Kid-Friendly Restaurants on the Hill

Looking for a good place to eat that your kids will enjoy too? Hill parents vouched for every restaurant on this list. In many cases they expounded on a restaurant’s merits—and those comments are included.

Friends and neighbors cited a number of factors in whether a restaurant can be called kid-friendly: table size (because kids may throw things, and you need extra space for gear); noise level (loud enough to cover for kids’ “exuberance”); availability of high chairs; and finally and crucially, the “stink-eye” factor (self-explanatory).

This list is organized by type of cuisine. Each entry answers the question “What makes it good for kids?”

Note: This compilation is never final—it will be modified as new information comes in. If you have something to say about kid-friendly restaurants on the Hill, email me at


Hawk ‘n’ Dove

“Hawk ‘n’ Dove is basically a Washington monument.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Hawk ‘n’ Dove is a large restaurant with generous table sizes and a moderate noise level. It has burgers and pizza on the menu and crayons and drawing pads for entertainment.

Neighbors Say …

“Hawk ‘n’ Dove is extremely welcoming to our 4-year-old. We usually grab a booth away from everyone so we’re not bothering the bar-goers. They have crayons, drawing pads, and will bring out kid-friendly cups for whatever you order.” –Allison

Mr. Henry’s

“Mr. Henry’s Restaurant is a Capitol Hill tradition, offering classic American fare, private upstairs dining room and live music.” 

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Among other kid-friendly options on the menu, they have a mac and cheese that looks exactly like the boxed one we make at home. You can count on the wait staff at Mr. Henry’s to be friendly to your family. Your server might bring your kids a froggy tabletop game.

Ted’s Bulletin

“We are your neighborhood restaurant, serving up modern American food and drink—from all-day breakfast to fine lunches, dinners, desserts, inspired cocktails and weekend brunch.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Ted’s Bulletin is made for families. The regular menu has plenty of appealing options, and for smaller appetites, there is a $6 kids’ menu. Kids of all ages love the milkshakes. Little kids like the crayons.

Neighbors Say …

“Ted’s Bulletin is great for families with kids of all ages. My teens go there alone now for dinners with their friends and have had great experiences.” – Satu

“Kids can be themselves and it’s not frowned upon.” –Meg

“Ted’s restaurants are the kid friendliest, from the treats to the food and the toys to the silent movies they have playing.” –Maria

Tune Inn

“The Tune Inn has dive bar cred in spades: Opened on Capitol Hill in 1947 and currently owned by the third generation of the Nardelli family, the Tune Inn starts serving breakfast and cold beers daily at 8 a.m.” –The Washington Post

What Makes It Good for Kids?

The Tune Inn is an unpretentious place that serves kid-friendly food such as waffles, mini cheeseburgers and mozzarella sticks.

Neighbors Say …

“My kids love it there. We usually go on Sundays after church. They hang up kids’ art in the bar, which makes them feel special. Jamie is our regular server.” –Katie

Tunnicliff’s Tavern

“A tavern in the truest sense of the word: Tunnicliff’s is the gathering place on the Hill, serving up cold beer and great food.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Tunnicliff’s Tavern is a real neighborhood restaurant where families feel comfortable. The dining room is spacious, the service is friendly, the regular menu has many options and the kids’ menu is cheap.   

Neighbors Say …

“Tunnicliff’s has a great kids’ menu, and the staff is kind and respectful of children. Plenty of high chairs are available too.” –Maria

“Tunnicliff’s: $5 kids meals!” –Katie


“Trusty’s Full-Serve: Friendly and reliable, comfortable and convenient. Enjoy old filling station décor, TVs and board games among neighbors and friends.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

This neighborhood joint has welcoming service and plenty of kid-friendly food and games.

Neighbors Say …

“Board games, burgers and beer. Winner all around.” –Katie



“Chefs Danny Lee and Scott Drewno pair modern cooking techniques with traditional Chinese and Korean flavors, while Drew Kim provides his passion for hospitality ensuring a unique dining experience.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Chiko offers a kids’ platter with tempura chicken bits, steamed rice with butter and seasonal fruit with sorbet. The atmosphere is very casual and the service is friendly.

