I've lived in the DMV for 11 years and below is a list of 27 of our favorite kid-friendly restaurants in northern Virginia in 2022. Please keep in mind this is a very subjective list because all kids and families are different from what is "kid-friendly!" I have personally visited all the restaurants below with my kids and they liked it and ate the food which is a win in my book!
I linked each restaurant to their Yelp page so you can see other reviews and see pics of the food and menu. Restaurants with outdoor seating are listed and all spots do take out. (And be sure to check out my DC Kid-Friendly Restaurants just across the river!)
Breakfast Kid Friendly Restaurants Northern Virginia
1) Silver Diner - 9 restaurants in northern Virginia (Outdoor seating)
We love Silver Diner in our family because of their fresh food, great kids options, and free Kids Club that gives buttons for each visit (and many times free meals!) They have 9 locations all around Northern Virginia as well as 6 in Maryland. Many locations also have outdoor seating right now!
2) Clifton Cafe - Clifton (Outdoor seating)
Clifton Cafe is a wonderful kid-friendly restaurant in the western part of northern Virginia. It's a beautiful drive to get to the quaint town of Clifton. The cafe has a lot of crepes and brunch items as well as sandwiches for lunch. They have lovely outdoor seating and it's just a block away from the train tracks, train-themed playground, and the famous Peterson's Ice Cream!
3) Northside Social - Falls Church and Arlington (Outdoor Seating)
Northside Social has two locations in northern Virginia with outdoor seating, full brunch menu and lots of bakery items for the kiddos! The Falls Church location has a lot of outdoor seating including the patio, roof patio and a very large balcony. And its close to the Falls Church Farmers Market on Saturdays!
4) Caffe Amouri - Vienna
Wonderful neighborhood cafe in Vienna with a couple of outdoor tables. But you can also take your breakfast or bakery items a block away to the Town Green where they have a caboose, a small park, and the W&OD Trail!
5) Sampan Cafe - Alexandria/Franconia (Dim Sum)
Sampan is our favorite northern Virginia Dim Sum spot which is typically eaten at brunch or lunch time. They have the carts and you can also do take out. All the dim sum is fresh unlike some places we've tried in Nova. Also their take out is good for traditional Chinese food.
6) First Watch - Fairfax
First Watch is a great kid-friendly breakfast spot on Main Street in Fairfax. Unfortunately, I don't believe it has outdoor seating. Huge menu with pancakes, crepes, waffles, and also lots of healthy options. Check hours on the website but usually, 7 AM to 2:30 PM and a little bit of a wait or we have put our name in the Yelp app.
Lunch & Dinner Kid Friendly Restaurants Northern Virginia
7) &pizza - 10 restaurants in northern Virginia (Outdoor seating)
My family and I have loved &pizza for years because you can customize each pie with traditional or crazy ingredients! They also have gluten-free dough and I heard that if you have an allergy, they will have everyone change gloves and utensils. There are 30 locations in the DMV with 10 each in DC, VA, and MD.
8) A&J Restaurant - Annandale (Taiwanese)
The best Taiwanese restaurant in the whole DMV (in our humble opinion!) Just check out the yelp pictures for all the amazing offerings from Beef Noodle Soup to Spicy Wontons to great "xiao chi" or small plates like seaweed, mustard greens, and tofu and my kids favorite tofu skin with mushrooms.
9) Lighthouse Tofu - Annandale (Korean)
Another great Annandale destination location for an incredible Korean restaurant (not barbecue). When we want to get take out, this is our family's go-to spot because of their large portions, friendly atmosphere when it's safe to eat indoors, and amazing tofu soups. My kids' favorites here are the Bulgogi and Mandu dumplings. I highly recommend the Spicy Tofu Soup with Mushrooms.
10) Jason's Deli - Vienna
Jason's Deli is the definition of kid-friendly with great, healthy options, salad bar, and ice cream for all!
1) Marumen - Fairfax (Ramen)
We've tried most if not all the ramen spots in Virginia and many in DC and Marumen is the overall best bowl of ramen in the area. The broth is the best and the noodles are my favorite in the area. My daughter used to share my bowl but now she has to have her own... it's that good! Lots of appetizers and fun drinks to choose from as well. If you go, let me know if you agree!
