KFDC Picks for Kid Friendly DC Restaurants

A feast fit for a kid at Panda Gourmet (except for Tsingtaos for the not pictured adults 🙂 )

 

We live in DC, we play in DC, and we eat (a lot!) in DC. And while I’ve shared some of our family’s go-to places for getting a good meal here in the city over the years, I’ve never put them in one convenient post — until now. I know that people often come into the District wondering where to get a good bite with kids, and who better to let you know than someone who is truly local and has been doing the dining in DC thing with kids regularly for over 17 years?  So, here are my picks for kid-friendly places to eat out in DC, listed by neighborhood(s).

Some things to note:
* These picks are very Capitol Hill-heavy because that’s where we live, but we have enjoyed meals all around DC and have favorites everywhere.
* We’ve always been fairly relaxed about dining out with our kids, even when they were really little, so you will see all types of restaurants among these picks.
* If the neighborhood groupings seem weird, that’s because there are only a few from an area, so I added them elsewhere. Hence, the ETC on some, too.
* There are more DC eats we like, but starting with our faves — and will continually add more.
* We have been to every single place listed here… so all of these recommendations come from firsthand (and tasty!) experience.

Happy DC Dining!

 

CAPITOL HILL

NAVY YARD

H STREET NE | UNION MARKET DISTRICT | ETC.

THE WHARF

PENN QUARTER

GEORGETOWN | GLOVER PARK

14th STREET | LOGAN CIRCLE| DUPONT CIRCLE

WOODLEY PARK  | UPPER NORTHWEST

 

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CAPITOL HILL

A peek inside La Collina

Nicer Sit Down:

La Collina | 747 C St SE
Currently our favorite neighborhood restaurant! Everything is delicious from the starters to the pasta to wine and cocktails to the desserts. It’s nice, but not fancy, making it a great place to go if you want a good dining experience, where you can bring kids. Especially for children is the Bambini Menu with options just for kiddos in smaller portions that all come with sliced apples and a little green vegetable. Located right by Eastern Market, it has a great patio for outdoor dining, but the space inside is pretty and welcoming, too. Reservations recommended.

Ambar | 523 8th St SE
The Balkan restaurant has a few locations around the area (in Shaw and Clarendon along with the Hill), but this is the original. With an extensive menu and lively vibe, it’s also a great place to go for an occasion or a fun meal out with the fam. Important to note is that it’s an “unlimited” menu (ie, all-you-can-eat) with a set price per person, but a great deal considering all you get — just go hungry! Servings are small, tapas-style (but you can order as many as you want), so it’s a great way to try different dishes and find things that every diner loves, including little ones. (PS: The happy hour menu is ala carte if you don’t want to go full throttle.) Reservations highly recommended — they always seem to book up.

Belga Cafe | 514 8th St SE
The Belgian restaurant on Barracks Row has been one of our “nicer” neighborhood go-tos with kids for many years. With waffles in the menu mix, along with lots of other tasty dishes, it was always easy to feed ours there when they were little. It’s especially great for brunch, but we all enjoy Belga’s lunch and dinner, too. Best mussels and fries, though I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve eaten there. (PS: Betsy, their “rooftop” back patio is a fun spot for cocktails sans kids!)

Joselito | 660 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Serving delicious Spanish cuisine in a lively, warm and welcoming setting, Joselito has food options that will make patrons of all ages happy. Almost everything on the dinner menu is available in three sizes — tapa (appetizer size), media ración (entree) and ración (family-style) — so you can order according to the size of your party (or palate), or choose whether or not to share. Read more about Joselito in this KFDC post.

 

Digging the Thai noodles at The Roost

Casual Sit Down:

The Roost | 1401 Pennsylvania Ave SE
The food hall may be the place we frequent most these days for both dining in and take out, because we can all get whatever kind of food we want. We also love that it’s very casual, easy to pop in, with both outdoor and inside seating. Food options include pizza, sushi, Thai, burgers and sandwiches, tacos, salads, plus drinks for adults and kids. And it’s all really tasty. Bonus is that we can bring the dog if we sit outside.

Bombay Street Food 2 | 524 8th St SE
Delicious Indian food on Barrack’s Row and a great place to enjoy a family-style meal with many dishes that can easily be shared. The butter chicken is often a hit with kids, and little foodies will love even more. Very friendly, casual vibe.

