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Kid friendly restaurants non chain


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I am interested in learning more about kid friendly non-chain restaurants for well behaved kids. Asian restaurants are kid friendly but we would like to find more places.

I have heard Corso 98 in Montclair is very kid friendly.

I have found Mignon in Rutherford kid friendly.

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Mastoris restaurant in Bordentown has always been VERY accomodating to our 1 yr old twins, I've gotta say, and they bring appropriate soups and cut up pastas when we've ordered them for the kids to eat. Gotta say that the twins are in love with their hot corn pudding. And the waitresses have always volunteered to hold the babies and otheriwse help us dine, but it hasnt been necessary.

Rich Pawlak

 

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Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
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My 4.5 year-old niece is quickly becoming a restaurant aficionado...we take her pretty much anywhere, with the exception of truly upscale restaurants, and have never had a problem.

I think the keys are:

a) to start taking them when they're young, and to teach them restaurant manners (I probably do this more than her parents), part of which is that if they can't behave, they don't get to go to restaurants

b) take them when they're not tired/cranky/about to crash

c) go places that are appropriate

d) be prepared to go for walks outside

e) learn to make 'worms' from straw wrappers :cool:

She has been everywhere...Raymond's, Nori, Jyoti, Tuptim, Amazing Hot Dog, Nauna's, Joe Bertoni's, Saffron, Tinga Taqueria, the Tick Tock Diner and most recently, to Trattoria Fresco (at 6pm), just to name a few. The girl really loves to go out now, but I/we also know when and where NOT to take her (i.e., when we're going to Blu or Fascino, someone babysits)!

If you behave and your kid isn't throwing food or a tantrum, I think most restaurants are accommodating. The real joy is to go someplace where they actually LIKE kids!

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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I take a similar approach to Curlz with my nieces and nephews, as do their parents. We've been taking them to nicer (non-chain) restaurants since they were young. They not only learn appropriate behavior, but they've also developed a real appreciation for good food! While many kids her age are eating chicken fingers and burgers wherever they eat, my 10 year old niece prefers clams in garlic broth and a nice steak. She especially enjoys "daddy-daughter dates" at An American Grill.

I recommend starting them out at a smaller, family owned place (we started with Luzzi's Hibernia Inn in Rockaway) and then work up to other places as their personalities and food tastes mature.

Casey

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I concur with Casey and Curlz. My son, now eight, has been restauranting since he was a baby. Somewhere in the preschool years we developed a "restaurant bag" stuffed with table-friendly items like wiki sticks, crayons and paper, books of mazes, small toy figures, etc. It was invaluable for the kid fidgets either pre or post- actual eating. He's now largely grown out of the need but often pockets a few of his favorite small toys on his way out the door to the restaurant.

We've found a lot of warmth toward kids in Montclair and environs. Nauna's is very kid-friendly. So is Raymond's. So is Bluestone Cafe for lunch. Holsten's too. But really, everywhere. He loves Little Saigon (as do I) (though their service is a bit too slow for an ideal kid place), did fine at Brookdale Thai, likes Tomo's Sushi in Little Falls a lot (sweet sweet waitress there). Senorita's in Bloomfield has a nice kids menu -- Mexican tends to be kid-easy anyway. My son likes the booths at Greek Delights but hasn't been wild about the kid-food choices there. Ah well. My only real criteria for a restaurant when we're with him (which is always): is it too upscale? Otherwise, bring it on!

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I am interested in learning more about kid friendly non-chain restaurants for well behaved kids.  Asian restaurants are kid friendly but we would like to find more places.

I have heard Corso 98 in Montclair is very kid friendly.

I have found Mignon in Rutherford kid friendly.

I've seen this attribution "kid friendly" often, but the meaning of it seems somewhat ambiguous to me.

Does it mean that the restaurant has crayons and placemats, games on the placemats, and provides child accommodations like highchairs?

Does it mean that the restaurant allows kids to run around the tables and the aisles, and they just smile?

(I've been to places like this, unfortunately)

Does it mean that they have a "children's menu"?

I would presume that if these children are "well behaved", as you mention, that they would be welcome at 98% of all restaurants. After all, they are a business, and this is a revenue-producer.

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My 2 1/2 y.o. LOVES some of the non-chain restaurants in the Ridgewood area.....his current favorite is Gazelle, and he also really enjoys Ginger and Spice (he's developed quite a love of White Oolong tea and Pad Thai). Curlz hit it right on the nose.....start 'em early and go at a time when you can set yourself up for success.

My impression of what "kid friendly" means is just an overall attitude and demeanor of the restaurant. Depending on the age of your child, my wife and I have found that more boisterous and relaxed places are better suited. (i.e. - I don't care how well behaved your 3 year old is, I don't think that Village Green is an appropriate place for them)

Nothing says I love you like a homemade salami

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