Ask my kids what their favorite restaurant is, and they will probably tell you it's The Palm. While my husband and I are far from foodies, we enjoy the experience of dining out and have taken our kids along with us to our favorite spots since before they were old enough to walk or talk.
Yes, dining out with them can sometimes be tricky. There are spilled glasses of water to contend with, and seats constantly being rearranged by our little dictators. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't sometimes think it would be a whole lot easier to just throw in the towel and hit up a noisy theme restaurant or drive-thru.
But I value those times the four of us spend sitting around a table trying new and different foods together. Especially when we're traveling to a new city. I spend a lot of time researching restaurants beforehand, in order to find the best family-friendly spots with cool, fun atmospheres and food to please all of our palates. There's a big difference between a restaurant that is welcoming to kids, and a kids' restaurant, however, so these kinds of places are sometimes hard to uncover.
Luckily, OpenTable has made my endeavor much, much easier with it's just-released list of The Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Top Summer Travel Destinations in America, generated from more than 1.4 million restaurant reviews submitted by users of their dining reservation site between June 1, 2015, and May 31, 2016.
"These top kid-friendly rated restaurants appeal to every member of the family, from toddlers with adventurous taste buds to tweens and teens intent on Snapchatting their way through delicious vacation dining experiences," explained Caroline Potter, OpenTable's chief dining officer.
Ah yes. Because what kind of meal would it be if there wasn't some photographic proof for my kids to post on social media? Or as my daughter would put it, "Phone eats first."
The collection of eateries includes almost every type of cuisine you can think of: barbecue, Brazilian, dim sum, French, Japanese, seafood, and Italian. Two of our faves in New York City made the cut—Carmine's and Sarabeth's Tribeca. Other victors include Fogo de Chao in Washington, DC (beloved by my son, not so much by my daughter), Little Goat in Chicago, and M Street Kitchen in Santa Monica.
Of course, old family-friendly standbys like Benihana and Maggianos made the grade as well. To check out the whole to-di(n)e-for list, head over to the OpenTable website.