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The vast majority of restaurants in Boston are happy to accommodate kids with simplified dishes and an out-of-the-way booth. Here are some particularly family-friendly options.
Full Moon. Kids will delight in the play kitchen and dollhouse, and parents can cheer that they get to tuck into lovelies such as grilled salmon with sautéed spinach. Meanwhile there's plenty of macaroni and cheese or quesadillas for the young ones. 344 Huron Ave., Cambridge, MA, 02138. 617/354–6699.
Joe's American Bar & Grill. Despite its classy Newbury Street address, Joe's dishes up kitschy July 4th decor, along with stuffed burgers, clam chowder, and affordable kid-friendly options like pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches served with a complimentary hot fudge sundae. The warm oversize chocolate chip cookie brought to the table in a small black skillet crowned with vanilla ice cream, homemade caramel syrup, and candied pecans, however, is reason enough to stop by. 181 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston, MA, 02116. 617/536–4200. www.joesamerican.com.
Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage. Maybe it's the frappés (thick milk shakes), silly cartoons all over the walls, or just the fun, high-energy vibe. Whatever it is, Bartley's is a hit with kids. 1246 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA, 02138. 617/354–6559. Closed Sun.
Pizzeria Regina. This North End institution owned by the Polcari family has been doing what it does best since 1926—creating thin-crusted, brick-oven-charred pizzas with fresh toppings, excellent sauce, and just the right amount of cheese. Beyond two simple salads (garden and Caesar), you won't find other offerings here, just incredibly well made pies, like the Margherita, which contains fresh basil leaves baked into the cheese so they don't burn. The wait can be long, the service brusque, and the ambiance boisterous. But with pizza this good, who cares? 11½ Thatcher St., North End, Boston, MA, 02113. 617/227–0765. www.pizzeriaregina.com.
Summer Shack. Boston überchef Jasper White has given New England seafood an urban tweak in his boisterous, bright, fun eatery next to the Prudential Center (he also has one in Cambridge), where creamy clam chowder and fried Ipswich clams share menu space with lobster pot stickers and Arctic char with cucumber sauce. In addition to a handful of chicken and meat dishes for those not into seafood, White features the most succulent lobsters in the city (he has a patented process for cooking them), all brought to you by an eager-to-please staff. The entire affair is like one big indoor clambake that begs to be capped off with the delectable, molasses-laced Indian pudding served warm with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream. 50 Dalton St., Back Bay, Boston, MA, 02115. 617/867–9955. www.summershackrestaurant.com.
Zaftigs. Fill up on huge plates of deli fixings such as matzo-ball soup, first-rate knishes, and heaping plates of grilled chicken, thick-cut onion rings, and three-cheese macaroni. Families cram the place regularly, so servers are used to kids' requests. 335 Harvard St., Brookline, MA, 02446. 617/975–0075. www.zaftigs.com.
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