How to Find Kid-Friendly Restaurants While Traveling

How to Find Kid-Friendly Restaurants While Traveling

Tammy Everts
Jul 14, 2010

Much as I love the idea of traveling with my children, I have to confess that I quail at the thought of managing mealtimes. Sure, staying at rentals equipped with kitchens is a great idea for breakfast and dinner, but I've lost count of the substandard lunches we've endured because we couldn't find a place that served good food while still being kid-friendly. Luckily, I found this post at Delicious Baby that has some great tips for overcoming this common traveling/parenting dilemma.

Debbie comes by her expertise the honest way: by actually traveling extensively with her three children. In addition to running Delicious Baby – a trove of fantastic travel tips – she also teaches classes on how to travel with kids.

Among the many excellent posts on her site is this one on finding good restaurants that everyone in the family will like. It's worth reading the whole post (and the rest of the site), but here are a few quick tips:

  • First, check out Delicious Baby's Family Travel Guides for city-specific restaurant suggestions and mini-reviews. (If you want to cast your net wider, visit the city-specific discussion threads at discerning food-lovers' forums such as Chowhound and Roadfood.)
  • When reading other travel guides, don't focus on their lists of kid-friendly restaurants, as these are sure to be lists of hamburger and pizza joints. Instead, look at the regular restaurant reviews, identify the ones you like, then do a bit of online searching to find out which ones are family friendly.
  • Learn to decipher guidebooks to find words that usually indicate kid-friendliness: casual, outdoor seating, noisy, bustling, comfort food, local favorite, working person's, takeaway.
  • Ethnic restaurants in western cities are usually geared toward family dining, so if your family loves Chinese or Thai food, look for these restaurants.

What are your best tips for finding good eats while on the road?

(Image: The Barking Crab Restaurant, Boston, MA, taken by Flickr member Lars Ploughman, licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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