Ted’s Bulletin | 505 8th St SE
The menu includes lots of comfort food options — think fried chicken, meatloaf, burgers, fish and chips, grilled cheese — plus more creative dishes and all-day breakfast. A kids’ menu has all the staples for little eaters like PB&J, pasta, chicken fingers, and more. There is another location in DC on 14th Street and even more around the area in Northern Virginia.

matchbox | 521 8th St SE
This has always been one of the easiest places to eat with kids, with pizza, burgers, and salads dominating the menu, plus a kids menu with a few selections of the same but smaller portions. When the kids were little, we loved that servers would bring them a ball of dough to play with (you may need to ask for it now). Fun, comfortable atmosphere, too. Other DC locations in Penn Quarter and Cathedral Commons.

Tunnicliff’s Tavern | 222 7th St SE
Tunni’s, as it’s often endearingly called by locals, is a place that many Hill families frequent. Located right across the street from Eastern Market, it’s kind of dive-y, but they have a pretty extensive menu with something to satisfy all eaters, plus a kids’ menu with basic options. TVs in the bar area show sports, so it can get busy and loud, but the dining area towards the back and the patio out front are good seating areas with kids.

 

Stopping for an after school treat in Eastern Market

Casual Bites:

Eastern Market | 225 Seventh St, SE
You can’t talk about the Capitol Hill neighborhood without mentioning Eastern Market. The historic spot is both a community touchstone and a draw for folks who don’t live here (especially on the weekends when the outdoor flea market is in full swing). Inside the market, food stalls offer all kinds of fresh fare, from meats and cheese to produce and baked goods. You can pick up food from many places and enjoy it at tables right outside or inside in the North Hall section (or enjoy a picnic at Lincoln Park just a few blocks away). The Market Lunch is an institution, serving tasty crab cakes and some of the best pancakes around (don’t let the name fool ya…the breakfast is legendary.) Canales Delicatessen has great subs and sandwiches and many of the other merchants offer snacks and bites that kids and adults will enjoy.

The Pretzel Bakery |257 15th St SE
Sasha’s hands-down favorite treat in DC! (She doesn’t do birthday cakes; she has pretzel piles!) PB, as we call it, brings Philly-style pretzels to DC in a variety of forms — straight-up pretzels, everything-spiced pretzels, or my girl’s pick: sweet (glazed) pretzels. There are also pretzel bombs, which are Nutella-filled, and savory items include yummy breakfast sliders, pretzel dogs, and calzones (all breaded parts are pretzel). Worth going a little out of the way for! Note that hours are limited: 8am – 1pm ,Tuesday – Sunday.

Radici | 303 7th St SE
If you’re visiting Eastern Market, this shop specializing in Italian fare is a must-stop. They have grab-and-go sandwiches, salads, pastries and other items that you can eat outside on the lovely patio (awesome people watching, too), plus ready-made pasta dishes that you can heat up at home. Good coffee drinks, too! (PS: They have a great selection of wine and sometimes have tastings in the afternoons.)

Prego | 210 7th St SE
The Italian deli located right across 7th Street SE from Eastern Market has really good sandwiches, including paninis and subs and one of the best BLTs’s around because they crisp up the bacon just right. There’s a small patio right on 7th Street, where there is the market on weekends, so it’s nice to have an easy bite amidst the buzz of it all.

Bullfrog Bagels | 7th St SE
I used to complain that there weren’t any good bagel places near me until Bullfrog opened their H Street location almost 10 years ago.  Now, there is also this spot on the Hill and one in Foggy Bottom. Not only can you pick up freshly made bagels, they also have a selection of yummy bagel sandwiches. Even better, the location right by Eastern Market makes it great stop if you’re browsing the weekend outdoor market.

We, the Pizza | 303 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Fast-casual eatery from Spike Mendehlson with good New York-style pizza and other options like wings and salads.  Along with whole pies, they serve by the slice, which is nice with a lot of people who like different toppings. This is where we usually order take out pizza. Read more about We, the Pizza here.

Good Stuff Eatery | 303 Pennsylvania Ave SE
If you’re craving burgers, this fast-casual, also from Spike, will easily satisfy. Go for the toasted marshmallow milkshake, too — trust me on this.

District Taco | 656 Pennsylvania Ave SE
The local chain is a tasty, easy go-to for tacos and burritos. The kids go here with friends all the time. More locations all around the DC area.

Eat Brgz | 250 7th St
The fast casual burger place near Eastern Market puts the “toppings” inside the burgers. Our kids love it!

sweetgreen | Pennsylvania Ave SE
One of my very favorite chains around…for those who like salads or just want a healthy option, this is perfect. More locations all over the DC area.

