Most restaurants welcome families, starting, most likely, with the one in your hotel. Cafes at sightseeing attractions are always a safe bet, and so are these:
2Amy's (3715 Macomb St., NW; tel. 202/885-5700): When you’re craving pizza, it’s hard to go wrong with this longtime Neapolitan pizzeria. No dedicated children’s dishes here, but it’s bright, loud, and boasts a wide menu from the traditional tomato and cheese pie to the more adventurous Etna 2.0 with fried eggplant, parsley, and pine nuts. Just a few blocks from the National Cathedral, there’s a large covered outdoor patio here; it’s the perfect stop if you find yourself north of downtown.
Duke’s Counter (3000 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite J; tel. 202/733-4808): This London-inspired pub is located directly across the street from the National Zoo. Duke's kids’ menu features mac and cheese, fish and chips, a “proper hamburger,” a cheese toasty (grilled cheese), and other items, each $10 to $12. Sit inside its laid-back dining room or outside on picnic tables.
Old Ebbitt Grill: Well, first of all, Ebbitt’s layout is incredibly kid-friendly: booths and nooks and lots of strategically placed plants, which all work to contain outbursts of any sort. Then there’s the children’s menu, which offers the usual pizza and mac and cheese, plus sometimes includes other fare like fish and grilled chicken breast, each priced at $6.99, which includes one choice from a list of drinks/sweets/sides. Finally, there’s the location: 2 blocks from the White House and a short walk from the National Mall, it’s a convenient pit stop.
Pinstripes (1064 Wisconsin Ave. NW; tel. 202/625-6500): Your kids can bowl or play bocce here while you enjoy a meal. (It’s best to make a reservation for a lane.) The kids' menu includes a starter, entrée, dessert, and beverage, all for $10. Sunday brunch is free for kids under 5.
Ted’s Bulletin: This boisterous, laid-back place in the Barracks Row section of Capitol Hill (and its twin at 1818 14th St. NW) welcomes children of all ages with a retro menu of comfort food, such as grilled cheese, Pop-Tarts (called “Ted’s Tarts”), mac and cheese, and tomato soup. Breakfast is served all day, so that might decide things right there. But the kids' menu offers seven choices, PB&J to buttered pasta, each priced at $5.99. Or how about this: thick and creamy milkshakes ($8.99) in awesome flavors like Oreo and S’mores? There’s always a lot going on here, so you never have to worry about your children being too noisy.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.