Neighbors Say …

“ Chiko is very kid friendly in that they have a great kids’ meal and high chairs, they are so nice to kids even if they are throwing food or yelling, and you don’t have to wait long for food. We go to Chiko frequently for Friday night dinner and there are always multiple tables with small children.” –Meg

Bakeries, Cafes and Coffeeshops

Hill Café

“Coffee and sandwiches shop in Washington.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

This mom-and-pop has kid-friendly breakfast foods, pastries and sandwiches.

Neighbors Say …

“The Hill Café has surprisingly delicious breakfasts and lunches if you want a casual, quick spot.” –Monica

Le Pain Quotidien

“Le Pain Quotidien means the daily bread. And to us, that means everything. It’s much more than mere sustenance; it’s a way of life.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

LPQ has kid-friendly menu options such as pancakes, pastries, oatmeal, sandwiches and soup.

Neighbors Say …

“Does not have a kid menu but there is kid-friendly food. The staff is nice. Has high chairs and coloring mats with crayons.” –Sergio

Pretzel Bakery

“The Pretzel Bakery serves small batch, hand-rolled, Philadelphia-style soft pretzels fresh-out-of-the-oven all day.”

  • 257 15th St SE
  • Pretzels served 7 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends
  • Counter service, indoor and outdoor seating

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Salted pretzels. Cinnamon-glazed pretzels. Breakfast slider pretzels. Nutella-filled Pretzel Bomb.

Neighbors Say …

“The Pretzel Bakery wins on all levels for being full of families with kid-centric food with space to run and minimal wait times.” –Meg

Whole Foods Cafés

“We seek out the finest natural and organic foods available, maintain the strictest quality standards in the industry, and have an unshakeable commitment to sustainable agriculture.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Whole Foods offers a variety of healthy prepared foods.  

Neighbors Say …

“The cafés at both Hill Whole Foods are easy kid options in that everyone in the family can pick what they want to eat.” –Meg

Beer Gardens

Bardo Brewing

“Open-air beer garden has plenty of room for adults, kids and dogs to run wild.”  —Eater DC

  • 25 Potomac Ave SE
  • Beer only. Open 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 1 p.m. Friday-Sunday, and two hours before Nats or DC United Games
  • Bar service, outdoor seating

What Makes It Good for Kids

Bardo Brewing is a kid- and dog-friendly beer garden in a large grassy area with picnic tables. No food is served, but you can bring in your own. They recently set up a shaded sandbox for kids. There is also cornhole and river views.

The Brig

“Year-round tavern featuring liters of German brews, plus eats such as bratwurst and pretzels.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

The Brig is a kid- and dog-friendly outdoor beer garden. It often has live music. The menu includes soft pretzels, nachos, hummus and burgers. Caveat: Can get loud and crowded.

Neighbors Say …

“We love the Brig beer garden. My 4-year-old loves playing in the rocks and seeing the dogs. They have burgers and fries and chicken fingers. It’s a great outside option!” –Katharine


Granville Moore’s

“A cozy tavern with a healthy Belgian fetish.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Granville’s has a new kids’ menu featuring mac and cheese, burgers, panini and chicken strips for $8 plus free dessert.

Neighbors Say:

“They have a kids menu (new, beginning in January of this year) and upstairs spaces large enough for big families. The servers were extremely accommodating to my large family, and there was another large family with kids adjacent to us when we dined there last month on a Friday night.” –Jade

British Pub

Queen Vic

“Dark-wood, Old English pub with a traditional British menu and a tuck shop with imported U.K. staples.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Kids enjoy the fun atmosphere at Queen Vic and are likely to find something yummy on the menu.   

