Dining with 1 Year Old
My husband and I will be in town for 3 days next week. Our 1 year old will be with us and I'm looking for lunch and dinner suggestions that would please all of us. We are open to anything, but are especially interested in seafood, Chinese, and Italian. I'd like to keep it within a 30 min. walk from Granary Burying Ground near where we are staying, but would hop on the T for something spectacular.
Thanks for all of the great suggestions! We ate wonderfully on this trip! A trip report follows and I’ve tried to include stroller/high chair info in case that helps any families out down the road…
Snack- Boston Chowda: Heavy rain necessitated an impromptu visit to Quincy Market, so we tried the New England Clam Chowder and Lobster Bisque. Both were nice, especially the chowder.
Dinner- Gourmet Dumpling House: We ordered scallion pancakes, mini juicy pork dumplings, and Sliced Fish Szechwan style. The pancakes were good, but I felt a bit overrated. The dumplings were probably my favorite dish of the trip, so tender and flavorful! The fish was the perfect level of heat for us and way more than we could eat. We only waited about 10 minutes for a table around 6:30 on a weekday. The restaurant is tiny, so we went without a stroller.
Breakfast- Mike’s Pastry: Ordered almond biscotti and a lobster tail. Both were good and the shop was mostly empty at 9:00. Baby was given an anise biscotti by the counter staff, which he inhaled.
Lunch- Regina Pizzeria: Had the #10 Margherita and #20 Napoletana (Anchovy and Capers). Both were fantastic. This was the best pizza that we have had outside of Italy. There was no wait at 1:30, but it was crowded. We also did not have the stroller with us and would not have wanted it in here.
Dinner- Fenway Park: Grabbed some Legal Chowder and a Fenway Frank at the stadium. Both were fine. Again, no stroller.
Breakfast- Flour (Four Point Channel): My husband ordered a bacon & egg sandwich and loved the Dijon horseradish sauce. I had the French toast with bacon. The French toast was excellent, but the bacon was way overcooked. It was obvious they dumped it in a fryer and I much prefer it off a flat top. We split a sticky bun too, which lived up to the hype for us. Sign outside said that strollers were not allowed during “busy hours.” We ate outside, but there were a couple of families with babies eating inside as well. There were highchairs available.
Lunch- Legal Seafoods (Long Wharf): We started with raw oysters and both ordered lobster rolls. I liked that the meat was in large chunks and minimally dressed. It all tasted great to us, but we are 900 miles away from the nearest ocean at home. They were very accommodating to our little guy, holding the stroller in the lobby for us while we dined outside and bringing a high chair.
Dinner- Xihn Xihn: Great Vietnamese! I ordered the Banh Hoi Bo Nuong (beef vermicelli wraps) and my hubby got the Bun Heo Nuong (grilled pork vermicelli). Both were light, fresh, and flavorful, everything you want Vietnamese food to be. This was a small place, but had highchairs and would have had room for a stroller if necessary.
Breakfast- Modern Pastry: We picked up some almond biscotti and a sfogliatelle. I preferred the texture of Mike’s biscotti, but enjoyed the flavor of Modern’s better. Baby adored the sfogliatelle!
Lunch- Dino’s (North End): Great little counter-service restaurant. We both got the Dino’s Special (capicola, mozzarella, tomato, basil, balsamic). It was so simple, but the ingredients were great quality, so it made for an awesome lunch. Dine-in customers were sparse, so we were able to work this with the stroller. They seem to do a healthy carry-out business.
A few ideas from the dad of a fellow 1 year old:
You'll be a short and lovely walk through the Common from Four Burgers on Boylston St. This is a mini-Boston/Cambridge chain with delicious salmon, beef, turkey, and veggie burgers. Very kid-friendly with high chairs and plenty of seating, and a kids' menu that gives a great deal on the same stuff the grownups get. My son loved the house-made veggie burger and a few nibbles of the sweet potato fries as a treat. Easy to get in and out in 45 minutes. You order at the counter and they bring you the food, which is my favorite style for dining out with the little guy.
I'd echo Xinh Xinh as my favorite in Chinatown.
Other great options with a longer walk or the T at least one-way:
Flour Bakery right next door to the Children's Museum (probably a 25-30 minute walk, or 2 stops on the Red Line from Park St to South Station and a 10 minute walk.
Kendall Square has a bunch of great restaurants (see other threads, ranging from food trucks to Za to more upscale like Area Four or Legal Seafoods - though there are other Legal locations closer to you) that tend to be more spacious than downtown and thus easier to manage with a baby. The Red Line goes right there, or you could do a long (30-40 minute) but beautiful walk from where you're staying over the Longfellow Bridge.
For Italian, you're walkable from the North End, or a quick few stops on the Green Line. I don't have a good take on which places there are more baby friendly, but I'd say of the ones I went to pre-baby Antico Forno is a good potential choice -- relatively quick service and less jammed than some others. Ernesto's or Regina Pizza would be a great lunch option.
Thanks for the recommendations so far! He's just 12 months old (not walking yet) and is still happy to be in a high chair for 45 minutes or so. He goes out to eat at home at least once a week, so he's accustomed to that routine. However, we would need any prospective eateries to either have high chairs or be a stand up place where he can be in the carrier (he refuses to stay in the carrier if we are sitting down).
You are within walking distance of lots of options depending on how formal/informal you want to be re: dinner. Chinatown is 1/4 mile or so away with a full range of good choices: Winsor, Xinh Xinh for Vietnamese, Great Dumpling House, etc. Sultan's Kitchen is Turkish, Silvertone is a good bistro, Charles street has multiple choices including ice cream shops and coffee houses. Upscale and near are everything from Via Matta, Marliave, Toscano, Number 9 Park. Some of these are not places I would bring a mobile one year old to visit, but you know your child and his or her capacity for sitting still. I believe there is now a sandwich shop in Boston Commons but I haven't tried it so I don't know whether it's worthwhile.
Is your 1 year old mobile? It gets to be very hard to eat out around that age.. especially if they refuse to be confined to the carrier or high chair.
Maybe Legal Harborside - take the Red Line to South Station, then the Silver line over to the Seaport District. Island Creek Oyster Bar is also good. I think an infant in Neptune Oyster in the North End would be tough. You are also close to Bistro Du Midi, which I've enjoyed..