Kid-Friendly Restaurants on the Hill: Not a Struggle

Back in April, I posted “Kid-Friendly Restaurants on the Hill: Is the Struggle for Real?” after reading a DCist article lamenting the lack of family-friendly choices in D.C. The post received a great many comments on the Hill East Facebook group page and inspired a lot of discussion with friends too. I compiled all the feedback, and the conclusion is: Families are enjoying a glut of restaurants on the Hill.

Introducing Capitol Hill Kid’s newest list: Kid-Friendly Restaurants on the Hill. Neighborhood parents vouched for every restaurant on the list, and in many cases, expounded on a restaurant’s merits. Those comments are included.

I suggested a handful of restaurants, and friends and neighbors named a couple dozen more. The kid-friendly options on the Hill run the gamut. American, Asian, Belgian, British, Italian and Mexican cuisines are represented, as well as restaurants specializing in seafood, pizza and steak. The list includes two beer gardens, a food hall and many cafés.

A few observations:

A theme emerged: many of the Hill’s Mexican restaurants are dependably and emphatically kid-friendly. It’s not only that kids love cheese and tortillas, but that the management and staff at places like La Lomita and Las Placitas treat patrons like family and cater to kids.

There is evidence that Hill establishments are becoming kid-friendlier, as the number of families with young children has increased. (It has been observed: It’s all kids—and dogs—on the Hill.) For example, Granville Moore’s, bastion of mussels and frites on H Street since 2007, added a kids’ menu earlier this year. Parents have reported surprise that “nicer” restaurants, such as Hank’s Oyster Bar and Ophelia’s Fish House, are actually quite kid-friendly.

Places you might not expect–such as the Brig, a beer garden–make it a point to describe themselves as kid-friendly. And when Bardo Brewing opened its open-air beer garden near Nats stadium, they created a big shaded sandbox for kids. 

While it turns out there are a lot of kid-friendly restaurants, it’s easy to guess that many parents might not know about all of them. The thing about going out to eat with babies and kids is, there is a tendency to stick with the tried and true rather than risking a disaster …  which can lead to a rut (even if it’s a delicious rut). Several readers talked about their “regular rotation” of a few reliable restaurants for family dinners.

Trying new things is fun, so I hope that the Kid-Friendly Restaurants on the Hill compilation inspires your family to get out and try a new-to-you, neighbor-recommended restaurant this weekend. 

Have something to say? Please comment! And please note, the list is never final. I’ll edit as new information becomes available, and I’m open to all your suggestions.

Happy dining, neighbors!

2 thoughts on “Kid-Friendly Restaurants on the Hill: Not a Struggle

  1. You forgot Finn McCool’s where kids are always welcome. Have had a kids menu for a while now both on regular menu and brunch menu. When you go through the menu it’s a twist for being opposite the marine barracks and they have named it Cadets. They also give the kids their own animal themed plastic cups along with crayons and a place mat for coloring activities

    1. Plus dads like to go to Finn McCool’s for game time. Thanks, Colin, I will add Finn’s and put it out on FB and Twitter.

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