How often do we long to take our kids somewhere where the food is as good for us as it is for them? I have experienced one too many gut bombs while my kids happily munch away on their themed pizza. I have almost lost it trying to make them sit still while I eat something more grown-up. Below you will find a few real finds, restaurants that are good for them and delish for us. Bring the mini-pack of colored pencils and order a real drink.
Here’s to togetherness.
Landmarc is a great, casual place for families. Oysters, salads, steaks, and sides with a perfect kids’ menu that includes mini ice cream cones.
Although I have never been here myself, my fellow mothers love the friendly atmosphere, delicious lunches, and yummy cakes.
Hugo’s is an L.A. staple. A perfect combo of organic, healthy food, an expansive kids’ menu and a relaxed atmosphere makes it the ideal family outing. They always bring crayons and paper to the table, too.
John’s Garden is a low-key shop that serves delicious sandwiches/veggie burgers/smoothies/fries. You can sit outside on the benches, which are right next to the playground so kids can play while you’re waiting for your food.
This excellent Japanese in the valley deserves its 28 food rating on Zagat. What more can you say except that they have highchairs and mini sushi rolls. Finally!
Giorgio’s is one of Los Angeles’ best restaurants. I swoon over the polenta, the tuna carpaccio, and the fresh handmade ravioli, not to mention the Dover sole and langoustine pasta. It is owned and run by an Italian family, so children are always on the scene. Bring your own crayons.
The quiet, charming street in Chelsea completely belies the feeling inside this joyous, boisterous, family-run restaurant. There’s also a beautiful outside patio where kids can enjoy the trees. The food is simple Italian done just right. Kids love the pasta and fried zucchini and so do I.
The Wolseley is great to take kids to for brunch, lunch, or tea. The food is Anglo-Euro and fit for a discerning grown-up, but also wonderful for kids. It is housed in an old-fashioned marble-clad car showroom and is cavernous and noisy (you won’t be worried about additional noise emanating from your table). They bake delicious sweets and are welcoming of your beloved wee ones.
I realize that I am shouting out The River Café for the second time in goop, but it has to be done. This place loves children, and on a summer Sunday, children can be seen running around the massive garden and exploring their organic vegetable patch. The food is perfect. This is a flawless day out with the family in London (unless it’s raining).
Tom’s Kitchen is a great place to take the family for Sunday brunch. They have the best eggs Benedict and the spongiest pancakes.
This intimate restaurant is considered a new gem in Chicago. It serves home-cooked food with a Southern bent. Perfect for a family Sunday brunch.
The Athenian Room is fantastic, super kid-friendly, and casual. It attracts a nice family crowd and has the most outrageous Greek food—spanakopita, Greek salads, tzatziki, and the best cheeseburger in town. It also has outdoor tables on the street in summer. My friend Julia goes all the time and it is definitely her favorite kid spot.
Situated near Wrigley Field, Uncommon Ground serves mostly organic and local fare. Their other location on West Devon Avenue has a rooftop organic garden where kids can take classes on urban agriculture.
This French restaurant serves delicious food, while remaining unpretentious (often an oxymoron!). Instead of the usual crayons kids are given an Etch A Sketch to play with that has a cute menu attached. They often do crepe-making parties and special desserts for kids.
With a new Gold Coast location, Feast is the perfect place for a neighborhood lunch. Accommodating of kids and big strollers, this place can turn into an addiction. It opens at 7:30AM so it’s also ideal for breakfast.
This restaurant in the Park Hyatt is one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago. It serves delicious Asian-fusion cuisine and the terrace is surprisingly great for families.
I'm a huge fan of Judith Jones (Julia Childs' longtime editor) and adore her cookbook, The Pleasures of Cooking for One. When my kids were little and my husband was working, I got in the habit of cooking myself a real dinner for one.