Dining out with the tots in tow doesn’t have to be an eye-rolling challenge. In our towns, there’s a variety of restaurants that cater to families with easy ambiance, friendly staff and menus tailored to appeal to hungry patrons of all ages. Following are a few eateries for local table-hoppers to check out.
The classic kid’s dish is a solid go-to option when the meal requirements are simply cheesy and easy to please-y.
Post Corner Pizza (847 Boston Post Road, Darien, www.postcornerpizza.com), has been serving its famous Greek-style pies for more than 40 years, but the menu also includes menu pasta, salad and other satisfying dishes – even from the kid’s menu.
Rowayton Pizza (104 Rowayton Avenue, Rowayton, www.rowaytonpizzamenu.com), can serve up mozzarella sticks, mac and cheese bites and chicken tenders in addition to pizza for the kids; adults like the soups and salads.
Vicolo Pizza (62 Main Street, New Canaan, vicolopizzamenu.com) is a go-to for many New Canaan families looking for that quick, easy dinner between activities.
KEEP IT CASUAL
When eating out with the kids, many parents say it’s easier to keep your sanity if you keep the mood simple. Fortunately, there are some good casual restaurants in our towns.
The Sugar Bowl (1033 Post Road, Darien, www.sugarbowlofdarien.com) is a good stop for breakfast or lunch. It draws families with its classic luncheonette menu and dining room that’s decorated for most holidays. The milkshakes are darn good, too. In fact, actor Toby McGuire, who grew up in Darien, has said he stops in for a shake when he’s in town visiting family.
Brendan’s 101 (101 Rowayton Avenue, Rowayton, www.brendans101.com), is a great spot for ice cream after a softball game or bike ride to Bayley Beach. Referred to by locals as simply 101, the café serves breakfast options all day, plus specialty sandwiches, including the famous lobster roll.
Cherry Street East (45 East Ave., New Canaan, cherrysteast.com) may be famous for its burgers and upscale pub food, but the little ones will be sure to find something on the kids’ menu.
Burgers, Shakes & Fries (800 Post Road, Darien, burgersshakesnfries.com) serves all of that, and more. Loyal customers will also recommend the wings, salads and quesadillas.
Darien Diner (171 Post Road) and New Canaan Diner (18 Forest Street), both in the Post Road family of diners (www.prdfamily.com) are frequented by clans looking for a big menu. Regulars come for the food and stay for the family-friendly atmosphere and social network, because you are almost guaranteed to run into someone you know.
Tony’s Deli (75 Pine Street, New Canaan, www.tonysdeli.net) has been serving its famous breakfast sandwiches since 1980. There’s also a kid’s menu just for juniors.
These restaurants are definitely kid-friendly, but they feature more sophisticated menus, great food and more polished atmosphere. In these bistros, youngsters get the chance to practice their table manners.
The Goose (972 Post Road, Darien, www.thegoosedarien.com) is a classic American bistro with a quintessentially New England twist, and it’s beloved by all Darienites, big and small. The fresh seafood and salads will satisfy the adults while the children enjoy the (better than most) “for the goslings” menu.
Rosie (27 Elm Street, New Canaan, www.rosienewcanaan.com) is great for families looking for healthy and filling options for breakfast, brunch or lunch in a charming venue. Whether they’re hungry for perfectly cooked whole-wheat pancakes or tacos made with the freshest ingredients, the kids may not want to leave anything on their plates.
The Melting Pot (14 Grove Street, Darien, www.meltingpot.com) In addition to the standard cheese and chocolate fondue, kids will love cooking their own dinner in the hot broth provided. Parents will like the quiet dining room and decent wines by the glass.
Chef Luis (129 Elm Street, New Canaan, www.chefluis.net) is known for its service and tasty international dishes, including a taco bar available for lunch and dinner. Chef Luis also serves salads and drinks to the grown-ups; kids have their own menu to. Take-out also is available.