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family lunch in Baltimore

We'll be returning to Baltimore (my home town) next Wednesday for the holiday and have a day to play in the city before meeting up with family. We're looking for a really good, but somewhat kid-friendly place for lunch (toddler and a 4yo). I have some ideas, but it's been a long time. We usually just go to Lexington Market for crabcakes or to Belvedere Square for sandwiches/soup. This time we'd like something sit-down. We're flexible as to area and type of cuisine, but no chains please. Thanks!

Lexington Market
400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201

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  1. Mamas on the Half Shell in Canton, open for lunch, kid's menu, great crab cakes/seafood:

    1. Just out of curiosity, have you tried Neopol at Belvedere Square? No, it's not sit down, but has replaced Atwater's as my favorite place there.

      Miss Shirley's comes to mind as a good place for a family lunch.

      Mama's on the Half Shell gets a lot of love. I'm certainly in the minority, but I think it's overrated. I've always found the food to be either bland or really oily.

      Miss Shirley's Cafe
      513 W Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21210

      1 Reply
      1. re: ronandaim

        Thanks ronandaim. We love Neopol. I've actually not found another place like it. We usually stop in to get smoked mussels, etc. to take for Thanksgiving apps.

      2. Woodberry Kitchen has a kids menu, crayons, housemade fruit sodas, and is large and loud enough for the Sat/Sun brunch to work well.

        Harbor East has two places that work well for kids (though both, admittedly, are part of mini-chains): Lebanese Taverna has lots of room at lunch, with lots of small plates for kids to eat through. Kids like the music and the food (lots of fried stuff) at Ra.

        Woodberry Kitchen
        2010 Clipper Park Rd # 126, Baltimore, MD

        1. Our favorite family places include Gertrudes (kids menu, crayons, and art to explore), Donna's (kids menu and crayons), and the Papermoon Diner (funky decor perfect for playing I Spy while you wait). Welcome home and enjoy!!!

          Papermoon Diner
          227 W 29th St, Baltimore, MD 21211

          1 Reply
          1. re: stephanieg

            Another vote for Gertrudes. The food is really quite good.

          2. Give Amicci's on High St. in Little Italy a try, American Italian, family friendly...and make sure to get the Pane Rotundo!!!

            231 S High St, Baltimore, MD 21202

            1. All great suggestions, everyone. But now that our plans are going to take us to the Science Center, any recommendations in that area (Federal Hill/ Locust Point)? Thanks!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Procrastibaker

                I haven't been there since it changed owners but as they've kept most (if not all) of the staff, I'd suggest Big Matty's. It used to be Rallo's and is a very family friendly diner just off Key Hwy at the corner of Fort and Lawrence.

                Rallo's Restaurant
                838 E Fort Ave Ste 1, Baltimore, MD 21230

                1. re: Procrastibaker

                  Try the Abbey Burger Bistro on Cross St. Sit-down but casual, fantastic burgers, and very accommodating for families. They have high chairs and placemats/crayons for coloring.

                  Abbey Burger Bistro
                  1041 Marshall St, Baltimore, MD 21230