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Spring Dining Guide - Comet Ping Pong
A pizza from Comet Ping Pong
The Washington Post via Getty Images

12 Kid-Friendly Restaurants Around D.C. That Adults Actually Enjoy

Forget uninspired nuggets.

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A pizza from Comet Ping Pong
| The Washington Post via Getty Images

Many parents want their kids to grow into civilized diners with good palates, but children often don’t start out that way. Taking them out to eat requires patience — from parents, servers, and of course, nearby patrons. Pandemic dining (mask protocols, physical distancing, cold weather, sanitization rules) adds one more layer of complexity. That said, many area restaurants are working hard to keep dining fun for kids and sane for parents. These family-friendly restaurants are designed to please kids and adults alike, with takeout options to solve dinner. Here are 12 D.C. area restaurants that give special consideration for the District’s youngest diners.

D.C. allows indoor dining at 25 percent capacity. Many restaurants offer outdoor seating, but this should not be taken as endorsement for dining out, as there are still safety concerns. The Washington Post is tracking coronavirus cases and deaths in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. More information can be found at coronavirus.dc.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Silver Diner (Multiple locations)

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12276 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852

With flexible hours and wide-ranging menus, diners are generally good places to take children. This homegrown chain has a kids menu of nutrition-focused classics, taste-tested by kids. Kids can collect a series of “Kids Club” buttons, and get free birthday entrées and shakes. Each location has been outfitted with HEPA air purifiers, germicidal HVAC units, and uses additional safety protocols. Order here for takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery.

2. Comet Ping Pong

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5037 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
(202) 364-0404
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The free — and recently reopened — ping pong tables, legit pizza, and classic desserts like sundaes and tiramisù are perfect draws for families at this neighborhood favorite in Upper Northwest. The back room is a popular children’s birthday party spot, but for now, guests can enjoy limited indoor and outdoor seating, with a fire pit on the back patio. Place pickup orders here. Sibling spots Buck’s Fishing & Camping and Muchas Gracias offer respective options for upscaled grill fare and colorful Mexican food on the same block.

Comet Ping Pong [official]

3. 2 Amys

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3715 Macomb St NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 885-5700
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A longtime standard-bearer for Neapolitan pizza in the District, 2 Amys has “kid-friendly” down to a science. In non-Covid times, in addition to the pies and a rotating menu of excellent Italian small plates, the restaurant offers crayons and paper to keep kids entertained. The restaurant has adapted to a 100-percent takeout operation for now, placing a second pizza oven in the middle of its dining room to help meet demand and keep workers distanced, but its well-known pizzas will please hungry kids and parents alike. Place pickup orders here.

4. Cactus Cantina

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3300 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 686-7222
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This longstanding Tex-Mex destination is a Northwest mainstay. While parents sip margaritas and dig into fajitas, kids can play with tortilla dough balls and choose from a generous children’s menu. Options include quesadillas and enchiladas; tacos al carbon; and (of course) chicken tenders. All are served with Mexican rice and beans. Patio seats, takeout, and delivery are all available.

Tex Mex food Weekend cover story The Washington Post via Getty Images

5. Sakura Japanese Steak, Seafood House & Sushi Bar (Multiple Locations)

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8369 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182
(703) 356-6444
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Once normal dining resumes, kids of all ages can enjoy the spectacle of flaming onion volcanos catching grilled pieces of steak with their mouths at this regional chain of hibachi grills. The hibachi show has been socially distanced for now: Chefs cook at neighboring tables, which means their backs are to the diners. But well-priced children’s specials like $9.95 chicken teriyaki and $14.95 filet mignon make attractive takeout or delivery options. Sakura also has a long menu of grill options and a full sushi menu.

Sakura [official]
Sakura [official]

6. Farmbird (Multiple Locations)

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625 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 506-6778
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Though takeout and delivery only for now, this H Street NE chicken shop offers a great kid’s deal: a $6.35 pulled barbecued chicken platter or $7.85 roast chicken (or tofu) dinner, both served with rice and one of nine sides, such as kale and avocado salad, mac and cheese, and chili lime cucumbers.

7. Old Ebbitt Grill

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675 15th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 347-4800
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Families making the rounds downtown can show off this iconic D.C. restaurant to the whole family, currently offering full takeout and limited indoor seating. The kids menu includes the usual suspects (chicken fingers, pizza), and occasionally more interesting fare like fish and snack plates. Order online through Uber Eats.

