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Recommendations for restaurants with kids

joestein Aug 10, 2012 07:51 AM

We are staying in Washington DC for 2 nights and will have our 9 yr old daughters with us. We are staying at the Embassy Suites near the convention center. Any recommendations for good dinners on a Friday and Saturday night either in the area around the hotel or the national mall would be appreciated. We are looking for good food, but someplace that is good for the kids too.

I saw two restaurants that looked interesting: Founding Farmers and Churchkey, but I am not sure if they are kid friendly.



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  1. ipsedixit RE: joestein Aug 10, 2012 07:59 AM

    Check the previous discussions:


    1. s
      Steve RE: joestein Aug 10, 2012 08:29 AM

      Founding Farmers is not particularly good, and Churchkey is a bar.

      Jaleo for Spanish tapas. This place can get pretty busy, so you should reserve. It's a seven block walk from your hotel. The verduras here are excellent, so spinach with raisins, grilled asparagus with romescu are great. You must get the patatas bravas.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Steve
        Marty L. RE: Steve Aug 10, 2012 09:06 AM

        Agreed on Jaleo -- one of my kids' favorites. Zaytinya if your family likes a modern twist on Greek/Turkish. Also not too far away, and a pit pricier, is Proof (excellent). And Cedar is an underrated choice nearby, too. If you'd like a bit less expensive options not too far from you, try --

        Zenebech Injera (Ethiopian)
        Mama Chuy's and/or El Chucho (Mexican)
        The Standard (barbeque and beer -- in a "hot" part of town; great neighborhood vibe)
        Oohs and Aahs (soul food)
        Full Kee (Cantonese)

        Nothing great on the Mall itself -- but both Jaleo and Teaism (for lunch, mainly) are not very far away.

        1. re: Marty L.
          woodleyparkhound RE: Marty L. Aug 10, 2012 09:27 AM

          I took out of town friends and their 6 year old to Ethiopic (Ethiopian) recently, thinking it would be fun for the 6 yo to eat with his hands. He had been described to me as "will eat anything - loves Moroccan tagines, etc.". Oops. He refused to touch anything on the table and whined for pizza later.

          I second several of the places mentioned above: Jaleo, Zaytinia, Oohs and Aahs, but especially The Standard, one of my favorite places in DC. http://www.standarddc.com/ It can get very crowded during prime times, especially in nice weather since 95% of the seating is outside.

          1. re: woodleyparkhound
            dining with doc RE: woodleyparkhound Aug 13, 2012 04:53 PM

            Add Busboys and Poets, Carmine's Italian, Matchbox and 2 Amy's to the list

            1. re: dining with doc
              wineo1957 RE: dining with doc Aug 14, 2012 07:37 AM

              Dino {great kids menu} and Ardeo+Bardeo {don't kow if they ahve a kids menu but htey have pizza} in Cleveland Park. FIrefly in Dupont-ish.

        2. re: Steve
          katecm RE: Steve Aug 10, 2012 09:53 AM

          I've brought a family with kids to Churchkey and it was great, but we went at an off time because it can get so packed. They were so nice to the kids. It's bar food, but it's really good bar food.

        3. d
          drewpbalzac RE: joestein Aug 10, 2012 01:12 PM

          My girls like Grafiatto. It is a little more of a "single, yuppy-scum, out on the town" vibe but my girls (a little younger than yours) like the noise and watching the "people out on dates with their boyfriends".

          The menu is varied enough that picky eater can gravitate to the safer pizzas and meatballs, while other can sample for a little bit more interesting small plates.

          1. j
            joestein RE: joestein Aug 11, 2012 05:10 AM

            What do your kids eat at Jaleo? My wife and I think it looks great, but no sure there is anything for kids.

            1 Reply
            1. re: joestein
              Marty L. RE: joestein Aug 11, 2012 07:03 AM

              One of them eats just about everything, and especially enjoys the gambas al ajillo (shrimp); the other loves the Pan con tomate y Manchego; the Croquetas de pollo; the Patatas bravas; the Pollo al ajillo con salsa verde; and asparagus.

            2. Bivalve88 RE: joestein Aug 14, 2012 08:05 AM

              We took our girls to DC last winter (aged 8 and 10) and tried Founding Farmers. Food was okay. We all loved (and still talk about) the bacon lollipops and the fried green tomatoes. The rest was kind of meh.

              We also tried Firefly, near Dupont Circle. Very kid friendly. After ordering our meals, they brought an unbaked cookie dough person and decorations for each child. While entrees were cooking, the kids decorated their cookie and then it was presented as dessert. Highly recommend.

              1. a
                anchor RE: joestein Aug 18, 2012 03:52 PM

                Try Mayfair & Pine in Upper Georgetown. Good food, good bar, kid friendly. Can get noisy, but I have a 4 yo and a 2 yo, so extra ambient noise is a good thing :)

                1. j
                  joestein RE: joestein Sep 4, 2012 10:00 AM

                  Just got back on Sunday from our trip (DC then Myrtle Beach). While in DC we went to Jaleo, which many of you recommended. It was fabulous. My wife and I enjoyed all the different things we tried and the kids snacked on a little bit of this and a little bit of that. We also had the best gin and tonic ever.

                  Thanks for the rec!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: joestein
                    Steve RE: joestein Sep 10, 2012 06:06 AM

                    Glad you like it.

                    So many times OPs requesting food recs with kids are given a stale list of burger and pizza joints, so it's good to know your girls were not so limited.

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