Neighbors Say …

“Upstairs at Queen Vic. Slightly more interesting food options for kids (what child turns up their nose at bangers and mash??) and more adventurous fare for the grownups (made-from-scratch pot pie is clutch if you can get one before they sell out!), and if you sit by the window, kids can look down at H St and watch the streetcar go by. Loud enough that noisy kids aren’t a nuisance to others. And they’ve definitely seen adults make a bigger mess than your 2-year-old. Another regular go-to.” –Jenny

Food Hall

Union Market

“Union Market is the epicenter of culinary creativity in DC with over 40 local vendors and much more to come.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

This huge, energetic food hall has an abundant variety of choices. When it’s not too crowded, there is space for kids explore.

Neighbors Say …

“I like to take my kids to Union Market at 8:30 a.m., when it’s empty and great to run around.” –Monica

Irish/Sports Bar

Finn McCool’s

“A sports bar on Barracks Row that honors our troops in the armed forces.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Sports-loving moms and dads love Finn’s for the 15 big-screen TVs, and kids are always welcome. A “cadets” kids’ menu is available for brunch, lunch and dinner. Kids get animal-themed kid cups along with crayons and coloring sheet.



“Lavagna is a neighborhood gathering place where you’ll always find delicious food and the best of company.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Kids like pasta, but if the menu choices are too complicated for your little one, the kitchen will make them a plain pasta with parmigiano.


Chupacabra Latin Kitchen and Taqueria

“Started with a truck, ended up in Northeast DC.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Kids tend to love Mexican food and Chupacabra has their favorites: chips and guac, chips and queso, tacos and quesadillas.

Neighbors Say:

“Chupacabra is also a great option, especially during the months when you can sit outside. The menu is simple and accessible, and you can control what goes in the food for picky eaters.” –Maria

District Taco

“Our mission is to serve quality Mexican (Yucatan style!) food that is fresh, simple and healthy. All of our food is made fresh daily from quality ingredients.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

District Taco offers customizable tacos, burritos, bowls and quesadillas, made from healthy, fresh ingredients. The tables are spacious.

Neighbors Say …

“This is our kid-friendly favorite! Great kids’ menu, lots of high chairs, crayons and a chalk wall. And the stink eye level is non-existent.” –Barbara

H Street Country Club

“Peculiar, ingenious and the only of its kind. Mexican food, award winning drinks, roof deck and the only bar with indoor mini golf.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

H Street Country Club is a 21+ establishment, but it welcomes kids from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Saturday brunch and before 7 p.m. Sunday through Friday. Play mini golf, basketball hoops, skeeball, shuffleboard and more.

Neighbors Say …

“We are regulars! It gets a little overrun with 20-something boozy brunchers after as early as 2 p.m. and no kids later in the afternoon. But it’s a perfect place to meet friends with no kids or other families who want a casual brunch with adult beverages and minimal chaperoning of elementary age kids. You can’t go wrong with mini golf, skeeball, larger-than-life Jenga, shuffleboard and Big Buck Hunter! The food is perfect for little ones. I’ve been taking my 7 year old there for four years, no hesitation recommending it to others.” –Jenny

La Lomita

“Mexican fare, margaritas by the pitcher and a patio.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

La Lomita has kid-friendly Mexican fare and kid-friendly service.

Neighbors Say …

“La Lomita is great for small kids. Other diners are super cool. No crayons but great staff and super accommodating.” –Michelle

La Lomita Dos

“La Lomita Dos is a cornerstone in the Washington community and has been recognized for its outstanding Mexican cuisine, excellent service and friendly staff.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Friendly service and kids’ entrees under $6.

Las Placitas

“Authentic Salvadoran and Mexican cuisine.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

This longtime Barracks Row establishment has won many fans with its excellent, family-friendly service and generous helpings of consistently good food.

Neighbors Say …

“Las Placitas, which used to be the only restaurant for families, way back when … is awesome! We used to ask for small plates of rice and beans for our kids when they were tots and tip extra for the mess under the table. They were always welcoming and sweet.” –Satu

“Las Placitas has been our kid-friendly go-to since mine were babies. The portions are generous, so if you want to share with a child, you can, but they also have sides. The staff is incredibly nice and accommodating.” –Maria

“Las Placitas, because they actually like kids. They don’t just tolerate or condescend but consider them part of the family, which of course they are.” –Liz

La Plaza

“Vibrant venue providing Mexican and Salvadoran specialties.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Kid-friendly food and service. Margaritas for mom!