Dining Review - Old Ebbitt Grill
Crab cakes from Old Ebbitt Grill
Washington Post via Getty Images

8. Ted's Bulletin (Multiple Locations)

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505 8th St SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
(202) 544-8337
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Giant pastry pockets and oversized cinnamon rolls make breakfast a blast at the D.C. chain of nostalgic diners. All-day pancakes from the kids menu come in a “Mr. Breakfast” shape, with bacon for the mouth and bananas and berries for the eyes and nose. The kids menu breaks from the basic tenders-and-fries rut, with options like teriyaki salmon and an assortment of nutritious sides. Order here for contactless pickup or delivery.

✌️,❤️, &

Posted by Ted's Bulletin on Sunday, December 8, 2019

9. Pizzeria Orso

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400 S Maple Ave
Falls Church, VA 22046
(703) 226-3460
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Families flock to this casual Falls Church neighborhood spot for Neapolitan pizzas, homey pastas, and Italian small plates. The children’s menu includes specialty pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, grilled chicken salad, and more. The restaurant also boasts to-go pizza kits and a large outdoor patio for dine-in guests, with additional limited indoor dining.

10. Caboose Commons

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2918 Eskridge Rd
Fairfax, VA 22031
(703) 663-8833
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This sprawling brewery in Fairfax checks a lot of boxes, with two separate areas for outdoor dining. Caboose’s casual setting includes a dog-friendly patio and a large common area great for strollers or kids who need to walk around. In addition to the beer selection, the food menu offers beer-friendly food like nachos and burgers, plus healthier options like Buddha bowls and poke. The children’s menu features grass-fed burgers and organic chicken tenders. Reserve a spot here for indoor or outdoor dining.

11. Blackwall Hitch (Multiple Locations)

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5 Cameron St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 739-6090
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At this waterfront restaurant in Old Town, lids can choose from a special menu and run around the harbor while parents take in views of the Potomac River. Blackwall Hitch is known for its expansive patio and oversized Bloody Mary — complete with (for better or worse) crab meat and bacon. Even better: charming, perennial favorite Pop’s Old-Fashioned Ice Cream is steps away for dessert.

12. Trummer's

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7134 Main St
Clifton, VA 20124
(703) 266-1623
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Sure, the kids’ menu at this sunny Clifton bistro, recently rebooted to adopt a more casual feel, has the inevitable buttered pasta and cheeseburger. But there are also more sophisticated, rotating options for children, too, like roast chicken with seasonal vegetables. The restaurant offers patio seating, limited indoor tables, as well as curbside pickup.

1. Silver Diner (Multiple locations)

12276 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852

With flexible hours and wide-ranging menus, diners are generally good places to take children. This homegrown chain has a kids menu of nutrition-focused classics, taste-tested by kids. Kids can collect a series of “Kids Club” buttons, and get free birthday entrées and shakes. Each location has been outfitted with HEPA air purifiers, germicidal HVAC units, and uses additional safety protocols. Order here for takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery.

12276 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852

2. Comet Ping Pong

5037 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20008
Comet Ping Pong [official]

The free — and recently reopened — ping pong tables, legit pizza, and classic desserts like sundaes and tiramisù are perfect draws for families at this neighborhood favorite in Upper Northwest. The back room is a popular children’s birthday party spot, but for now, guests can enjoy limited indoor and outdoor seating, with a fire pit on the back patio. Place pickup orders here. Sibling spots Buck’s Fishing & Camping and Muchas Gracias offer respective options for upscaled grill fare and colorful Mexican food on the same block.

5037 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

3. 2 Amys

3715 Macomb St NW, Washington, DC 20016

A longtime standard-bearer for Neapolitan pizza in the District, 2 Amys has “kid-friendly” down to a science. In non-Covid times, in addition to the pies and a rotating menu of excellent Italian small plates, the restaurant offers crayons and paper to keep kids entertained. The restaurant has adapted to a 100-percent takeout operation for now, placing a second pizza oven in the middle of its dining room to help meet demand and keep workers distanced, but its well-known pizzas will please hungry kids and parents alike. Place pickup orders here.

