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Saturday dinner recs in Central Sq for a group of 12 year-olds and adult chaperones

So my kiddo turns 12 next month and we're taking her and about ten of her friends to ImprovBoston for the "family friendly" show. The show is at 6 so we're looking for a local place (walkable, if at all possible but T-able is also ok) for dinner. Pizza is not an option as our kid is dairy-free. TIA, my brain is kind of on the fritz and I can't really imagine a good spot.

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  1. Veggie Galaxy comes to mind right away. It's similar to a diner inside and has a vegetarian/vegan menu. Great for dairy free/gluten free people. Their desserts are wonderful. (But.....they close between 3 and 5 so that may not work for you.) Thelonious Monkfish might work, too. (They serve other things besides fish!) Garden at the Cellar would also be a thought. Sounds like fun!

    1. If it's not on a Tuesday, my choice would be Mary Chung. Good for large groups, no dairy, nearby, very tasty.

      1. Mary Chungs, Moksa and Cuchi Cuchi come to mind. Would a cheese less pizza not work? Area Four would be perfect minus your no dairy requirement. That said, they do have other items on the menu besides pizza.

        1. I know you said no pizza, but Flatbread Pizza in Davis Square does offer a vegan, non-dairy pizza (only one option, but you can check the menu online and see if it would work). The location is very convenient to the Red Line stop in Davis Square and it's a good spot for large groups.

          1. Is this for before the show or after?

            Suggest places kids like, not wildly expensive: Life Alive, Beantown Taqueria, Miracle of Science, Veggie Galaxy, Patty Chen's Dumpling House (haven't been myself). If you T from Harvard: Border Cafe, Wagamama, Tasty Burger or Shake Shack.

            1. Thanks everyone! I will present these options to the birthday girl and see what lights her up. These are great ideas for our post-theater dinner. Wish we could go to Veggie Galaxy but there's no time beforehand to eat.

              1 Reply
              1. re: powella

                You could still go to Veggie Galaxy after the show.
                Be forewarned that it can be crazy crowded with a long(ish) wait at weekend dinnertimes. I'm not sure if you can reserve.

                It's hip and fun.

              2. Mary Chung would be my first thought. You could even do banquet style, which is fun and very reasonable, just requires a call ahead with a head count. Mostly dairy-free, too.


                1. Teens tend to love Fire and Ice in Harbard Square.

                  1. not sure of the hours but the Friendly toast is kinda quirky and has a diverse menu, might not be open at night though.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: momoftwo

                      Open at night. Good size space for a large group. But I don't know if it is as walkable as other suggestions.

                      1. re: viperlush

                        Normally I'd laugh at someone who would think that was a daunting walk, but it is certainly linger than I'd want to deal with with a troop of kids in tow.

                        1. re: jgg13

                          That's why I said not as walkable. I make that walk once or twice every day. I assume with a flock of 10yr olds it might be annoying. But if the weather is nice and the OP has more patience than me, it is definatly do able.

                          If 1 Kendall is a do able walk for the OP, Dumpling House is also. It's not that far of a walk down Mass Ave. Not Dumpling Room.

                          For a safe, standard option there is Tavern on the Square. Yes its not the most adventurous, but depending on the size of the group, time restraints, and possible picky eaters it is there. And they do have a side room for private parties.

                        2. re: viperlush

                          Definitely T-able though! Friendly Toast would be a great option.

                          1. re: addiez

                            Uhh, it's nearly equidistant from the T and the show.

                            Just because it's in "1 Kendall" doesn't mean that it's anywhere near Kendall Square.

                            1. re: jgg13

                              Agreed!!! I always have to allow for at least 10 minutes walking time to get from the T station to the movie theater, for instance.

                      2. While it isn't anything particularly special, the Kinsale is large and has a diverse menu, so that could be an option. Thelonious Monkfish takes reservations and has a wide variety of almost entirely non-dairy options. If you did dinner before, Tavern in the Square is another fine but nothing special option, although it might be too bar-like for you after.

                        I'd stay away from Life Alive and Beantown Taqueria - you order at the counter and there isn't always sufficient seating. Both the Dumpling Room (on Main Street) and the new GDH offshoot on Mass Ave could be good options - DR has received a range of reviews, but I've never been unhappy there and they have a fun space.