Wine & Butter | 1023 East Capitol St SE
The shop at the corner of 11th and East Cap is so charming and makes me happy just to look at it — but more so to grab a sandwich, coffee drink, and a seat at a sidewalk table. It feels very European! They also have a good selection of gourmet deli snacks, wine, and more that you can enjoy, perhaps as a picnic across the street at Lincoln Park.

 

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NAVY YARD

Oysters at The Salt Line (yes, the kids love ’em, too!)

Sit Down:

All Purpose Pizza | 79 Potomac Avenue SE
This is my top recommendation for a family meal near Nationals Park. The food — pizza and more — is good, plus it’s a fun atmosphere, and the riverfront location gives it an easy-breezy vibe. There is outdoor seating with river views, but it’s nice inside, too.

The Salt Line | 79 Potomac Ave SE
Another good dining option near the ballpark and next to the river, though it gets very crowded on game days, so be sure to make a reservation (or skip those days if you prefer it more mellow). Lots of seafood based dishes on the menu, and there’s also a kids menu with more basic options — cheeseburger, hot dog, fish sticks, pasta.

El Bebe | 99 M St SE
Mexican restaurant with yummy tacos and more. Not your typical taco spot, there is table service for a sit down meal. Good margs, too, for parents who also want to enjoy a cocktail.

Bonchon | 1015 Half St SE
This is a whole family pleaser with Korean fried chicken as the main menu item, that you can get spicy and soy garlicky, along with many more tasty Korean food options. The kimchi and pickled radish you get on the side is so tasty, too!

Emmy Squared Pizza | 1300 4th St SE
Located at The Yards, the Detroit-style pizza, which is deep dish and rectangular, is delish. Get it with a salad and even a sandwich or burger and share everything, family-style. There are a few small, basic items especially for kiddos.  If you order take out, the Family Meal pack ($85) includes 3 pizzas, 2 salads, and cheesy bread sticks — plenty to feed the family and have leftovers. And they often have other specials going on, so be sure to check on that.

Due South | 301 Water St SE
The location right next to the in-ground fountain is what makes this especially family-friendly. When our kids were old enough, we’d let them play while we watched from our table (try to get one outside). Otherwise, have a southern-style meal (brunch, perhaps), then go enjoy the water features.

Osteri Morini | 301 Water Street, Suite 109
There are several nice sit down, occasion restaurants in the Navy Yard — Albi, Chloe, District Winery, Bammy’s — all really good, but the one I’d pick for a meal with kids is Osteria Morini. You can’t go wrong with pasta, and they have a kids menu with more basic pasta choices, chicken parm, and pizza. Plus it’s big and bustling, with both outdoor and indoor seating.

Casual Bites:

Five Guys | 1100 2nd Street
The popular burger joint conveniently has an outpost next to Canal Park, where there’s a sprayground in summer and ice skating in winter.

Takorean | 1212 4th Street SE
They call themselves a Korean Taco Grill. It’s the flavors of Korean food in a taco, bowl, or salad (or slaw bowl). The kids always get the rice bowls with bulgogi or chicken, Levi loves the tacos, and I go for the slaw bowl. It’s all so good! (PS: There’s a sweetgreen next door, so sometimes we do takeout from both.)

Wiseguy Pizza | 202 M St SE
Good, super casual pizza shop at Canal Park. Very convenient if you’re playing in the sprays or ice skating. There is also a location near Judiciary Square.

Also good in the area: sweetgreen, Potbelly, Chopt, Shake Shack.

 

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H STREET NE | UNION MARKET DISTRICT | ETC.

The scrumptious duck noodle soup at Maketto

Sit Down:

Maketto | 1351 H St NE
Easily our favorite restaurant on the H Street corridor, we’ve been enjoying their “interpretation of Cambodian and Taiwanese cooking” since it opened about a decade ago. For little diners, I especially recommend the noodles and the bao buns, but everything on the menu is out-of-this-world delicious. Doing a big sharing feast makes an ideal occasion dinner. If it’s nice out, try to get a table in the lovely courtyard. (PS: Great for a date night or even afternoon, too!)

Toki Underground | 1234 H St NE
Best ramen around, imo. Everyone in our fam loves it, and every ramen bowl is so flavorful.  They also have a kids bowl that is slightly more mild with less ingredients. Seating can be tough inside, since most of it is counter space (though they now take reservations), but it’s a cool local experience. It’s also one of our favorites for take out, especially on chilly nights.

Indigo | 234 K St NE
This was the first Indian food our kids ever tried, and it hooked them. Not only is the fare excellent, the outdoor covered seating area with picnic tables and glowing with string lights in the evening is such a pretty setting. (See a pic here.)

