Although I’ve heard horror stories, I have never had a bad experience eating out with a baby. It’s the older kids who can begin to be a problem. However, we certainly have our go-to restaurants — the ones we are know are going to go above and beyond to make us feel at home with our babies and children. I’ve listed some of my personal favorite baby friendly restaurants and some crowd-sourced suggestions from our readers. This list is far from exhaustive and, unless the restaurant is particularly geared toward adults, I recommend giving your own favorite restaurant a try.
Note, when we mention what we have fed our babies, we are not offering expert feeding advice, simply experience. Follow your doctor’s advice and the guidelines you are comfortable with. When in doubt, most baby friendly restaurants are okay with outside baby food.
- Adelita’s Mexican Restaurant, Minneapolis. I really just love the staff at Adelita’s. They are always welcoming and accommodating to children. The nice thing about Mexican restaurants is that refried beans are almost always available and make a nice baby food.
- Babanis Kurdish Restaurant, St. Paul. Our reader, Désirée, says, “It was one of the first places we took our daughter when she was a baby. There was food she could eat as finger food, she liked the soup, and the staff was always friendly with her.”
- Broadway Pizza, Minneapolis. The original location on West River Road in Minneapolis is a family favorite, including baby, who snagged her first piece of pizza off my plate at Broadway. The staff is always super friendly. Ask for a booth by the bar, so you can watch the train go around the bar while you wait for your food. Make sure to sign up baby for the birthday clubs so she can get a free meal on her birthdays until she is 12.
- The Good Earth, Roseville & Edina. I like The Good Earth for eating with a baby who is starting solids because their soups are on the less-salty side. I don’t feel too bad about sharing a bowl. The downside is that they are always crowded and sometimes you have to wait longer for a booth.
- Groveland Tap, St. Paul. Our reader, Danielle, says, “They have a great homey atmosphere, great kids menu, and great food/drink happy hour. They even give the kiddos a container of goldfish, and crayons. They also provide a scavenger hunt with a prize bucket when you finish it. The waitstaff is AMAZING! We go there once a week, and always see tons of family’s there.” I have not been here myself, glancing over the menu I would probably try Perogies with a baby who is starting solids.
- Local Roots, Richfield. Reader Joyce says “Local Roots in Richfield has a large playroom and excellent food!” For babies, perhaps you can share a bowl of yogurt, oatmeal, or soup; or you could buy older babies buttered noodles off the kids menu.
- Lookout Bar & Grill, Maple Grove. Our reader, Laurie, points out, “The Look Out back patio has a playground,” which will be nice as baby grows. The menu has sides you can inexpensively add to your own entree that include mashed potatoes and fruit, either of which would make a good meal for a baby starting solids.
- Old Country Buffet, Burnsville. Babies are not charged at Old Country Buffet, so you can feel free to feed them off of your plate. There is almost always something, even if its just mashed potatoes, that you can feed a new eater.
- Pizza Luce, All Locations. Pizza Luce was a clear winner among readers. Jenny loved that the waiters knew what was in their food so she could work around food allergies. Andrea mentioned that, while all locations are great, the Uptown location can be the most crowded.
- Local Breweries – Two that were specifically mentioned were Surly and St. Paul Brewing (fka Flat Earth). A good way to try new breweries with baby in tow is to attend one of Do Good Diapers’ Babies & Brews events.
More Ideas for for Baby Friendly Restaurants in the Twin Cities
National Chains for Eating Out With Baby
Boston Market. While not exactly a fine dining experience, Boston Market is rarely too full, so a good-sized booth is easy to find. They have several foods on their Sides menu that make decent baby food – mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potato (although its sweetened), creamed spinach.
Noodles and Company. I think they are a little pricey for what you get, but at least you can count on buttered noodles for a baby who is eating solids.
Gianna likes Applebees – because its so busy know one will notice a crying baby or fussy child.
Reader Advice for Going Out to Eat with Baby
- Consider choosing a louder restaurant. No one will notice a little crying or a toddler meltdown.
- On the flip side, a quieter restaurant is less stimulating and may possibly allow baby to sleep through the meal.
- Go to dinner early when it is less full or late when your baby has been fed and is sleeping.
- When babies are small enough to be in a car seat carrier, I prefer to hold out for a booth and a corner booth is the best.
- Go on a family night or kids eat free night. More families means less focus on you.
- Be prepared with a well-stocked diaper bag and some type of quiet distraction.
- If baby isn’t eating with you, feed her first – either at home or while you wait for your food.
- Ask your waiter to bring your bill with your food, so you have the option of paying and leaving early if necessary.