Small Bites: Our Guide to Kid-Friendly Dining in Boston

a parent and child share a meal at a family restaurant boston iStock

Looking for kid-friendly eats in Boston? You’ve come to the right place

Nothing sounds better to a tired parent than taking the kids out for lunch or dinner. And Boston certainly has some amazing family restaurants you’ll want to try. From great burger joints and pizza places to savory seafood and classic Italian dishes, Boston’s foodie scene is a montage of family restaurants serving up good eats from Boston Harbor to Jamaica Plain (and beyond). The next time you need a break from kitchen duty (hint: local meal services are another way to win here), head to one of these eateries that truly cater to families. You won’t be disappointed.


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Boston Sail Loft

Is your family full of seafood fanatics who like to dine with a great view? The Boston Sail Loft will become your next favorite spot for sure. Their clam chowder has been named Best of Boston in recent years and is served in an overflowing mug, topped with oyster crackers. Order with a lobster roll and you’ll have one of the best meals in New England. Don’t worry, they have a great kids’ menu too. With classics like mac-and-cheese and chicken tenders, they’ll have a great time watching the boats they’ll eat every bite. The staff is also known to be super friendly and there is ample space in the restaurant if you have a stroller.

80 Atlantic Ave.
Boston
Online: thebostonsailloft.com

 

Joe's Waterfront

Another Boston favorite for seafood loving families is Joe’s Waterfront. Overlooking Boston Harbor, your dinner comes with a great view. In the summer months, the restaurant offers outdoor dining for some fresh sea air. Opt for the Captain’s Platter for a little bit of everything, or just go for your favorite seafood dish. The kid’s menu will also keep any picky eater from pushing their plate away. It’s also right across from Christopher Columbus Park so you can let the kids run wild either before or after their meal.

100 Atlantic Ave.
Boston
Online: joeswaterfront.com

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The Friendly Toast

All day brunch with a nostalgic diner atmosphere? Yes, please! The Friendly Toast may look a little small from the outside, but it's pretty spacious once you’re inside and quite colorful too. They serve all your classic brunch favorites like chicken and waffles and breakfast sandwiches, but they also have some “monster” plates of giant pancakes or french toast. The “tiny menu” for kids has some fun choices in smaller portions like tiny avocado toast or Mini French Toast Monster and gluten free pancakes too. Plus, the price point is just right. This spot in Boston is definitely a winner.

35 Stanhope St.
Boston
Online: thefriendlytoast.com

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American Flatbread

We can’t think of a better family night out than enjoying some great pizza and watching the kids engage in friendly sports. Luckily, American Flatbread combines the fun of bowling and delicious pizza that is made from organic and local ingredients. With a variety of topping choices, and the option of gluten-free crusts, the kids won’t even notice the wait time while playing a few rounds of candlepin bowling.

Insider Tip: This also makes a great spot for birthday parties.

45 Day St.
Somerville, MA 
Online: americanflatbread.com

Related: Boston's Best Pizza Spots to Try Right Now

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Life Alive Organic Café

Teaching the kids to eat healthy is no easy task, but definitely not impossible. Life Alive is a growing chain based out of the North Shore of Boston and has become a popular vegetarian/vegan spot that aims to promote health and wellness. Pastel colors and vibrant dishes like the açaí bowls and fresh fruit juices create a pleasant atmosphere that will have the little ones smiling and asking for seconds. If you choose the Cambridge location, head over to the Harvard Arts Museum afterwards for an afternoon of educational fun.

Multiple locations around Boston and the North Shore
Online: lifealive.com

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Bit Bar Salem

Got gamers in the family? Then the trip to the Bit Bar Salem will be worth the drive. This arcade restaurant is every gamer’s paradise—both young and old. Serving up comfort food classics like burgers, buffalo chicken mac-and-cheese, and chicken fingers, your kids won’t know what to do first—eat or play? They’ll want to stay for hours playing games like Dance Dance Revolution and Donkey Kong. Just make sure to bring the family home before 8 p.m. when the restaurant becomes strictly 21+. Good thing, that’s bedtime anyway.

278 Derby St.
Salem, MA
Online: bit.bar

Related: 8 Themed Restaurants in Boston Families Need to Experience

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Sweet Cheeks Q

Craving some southern BBQ for the family? You should check out Sweet Cheeks Q near Fenway in Boston. A great, kid-friendly restaurant that offers all your favorite southern dishes like brisket and pulled pork. Most of the dishes are generously sized so you will be sure to have some leftovers for later. Make sure to order extra biscuits—it's kind of their thing. Another perk of this restaurant? They have an egg-laying chicken game with prizes to keep the kids occupied while the food is being prepared.

1381 Boylston St.
Boston
Online: sweetcheeksq.com

Theo's Cozy Corner Restaurant

What kid doesn’t love pancakes and waffles for lunch? Theo’s Cozy Corner in Boston has all your breakfast favorites to make an easy meal for those days when you just need something to keep you all full and cozy. Their lunch menu is pretty extensive too, combining Italian and Brazilian dishes, so the kids will actually want to try something new each time. Keep in mind, this restaurant closes every day at 3 p.m. and accepts cash only, but the meals are pretty inexpensive and quite tasty too.

162 Salem St.
Boston
Online: facebook.com/theo1994

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Stockyard

This classic American tavern feels like a fine dining experience but with all the features of a family-friendly restaurant. Stockyard offers high quality steak and seafood dinners, but does not leave out favorites like burgers and pasta. Though this restaurant is a little more on the pricey side, the kid’s menu has selections in the $8-10 range. A bigger plus, the menus have fun facts to keep your kids entertained and all kids’ dinners come with an ice cream for dessert.

135 Market St.
Brighton
Online: stockyardrestaurant.com

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El Pelón Taqueria

Finding an authentic Mexican restaurant in New England is tough. El Pelon Taqueria is the exception and a great kid-friendly restaurant in Boston. Hailed for their affordable prices and genuine Mexican dishes like enchiladas and tortas, this taqueria is a treat for any Boston family. The colorful Mexican décor on the walls are also fun for the kids to look at.

92 Peterborough St.
Boston
Online: elpelon.com

Red Lentil Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurant

Parents everywhere probably give themselves a pat on the back when they come across kid-friendly restaurants with healthy options their kids will actually eat. The Red Lentil Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurant has so many nutritious choices you’ll definitely need to try, like the Oyster Mushroom “Calamari” or vegan waffles or french toast. They also serve vegan smoothies and organic kombucha. Tust us, your kids will be begging to come back.

600 Mt. Auburn St.
Watertown, MA
Online: theredlentil.com

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Blue Nile Restaurant

The Blue Nile Restaurant serves some of the best Ethiopian cuisine around the city. The fact that it has a selection of vegan and vegetarian plates your kids will like is a total bonus. Plus, this kid-friendly restaurant gives you a great opportunity to introduce your little ones to classic Ethiopian dishes like Tibs and Azifa, if you haven't already. It'll leave them wanting more.

389 Centre St.
Boston
Online: bluenileincjp.com

Related: 15 Black-Owned Businesses Boston Families Need to Know

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