Sushi at O-ku, one of our very favorite restaurants in the city

O-Ku | 1274 5th St NE
The sushi spot in the Union Market District is one of my very, very favorite restaurants in all of DC, and my kids love it, too. In fact, the first time we ever dined there, it was with them, and it has become one of their most requested spots for special occasions. If your crew likes sushi, this is a must-go. Start with the salmon usuzukuri and rock shrimp, and you can’t go wrong with any of the sushi rolls…or the rest of the menu, for that matter. (FYI: Mon-Thurs they have a great happy hour from 5-7pm — half-off sushi rolls and $4 off select specialty drinks and wines-by-the glass.). Be sure to make reservations!

St. Anselm’s | 1250 5th St NE
Another near Union Market,  I recommend it as an “occasion” place with kids; it can get pricey, and while they don’t really cater to young guests in any way, the lively and bustling atmosphere makes it feel welcoming to all ages. If your crew likes steak, this a great restaurant for it, but there are plenty of non-beef options, too, including small plates and sides that little diners would like.

Ivy City Smokehouse | 1356 Okie St NE
Oh, man, do we love Ivy City Smokehouse! It’s kind of a back pocket place to go when we want a very casual, but occasion-y meal, but also just a good place to go for brunch (or lunch or dinner, for that matter). Everything we’ve eaten there has been yummy, and it’s always a happy, buzzing place to go.

Panda Gourmet | 2700 New York Ave NE
Located in an off-the-beaten-restaurant-path part of NE DC in a Days Inn, Panda Gourmet is unassuming to say the least. But the food is anything but. There are many unique dishes like lamb with cumin and fish in a fiery pot (both our favorites), and the typical Chinese food options like noodles and fried rice are excellent, too. We like to go with a group and get a big round table with a lazy Susan for easy, fun sharing. Read more about it in this KFDC write-up.

Menomalé | 2711 12th St NE
The pizza is some of the best in town — Neapolitan style and so many options for toppings. A great place to go after visiting the Franciscan Monastery. PS: There is now another location in NoMa.

Brookland’s Finest | 3126 12th St NE
Another good stop after the Monastery, the menu has a mix of cuisines — burgers and sandwiches, pasta dishes, steaks and fish, a curry option — and that’s part of what makes it great with kids. The other parts are the friendly service, relaxed atmosphere, and sports on TV.

 

La Cosecha, the Latin food hall in the Union Market District

Casual Bites:

Union Market | 1309 5th St NE
The huge food hall is an easy one with kids, since there are so many eateries offering all different kinds food options. It’s also fun walking around and browsing them all (along with the shops). Tables are available both inside and out, and it’s usually a lively vibe, though be aware that it can get very crowded on weekends.

La Cosecha | 1280 4th St NE
The Latin American marketplace includes several eateries that serve a variety of Latin foods, everything from Mexican tacos to Salvadorean papusas to Peruvian sandwiches and empanadas and more. It’s very casual with seating inside and out, and there are cute shops to browse pre- or post-meal, too.

Hi-Lawn | 1309 5th St NE
The Union Market rooftop location with great 360 views of the city is the big draw. And the kid-friendly appeal is the large stretch of turf where you can hang out and enjoy food and drinks picnic-style (though for safety reasons, it’s not a kiddie run free kind of space, but it’s a very laid back vibe). There are also tables if you’d rather not sit on the ground, just make reservations as they go fast on nice days. And note that it’s 21+ after 7pm.

 

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THE WHARF

Enjoy the food and Wharf scene at Lupo Marino

Sit Down:

Lupo Marino | 40 Pearl St SW
Pizza, paninis, pasta, salads, and more Italian fare make Lupo a go-to for a family meal at the Wharf. Both indoor and outdoor seating, and we love when we can get a table on cute little Pearl Street on a nice day or evening. Service is always great, too.

Boardwalk Bar & Arcade | 715 Wharf St SW
With lots of arcade games, pinball, and shuffle board, this is an obvious spot to go with kids. As the name implies, it’s inspired by beach-style amusement. And that goes for the food as much as the games — think pizza, hotdogs, sammies, jumbo pretzels. A kids menu has easy basics they’ll like, with smaller portions and prices.

Hank’s Oyster Bar | 701 Wharf St SW
The waterfront location at the Wharf is perfect for the seafood restaurant, though we miss it being in our neighborhood — it was go-to for a sit-down family meal with something to satisfy everyone. While seafood dishes are the menu stars, Levi thinks they have one of the best burgers around.

