Kid Friendly DC Restaurants – 24 Great Spots (including Outdoor Dining!)

There are so many great kid-friendly DC restaurants that I began compiling a list for my visiting friends and their families. Chain restaurants are everywhere (Starbucks, Panera etc.) so I am focusing on DC-specific restaurants and areas in the list below. Links are to the restaurant locations and to the Yelp sites so you can see pics of food and read reviews.

Updated! I have added an Outdoor Dining list below with specific info on great places to check out in the Fall and Winter.

Go directly to Outdoor Dining with Kids, Breakfast Restaurants, Lunch and Dinner Restaurants and Food Halls.

District Doughnut is a Kid Friendly DC Restaurant that's sure to please!
District Doughnut is a Kid Friendly DC Restaurant that’s sure to please! Photo from District Doughnut.

8 Kid Friendly DC Restaurants with Outdoor Dining

A lot of the locations in the Breakfast, Lunch/Dinner and Food Hall categories are great for take out but I wanted to highlight some great restaurants for socially distanced dining with kids in DC. Some of these will be providing patio heaters and fire pits, while others are cut off more from the wind. Hope you find some place fun to try out and please comment below with any additions/comments!

Hi-Lawn is a fantastic Kid Friendly DC Restaurant, especially during these times of social distancing. Photo by FamilyTripGuides.
Hi-Lawn is a fantastic Kid Friendly DC Restaurant, especially during these times of social distancing. Photo by FamilyTripGuides.
  • Hi-Lawn – We had an incredible dinner here outside on the roof of Union Market. Menu is “seasonal fare, creative cocktails, picnics.” It was very kid-friendly with tons of space.
    • Couple of notes: It is only open Thursday through Sunday for your own reserved picnic tables or picnic circles on the lawn.
    • It was our first experience eating out during the pandemic and we felt very safe! Temp checks before you go up to the roof⁣, Menu and ordering from your phone⁣, Masks required when walking to your table⁣. Picnic tables and picnic circles spread out more than 10 feet. ⁣
    • Tons of free parking in front of Union Market. Wheelchair and stroller accessible with an elevator to the roof. ⁣
  • Grazie Grazie – Fresh Sandwiches (hoagies!) and Salads at the DC Wharf. Also has pizza and a great patio for eating outdoors.
  • Immigrant Food – “Fast-Casual Turned Cause-Casual” Delicious fusion bowls and sandwiches inspired by traditional immigrant recipes. Located Downtown and set up for colder weather on their patio with heaters, rugs and blankets.
  • Farmbird – Excellent Kid Friendly menu with all types of Chicken, sides and Mac and Cheese. Patio out front of their H Street NE location and contactless payment.
  • Maketto – Taiwanese and Cambodian café with a great outdoor courtyard in NE. (Our kids still ask to go back after months…scallion pancakes!!) Reservations recommended.
  • Pinstripes – Bistro, Bowling and Bocce! Located in Georgetown with a large outdoor dining patio complete with a fire pit and patio heaters.

2 Kid Friendly DC Fast Casual Chains

And cheating a little with 2 fast-casual chain restaurants. But they were both born in DC and great for kids, so I am claiming them here!

  • &Pizza – Super customizable pizza (including GF dough) and tons of options. Not all &Pizza locations have outdoor seating, but I called around in November 2020 and these are the ones that currently have outdoor seating:
    • Georgetown – 1335 Wisconsin Ave. NW
    • E St.+ Hotel Hive – 1005 E. St. NW
    • Brookland – 666 Monroe St. NE
    • H Street – 1118 H. St. NE
  • CAVA – Fast casual chain Mediterranean food great for a take out picnic. Not all CAVA locations have outdoor seating, but I called around in November 2020 and these are some of the ones that currently have outdoor seating:
    • Dupont Circle – 1222 Connecticut Ave. NW
    • H Street – 523 H Street NE

Breakfast Kid Friendly DC Restaurants

  • District Doughnuts 4 locations in DC: Barracks Row (Eastern Market, Georgetown (Cady’s Alley), the Wharf and Union Market.
    • Hours: Check website for different hours, generally 7 AM or 8 AM open and 4 PM or 8 PM closing.
    • Kid-Friendly Notes: Fancy famous doughnuts, check out the pics on Yelp!
  • Bullfrog Bagels 3 locations in DC: Eastern Market, H Street and Tastemakers
    • Hours: Open 7 AM to 1 PM.
    • Kid-Friendly Notes: Delicious hand-rolled and boiled the old-fashioned way with plain and sandwiches!
  • Tony’s Breakfast H Street
    • Hours: Open 5:30 AM – 9 PM.
    • Kid-Friendly Notes: Casual breakfast place in a row house with pancakes and egg sandwiches.
  • Open City Woodley Park
    • Hours: Open 7 AM to 12 midnight.
    • Kid-Friendly Notes: Great diner with traditional American breakfast plus some fun additions near the National Zoo.
Open City is one of the great Kid Friendly DC Restaurants near the Zoo!
Wonderful place to eat with kids! Photo from Open City’s website
  • Commissary Logan Circle (Downtown)
    • Hours: Opens 8 AM to 11 PM.
    • Kid-Friendly Notes: Popular new American Breakfast & Brunch (also open for lunch and dinner) in downtown. (Huevos Rancheros is highly recommended!)
  • Silver Diner in VA and MD 14 locations, check here.
    • Hours: Check each store but generally open 6:30 AM to midnight or 2 AM on the weekends.
    • Kid-Friendly Notes: Really delicious, fresh traditional American diner that is extremely family-friendly (kids menus, crayons, balloons etc.)