3715 Macomb St NW
Washington, DC 20016

4. Cactus Cantina

3300 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016
Tex Mex food Weekend cover story The Washington Post via Getty Images

This longstanding Tex-Mex destination is a Northwest mainstay. While parents sip margaritas and dig into fajitas, kids can play with tortilla dough balls and choose from a generous children’s menu. Options include quesadillas and enchiladas; tacos al carbon; and (of course) chicken tenders. All are served with Mexican rice and beans. Patio seats, takeout, and delivery are all available.

3300 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

5. Sakura Japanese Steak, Seafood House & Sushi Bar (Multiple Locations)

8369 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182
Sakura [official]
Sakura [official]

Once normal dining resumes, kids of all ages can enjoy the spectacle of flaming onion volcanos catching grilled pieces of steak with their mouths at this regional chain of hibachi grills. The hibachi show has been socially distanced for now: Chefs cook at neighboring tables, which means their backs are to the diners. But well-priced children’s specials like $9.95 chicken teriyaki and $14.95 filet mignon make attractive takeout or delivery options. Sakura also has a long menu of grill options and a full sushi menu.

8369 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182

6. Farmbird (Multiple Locations)

625 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

Though takeout and delivery only for now, this H Street NE chicken shop offers a great kid’s deal: a $6.35 pulled barbecued chicken platter or $7.85 roast chicken (or tofu) dinner, both served with rice and one of nine sides, such as kale and avocado salad, mac and cheese, and chili lime cucumbers.

625 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

7. Old Ebbitt Grill

675 15th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005
Dining Review - Old Ebbitt Grill
Crab cakes from Old Ebbitt Grill
Washington Post via Getty Images

Families making the rounds downtown can show off this iconic D.C. restaurant to the whole family, currently offering full takeout and limited indoor seating. The kids menu includes the usual suspects (chicken fingers, pizza), and occasionally more interesting fare like fish and snack plates. Order online through Uber Eats.

675 15th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

8. Ted's Bulletin (Multiple Locations)

505 8th St SE, Washington, D.C. 20003

Giant pastry pockets and oversized cinnamon rolls make breakfast a blast at the D.C. chain of nostalgic diners. All-day pancakes from the kids menu come in a “Mr. Breakfast” shape, with bacon for the mouth and bananas and berries for the eyes and nose. The kids menu breaks from the basic tenders-and-fries rut, with options like teriyaki salmon and an assortment of nutritious sides. Order here for contactless pickup or delivery.

505 8th St SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

9. Pizzeria Orso

400 S Maple Ave, Falls Church, VA 22046

Families flock to this casual Falls Church neighborhood spot for Neapolitan pizzas, homey pastas, and Italian small plates. The children’s menu includes specialty pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, grilled chicken salad, and more. The restaurant also boasts to-go pizza kits and a large outdoor patio for dine-in guests, with additional limited indoor dining.

400 S Maple Ave
Falls Church, VA 22046

10. Caboose Commons

2918 Eskridge Rd, Fairfax, VA 22031

This sprawling brewery in Fairfax checks a lot of boxes, with two separate areas for outdoor dining. Caboose’s casual setting includes a dog-friendly patio and a large common area great for strollers or kids who need to walk around. In addition to the beer selection, the food menu offers beer-friendly food like nachos and burgers, plus healthier options like Buddha bowls and poke. The children’s menu features grass-fed burgers and organic chicken tenders. Reserve a spot here for indoor or outdoor dining.

2918 Eskridge Rd
Fairfax, VA 22031

11. Blackwall Hitch (Multiple Locations)

5 Cameron St, Alexandria, VA 22314

At this waterfront restaurant in Old Town, lids can choose from a special menu and run around the harbor while parents take in views of the Potomac River. Blackwall Hitch is known for its expansive patio and oversized Bloody Mary — complete with (for better or worse) crab meat and bacon. Even better: charming, perennial favorite Pop’s Old-Fashioned Ice Cream is steps away for dessert.

5 Cameron St
Alexandria, VA 22314

12. Trummer's

7134 Main St, Clifton, VA 20124

Sure, the kids’ menu at this sunny Clifton bistro, recently rebooted to adopt a more casual feel, has the inevitable buttered pasta and cheeseburger. But there are also more sophisticated, rotating options for children, too, like roast chicken with seasonal vegetables. The restaurant offers patio seating, limited indoor tables, as well as curbside pickup.

7134 Main St
Clifton, VA 20124

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