Of the hundreds of cost of living indexes you can peruse online, you’d be hard-pressed to find a list where Boston is not ranked in the top 10 most expensive. Add a couple kids to your family and you may find you need to make some changes to your budget allocation. But you shouldn’t have to sacrifice a nice day out with your kids! That’s why we’ve done the research and are happy to provide you with our guide to the best kid-friendly restaurants in Boston that get you the most bang for your buck
49 Boylston St, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 (& other locations)
Let’s start with one that most Bostonians are well familiar with: Shake Shack. The fast-casual burger joint has 7 locations in Massachusetts. I like the Chestnut Hill one most for families. Due to the proximity to BC, this Shake Shack has more of a youthful energy to it. Make a day out of it! Have a nice pre-game lunch before heading over to Alumni Stadium and watching the BC football team in action!
Trident Booksellers and Cafe
338 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02115
Have a future Road Scholar on your hands? Located in beautiful Back Bay, kids and parents will enjoy a relaxing lunch while browsing the shelves at Trident. The menu is ripe with fresh juices and smoothies along with a full breakfast menu. The cafe also offers online ordering. Pick up your smoothies and walk around the historic neighborhood on a sunny, spring day.
307 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113
This open-floor kitchen located in the north end offers the largest Italian menu on this list, and at a far more fair price than other restaurants in the area. Family pictures decorate the walls of the Italian eatery. Carmelina’s made Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat List this past year, so be sure to make reservations. Enjoy a family dinner in the winter or make a lunch reservation during the summer when Carmelina’s makes use of its retractable front walls to create an open air dining experience.
149 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge, MA 02140
Conveniently located for commuters (right next to the Alewife MBTA Station), Summer Shack features the largest oyster bar in Cambridge. Dads looking for a spot to watch the big game with the boys, look no further. Summer Shack’s Cambridge location features nine flat-screen TV’s. Kids will also enjoy the 1,500 gallon lobster tank. It’s also a great place to host a birthday party with a function room that fits up to 120 people.
745 Boylston St, Boston, MA 2116
While Boylston Street’s Max Brenner offers the traditional kid’s favorites such as chicken fingers and grilled cheese, this the place to cave to your sweet tooth. Your children will have a blast combing through the sugar-filled menu. Try the Chocolate Fondue Tower with an option of three flavors. Or perhaps the famous Chocolate Chunk Pizza, melted chocolate with a choice of four toppings — hazelbut bits, bananas, peanut butter, or roasted marshmallow. Appealing to our sweet tooth is what makes Max Brenner a tent-pole in the best kid-friendly restaurants in Boston.
Luke’s Lobster Back Bay
75 Exeter St, Boston, MA 02116
Our second Back Bay restaurant on the list fills your kid’s seafood craving. Luke’s Lobster works directly with New England fishermen to give you that authentic Boston seafood flavor. One of your kids not interested in seafood? The restaurant offers a $4 grilled cheese sandwich! Combine that with a side of clam chowder and leave with a full belly and a heavy wallet.
Myers & Chang
1145 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118
Co-owner and chef Joanne Chong is a Harvard grad who left the world of business consulting to start a restaurant with her husband Christopher Myers — thus began Myers & Chang. Mainly specializing in Taiwanese food, the restaurant offers premium Asian cuisine in a chill, relaxed environment. It’s prime location allows kids to people watch with fast food delivery. They also offer a dim sum brunch every weekend from 11:30am-3:45pm.
75 Union Sq, Somerville, MA 02143
Offering one of the most extensive kids menus on this list, The Independent is a great option to bring the children. The eatery offers free food for kids Sunday-Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30pm along with dollar oysters every Monday making The Independent the most budget-friendly option in Boston. With the abundance of free options comes the options for parents to enjoy a luxury cocktail, wine, or beer from the vast drink menu.
50 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139
Speaking of bargains, The Automatic in Cambridge offers an extensive kid’s menu where each item is $5! Better yet, the menu moonlights as a coloring book. The spot opened a couple years ago, taking home honors such as being included in Boston Magazine’s Top New Restaurants. Note that the restaurant opens at 4pm Saturday-Thursday. It’s best to take your kids around that time to avoid the older bar crowd that fills the place at night time.
South Street Diner
178 Kneeland St, Boston, MA 02111
A Boston staple for over 50 years, South Street Diner is open 24/7 providing affordable, delicious food for Boston locals. Burgers, fries, and shakes are its calling card. It’s a great place for parents to take their children for a quick breakfast before heading off to work and school. South Street is an authentic diner. The waitstaff are very interactive and let you know that you’re in Boston, which makes this place especially enjoyable for tourists.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best kid-friendly restaurants in Boston. Did we miss your favorite kid-friendly restaurant in Boston? Let us know in the comments below!
And don’t forget to check out our guide to the best things to do with your kids in Boston for more money-saving ideas for families!