Mi Vida | 98 District Square SW
If you’re looking for a nice, sit-down meal that will appeal to kids, too, Mi Vida is a great pick. Tacos and more Mexican inspired food will please everyone, and a Kids Menu has $11 dishes for ages 12 & under that come with drink and ice cream. Patio seating with river views is great, and the inside has a festive atmosphere.

 

Grazie Grazie for hoagies at The Wharf!

Casual Bites:

Grazie Grazie | 85 District Square SW
We went here literally the first day it opened, because we were such big fans of owner Casey Patten’s original shop and excited about this one at The Wharf. The Philly style hoagies, including cheesesteaks, are always so satisfying, and the salads are good, too. The kids menu has chicken strips and grilled cheese if the sandwiches are too much for little ones. (Downtown location now, too.)

Surfside | 33 District Square
Tacos, fajitas, burritos, and more “Mex-fresh” food is so good. It’s fast casual, and we like to get it for take out with friends. The fajita boxes are amazing and can easily feed two families (with teen boys, too), even though it says it serves 5-7.

Falafel Inc. | 1140 Maine Ave SW
This may be the best easy meal deal in the city. The falafel sandwiches and bowls are super tasty, and both under $6. And we love that there are different kinds of sauces to try with them. Get the zaatar fries, too! (PS: Their party platters are perfect for feeding a crowd.) Also located in Georgetown.

Shake Shack | 975 Wharf St SW
Always an easy go-to eatery with kids. Many burger options, and for those who don’t like them, hotdog and chicken and grilled cheese are on the menu, too. Many more locations around DC.

For treats at The Wharf: Ben & Jerry’s, District Doughnut

 

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PENN QUARTER | DOWNTOWN

Lucky seating at one of Jaleo’s foosball tables

Sit Down:

Jaleo | 480 7th St NW
When a restaurant has foosball tables where you can dine, you know it’s a kid-friendly place. José Andrés’ very first DC restaurant is still thriving after 30 years, serving scrumptious Spanish cuisine in a colorful, vibrant setting that is welcoming for all ages. The tapas sized portions make it easy to feed kiddos and fun for everyone to share. I highly recommend the pan de cristal con tomate (tomato brushed bread), buñuelos de bacalao, (cod fritters), patatas bravas (potatoes with aioli), gambas al ajillo (garlicky shrimp), and the best gazpacho around. Make reservations — and request the foosball table!

Zaytinya | 701 9th St NW
Another from José Andrés, but highlighting Greek, Turkish, and Lebanese food. Lots of sharable dishes with plenty to appeal to mini diners. The spacious interior is always buzzing and comfortable with kids, and there’s an outdoor patio right across from the American Art Museum.

Oyamel | 401 7th St NW
And José Andrés does it again with Mexican food! Lots of taco varieties that kiddos (and adults!) will like along with tapas-style dishes that are tasty and creative and fun to share. It’s more elevated than your typical Mexican joint, and the mood is always festive and relaxed.

Carmine’s | 425 7th St NW
Family-style Italian food. Need I say more?  I recommend Carmine’s often as a fun, easy place to go with kids. You really can’t go wrong with a massive pasta dish, garlic bread, and a big Caesar (or Carmine’s) salad for the table to share. We’ve even been to birthday parties there, it’s that great of a kiddie crowd-pleaser.

matchbox | 750 E St NW
This has always been one of the easiest places to eat with kids, with pizza, burgers, and salads dominating the menu, plus a kids menu with a few selections of the same but smaller portions. When the kids were little, we loved that servers would bring them a ball of dough to play with (you may need to ask for it now). Fun, comfortable atmosphere, too. Other DC locations in Capitol Hill and Cathedral Commons.

Hill Country BBQ | 410 7th St NW
Super casual Texas-style BBQ. You go to counters to get your food, but you’re seated at a table. It’s big and loud inside, so if you want a place where you’re not worried about the kiddos being noisy, this is it.

Reren Lamen & Bar | 817 7th St NW
The menu of ramen, dumplings, and other Chinese food dishes has something for everyone. Located right by the intersection of Wisconsin Ave & M Street, it’s a convenient stop in the heart of Georgetown. You can’t go wrong with the signature ramen, and both the handmade dumplings and bao are great for the table to share. Location in Georgetown, too.

Love, Makoto | 200 Massachusetts Ave NW
The Japanese food hall is a great stop with the whole fam — if you all love Japanese food (obvi). Sushi, dumplings, soba and udon, sandwiches, and salads are all options. Easy and casual, you order from an electronic kiosk, then pick up your food from a counter. It’s all delicious!

