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Family-Friendly Dining


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#1 DC in DC

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 01:53 PM

We have a 1.5 year old and I'm interested in suggestions for family-friendly dining with decent food. Right now, our circuit is limited to pizza places (2 Amys, Comet, Pete's) and Cactus Cantina, Tackle Box. I'm looking for places where it will be acceptable if our kid is a little loud (e.g. the place is already pretty noisy) and will have high chairs, etc. Of course, we are eating at 5pm. I'm wondering if there are places that are basically all families at 5pm anyway.

Thanks so much!
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#2 Marks

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 02:32 PM

Hill Country BBQ in Penn Quarter. Very loud. The food is decent, my two sons, 18 and 21, want to go back.

#3 DaRiv18

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:21 PM

I happened upon Sarah Masterson's DC Baby book this past weekend, which has an entire chapter on family-friendly eating. It does list 2 Amy's. Other than that, she was really high on Austin Grill. She also mentions Jaleo, with the caveat that late dining or during happy hour would make it more difficult.

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#4 bookluvingbabe

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:19 PM

At 18 months I remember we were dining at Dino and Ray's the Steaks. Palena did not have high chairs at the time--don't know if they do now. I think they do better with slightly older kids. For the love of g-d, do not dine at Austin Grill. It is inedible. Jaleo was a big hit at that age too. Oh, and all of the Clyde's places are super kid friendly.

We tried really hard to balance good food with teaching the little guy how to eat out and trying to avoid places that would turn up their noses at at his enthusiasm. We also had food allergies (thankfully outgrown) so we avoided places where there might be language barriers.

For us the hardest time to dine out was between 4-8 months--he wasn't a sleeping blob, he wasn't really ready for the table food we were eating and he had discovered his voice. And then I realized if I brought a banana he could be happy for 20 minutes or more.

Good luck!

#5 Rhone1998

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:21 PM

In my neighborhood we've found Pearl Dive, Taylor Gourmet, Coppi's Organic, and Bistro la Bonne welcoming and friendly for our baby. All have high chairs. I worry about him being loud a bit more at the latter two than Pearl Dive (already very loud) or Taylor (very casual). Masa 14 also has high chairs (though I've gotten mixed vibes from staff and patrons being there with a baby) as does Bar Pillar (at least it did before the renovation).

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#6 JPW

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:07 AM

Funny that this topic and its recommendations would come up this morning. My sister and her 14 year old were staying in Crystal City and I decided that the best option for joining up for dinner with Peanut and Edgy in tow was Jaleo. I would suggest mainly not to worry too much. Outside of the temples of fine dining, just about any restaurant worth its salt will be family friendly.* I've found this to be especially the case for mom and pop Asian and Mexican/Salvadoran/South American restaurants.

*And I say that more because it is an unreasonable expectation to ask a young child to sit through a 2+ hour meal than because bringing a child into a fine dining establishment would cause them to give you the stink-eye.

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#7 Tweaked

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:24 AM

Since you seem to have several upper NW DC restaurants on your list...you might want to check out Blue 44 along upper Connecticut Ave...lots of families with kids dining there.

If you want something super casual then maybe Surfside along Wisconsin.
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#8 Anna Phor

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 03:29 PM

Another nod to Dino. If you wait until the weather warms up, you can get patio seating which allows for a quick getaway if you need it. (BTDT.) They have always been very welcoming to us and there is a decent noise buzz which gives a bit of breathing room. Medium Rare across the street is also nice for kids although they don't have a separate kids menu (we feed our toddler from our plates, and there is plenty of food).

#9 DavidO

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 08:55 AM

Another vote for Jaleo (for what it's worth, I've found the Bethesda outposts of restaurants to be generally family friendly). I will also say that we did Brasserie Beck at a slightly older age and the staff were very welcoming.

#10 Pete

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:06 AM

This topic is a couple of years old, but has some ideas.

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#11 hillvalley

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 10:29 AM

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#12 rbh

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 12:47 PM

When our daughter was 7 months old, we took her to Dino and it was definitely kid-appropriate. though when she acted up a bit, I took her outside. Not in the district, but we've taken her frequently (she's now 11 months old) to Minh's and Ray's the Third. Also the Guapo's in Shirlington and Bethesda. I'd imagine the one in Tenleytown would be similar.

#13 AlexC

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 07:37 AM

If the stroller armada I've seen outside Lia's in Friendship Heights is any indication, that place is good for kids. It's definitely good for adults, too.

#14 DaRiv18

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:03 AM

Our large party recently visited Firefly. There, they give each kid an unbaked gingerbread man-looking cookie to decorate with sprinkles, candies, and the like. You send back the decorated cookie once the kid's entree arrives, and after the kid finishes the main, the baked cookie is served as dessert! Kinda fun.

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#15 goodeats

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 12:07 AM

Don, when I emailed my friend, I told her where the recommendations came from, and that this was a terrific board for specific questions like that, as well as things like "I'm going to be in X place tomorrow with two small children, where can I get delicious but kid-friendly food?"

We started one here and maybe here.
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#16 Genevieve

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:20 AM

We started one here and maybe here.


Great! That's where I'll send friends who ask that (my kid now being old enough to take anywhere where there's something he'll eat - which apparently now includes sweetbreads).




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