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Durham: Kid friendly dinner for road weary family

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I have friends arriving in Durham in the early evening. Their child is very well behaved and eight. They will be staying by Duke, probably at the Ronald McDonald House after a long days drive.

Suggestions on a modestly priced place that will satisfy body and soul and be low key and soothing for a stressed family? They want to get together that night before pre-op procedures begin. I don't get to Durham often enough to have many ideas.

Suggestions from the board several years ago made their last visit to Duke much easier foodwise.

Appreciate your help!

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  1. If they get in relatively early, I'd recommend The Federal. We took my son there when he was 8 and he liked it a lot. Great nachos!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Tom from Raleigh

      Thanks! Not having kids I wasn't sure how The Federal would work...

      I brought one of the parents there after the last operation and she loved it. If we can avoid a wait outside it could be an option! The heat might be too much for the child right now.

      I haven't tried Dos Perros yet, would that be an option for this situation?

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      Dos Perros
      200 N Mangum St. Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701

      1. re: meatn3

        The Federal is great for kids, believe it ot not. My friends and I have been bringing the kids since they were toddlers and it works fine. For lunch or early dinner we'll sit in the main bar. If it's later and more of a drinking crowd is in or we just want a little more quiet, we sit in the back room. They'll even do a "kid's grilled cheese," if you ask.

    2. We like Pop's for kid friendly and low key good food in Durham. And although the timing isn't right for your friends this time, my kids like dim sum at Hong Kong restaurant for weekend lunch before heading over to the Museum of Life and Science a few miles away.

      1. I'd suggest Watts Grocery. It's nice but not stuffy, and the food is great. Or possibly Bull City Burger & Brewery, but it can get loud in there.

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        Watts Grocery
        1116 Broad Street, Durham, NC 27705

        1. I'd third The Federal, especially the back room with kids. And Blu, if they like seafood. We've seen lots of families there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: LulusMom

            For comfort food I'd go with Elmo's Diner. Something for everyone and definitely kid friendly..

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            Elmo's Diner
            776 9th St, Durham, NC 27705

          2. Just heard he wants pizza, probably eating around 8 pm.........

            Pops? Or Broad Street - might be too late (bar scene) there.

            They like the idea of Elmo's for later in the week.

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            Broad Street Cafe
            104 W Broad St, Saint Pauls, NC 28384

            1. Thanks all, Pops Backdoor South worked great for pizza. Nice toppings and beer selection. Play area was enjoyed after being in a car all day.

              I've put together a map with the other suggestions, so they are in good shape food wise for the next week.

              Appreciate the help!

              1. When we had our wedding in Durham in June most people were fine with Elmo's, given that it has something for everyone and if the family is road weary and not wanting to make a fuss...

                I'd also recommend Dame's Chicken and Waffles.