It's the age old problem. You want to go out for dinner with your family, but you simply can't bear the thought of the Diner again. Where can you eat out in Fairfield County where both adults and children will not just endure but enjoy their meals? To help us with this conundrum, I asked our contributors to share their suggestions in the latest CTbites Shoutout:
What are your favorite places to eat out with kids?
If you have favorite family restaurants, share them by posting a comment below!
If my kids (10, 7, & 5) had their way, they would eat tacos, refried beans and rice every day of the week. We are regulars at Ole Mole, Tacos Mexico, and Los Molcajetes (all of which are very accommodating to children). Matsu Sushi (Westport) and Wasabi Chi (Norwalk) are always requested for special treats, and Wasabi has a great happy hour menu which is crucial when your 5 year old can put down $50 worth of Salmon. For brunch we go for Rosie in New Canaan, Nicholas Roberts for the best French Toast ever, and Le Pain Quotidien for steel cut oatmeal and croissants.
My boys (ages 7 &10) are big hibachi fans. They enjoy going to Bond Grill in Norwalk. The show isn't as professional as at some places, but the kids get a kick out of it, and they love the hibachi steak, edamame, fried dumplings, as well as the Japanese soda with little marbles trapped inside the bottle. It's not as loud or as packed as Sakura in Wesport and the prices are gentler, to boot. The adults enjoy it, too, as we can order sushi, cocktails and other Asian foods besides hibachi. Another kids' crowd pleaser is Bobby Qs in the heart of downtown Westport. My boys and their friends order baby back ribs or the pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, served with fries. They also make short work of the appetizers, like paper cups full of frizzled onions, served with bbq dipping sauce, and a variety of other fun starters, including nachos and homemade potato-chips. There are plenty of diet-busting kids' desserts, too, like the Mississippi Mud Pie, the Smorealicious, the Fried Twinkie and the Whoopie Pie. Lots to choose from here—and Tues night is kids' night; kids eat for a ridiculously low price; I think it's $4, and a roving magician does tricks table-side!
I love the Sycamore Drive-in in Bethel- Saturdays in the Summer at 6 pm they have a classic car cruise night which draws some amazing class cars, trucks and motorcycles from the region for their signature french style burgers and home made root beer. It's been in continuous operation since 1948 (!) and the prices seem as if they were as old. Get the Dagwood burger and a root beer float.
Also, Rosie in New Canaan.
Hands down, I would have to say Sakura in Westport... we go there for every family birthday dinner- including my own, whether I like it or not! Miraculously, the kids (ages 10, 7, & 5) never tire of watching the flaming onion volcano and the food is good. They love the kids steak and shrimp dinners and I like that I can order from the sushi bar. Everyone's happy... except of course my 5-year old who is terrified of the "big fire" but she's got her routine down of going to "visit" the Japanese humming birds when the fire comes.........
The Boxcar Cantina in Greenwich and Korean restaurant Egame in Stamford are two family favorites of ours. At Boxcar, my 8 yr old loves the trio of soft tacos with Niman Ranch beef, my 10 year old the Mexican pizza and the quesadilla and my 5 yr old the chicken tenders (he's not a Mexican fan). My favorite is the blackened salmon burrito with cucumber and dill. Egame is a Korean barbeque restaurant so certain menu items are grilled at the table. We all love the Bul Go Gi (thin sliced rib eye in a soy marinade grilled and served with DIY lettuce wraps, rice, yummy sauces and kimchee), also the Bi Bim Bop (Korean take on fried rice served in a hot stone bowl, spicy, delicious), the Jap Chae noodle appetizer and the dumplings are mandatory.
1. My 9 year old Coco just raved about Southport Brewery's "fabulously creamy" mac and cheese with a side of fruit salad. It came with a drink and icecream and a little dink toy cell phone that my kids have been carrying around ever since.
2. Tutti's "children's sized" entrees are larger than any grown man can finish off, and they are delicious. They price them for kids at the lunch menu price- Coco gets a massive plate of chicken parmesean (which is only slightly smaller than the normal portion) which comes with a side of pasta, and it only costs around $7.50!
3. Sono Seafood - not so great in the winter, but in the warmer months - it's great to get a table outside and sit by the water. They have a good kids menu (equipt with crayons) from which my girls get the fish & chips (home made fried fish fillets and french fries) for $5-6. Kids can run around on the deck and feed the swans oyster crackers and other patrons don't frown b/c there's already so much chaos going on. As a side note - I love their fried clam bellies - real bellies - not the strips!
Well the jfood girls, or should I say young ladies, are both over 21. And their favorite restaurants to enjoy some great food in FC with the parents are Napa & Company, Barcelona, Sushi 25 in NC and Joe's Pizza.
My kids (9,7,5) favorites are: Pepe's pizza in Fairfield; Kazu in Sono - great kids Bento box; The Black Duck in Westport for burgers, Coromandel in Sono- tandoori chicken and shrimp a big hit. For lunch - Matsu - they love the shrimp shumai.
Bobby Q's for the kids burger or Mac n cheese, 5 Guys for burgers and fries, La Salsa in Fairfield for quesadillas and rice, Elvira's in Westport for grilled cheese, chips and the beach vibe, and Four Brothers takeout chicken tenders. *Boys, happily limited in restaurant menu eating picks, ages 3 and 7.
My kids are 8 & 7. We eat at The Filling Station in NC: both get double cheeseburger, fries and vanilla shakes. We also eat at Planet Pizza in Darien, their #1 choice after sampling all around Fairfield. Large pizza, half peppperoni. And they love Fuji in Darien. Shrimp or chicken fried rice, veggies mixed in. They love to watch them cook. Huge entertainment factor.
Olivia (age 10) votes for Border Grill in Westport. "It's real Mexican and always good!"
I mostly cook at home, but when we eat out, we go to Bereket, the turkish restaurant behind the gas station. It is beyond casual. We also go to Omanel, a great Portuguese restaurant in Bridgeport.