“Kid Friendly” Providence restaurants By Chris Dallas

Recently, through our Geo Relocation services, we have had quite a few inquiries from new locals and even “future locals” asking us for “Kid Friendly” restaurant recommendations.  My colleagues have asked me to give my opinion on this, well because simply put, I am the only staff member with a “kid friendly” need.  We have a 10 month old daughter, named Isabella.

Of course, I didn’t mind the assignment.  My wife and I know the city quite well and pre-kid have frequented pretty much every restaurant in town.  With that said, as a Dad, I feel that the best kid friendly restaurant is home.

These days, we barely go out, not because of the economy or the cold weather, but because no matter what arsenal of toys we bring to distract our daughter while we try to eat, they end up on the floor within minutes and all she wants is more.  Lately, since she’s begun to chew we bring Cheerios with us and while that works in the short term, the down side is more than 50% ends up on the floor.  Can you say Big Tip!?

Quite frankly, I never understood and obviously still don’t know what “Kid Friendly” really means?  Maybe it means that the restaurant staff doesn’t mind picking up the ton of crap that your kid throws on the floor?  Or maybe it means that when you show up with stroller in-hand, that the hostess doesn’t give you the “oh sh*t, they have a kid” look.

I know, I know.  This blatant honesty probably doesn’t help.  Most of you probably think this is the lazy Dad’s answer, but its not.  So, in the spirit of a true recommendation for those who need a place to go, here are my top choices and why.

In Wayland Square, Red Stripe on S. Angell St. This is where you want to be.  Large restaurant, the food and atmosphere is great and parking in the neighborhood is relatively easy.

In College Hill, Park Side on N. Main Street.  It’s a bit of a tighter space than Red Stripe and there is a step to get in and out, but the staff is great and very accommodating.  Parking on Main Street isn’t too bad, so you can bring the stroller.  They even have complimentary valet parking.  Most importantly, the food is fantastic.

For Downtown, Joe’s Bar & Grill.  Spacious restaurant, so the hostess eyes won’t pop out of her head when you show up with all your kids gear.  Great food and since it’s located at Providence Place Mall, parking is easy (and only $1).  The only downside is you have to exit the mall to enter Joe’s, but it’s worth it.  Cheesecake Factory is also located at the Mall, but I wouldn’t recommend for infants based on the seating arrangements.

My “kid friendly” recommendation wouldn’t be complete without a local café/bakery.  Hands down, Seven Stars bakery on Hope St.  Great pastries, breads, sandwiches and of course coffee.  There are always a ton of kids in there so you’ll feel very comfortable when the cheerios spill.  Parking is relatively easy and in the warmer months they have a beautiful outdoor patio & pergola.  My runner-up: L’ Artisan in Wayland Square.  In the summer months, they have a great outdoor patio right on the Square!

I hope this helps, and if not, I hope at the very least you found my post amusing.  Thanks for reading!