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Toddler-Friendly in Asheville?

Uh-oh. We turned into "those people". We have taken an annual hike-and-eat trip to Asheville every year (including the year we did it to get hitched). Now we have a 13-month old in tow. Where should we go to eat? The only one of our old haunts that seems remotely kid friendly is Laughing Seed for Sunday brunch. We'll be there for Saturday night through Sunday lunch. Want great food, but also want to not be the a-holes who drag a little kid somewhere where everybody's meal gets ruined. Thanks!!!

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  1. Homegrown on Merrimon is very toddler friendly

    1. Tupelo Honey, Pack's Tavern and Mellow Mushroom come to mind as far as being kid friendly, in my mind. Tupelo will give you the best food experience of those 3. Maybe the Admiral if you go very early. I'm sure others will chime in with more suggestions.

      1. what about the Junction? If the weather is good you could sit outside. (Inside, it might be a little bit tight quarters, though) i don't have kids, but I figure if you can have a dog outside, you should be able to have a toddler ;-)

        1. I see a lot of kids (and dogs) outside at Ben's Tune Up, weather permitting, of course. But I would bring food for the toddler as Ben's doesn't offer a kid's menu.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Jeff C.

            Have you been since Elliott left? what are they serving now?

            1. re: danna

              I have, but it's been a few weeks. The menu seemed mostly unchanged except there were fewer small plates. The yakatori, ramen, and Katsu Don entrees are still there, though.

            1. Maybe I shouldn't but I take my little one everywhere...and take her out (meaning outside) if she makes a peep. She has been to Seven Sows, 5 Walnut, Table, MG Road, Cucina, White Duck, Homegrown, Ben's, Bull & Beggar, etc etc etc...plus a lot of "fancy" places outside of Asheville. I work quite a bit and she, at 4 months, has been to more restaurants than I in the past 4 months...true story. We are extremely mindful of others and her first peep means one of us leaves with her. This may be a bit easier than a toddler...not sure...and have forgotten since my first was a toddler. Best of luck.

              1 Reply
              1. re: winefuhrer

                yes - and don't forget to ask for the check as soon as the entrees arrive so you can make a quick exit ;)

                1. I don't think I've ever had the experience of having my meal ruined by a child in a restaurant. Most people with children rush to take their children outside when they start acting up. They're are two of you so that makes things a lot easier. If things got bad, which they most likely wouldn't, I imagine one of you would go out with the child and the other would pay the bill and get your orders to go. I hope you have a wonderful time in Asheville with your toddler. They grow up so fast, whether this trip is good or bad as a whole, you'll have something to share with them when they're older. People with dogs and smokers are usually the people I have problems with at restaurants and bars...maybe it's just a few rotten apples.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Helind

                    I was thinking the same thing. I don't think I've ever had a meal ruined by anything but bad food!

                    1. re: Helind

                      Thank you both so much, Helind and danna! I felt the same way pre-kid, but it takes on an entirely new feeling when the eyes are on you. Thanks for the confidence-boost. I needed it!

                      1. re: eh27713

                        and you probably already know this, but distraction supplies can be very helpful : stickers, crayons, books, smartphone (yep, i've seen kids that young!).

                    2. Everyone's advise is spot on. Asheville is pretty 'chilled.' In a metropolitan five star restaurant, patrons might have a problem. Consider you can dine most anywhere in Asheville in jeans, you will not get that attitude. I encourage you to keep up the exposure to travel and dining out.

                      My nieces were taken everywhere with adults when they were very young and learned early how to behave. They were not allowed to 'run free' or act unruly in restaurants. When behavior became an issue they were immediately removed from the scene. Over time the behavior was never an issue. Our 16 day land tour through Australia and New Zealand met our group with rolling eyes as we had an 8 and 10 year old with us. They were so well behaved they had 8 sets of adopted grandparents by the first day...a few that they still communicate with 14 years later.

                      1. Thanks for your advice, everyone! We ended up at Seven Sows on Saturday night. It was fantastic and the drinks were strong enough to get us through a teething meltdown afterward. Sunday morning, we had laughing seed brunch. For dinner, we grabbed Salsa takeout and ate it by a campfire - best idea ever! We rounded out our trip with Green Sage. Again, I appreciate the advice and look forward to our next trip!