Boston's 10best Family Friendly Restaurants That Make Parents Happy

Family friendly dining in Boston means more than heading to the the national fast food chain or pizza joint, in fact Boston's culinary scene has evolved to cater to the increasingly particular tastes that foodie parents have imparted on their offspring. 

With little gourmands developing their palates alongside their parents, their desire for a decent meal is just as strong as the adults who love them. Luckily, Boston restaurants have taken note and gone from once scoffing as families enter, to welcoming those looking to enjoy what the restaurant has to offer.

High end steak houses, were once out of the question with children, but Smith and Wollensky is working to change that outlook. With a location near the Children's Museum and Tea Party Ships, Smith and Wollensky is  developing kid friendly menus that cater to a smaller appetite while providing parents with their fill of steakhouse favorites.

Seafood is a popular option while in Boston, and many seafood spots make dining with kids enjoyable. Any Location of Legal Seafoods will suffice, but Legal Harborside really makes a weekend lunch special by providing a fisherman to let  your child try their hand at catch and release fishing.

Go ahead, make the reservation (ideally before prime dining time), or wait in line, and bring your kids, because these Boston restaurants know how to treat your family right.


The Cask n Flagon is a welcoming place, with lots of room to enjoy the big game, and an outdoor patio to savor a little sunshine on a nice afternoon. Serving standard sports bar favorites, it never hurts to indulge in a a few of the menu items. Basic burgers get beefed up with special toppings while pizzas and salads attempt to be a bit fancy. Probably not the place to get healthy, enjoy their fried favorites and save your serving of greens for later in the day. Oddly enough, this Fenway bar that's always jam packed with pre and post game revelers, is quite kid friendly. If you can get through the doors pre game, stop in for a bite that's offered at a much lower price than the food you'll find inside Fenway.

Rosa Mexicano may pack the crowds due to its location in the popular seaport District, but customers return because of the stellar service, excellent eats and upbeat atmosphere. Enjoying a meal in this busy spot may require a wait, even during lunch, but a seat at the bar is just as pleasant as in the dining room. Their servers are not afraid to make a recommendation, that you should take because they know the menu well.The table-side guacamole is a must, as is the tuna ceviche and an order of tacos. The decor is more modern Mexican, think subdued tones. Pair their food with a specialty beverage or beer cocktail and you'll have a complete Mexican meal that you won't soon forget.

Traditional Italian baked in a brick oven make this kid friendly, North End pizzeria a favorite. Serving some of the best pies around, Antico Forno carries a large selection of toppings to help you make your pizza a balanced meal. One pizza could easily feed a few people, but stopping with the pizza would be a crime. Antico Forno also offers an excellent selection of baked pasta dishes and tasty appetizers. Most meals are under $20 and are big enough to share. The casual setting of this inviting neighborhood trattoria provides a truly authentic Neapolitan experience. And you'll be able to get your fix of Italian red specialties that could move your Italian Grandma to the second best "gravy" you've had.

Smith & Wollensky
Photo courtesy of Smith & Wollensky

The Atlantic Wharf location of Smith & Wollensky overlooks the historic Fort Point Channel. Their outdoor dining scene is bustling during the warmer months when diners can score a seat for dinner or just drinks at their outdoor bar and take in the sweeping waterfront views. Offering diners prime dry aged steaks, premium seafood, award-winning wines and an extensive cocktail list, it is a hot spot for a business lunch or special dinner. Indulge in their coffee cocoa rubbed filet or one of their dry aged favorites like the melt in your mouth rib eye. Located near the Children's Museum and Tea Party Ships, Smith & Wollensky welcomes families (10% discount for those showing a Children's Museum receipt). Request your steak sliced family style and share a few bites, make a meal of their appetizers, or let kids enjoy their special kid friendly options and save your steak for yourself.

There's a reason locals prefer Mr. Bartley's to the chain joints, Mr. Bartley's churns out burgers made fresh, and to order, topped with quality ingredients and alongside frappes that will allow you to satisfy both your sweet and salty craving. Having opted out of becoming a large scale chain and keeping their focus on this one restaurant inspired by dorm room decor, Mr. Batley's Burger Cottage remains the best in the Boston area. Topping range from simple cheese to more gourmet concoctions named after current pop icons, cultural items and area haunts, and served on everything from buns, to beds of lettuce. Mr. Bartley's does not stop at burgers, they also offer a small entree menu, a selection of sandwiches, salads, and even an array of appetizers that include killer fried to order onion rings, gravy fries and even fishcakes. Add a frappe and dinner and dessert is done.

Summer Shack has consistently good food, excellent blackboard specials, stiff drinks and a seasoned wait staff. The laid back atmosphere is family friendly, but also offers a bar in another room for those looking to leave the kids behind. Excellent daily specials combined with a variety of classics make Summer Shack a place to return to over and over again. Not a seafood fanatic, the land lover's menu allows all an equally exciting dining experience, especially the fried chicken and corn dog. Kids are fans of Summer Shack as well, with crayons, write on table cloths, and special events on Sundays just for families (free Sundae bar and balloon animals while you eat), you can get your lobstah' fix while the kids are entertained.


Redbones serves Southern food that Southerners would eat. A menu filled with bbq favorites, like pulled pork and baby back ribs, are rave worthy, and served in large portions to satisfy even the largest of appetites. The relaxed, casual setting is the perfect place to toss back a couple craft beers. With more than 20 to choose from, Redbones makes it easy to enjoy a cold one while you wait for your table (reservations are not accepted). If dinner were not enough of a bargain (most meals fall in the low to mid teens) go for lunch, at 8.99 the combo plate can't be beat. Families can enjoy a meal at Redbones as the acoustics are amped up and a little extra noise will not be noticed. Plus, the $6.00 kids meal menu offers your young ones lots of options, includes a side dish and a drink.

Legal Harborside
Photo courtesy of Chip Nestor

Legal Harborside is hot, and very good reason. It is casual, fun, family friendly (avoid prime times with a young family), moderately priced, has a spectacular view and, good basic seafood. Located in the Seaport District's Liberty Wharf, Legal Harborside is the flagship location for Legal Seafood. Offering many legal classics as well as newer additions the food often gets overlooked as patrons are focused on the view. Boasting floor to ceiling windows you cannot help but enjoy the waterfront scene unfolding a few feet before your eyes.

Full Moon is meant for kids to enjoy alongside their foodie parents. From the laid back atmosphere that matches the vibe of the Huron Village neighborhood it inhabits to the toy area where kids can roam free from the constraints of the table, Full Moon is every parent's dream. Add to that food everyone wants to eat and you have a winning go-to spot for locals who never mind the long lines that have you waiting outside in the elements for your table to come available. Those in the know are aware that once through the doors, a relaxed meal awaits and will actually be eaten without (much) interruption. Parents enjoy the creative menu items that are filled with flavor. Although their kids menu is comprised of typical favorites like chicken fingers and mac n' cheese, all food is made with love and kids meals come with a side of fruit and veggies.


Meet Jessica Polizzotti

Born and raised in Boston, Jessica knows her city like the back of her hand.  Always looking to uncover something new, Jessica keeps up on the latest and greatest Boston offerings. 

Although...  More About Jessica