Old Ebbitt Grill | 675 15th St NW
A DC institution, Old Ebbitt is always booked, so be sure to make a reservation or prepare to wait awhile for a table. The menu is huge, portions ample, and you really can’t go wrong with any order. The restaurant has a reputation as a place to spot local celebs, but tourists far outnumber any DC bigwigs you’re hoping to see. There’s a kids menu with the basic favorites as the main option, plus a side and drink for $7.99.

The Hamilton | 600 14th St NW
With a menu as big as its expansive space, The Hamilton easily makes the whole fam happy. Plus, it has the same $7.99 menu as Old Ebbitt Grill. If you weren’t aware, the restaurant is part of the Clyde’s Group that also runs OEG, so if you can’t get a table there, The Hamilton is just a few blocks away and just as good, imo. (KFDC Tip: They have an awesome sushi happy hour ($5 off sushi rolls) 2-5pm daily,Sun- Thur 10pm-close, and Fri-Sat 11pm – close.)

Pi Pizzeria | 910 F St NW
Good pizza in a cozy pub setting. They have both thin crust and deep dish, plus a few salads to balance it out. A convenient stop after a visit to the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum or a sports event at Capitol One Arena.

Teaism | 400 8th St NW
For kids (or adults) who like boba tea, this is the place to go. It’s very popular with the students who go to school nearby. Teaism sells more than just tea, though. The Asian-inspired food is good, and you can stop in for a snack or sit down for a full meal. Locations also at Lafayette Park and Dupont Circle.

Poke Papa | 806 H Street NW
If your crew likes poke, this is where you want to go for it. Hands down the best poke we’ve had in DC. Their signature bowls combos are so yummy, and they do not skimp on the amount of fish or toppings — and there are many of them. For those who don’t like fish, chicken and tofu are options, too.

More fast casual in the area:  Shake Shack, sweetgreen, eat burgz, Five Guys, Rice Bar, Chopt.

 

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14TH STREET | LOGAN CIRCLE | DUPONT CIRCLE | ETC

Portraits at the bustling Bistro Du Coin

Ted’s Bulletin | 1818 14th St NW
The menu includes lots of comfort food options — think fried chicken, meatloaf, burgers, fish and chips, grilled cheese — plus more creative dishes and all-day breakfast. A kids’ menu has all the staples for little eaters like PB&J, pasta, chicken fingers, and more. There is another location in DC on Capitol Hill and even more around the area in Northern Virginia.

Busboy’s & Poets | 14th & V St NW
The restaurant/bookstore has a bunch of locations around the area, but this is the original. It’s very welcoming for families, and the extensive menu includes a kids section with a few options for $8. Even more, you can browse books while you’re there and see if there are any events, like poetry open mics, taking place. They used to host regular story times for kids, but stopped with Covid. Perhaps they’ll bring them back…

Bistro Du Coin | 1738 Connecticut Ave NW, 20009
The French restaurant in Dupont Circle makes you feel like you’ve been transported to Paris. It’s been a favorite since before Levi and I had kids, and now we all enjoy eating there. It has a great, vibrant atmosphere to match the always satisfying food. You can’t go wrong with the moules frites!

Duke’s Grocery | 2000 Pennsylvania Ave NW
There are a few Duke’s around town, in Dupont, Foggy Bottom, Navy Yard, and Woodley. We’ve been to the one in Foggy Bottom, and it’s a cozy space made to look and feel like an English pub — there’s even a red phone booth inside. The menu has everything from burgers to fish & chips to shakshuka (which I recommend), and it’s generally a very welcoming place.

 

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GEORGETOWN | GLOVER PARK

A perfect BLT at Silver

Sit Down:

Pinstripes | 1064 Wisconsin Ave NW
A good meal paired with bowling (or bocce) is pretty much a guarantee for fun family meal out — whether dine, then play after or make bowling your main activity and eat at your lane. We’ve done both (and have even gone just for the meal)! They often have special offerings for holidays, so it’s worth checing if you’re looking for an occasion meal. Read more about it here.

Farmers Fishers Bakers | 3000 K St NW
Located at Washington Harbour, this has been a longtime go-to for a family meal we know we all like. The menu has everything from sushi to pizza to tacos to jambalaya — and a lot in between — and the quality of it all is excellent. Try to get a table outside to enjoy the waterfront scene, though inside is always nice and lively, too.

