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The best kid-friendly restaurants in Boston that the whole family will love

Boston offers several suitable options for a kid-friendly dining experience

JQ LouiseCheryl Fenton
Written by: Cheryl Fenton
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The task of getting out of the house with the kiddos in tow might seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be a stressful or sub-par experience. Boston has several family-friendly restaurants that cater to the little ones with dedicated menus, kids-eat-free deals, and even fun activities to keep them occupied so you too can enjoy the experience. Before heading out with the kids, pick an activity from our list of the best things to do with kids or the best things to do in Boston, and, if their getting a high energy sugar rush doesn’t scare you, check out the best desserts in Boston for an after dinner treat.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

Best family-friendly restaurants in Boston

  • Things to do
  • City Life

The newest movie theater in the Seaport can easily double as a great spot for your next meal together. While you and the family are enjoying your movie, simply write down your food order from the menu (peep the spicy buffalo chicken pizza, mini corn dogs and milkshakes) on the provided paper, press the button and the sheet is whisked away quietly. They bring the food right to your chair – each seat has its own table - so your kid’s attention span isn’t interrupted. They even occasionally have time capsule movie selections, so you can introduce the family to some of your all-time favorites from back in the day (hello, Weird Science).

2. Little Cocoa Bean Co.

This raison d'être of this small spot in JP is to cater to your little ones. While you sip your coffee, tea or smoothie, your baby or toddler dines on ready-made, fresh and healthy foods created just for them – quesadillas, waffles, quiche, “unicorn” yogurt, squash mac n’ cheese, cauliflower crust pizza and more. Everything at Little Cocoa Bean Co. is served in a chic, baby-friendly café setting that’s every parent’s dream eatery.

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  • Mediterranean
  • South End
  • price 1 of 4

A colorful mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes are served throughout the day, catering to South End residents in search of a quick, healthy meal. Warm, thin flatbreads are used to scoop up flavorful dips and spreads made from local, organic ingredients. A customizable menu ensures customers can combine whichever flavors they like. Salads and grain bowls delight the medical professionals who pop in for a healthy meal. You can also enjoy anoush'ella's fresh, healthful eats at its outlet in the slick Time Out Market Boston

  • Pizza
  • Somerville
  • price 2 of 4

Nothing reads family time loud and clear more than a night of pizza and bowling. American Flatbread pizzas are wood-fired and topped with local and organic ingredients, and you can follow the slices up with desserts like their famous Peace of Mind chocolate whoopie pie sundae or Maine Root Beer Float. Work off all that energy with a round of candlepin in the 1935 vintage bowling alley.

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  • price 2 of 4
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

If you grew up in the Boston suburbs, chances are good you had at least one memorable meal courtesy of the late Sally Ling’s, the upscale Chinese spot that convinced your parents Friday night takeout was a worthy idea. Ling’s daughter will help you make new memories with her outpost in Weston Center; among the choice offerings are three different ramens, including an intense, three-day pork broth packed with pork belly, soft egg, bamboo, red pickled ginger, kombu seaweed and scallions. (Tip: You should still save room for her mom’s famous spring rolls.)

  • Seafood
  • Alewife
  • price 3 of 4

With its colorful decor and friendly vibe, this Cambridge joint always feels like a New England clam shack in the peak of summer. Fresh seafood dishes like wood-grilled lobster or fresh oysters will please parents, while kids can dig into fish and chips, grilled cheese, or clam chowder. Grab a bucket of crayons and paper to keep them entertained.

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  • Contemporary American
  • Somerville
  • price 2 of 4

Comforting pub fare and drinks meet trendy decor at the Independent in Union Square. The roomy interior makes it comfortable for families, and kids eat free from 4:30-6:30pm Sunday to Thursday. Kid-friendly options include burgers, grilled cheese, and fish-and-chips.

  • Beacon Hill
  • price 1 of 4

This long-standing neighborhood favorite in Beacon Hill offers a kid-friendly, cafeteria-style breakfast spread that’s great for families. The special kids dinner menu includes standards like mac and cheese, pasta with butter, and chicken tenders. Plan ahead for Sunday brunch, when there’s always a crowd.

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  • Seafood
  • Seaport District
  • price 2 of 4

Legal Sea Foods’ flagship location has three floors, each with a different dining experience. The casual first floor dining area is the best bet for kids, with plenty of seating. They can wander outside to check out boats in the harbor or watch the shucking action at the oyster bar. The kids menu has staples like pizza and chicken fingers, but also more Legal fare like kid-friendly wood grilled seafood options.

  • American
  • Back Bay
  • price 2 of 4

With seven locations in the state and two in nearby New Hampshire, The Friendly Toast has an eccentric, colorful dining space that will fascinate the kids. The whole family can find something satisfying on the large menu, and kids will love the breakfast options served any time of day. On Wednesdays, kids eat free after 4pm.

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  • Vegetarian
  • Central Sq
  • price 1 of 4

For a healthy, great-tasting meal, this eclectic cafe fits the bill. Even kids will enjoy smoothies, grain bowls, and fresh hummus. The Central Square location in Cambridge has a colorful kids area, with small tables, chairs, and toys in its lower level. It’s a great place to stop and refuel with a healthy treat while the kids stay entertained.

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