More than lobstah and clam chowdah - best places to eat with kids in Beantown
Lobstah and clam chowdah! Everyone comes to Boston in search of these seafood staples. But award-winning eateries in Beantown boast plates as diverse as the people who live here. Sample bistro-style fare on the sidewalks of Newbury Street or travel to the trattorias in the North End for Italian dishes that will make it difficult to walk the Freedom Trail.
88 Sleeper St., South Boston
New Englanders never miss an opportunity to eat outdoors when the weather behaves! Barking Crab is a simple summer eatery on the water turned year-round staple for tourists and locals. We are wild about the calamari, clam chowder, crab cakes, and snow crab clusters drenched in butter! Kids are welcome, clothing is casual, and alcohol is abundant. $$$
2/La Famiglia Giorgio's Ristorante
112 Salem St., North End
Go here hungry. You might be able to swim in the huge portions at La Famiglia Giorgio’s Ristorante. It’s family-style dining at its best with a friendly staff, warm atmosphere, and bounty of to-go bags. The meatballs on the my kids’ menu are our go-to, while I always order the lasagna of the day. $$$
300 Hanover St., North End
A trip to the North End isn’t complete without a cannoli from Mike’s Pastry. This neighborhood bakery has been booming ever since it opened in the 50s and features 18+ cannoli flavors. Get a blue and white box to go, stuffed with all of the sweets that you couldn’t decide upon in the store. The traditional lobstertails with creamy white filling are some of our favorites! $
KidTripster Tip: Bring cash and be prepared to wait a bit; it’s totally worth it!
84 Beacon St., Beacon Hill
See the Boston pub that inspired the hit TV series, Cheers. The outside of the bar in Beacon Hill is easily recognizable, and the warm atmosphere inside makes you feel like everybody knows your name. Cheers Boston is hopping with live music on some nights. Proceeds from the children’s menu go to charity. Additional replica location in Faneuil Hall Marketplace. $$
5/Legal Sea Foods
255 State St., Long Wharf
This family-run chain of restaurants says, “if it ain’t fresh, it ain’t Legal!” Legal Sea Foods has a philosophy of selecting and serving only the best seafood in New England. And the catches on customers’ plates vouch for their authenticity. My kids rave about the fresh cod fish sticks and the skinny fries on the kids’ menu, but I am married to Legal’s signature crab cakes and lobster bisque. Whatever you select from the extensive menu, it’s going to be legit. $$$
6/New Dong Khanh
83 Harrison Ave., Chinatown
A local friend of ours swears by this family-owned find in Chinatown for fresh Vietnamese and Chinese fare. The ambience in New Dong Khanh is certainly no frills, but you can watch your food being cooked in the kitchen and gawk at some strange fish in tanks nearby. Favorite menu items include the pho (various noodle soups) and the barbeque lemongrass chicken. Grab a to-go smoothie or bubble tea for a needed boost of energy while exploring Boston. $$
150 Charles St., Beacon Hill
Our favorite stop for hot chocolate in the city! J.P. Licks features freshly-roasted coffee, frozen yogurt, and ice cream, but this local chain’s charm may lie in their mugs of cinnamon-infused hot cocoa, topped with whip cream, of course! There are 13 locations in Boston that keep us warm all winter! $
344 Huron Ave., Cambridge
Pancakes and a play area for the kids? Sold! This seven-days-a-week brunch spot in Cambridge knows how to cater to kids and adults. My husband and I had an actual conversation over our fancy omelettes, while the kids played happily nearby with other children in the restaurant. The crayons on the tables are perfect for a few games of tic-tac-toe while you wait for your food, and the Full Moon staff is incredibly patient with their young patrons. $$
9/FuGaKyu Japanese Cuisine
1280 Beacon St., Brookline
A little off the beaten paths of Boston, this Brookline eatery is easily accessible via a quick ride on “The T,” and it’s worth it. The screened rooms at FuGakYu are critical for tired families who need a little peace and quiet after a long day. Plus, the kids’ menu (ages 10 & under) is full of fun creations like Meatball Maki. The sushi chefs don’t mind spectators nor do the blue koi swimming in the lobby. To be clear, the spicy tuna rolls are the stuff of sushi dreams. Additional locations: Sudbury & Lynnfield. $$
492 Tremont St., South End Boston
The artisan creations at Blackbird Donuts will confirm your love of donuts! It’s difficult to eat just one, so do yourself a favor, and buy a dozen of these unique delicacies made from mostly-local ingredients. Flavors change frequently, but the made-from-scratch beauties range from sweet to savory with rotating deliciousness. Try salted toffee, blackberry lavender, lemon coconut, coffee bacon, and pepperoni pizza… heck, try them all. Take yours to go (there’s no seating indoors) and snag a bench outside to watch passersby drool over your donuts. $
KidTripster Tip: For après-donut entertainment, the Boston Children’s Theatre often holds performances at the nearby Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. Check online for tickets and show times.
You can’t forget the cupcakes! The celebrated delights at Georgetown Cupcakes (83 Newbury Street, Back Bay) are offered in almost 100 flavors, ranging from chocolate salted caramel to vegan carrot. Many flavors are also gluten-free. Offerings change daily, but follow them on Twitter to learn the #SecretFlavor each day for a FREE cupcake. Freebies are only for the first 100 walk-ins that mention the secret flavor and are one per customer. But, who can pass up complimentary cupcakes?! $
Carla Corban Kath lives in Boston with her husband and two daughters. She grew up fighting the humidity in Mississippi and has had flat hair ever since. The only thing that makes her hair stand up is spiders...and a day with no sugar.
This writer received some complimentary meals for the purpose of this review. However, all opinions expressed are solely her own.