Washington DC has always been a strong tourist draw for families—nearly unlimited museums (many of them free), and access to some of the nation’s most famous monuments and buildings.
But what to do when the kids get hungry? We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the 20 most kid-friendly restaurants in Washington DC. Our criteria:
- Restaurants had to be located within DC city limits.
- Restaurants could not be part of a regional or national chain.
- Restaurants had to have a dedicated kid’s menu, kid-centric atmosphere, or established kid-friendly reputation.
The myriad options below should reassure every parent. You’re sure to find a familiar, winning meal or, for the more adventurous, a chance to expand the palate of your foodie-in-training.
While plenty of DC-area restaurants cater to a wide range of tastes, a few are known as reliable spots for a family meal. All offer dedicated children’s menus, straightforward but thoughtful American cuisine, and a casual atmosphere.
Location: 505 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003; 1818 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 544-8337; (202) 265-8337
Why: Plenty of family classics plus all-day breakfast has made Ted’s Bulletin a multi-year winner of best family-friendly restaurant in Washington DC.
Old Ebbitt Grill
Location: 675 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 347-4800
Why: Any restaurant in business since 1856 has been doing something right. Combine that history with a dedicated children’s menu and a location just steps from the White House, and you begin to understand why it’s a standard stop for hungry families.
Location: 1064 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
Phone: (202) 625-6500
Why: Given the combination of bowling and bocce, it’s no surprise that this Georgetown eat-and-play bistro serves everything from pizza and pasta to sandwiches and burgers.
Clyde’s of Georgetown
Location: 3236 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007
Phone: (202) 333-9180
Why: Consistently listed among top family-friendly restaurants in DC, Clyde’s of Georgetown offers good if predictable fare, for children and adults.
Classic American food—hamburgers, sandwiches, and blue-plate specials—is often the safest bet when away from home. Prices are always reasonable and most menu items are familiar to kids and parents alike. We’ve blended low-key options with some dedicated farm-to-table establishments to provide a range of choices for families eating out in DC.
Location: 1924 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 822-8783
Why: Founding Farmers offers clean flavors and locally sourced ingredients. While there’s no official kids’ menu, there are a number of kid-friendly options to introduce taste buds to something new, without leaving the familiar.
Location: Kimpton Hotel Madera, 1310 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 861-1310
Why: Every kids’ meal includes a cookie to decorate at the table before it’s cooked—giving you ample time to browse the menu and enjoy a refined, adult meal in peace.
Location: 716 Monroe St NE, Washington, DC 20017
Phone: (202) 758-2757
Why: Looking for an exceptional craft-beer spot that will happily seat you and your toddler? This is it. Burgers, sandwiches, and salads provide ample options.
Brooklyn’s Finest Bar & Kitchen
Location: 3126 12th St NE, Washington, DC 20017
Phone: (202) 636-0050
Why: Plenty of classic American options with the feel of a friendly neighborhood restaurant.
Location: 1423 P St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 332-3710
Why: Logan Tavern has built its reputation on brunch and pre-theater meals, served in a casual atmosphere. There’s no official kids’ menu but an array of tavern staples to please taste buds of all ages.
Location: 2331 Calvert St NW, Washington, DC 20008
Phone: (202) 332-2331
Why: This beloved breakfast spot ensures you’re never too late—enjoy pancakes or eggs all day, or switch to pizza or upscale diner fare, if you prefer.
Pizza and Pasta
Pizza is always a safe (and enjoyable) choice for a family meal. Fold in some sophisticated Italian menu choices—as many of these restaurants do—and you get a balance that makes for a memorable DC meal.
2 Amy’s Pizza
Location: 3715 Macomb St NW, Washington, DC 20016
Phone: (202) 885-5700
Why: It’s more than just high-end pizza. There are plenty of small plates, too, and the bustling atmosphere will drown out boisterous squeals.
Comet Ping Pong Pizza
Location: 5037 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
Phone: (202) 364-0404
Why: Pizza ensures the kids love it. Gluten-free and vegan options cover every diet. And a great beer list satisfies adults in the crowd. Oh, and ping pong!
Location: 1065 31st St NW, Washington, DC 20007
Phone: (202) 337-4444
Why: Looking for something a bit upscale? You’ll find it here, all while retaining access to a kid’s menu that includes more than just pizza.
Washington DC is known for its exceptional range of cuisines. Those opportunities filter down from fine dining to casual family dinners. If your kids are looking for new flavors, here are family-friendly DC restaurants that take advantage of the city’s many culinary traditions.
Location: 3300 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016
Phone: (202) 686-7222
Why: Tex-Mex cuisine made with care—even tortillas are freshly baked—and an exuberant atmosphere to match the energy of younger diners.
Location: 1915 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 530-5500
Why: If you’re lucky enough to have kids that enjoy sushi, Kaz Sushi is a favorite spot for sushi-lovers of all ages. Don’t be fooled by the casual atmosphere: It’s serious sushi.
Oyamel Cocina Mexicana
Location: 401 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
Phone: (202) 628-1005
Why: Legendary chef Jose Andrés’s lively restaurant has plenty of small plates to ensure younger diners find something they love—and have the chance to try something new.
Combine two stops into one with a pre- or post-museum meal. Museum eats in DC often surprise in their sophistication and always offer quick service and a stimulating backdrop to keep kids entertained.
The Courtyard Café at the National Portrait Gallery
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM), Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 329-2423
Why: Grab a boxed meal or sandwich, or even an artisan cheese board and charcuterie plate. Saving time—and stress—on lunch should free you up to visit one more museum.
Mitsitam Café at the National Museum of the American Indian
Location: Independence Ave SW & 4th St SW, Washington, DC 20024
Phone: (202) 633-1000
Why: Access to authentic Native American food is a rarity but a pleasure. Fusion options blend Native American ingredients with classic American preparations.
Pavilion Café at the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden
Location: The Sculpture Garden, 7th St SW & Constitution Avenue, Washington, DC 20565
Phone: (202) 289-3361
Why: The seasonal menu includes thoughtful soups, salads, and sandwiches (hot and cold), as well pizza and tarts. Fresh ingredients and whole grains abound.
Location: 50 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 289-1908
Why: Sometimes a food court is the quickest and easiest solution to hunger. Roughly two dozen options guarantee sustenance while taking in the ambiance of historic Union Station.