Lunch & Dinner Restaurants with Kids in DC

  • District Taco – Fresh and delicious Mexican (Yucatan style!) food at 12 locations in the area. DC locations include Dupont, Metro Center, and Eastern Market.
    • Hours: Check locations but usually 10 AM to 10 PM.
    • Kid-Friendly Notes: My kids love to try the different sauces at the sauce station. But beware some can be hot!!
  • Busboys and Poets – A DC icon that has both delicious food and a social change mission. I love the ambiance of a coffee shop but with a full menu!
    • Hours: There are 7 locations including 14th and V, Brookland, Takoma, Anacostia, Hyattsville and Shirlington. Most hours are 9 AM to 10/11 PM but please check for your location.
    • Kid-Friendly Notes: The name comes from poet Langston Hughes who was once a busboy at a DC hotel.
Busboys and Poets is great to add to your DC itinerary with kids!
Busboys and Poets is great to add to your DC itinerary with kids! Photo Credit: Busboys and Poets
  • Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant – Located on U Street NW. Great Ethiopian Food!
    • Hours: 5 PM to 11 PM
    • Kid-Friendly Notes: Visiting DC is a great opportunity to try Ethiopian cuisine! Lots of non spicy menu options and kids can try eating without utensils.
  • 2 Amys Neapolitan Pizzeria – Located off Wisconsin Ave. in Cathedral Heights.
    • Hours: Monday through Friday 4 PM to 9 PM and 12 PM to 9 PM on Weekends.
    • Kid-Friendly Notes: Simply the best pizza on this side of Italy in my humble opinion! Wood fired, pricy but delicious!
Kid Approved Restaurant 2 Amys Pizzeria Picnic on the DC Cathedral grounds.
Kid Approved Restaurant 2 Amys Pizzeria Picnic on the Washington Cathedral grounds.
  • Founding Farmers – Located on Pennsylvania Ave, a great new American restaurant majority-owned by a farmers association. Probably the “nicest” on this list but still very kid-friendly!
    • Hours: 8 AM to 9 PM.
    • Kid-Friendly Notes: Be sure to make reservations! They also have another restaurant called Farmers Fishers Bakers on K street.
  • Reren – Delicious Ramen, Lamen, and Chinese food. 2 locations, one in Chinatown on 7th St. NW and one in Georgetown.
    • Hours: Check locations but usually 11 AM to 9:30 PM
    • Kid-Friendly Notes: Make sure to try the soup dumplings!


Food Halls and Markets Great for Kids

I would be remiss to not mention the wonderful food halls and markets in DC! These are great, casual places to check out with kids for a snack, dessert or even a whole meal!

  • Eastern Market – Located in Southeast DC, its the oldest market in DC. There is an indoor market open 9 AM to 5 PM Tuesday through Sunday and a much larger outdoor Farmers market on the Weekends from 9 AM to 3 PM and Tuesdays from 12 Pm to 4 PM.
Don't miss Eastern Market for a great Kid Friendly outing!
Eastern Market in Southeast DC. Photo by Eastern Market.
  • Union Market – Home to 40+ local restaurants and pop up shops. Check out the list here and also check out community events including yoga on the roof!
    • Hours: Monday thru Saturday 8 AM to 9 PM (closes at 6 PM on Sundays)
  • The Wharf – “Where DC Meets Water” is a wonderful place to eat and explore with your kids. With restaurants like Shake Shack, Chopsmith, and Falafel Inc, there are tons of Kid-Friendly options. (also Blue Bottle Coffee for a parent pick-me-up!) Check out the full restaurant list (from fancy to casual) here.
The Wharf DC has tons of Kid Friendly DC Restaurants (and a water taxi to boot!)
The Wharf DC has tons of Kid Friendly DC Restaurants (and a water taxi to boot!) Photo from WharfDC.com
  • Union Station – Last but not least, don’t forget to check out the 35 restaurants at the beautiful Union Station (along with all the trains!) There are many great fast-casual options on the main level from &Pizza, Chipotle, and Chop’t. There are tons more on the lower level food court including Chick-Fil-A, Bojangles, and Einstein Bros. Bagels. Full list is here.
Washington Union Station - Wikipedia
Beautiful indoor hall at Union Station, DC. Photo by Wikipedia.

And check out more in my DC with Kids Guide like 22 Socially Distanced Things to Do in DC/MD/VA and the Best Family Hotels in DC.

Back to the full DC with Kids Family Trip Guide!

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