Clyde’s | 3236 M St NW
There are Clyde’s restaurants all around the are, but this was the original. An extensive menu satisfies everyone, and a kids menu has the standards that little eaters always like. And upscale saloon decor makes it an ever-inviting place.

Pizza Paradiso | 3282 M St NW
If you want to get pizza in Georgetown, this is the place to go. It’s cooked in a wood-burning oven, and it’s delicious. Salads and paninis are available for non-pizza eaters, but you really should get the specialty. Oh, even better, there is also a game room with tabletop shuffleboard and darts. A few more DC locations are in Dupont Circle and Spring Valley.

Martin’s Tavern | 1264 Wisconsin Ave NW
An institution here, Martin’s is cozy and friendly with a lot of DC history. JFK frequented the tavern, and there’s a plaque at the booth where he proposed to Jackie. And lots of other presidents and local bigwigs have left their mark there. It’s become touristy over the years, but still a neat and cozy place to go.

Simply Banh Mi | 1624 Wisconsin Ave NW
We’ve eaten here after a Dumbarton Oaks visits — it’s especially good on a cold day. Along with Banh Mi sandwiches and rice noodle bowls, the pho is a tasty way to warm up.

Reren Lamen & Bar | 1073 Wisconsin Ave NW
The menu of ramen, dumplings, and other Chinese food dishes has something for everyone. Located right by the intersection of Wisconsin Ave & M Street, it’s a convenient stop in the heart of Georgetown. You can’t go wrong with the signature ramen, and both the handmade dumplings and bao are great for the table to share. Location in Chinatown/Penn Quarter, too.

Silver | 3404 Wisconsin Ave NW
The new American brasserie, as they call it, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a large, comfortable space, and also has outdoor seating. Menus for all meals are extensive, so you’ll easily find something everyone will enjoy. e’ve only ben for lunch, but can attest that the BLT, crab cakes, tuna tartare…okay, everything is really good. They have a great Kids Menu with options all $10 or less.

2 Amy’s | 3715 Macomb St NW
Many people have heard of 2 Amy’s — it’s almost always included among rankings of the best pizza in town, deservingly so. It’s also a very family-friendly place to eat out, and you’ll always see kids of all ages dining there, and the vibe is very relaxed and friendly. My only complaint is that, with a walk-in only policy, there’s always a wait for a table.  But that’s a testament to how much so many people like it.

Cactus Cantina | 3300 Wisconsin Ave NW
Right on the same block as 2 Amy’s, Cactus Cantina draws a family crowd, too. The large menu of Tex-Mex food and casual, but vibrant atmosphere make it a, fun and easy meal-out with kids. There is also a kids menu with smaller portions and prices to match. Don’t just go here when 2 Amy’s is full; go here because it’s good and fun on its own! They also take reservations.

Snag a patio spot at Jaco

Casual Bites:

Moby Dick House of Kebab | 1070 31st St NW
Super casual and suuuper tasty Persian street food.  Various combos of kebab-style chicken, beef, and lamb on a pita or platter with rice and veggies are aplenty. Located on Georgetown side street, it’s a great stop amid the bustling shopping district.  There is a bit of a wait for food while it’s being flame-grilled, but it’s so worth it! Locations also in Dupont and in MD and VA.

Jaco Juice & Taco Bar | 1614 Wisconsin Ave NW
Just down the street from Dumbarton Oaks, this is another great stop before or after a visit to the lovely gardens or hiking trail (or anytime, for that matter). Lots of options for tacos and burritos, and a good selection of smoothies. Snag a table on the front patio if you can.

Shouk | 1426 Wisconsin Ave NW
The Israeli plant-based street food eatery is one of my favorite fast-casuals. The falafel — sandwich, bowl, or even a simple bag of them with sauce — is always a crowd pleaser. And their signature items like the Shouk Burger and mushroom-based shwarma are as creative as they are tasty. Even the hummus and pita is perfect. Also located in the Mt. Vernon Triangle area in DC (and in Rockville).

Booeymonger | 3265 Prospect St NW
It’s been around as long as I can remember. Located a block off busy M Street, Booeymonger’s has every kind of deli sandwich imaginable. An easy, very casual go-to for feeding the whole crew.

Falafel Inc. | 1210 Potomac St NW
This may be the best easy meal deal in the city. The falafel sandwiches and bowls are super tasty, and both under $6. And we love all the different kinds of sauces to try with them. Get the zataar fries, too! (PS: Their party platters are perfect for feeding a crowd.) Also located at The Wharf.

muncheez | 1071 Wisconsin Ave NW
Super yummy Lebanese food in a very casual, unassuming row house on Wisconsin, just off of M Street. The shwarma on sandwiches or platters doesn’t disappoint, and there are a few options, like pizza and grilled cheese for little eaters who prefer the basics. For a sweet treat, opt for one of the crepes (Sasha always does).

