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Toddler-friendly restaurants in DC

kdun Apr 7, 2011 08:00 AM


My family will be relocating to DC in August. We will be making a short trip to visit a few neighborhoods to figure out where we might live in early May. I would love any suggestions for (20-month old) toddler-friendly restaurants in the district. We are thinking about the Capitol Hill and Logan Circle areas, so neighborhood picks would be great. Our son is an adventurous eater, so it's more about finding the right atmosphere and friendly staff for our active little guy.

We will be there for Mother's Day weekend, so I would love any brunch suggestions. I have been to the Dim Sum brunch at Cafe Atlantico, but I think that an extended brunch would be too much for our son.

Thanks so much for your help!

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

  1. m
    masterofzen May 21, 2011 04:42 PM

    I'm planning a trip to DC in about three weeks with an 18-month-old, so I searched Chowhound and found this thread. These sound like great suggestions and I'll be checking them out, but I'm also looking for a couple of more-specific recommendations: I'd like to try something in Adams Morgan one night, and Old Town Alexandria (home to our hotel) the night we roll into town. Any ideas? I have tentative brunch plans in Alexandria at a pub-type place, but it didn't really light my world on fire, so if you have any alternative ideas, I'd love to hear them.

    2 Replies
    1. re: masterofzen
      Steve May 21, 2011 05:09 PM

      my favorite place in Adams Morgan is Locolat, a small Belgian cafe. This is a tiny spot, very informal, with some outdoor seating. They have a small menu, mostly of exceptional Belgian waffles with various savory toppings. Also sandwiches and salads. For dessert, the house made chocolates are pricey but worth it.

      Locolat Cafe
      1781 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

      1. re: masterofzen
        katecm May 23, 2011 06:56 AM

        In Old Town, Columbia Firehouse would be good with a little one. It's casual enough that you won't bother anyone. If you want something more casual, Hard Times Cafe for chili would be good, and I've heard that Red Rocks pizza is great. In Adams Morgan, I'd look up Black Squirrel and Bourbon (not Bourbon Steak, just Bourbon).

        The Black Squirrel
        2427 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

        Red Rock Cafe
        385 Muddy Branch Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

      2. k
        kdun Apr 7, 2011 01:09 PM

        Wow- Thanks for all of the great suggestions! I am looking forward to eating my way around the city.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kdun
          sharonc Apr 10, 2011 07:36 AM

          The Argonaut on H street NE is super kid friendly, and it seems to be a favorite place of the kids themselves.

        2. ktmoomau Apr 7, 2011 10:32 AM

          I moved out of Capitol Hill a few years ago now, but found it extremely kid friendly. Monmartre was a frequent place with lots of kids, I would imagine Seventh Hill Pizza is very family friendly. I think a lot of other places it also depends on the time of the day, like Cava is very nice, but when it gets later, it gets a little more crowded and louder. Matchbox is nice, but can have long waits depending on day/time.

          Good Stuff Eatery, Tortilla Cafe is good for carry out. I haven't been to Ba Bay or some of the other Barrack's Row places very often, so I am not sure what else is good and kid friendly, but there is a lot to explore and I am sure others will chime in, as I am sure more is, I just don't tend to pay much attention to that. Bistro Bis has amazing brunch in that area, we did Mother's Day there about three years ago and they did a really nice job.

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

          Good Stuff Eatery
          303 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC

          Seventh Hill Pizza
          327 7th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

          2 Replies
          1. re: ktmoomau
            katecm Apr 7, 2011 10:43 AM

            Agreed that the Hill is kid-friendly. Lots of families. You've always got Eastern Market for the vendors, but down the Barracks Row strip are a lot of family-friendly restaurants, like Ted's Bulletin, DC3, Molly Malone's (which has a mean reuben), etc.

            Ted's Bulletin
            505 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

            423 8th St SE, Washington D.C., DC 20003

            1. re: katecm
              hill food Apr 8, 2011 01:39 AM

              the Hill is very kiddo friendly (but do consider the time of day) the bigger question is how friendly is the kiddo.

          2. r
            Raids Apr 7, 2011 10:10 AM

            I used to live in the Logan Circle area, and we liked Commissary, which is very kid friendly and relatively cheap. They do brunch, but it's basic - think omelettes and benedicts. I also like Stoney's - which is a bar, but in the tavern mode and totally okay for kids during the day. Thai Tanic is okay. There's a new place, Rice, but I haven't heard good things.

            So, enough with the very casual places, and on to the two really great restaurants in the neighborhood:

            Birch and Barley is a fantastic newish restaurant - they do an awesome brunch that I think would be perfect. You could probably bring a toddler there for dinner, but it's definitely not the norm. But it seems more casual for brunch. I'd make that reservation now, though - I'm sure they will be booked for Mother's Day.

            Estadio is an excellent newish tapas restaurant, and it's pretty bustling in there, so I think it would be fine to bring a toddler to dinner there.

            Skip Logan Tavern - it's nothing special and you could eat at Birch and Barley for the same $$.

            ETA: One more thing: if you do move to that neighborhood (which I loved), your go to Chinese delivery would be Great Wall Szechuan, but I probably wouldn't dine in there.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Raids
              DCLindsey Apr 7, 2011 03:12 PM

              Rice being new? I went there in 2003 or so, I must be old :) Maybe you are thinking of the new thai place across from Thai Tanic, Teakwood?

              Thai Tanic
              1326 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005

              1. re: DCLindsey
                Raids Apr 8, 2011 04:24 AM

                I was - thanks!

                1. re: Raids
                  DCLindsey Apr 8, 2011 09:28 AM

                  And I agree with Teakwood not being that great.

                  1. re: Raids
                    moosy Apr 8, 2011 11:13 AM

                    But Rice is very nice, but I wouldn't define the vibe as children friendly, but you see often families with children their in the afternoon

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