Santa Rosa Taqueria

“Chef curated traditional Mexican dishes with bright flavors and bold sauces.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Santa Rosa has yummy tacos and quesadillas and a casual setting.

Neighbors Say …

“For quick service, Santa Rosa has a great $5 kids’ meal with a quesadilla, beans and rice and a drink (my daughter loves their agua fresca), friendly staff, a patio or indoor seating. Great queso, too.” –Carolyn

Taco City DC

“At Taco City DC, we look for you to live the experience of Mexican food in the most delicious way possible, with the best plates and the best attention we can provide you.”

  • 1102 8th St SE
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Table service, indoor seating
  • Website

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Taco City DC offers a variety of kids’ favorite Mexican fare and attentive, accommodating service. Also: churros and flan!

Neighbors Say …

“I have to give props to Taco City. I took my 6- and 8-year-olds there and we had a great lunch. They enjoyed watching sports on TV and gobbled up queso fundido and quesadillas. The staff were extremely welcoming and accommodating. If your kids would enjoy watching sports on TV while you enjoy a margarita, this is a terrific spot.” –Allyson



“Bubbling thin-crust pizzas, local beer and a cool vibe have made us the neighborhood gathering place for a fun, friendly, casual dining experience.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Matchbox servers are prepared for kids, and greet them with balls of pizza dough, crayons and coloring pages to play with. Kids love the pizzas and sliders.

Neighbors Say …

“We have gone to Matchbox regularly with our kids—they get dough to play with, and they love the sliders. They also enjoy their Shirley Temples (we have a routine there) while mom and dad have a cocktail or beer.” – Satu


“Serving Neapolitan-style pizzas. Wood-burning oven. Twenty taps of craft brews. Rooftop patio.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Kids love the pizza, and parents vouch for the service.

Neighbors Say …

“We’ve had nothing but great experiences at RedRocks H St!” –Jane

Seventh Hill Eastern Market

“Hand-tossed, wood-fired gourmet pizza in Eastern Market.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Families swarm the place for the happy hour deal, which makes a dinner out on the town with kids affordable. The pizzas are delicious.

Neighbors Say …

“It’s always packed with kids, so noise and mess aren’t an issue, in addition to the killer happy hour.” –Meg


Hank’s Oyster Bar

“A major success since opening in 2005, Hank’s Oyster Bar serves New England beach fare classics.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Hank’s servers put a bowl of Goldfish on the table straight away, and dinner is off to a great start. Hank’s offers a kids’ menu but you could also make a kids’ meal out of the delicious sides, which include “mac and cheesy.” Crayons are provided, too.

Neighbors Say …

“We’ve had a few surprisingly successful meals with our toddler at Hank’s. Goldfish, good kids’ menu, plus crayons. They even have attachable high chairs for their high tops.” –Monica

Ophelia’s Fish House

“Contemporary American seafood where consistency in execution and highlighting the fish itself is priority.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Ophelia’s is a nice neighborhood seafood restaurant with good service and all the kid accommodations: kids’ menu, kids’ cups and crayons.

Neighbors Say …

“Ophelia’s had crayons and a coloring page, kids’ cups and a very reasonable kids’ menu with generous portions.” –Juli


Medium Rare

“We specialize in one thing: simplicity. Our exclusive culotte steak, our very secret sauce, our hand-cut, double-fried fries, fun desserts and the best brunches.”

What Makes It Good for Kids?

Medium Rare rolls out the paper tablecloths for kids and hangs their crayon masterpieces on the wall. MR serves just one meal: salad, steak and fries, with a smaller portion as a kids’ meal. Hot fudge sundaes for dessert. This is the favorite restaurant of my favorite teenager.

Neighbors Say …

“Delicious, affordable and perfect for kids and adults alike. Perfect when you want a ‘real meal’ instead of bar food, and totally acceptable to bring the kids—they can even draw on the brick wall!” –Jenny