The Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Washington, D.C.

Retro Burger Joints, Diners, and Finger-Licking Barbecue

Finding a kid-friendly restaurant is crucial to a pleasurable night out with the family in the Washington, D.C. area. A restaurant that does not accommodate or welcome children can put a damper on your trip to the District. As a rule of thumb, most burger and pizza joints are kid-friendly. 

Most on this list have diaper changing tables, high chairs, booster seats, children's menus, and some even have activities to entertain the kids while you wait for your food.

  • 01 of 09
    Spiral staircases leading down to the food court at Union Station in Washington, D.C.
    Anna Levinzon/CC/Flickr.com  

    More than 40 million people go through Union Station each year. The popular transit hub in D.C. also features more than 35 restaurants and eateries, including Shake Shack, Chipotle, and Bojangles. Besides people watching, you can do some shopping or take in a movie with the kids.

  • 02 of 09

    Capitol City Brewing Company has two locations, one in Downtown D.C., and another in Arlington, Virginia. This brewpub offers a great selection of casual food in a fun atmosphere that is appropriate for all ages. 

  • 03 of 09

    Diners are kid-pleasing restaurants usually with great selections of inexpensive fare from pancakes to ice cream sundaes. There are a number of diners, like the Tastee Diner, with three locations in the Beltway area of Washington, D.C. Some diners even have the booth jukeboxes. Play some music and enjoy the casual atmosphere. 

  • 04 of 09
    Antipasti, including tomatoes, cheese, and meats, at Carmine's in Washington, D.C.
    Carmine's 

    Carmine's is a chain of six restaurants that started in New York City in 1990 and has been growing since. Known for its giant plates of family-style food, this eatery may have linens for tablecloths, but it welcomes the entire family to share plates of pasta and pass the parmesan. There is one restaurant in D.C., other are located in Manhattan, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and the Bahamas.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    A double cheeseburger at Johnny Rocketts
     Johnny Rocketts

    With several locations in Washington, Maryland, and Virginia, Johnny Rockets is a retro-style burger chain that offers a child menu with a nostalgic 1950s throwback atmosphere. The burgers are certified Angus beef, never frozen, with real Wisconsin cheddar cheese. Also, enjoy cage-free chicken and indulge in hand-spun shakes.

  • 06 of 09
    Three Fuddrucker's cheeseburgers stacked on top of one another.
     Fuddrucker's

    Since 1980, this burger chain welcomes you to make your own gourmet burger at the home of the “world’s greatest hamburger.” Buns are baked fresh in the restaurant daily and the hamburger meat is certified Angus beef, never frozen. There are several locations in Washington, D.C., a couple locations in Maryland in Gaithersburg, Rockville; and several more in Virginia in Alexandria, Annandale, Fairfax, Herndon, Vienna, and Woodbridge. In addition to burgers, the menu also includes chicken, soups, and salads.

  • 07 of 09

    Cheeburger Cheeburger has several locations in Virginia and Maryland just outside of Washingon, D.C. This family-friendly 1950s diner-style restaurant has a huge selection of burgers, sandwiches, and tasty milkshakes. Kids love the old-fashioned soda fountain and neon lights.

  • 08 of 09

    Since 1980, when its first location opened in Old Town Alexandria, the Hard Times Cafe chili restaurant has expanded with a number of locations in Virginia and Maryland. You can get chili made four ways, chili mac, or other kid-friendly items like chicken tenders, hamburgers, and salads.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Red Robin is another gourmet hamburger chain restaurant with the nearest D.C. location in Falls Church, Virginia. There are another 11 restaurants within a 20-mile radius from Washington, D.C. The restaurant has an extensive kid-friendly menu, bright decor, and balloons for children.