Advice for kid-friendly (but not kiddie) in Boston?
My husband and I lived in Boston years ago, and are bringing the kids (9 and under) for a long weekend in a few weeks. We'll be staying near the Boston Common (Tremont side) and would really appreciate some suggestions for great, casual restaurants that are kid-friendly. Our kids are pretty good about restaurants and eating in general, so they do not need to be "kiddie" - just friendly to the idea of having kids there. I'm sure we'll hit the Aquarium, Faneuil Hall, the Common, Public Garden, and a lot of the typical spots - ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner would be appreciated!
Thanks so much!
bear's post on Parish and PICCO are spot on; great spots for good food and kid-friendly atmosphere...I would add a couple more to the list as a South End resident and parent of a 3 year old...all of these are reasonably convenient for you
Myers and Chang has great contemporary version of dim sum and is a good lunch spot with kids....I've never had a bad meal or experience here...the Asian pickles are always a hit with my son (and us), Tiger Tears are great, grilled octopus is great and the mussels are great; I'm wild about the bahn mi sandwich that they do with the soy glazed bacon and fried egg. Oh, I almost forgot the brussel sprouts, which are absolutely the best I've ever eaten and terrific.
Mistral has a very nice brunch and is welcoming of children...I'm not wild about Mistral for dinner, but I think they nail it for brunch and the room is beautiful in the day time...I love the mushroom, spinach and gruyere frittata and the muffins they serve pre-meal are outstanding.
Giacomo's in the South End accepts reservations and is only open for dinner (cash only); it is loud, small, bustling and very good Italian for not much money; you will need to cab it here. We usually order the specials here because they are usually terrific.
Finally, a plug for the Gallows...super friendly spot and I have been consistently impressed with the food. Great cocktails, beers and a fun atmosphere. The pickles, Scotch egg and blue cheese burger are standouts to me.
I'd suggest reservations for all of these places because they accept them and at times there will be a lengthy wait for all of them.
Picco in the South has really good wood-fired pizzas and house-made ice cream. Lots of families but also real food for grown-ups as well as decently-priced wines and several beers on tap.
The Parish Cafe on Boylston is also a good choice with kids. Interesting sandwiches with lots of variety. Casual but not too 'kiddie".
I took my two children (ages 1 and 4) to the Paramount for breakfast and had a great time. I advise to get there before the doors open so you don't have to wait in a long line. I think it opens at 7 on weekdays and 8 on weekends.
Fire and Ice in Back Bay is fun for kids. They can pick out their own ingredients and then watch while the cooks cook it on the central griddle. When I took my kids for breakfast, the cooks were really engaging and interactive. Breakfast is fun because you can make a giant pancake with whatever fillings you want.
Fire and Ice
50 Church St Ste 301, Cambridge, MA 02138
Great ideas, thanks! I had totally forgotten about Fire & Ice - they would get a kick out of that. Quick question on the Paramount - from the website, it looks like you wait in line to order and then take your food to the table yourself? One night I'll be solo with the kids, so I'm thinkng that might be inviting chaos. :-)
Fire & Ice
48 Providence Pl, Providence, RI 02903
Yes, you must wait in line at the Paramount to order and wait for your food. The line can get long at breakfast. I have not been for dinner, so I don't know how busy it gets.
When I took my two kids by myself, the employee in charge of the dining room was great about carrying my food and getting a high chair and extra plate for me.
As an adult, I avoid Fire & Ice like the plague, but it's a great idea for kids.
For a snack or light meal, I'm sure they'd enjoy a visit to Saus, over by the Union Oyster House -- Belgian fries with a dozen or more dipping sauces to choose from, poutine, and house-made waffles with nutella or salted caramel sauces.
You didn't say how many kids, and what age is the youngest. IME, casual restaurants are always amenable to children. I like Sel de la Terre, near the Aquarium. Regina Pizza in the North End, of course. I'm not a fan of Legal, but they are v. kid-friendly. I've only had dessert (which was v. good) at Maggiano's, but they are super family friendly. Yes, they're a chain, .
11 1/2 Thacher St, Boston, MA 02113
Maggiano's Little Italy Restaurant
4 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02116
Sel de la Terre - Long Wharf
255 State Street @ Longwharf, Boston, MA 02109
Thanks for the help. We used to frequent Regina, so I figured that was a must - Sel de la Terre sounds great, I appreciate the recommendation. Legal is fine in a pinch, as is Maggiano's - very well might end up at either one if it's convenient, though I'd rather avoid them if I can since I can visit them closer to home (NY). FWIW, 3 kids - youngest is 4 - thanks again!
Sel de la Terre
774 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02199