The Most Kid-Friendly Restaurants in 6 Major Cities

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The Most Kid-Friendly Restaurants in 6 Major Cities
Family travel can be tricky, especially when the age range is wide and topics of interest may vary. And while hitting beaches and exploring museums are easy activities, choosing exactly where to eat can be a nightmare. Your younger kids might be picky, your teens might be aloof, and you might want a good plate of food that doesn’t involve a drive-through window.

Lucky for you, popular online reservation system, OpenTable, analyzed a year’s worth of reviews and ratings from restaurants around the country and pulled out almost 100 family-friendly spots in Washington D.C., San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. We’ve selected our favorites from the bunch to help make your life just a bit easier.
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    Washington, D.C.
    Farmers Fishers Bakers

    The massive menu at this whimsical waterfront spot seriously has something for everyone. But the best time to go is for the gourmet buffet brunch, where sticky-sweet cinnamon rolls replace table bread, and the spread includes honey-pot fried chicken and bruléed pink grapefruit.

    Courtesy of Farmers Fishers Bakers/Facebook
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    Washington, D.C.
    Le Diplomate

    If France isn’t in the books for this year’s family vacation, then a trip to Le Diplomate might be a good compromise. This swank Dupont Circle brasserie is a step back in time that appeals for its warm decor and elevated French menu. The steak frites are a delicious classic, and the brunch menu has plenty of options, from pistachio-studded oatmeal to duck sarladaise.

    Courtesy of Le Diplomate/Facebook
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    Washington, D.C.

    Families will love the trendy-yet-comfy vibes at chef Jose Andres’s downtown Mediterranean spot. The mezze-style menu allows everybody to try a little of everything, and the baskets of fluffy pita are addictive.

    Courtesy of Zaytinya/Facebook
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    Seattle, Washington
    Skillet Ballard

    While there are four Skillet locations throughout Seattle, Skillet Ballard wins for its 40-foot bar and outdoor patio, where parents can sip drinks like the “Radio Flyer” and “Green Dragon.” And for the kids? Tasty new-American dishes like grilled cheese on brioche and fried-chicken Caesar salad. 

    Courtesy of @skilletsfood
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    Seattle, Washington
    Ivar’s Acre of Clams

    A Seattle institution since 1938, Ivar’s serves up a huge selection of fresh seafood classics such as clam chowder and fish and chips. Its flagship location on Pier 54 means dining views of Elliot Bay, as well as the opportunity for a scenic post-dinner stroll.

    Photo by @jjunjuney
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    Seattle, Washington
    Sky City

    It may be a quintessentially romantic spot, but younger diners will also be impressed by Sky City’s views of Seattle. This special-occasion restaurant at the top of the Space Needle serves up kids’ menu classics and highly affordable lunch menu. 

    Courtesy of Space Needle
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    San Francisco, California

    Yes, Greens caters to vegetarians, but families of all eating-habits will enjoy the views of the Golden Gate Bridge from its Fort Mason location. The menu, while devoid of meat, has rich and hearty options like potato-studded curries and veggie-topped pizzas.

    Courtesy of Greens Restaurant
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    San Francisco, California
    Yank Sing

    Yank Sing consistently tops the list of best dim sum in the country with good reason. There will probably be a line out the door when you go, but once the family settles into a table and the carts of steamed pork buns, shrimp-stuffed dumplings, and creamy egg tarts appear, all impatience will vanish.

    Courtesy of Yank Sing
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    San Francisco, California

    If you’re in San Francisco, a bowl of cioppino is a necessity, and a good place to get it is Scoma’s, a decades-old standby. For kids who are averse to seafood, it also serves classic kids’ menu items as well as a selection of fresh pastas.

    Courtesy of Scoma's

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    New York City
    Blue Smoke

    Little ones will love getting their hands dirty at this spacious Danny Meyer spot that serves up classic southern fare. Blue Smoke’s chicken wings in Alabama white sauce are a surefire win, along with any of the pit-smoked meats.

    Photo by Quentin Bacon
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    New York City
    The Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel

    Children and parents alike can live out their Eloise fantasies with tea at the Plaza Hotel’s famous Palm Court. There is a pretty and pink Eloise menu (with kids’ items like “Charge it Please Mac and Cheese” and “Skipperdee’s Sneakers”) and a more-than-charming afternoon tea (with grownup items like Gin and Tonics and champagne).

    Photo by John Wisniewski/Flickr
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    New York City
    Rock Center Café

    Enjoy such tasty classics as a chef’s burger and chop salad overlooking a New York City landmark. In the wintertime, follow your family meal with a skate around the the Rink at Rockefeller Center.

    Courtesy of Rock Center Cafe
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    Los Angeles, California

    With dishes like Oregon albacore tuna and smashed farm potatoes, this airy Santa Monica restaurant not only has plenty of sustainable menu offerings, but its market is also the foodie-family’s dream. Kids will enjoy wandering through the aisles of craft chocolate and artisan cheese.

    Photo by @delish_thoughts
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    Los Angeles, California

    There’s a reason why this restaurant has nine locations countrywide. The delicious pizzas and classic pasta dishes are universally appealing, and the whole family will enjoy the El Segundo location’s wall-to-wall window looking into the kitchen.

    Courtesy of North-Italia
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    Los Angeles, California
    Gus’s BBQ

    While the decor has been updated since Gus’s 1946 opening, the neon sign that wecomes diners and the vinyl booths and bar seats will give kids a glimpse of the past. As will the food: the classic BBQ menu options like babyback ribs and pulled pork sandwiches will please even the pickiest eaters. 

    Courtesy of Gus's BBQ/Facebook
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    Chicago, Illinois
    Little Goat

    If Stephanie Izard’s world-famous Girl and the Goat seems too avant-garde for the whole family, her other spot, Little Goat, is the perfect compromise. This casual spot offers up sexy twists on classic diner fare. With dishes like “This Little Piggy Went to China” (sesame cheddar biscuit with blackberries, eggs, and Szechuan pork sausage) and “Fat Elvis Waffles” (waffles with banana, peanut butter butter, and bacon maple syrup), you’ll enjoy choosing your meal almost as much as eating it.

    Courtesy of Little Goat/Facebook

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    Chicago, Illinois
    Fogo de Chão

    With locations around the world, Fogo de Chão knows how to appease fidgety kids with tableside sword-skewered meats and a massive buffet of sides. This Brazilian steakhouse is also famous for its bottomless baskets of pão de queijo: warm, cheesy bread made from tapioca flour.

    Courtesy of Fogo de Chão/Facebook

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    Chicago, Illinois

    The old-world Italian aesthetic at Quartino matches its old-world Italian cuisine. With full menus of olives and salumi, along with dozens of options for wood-fired pizza and freshly made pasta, everyone in the family will leave with full bellies.

    Courtesy of Quartino
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    See the Full List
    Curious about what other restaurants made it on to OpenTable’s list? Check it out, here

    >>Next: 4 Kid-Friendly Escapes Around the World

    Courtesy of &Beyond Lodges and Camps