The Spanish tapas restaurant has more than 60 menu items—kids can order familiar dishes like mini-hamburgers and more exotic ones, like paella or the tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelet with potatoes, onions, and eggs). The Penn Quarter and Bethesda locations have custom-made foosball dining tables, but call ahead to reserve a spot to play, as they tend to fill up quickly.
2. Ted’s Bulletin
Ted’s is 14th Street’s upscale version of the classic diner, with kid-friendly house-made pastries,“pop tarts,” and milkshakes (alcoholic versions are available for grownups). Be ready for a sugar-fueled experience—it’s worth the rush to take a culinary trip down memory lane.
3. The Source
On Saturdays, the Source provides its signature dim sum brunch to downtown DC patrons. Fresh dumplings with creative fillings like Maryland crab and Kurobuta pork or house-made bao buns with duck and lobster are a big hit with both kids and adults. Still have energy to burn after your meal? Take the gang to the Newseum next door.
4. Union Market
There’s something for everyone at Northeast DC’s Union Market: oysters at Rappahannock Oyster, tacos at Takorean, meaty sandwiches atRed Apron—even a free guided tour of the Dolcezza gelato factory next door. The market atmosphere allows kids to stretch their legs and sample different foods, and wide walkways are especially welcoming with a stroller in tow.
5. Tea with Mrs. B
From Friday-night “Royal Balls” in Falls Church to “Story Time Tea” at the Morrison House in Old Town Alexandria, Mrs. B (McLean resident Rebecca Czarniecki) engages children on manners from pragmatic—such as chewing with mouth closed and elbows off the table—to fun with “champagne” toasts and tea. Details at teawithmrsb.com or 202-448-2930.
Pizza and mini-burgers at Matchbox are always winners with the kids, especially the artisanal “chef picks” pizzas. The variety of craft beers on draught and extensive wine list give all five area locations an edge with adults, too. Grab a booth to make the experience a cozier family meal.