12) VA Kabob House - Springfield
4-star casual Afghan restaurant in Brookfield Plaza. Really great Afghan food for takeout! My kids love the shami kabob (beef) and I love the Kabuli Pulao. For fancier sit-down restaurants, Afghan Kabob and Afghan Bistro are both great too and also in Springfield.
13) Hai Duong - Springfield
We have tried probably 10 different Vietnamese restaurants specifically rating their pho soup. This small unassuming restaurant in Brookfield Plaza has, in our opinion, one of the best. Incredible broth and great meat and noodles. But it's really all about the broth, right? Also, my kids love the pork chops. Right next to VA Kabob House.
14) Taco Bamba - 6 locations in northern Virginia At least Springfield has outdoor seating
Great traditional and unique tacos! Super high quality. The Springfield location has outdoor seating but we've done take-out during this time.
15) Peter Chang's - Arlington (Szechuan Chinese)
Delicious Chinese restaurant in northern Virginia that specializes in Szechuan cuisine. Don't miss the larger-than-your-head Scallion Bubble Pancake!
16) El Pollo Rico - Arlington (Peruvian Chicken)
New to me and delicious Peruvian Charcoal Chicken! So delicious and my kids loved it so that's a double win! Anthony Bourdain even filmed there, check it out on YouTube. And great playgrounds within a mile like Mosaic and Quincy Park.
17) Miso - Annandale Japanese with Outdoor Dining
My kids used to love eating here pre-C because of all the little dishes that come with your meal. They have great katsu (pork cutlet) and a treat at the end. They do have a few tables for outdoor dining. Check out their Yelp for great pics.
18) Roll Play Grill - Tysons Vienna (Vietnamese) Outdoor Dining
Really great modern Vietnamese rolls, bowls, pho, and drinks. They have some outdoor seating and are also great for takeout.
19) District Dumplings - Merrifield/Mosaic District
Yummy dumplings in Mosaic District.
20) Andy's Pizza - Tysons 2 UrbanSpace Food Court
Great NYC-style pizza in the UrbanSpace Food Court at Tysons 2. They also have locations in DC: Shaw, Navy Yard & NoMa.
21) Mike's American Grill - Springfield
Huge 3 story restaurant in Springfield with outdoor seating right now. Lots of kid-friendly items on the menu.
22) The Block Food Hall - Annandale (Lots of great kid friendly restaurants in one northern Virginia spot)
Awesome Food Hall in Annandale with Balo Kitchen, Bold Dumpling, Pokeworks Co and SnoCream Company.
Don't Forget Dessert!
23) Kung Fu Tea - 12 locations in northern Virginia
After spending a year in Taiwan and multiple trips, we are kinda bubble tea snobs. Kung Fu Tea is our favorite because they brew the tea (not just powder) and have fresh ingredients! Tip: Ask for lower sugar because the bubbles have a lot of sugar already and it can be too sweet for kids!
24) Breeze Cafe - Annandale (Korean Bakery)with Outdoor Dining
Great Korean Bakery and Cafe with rooftop dining outdoors and great treats! Check out their Yelp pics for the fun ambiance and yummy desserts. Also just down the street from Hidden Oaks Nature Center which is so much fun!
25) The Swiss Bakery - Annandale with outdoor seating (our favorite for 10 years as a Kid Friendly Restaurants Northern Virginia!)
Another 10 year-long favorite for our family! Serves all the traditional bakery items but also offers lunch and special events throughout the year.
26) Duck Donuts - 3 Locations with outdoor seating
Fun made to order donut shop in Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax.
27) Dragon Mochi Donuts - Annandale - Bonus!
Have you ever tried a mochi donut?! They are made of rice flour (gluten-free) and are delicious!
I first had them in Taiwan at Mister Donut (Japanese chain) and fell in love. We were so excited to try them after our Great Falls Hike at K Market in Annandale. @DragonMochiDonut just opened in their food court and they lived up to my memory! (I even told my kids that I want a box instead of cake for my bday this year)
Dragon Mochi Donut offers tons of flavors on a rotating basis and has about 10 on display so you can see what is currently available. Some flavors available when we went were:
- Fruity Pebbles
- Nutella Mixed Nuts
- Strawberry Milk (with a pocky stick!)
- Honey Black Sesame
- Cookies n’ Cream (with a piece of Oreo!)
They were around $2.50 each so not cheap if getting a ton but also not crazy expensive compared to the $4.50 croissant in DC the other day…