Discerning moms and dads can only eat fast-casual, frozen-then-fried food so many times before wanting to revolt. Thankfully, there are a handful of Boston chefs serving up sweet relief in the form of scratch-made, kid-friendly fare at parent-approved restaurants.
James Beard Award-winning chef and locavore pioneer Tony Maws collaborated with his son Charlie on the kid’s menu at his Kirkland Tap & Trotter, not far from Harvard University’s campus. Charlie is responsible for the delightful artwork that accompanies his dad’s selection of natural and organic offerings that run the gamut from grass-fed beef burger (Maws is famous for his adult version served in the bar at his other eatery Craigie on Main) to fish and chips to house-made spaghetti with meat sauce. Bonus: Kids eat free Sunday through Thursday from 5:30-6:30 pm, a detail college-fund-conscious parents can appreciate.
Over in the South End, chef Andy Husbands shows kiddos a good time at his neighborhood bistro Tremont 647. Every item on the children’s menu is $5 and entirely made in-house. The quarter-pound, grass-fed beef burger comes slathered in a secret sauce. Fettuccine with butter is a more sophisticated alternative to mac and cheese. Sweeter still, on Monday night 5:30-7:30 pm the bar serves $1 burgers, $1 fries and $1 apple pies. Yum!
On the first floor of Legal Harborside—Legal Sea Foods’ Seaport District flagship—kids get treated extra specially. On weekends from 11 am-1 pm, those aged 12 and under are invited to try “catch and release” fishing in the lobby trout pond. As far as eating goes, easy daily options include fresh wood-grilled shrimp or salmon and fried fish and chips, each plated with fresh veggies.
Young children and young adults eat well at Bostonia Public House in close proximity to Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Chef Kyle Ketchum loves him some sliders, serving meatball, barbecue chicken and Kobe beef-Vermont white cheddar cheeseburger varieties, each with choice of house-made chips, fries or tater tots. Tweens and teens with larger appetites and more mature palates can dig into the all-natural chicken breast and Parmesan gnudi dumplings, the steak frites with polenta fries, or the grilled Faroe Islands salmon with lemon butter.