the Penn Quarter neighborhood. It's a hip, happening Happy Hour fit for young professionals, seasoned foodie folk and the hungry/thirsty tourist.

              So grab a seat at the Bar or get a table and enjoy the wonderment that is Carmine's. You'll be glad you did!


              New York's Upper West Side brings the greatness of Carmine's to DC's Penn Quarter District.

              A recent "Date Night" got off to a late start. It was already 10:45pm I was nervous that we wouldn't be able to find any swank "sit down" restaurants in which to dine. We were starving, but didn't want to settle for fast food. After all, we were celebrating MY birthday (Monday, September 13th - FYI and BTW) and I refused to have burgers and fries.

              To my surprise and good luck, Carmine's Restaurant had a table for 2 available. Schweet! Thanks to my wonderful OpenTable Android app, I was able to make my reservations in milliseconds. Glory!

              In recent weeks, I had heard and read so many positive reviews on Carmine's. Until last night, I was jealous that I missed the Grand Opening and a bit miffed that I still hadn't made my way to check out the venue.

              Charming, HUGE, good spacing between tables and booths (we liked that you can eat without bumping your neighbor's elbow). There's also a good distance between the HUGE bar and dining areas. There is no "bad seat" here.

              Menu Selection:
              Vast. From poultry to beef to seafood to veggies. Every Italian dish that you can think of is on this menu. Even better, the menu is posted on the walls for ALL to see, so no matter where you're seated, the menu is in plain site. I thought that was pretty cool and a good way to save on paper and printing costs.

              Reminder/FYI: Secure reservations via OpenTable and stack up Dining Points! :-)

              Warning: Carmine's does NOT skimp in the flavor or portions, so bring your appetite -- and make room in the fridge for leftovers.

              425 7th Street, NW
              Penn Quarter
              Washington, DC

              425 7th St NW, Washington D.C., DC 20004

              1. Ambrosia...a Greek coffee shop in Rockville.

                Love it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: toomuchfat

                  Rockville is not within the boundaries set by the OP.

                2. Air and Space is next to the National Museum of the American Indian which has an excellent restaurant, the Mitsitam Native Foods Café, which features Native foods found throughout the Western Hemisphere, including the Northern Woodlands, South America, the Northwest Coast, Meso America and the Great Plains. Each of the five food stations depict regional lifeways related to cooking techniques, ingredients, and flavors found in both traditional and contemporary dishes. Selections include authentic Native foods such as traditional fry bread and corn totopos as well as contemporary items with a Native American twist—think buffalo burgers!
                  Open daily 10 AM–5 PM; closed December 25. Full menu 11 AM–3 PM; limited menu 3–5 PM

                  Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe
                  Independence Avenue Southwest Washington DC, Independence Avenue Southwest Washington, DC

                  1. IMO, from Air and Space you are closer to options on Capitol Hill than you are to Penn Quarter. So, Good Stuff, We the Pizza, etc. It'll be about half a mile down Pennsylvania to the SW.

                    And the Mitsitam Café is a great suggestion.

                    Parts of south Penn Quarter to your north are also pretty close though. Carmine's is probably close enough - maybe just over half a mile. The circulator bus mentioned is also an option. If you're thinking about going to that area, though, why not go to Jaleo? People always have a good time there, and it's kid friendly while still being one of the best-respected restaurants in the area.

                    I have never had good food at Capitol Brewery. If I have to go to somewhere like that, I end up taking people to Elephant and Castle.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Raids

                      Actually I went to Elephant and Castle after the rally last weekend and had a pretty good burger.

                      1. re: Raids

                        if you ever do get dragged to Cap City Brewing (I worked around the corner so it was sort of the default office b-day place) the crab and corn chowder is actually fairly addictive.