Sprinkles | 3015 M Street NW
Okay, so I know there’s a certain cupcake place that gets all the attention and even had a TV show. When we walk by and see the line snaking around the corner outside, I always want to yell out, “You’re missing out on the best cupcake!” Because, in my opinion, Sprinkles has the best cupcakes in town. They are perfectly moist, just the right sweetness, and the actual sprinkley ones are covered with them. Read more about them here — yes, we’ve been enjoying them since the Georgetown location opened!

Jetties | 1609 Foxhall Road NW
The shop is actually just outside Georgetown in Foxhall, but it’s worth a stop if you’re in the area, perhaps after a visit to the Kreeger Museum. All different kinds of sandwiches, plus salads and soups. The kids menu has other items that littles like — get the the main item, a side, and drink for $9.95. (Locations also in other areas of DC.)

matchbox | 3701 Newark St NW
This has always been one of the easiest places to eat with kids, with pizza, burgers, and salads dominating the menu, plus a kids menu with a few selections of the same but smaller portions. When the kids were little, we loved that servers would bring them a ball of dough to play with (you may need to ask for it now). Fun, comfortable atmosphere, too. Other DC locations in Capitol Hill and Cathedral Commons.

 

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WOODLEY PARK  | UPPER NORTHWEST | ETC.

The chef’s platter at Lebanese Taverna is perfect for family sharing

Lebanese Taverna | 2641 Connecticut Ave NW
As I said in this KFDC post, Lebanese Taverna is a go-to for us — everyone in our family loves eating there.. The delicious Mediterranean flavors and nice variety of dishes practically guarantee a good meal every time we go. A Kids Menu offers smaller portions of several Lebanese classics, plus there are many small plates (Mezza) and sandwiches on the main menu that work for children, too.

Comet Ping Pong | 5037 Connecticut Ave NW
Often our pick for a place to eat when we are in the Chevy Chase area of DC and looking for a bite to eat. The pizza is very good, but the ping pong makes the eatery especially awesome for families. There are tables at the back where you can play while you wait for your food — or whenever the kids are antsy and need a fun distraction. Read more about it in this very early KFDC post.

Booeymonger | 3265 Prospect St NW
Like the Georgetown locations, the Booeymonger in Friendship Heights has been around as long as I can remember. And it also serves every kind of deli sandwich imaginable.  This one is close to the shopping area, so if you’re down that way, it’s an easy, very casual place to feed the whole crew.

Maggiano’s | 5333 Wisconsin Ave NW
The well known chain is one you can count on to please everyone. The menu is full of classic Italian dishes — all kinds of pasta, chicken parm and picatta, bruchetta and garlic bread, and more — that all palates seem to love. A Kids Menu offers smaller portions of several pastas and a few other options, plus a drink and dessert for $7.99. There is also a family-style menu for a big sharing feast.

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Where are your family’s favorite places to eat in DC?  Let us know, whether they’re listed here or not!

 

8 Comments

Filed under DC, Eats

8 Responses to KFDC Picks for Kid Friendly DC Restaurants

  1. Jon

    Would you consider doing a Brookland version? Lots of families up here, along with some great kid friendly restaurants!

    • Linda @ KidFriendly DC

      Hi! There are a couple of Brookland spots listed (they’re the ETC in the H Street/Union Market section). I’ll add more as we eat at them. In the meantime, if you want to recommend some of your favorites here in the comments, please feel free!

  2. Brian H

    As a transplant from the Hill to Upper NW (we meet quite a few around here), I would add a few places along Connecticut Avenue that have been hits with our crew:

    Medium Rare in Cleveland Park
    I’m Eddie Cano in Forest Hills
    Little Beast in Chevy Chase

  3. Maggy

    Went to la collina for an anniversary dinner w our kids, per your suggestion. It was perfect! Delicious and very kid friendly. Thanks for the rec!

    • Linda @ KidFriendly DC

      Aw, you’re very welcome! So nice to hear it was perfect for your celebration. A favorite, for sure…I was just there last night! 🙂

  4. Oh, this list is great! Eating out can be a bit stressful with younger kids, so it definitely is more relaxing for the parents when it’s a family-friendly establishment!

  5. We love Ted’s Bulletin’s poptarts!

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