In Philadelphia, fully grown foodies and their little ones can destination-dine together, with reservations, but without hesitation. Among the city’s bevy of family-friendly options are stylish standout spots that, at first glance, might appear too mature for young diners. In truth, Philly’s flourishing restaurant scene offers inclusively delicious possibilities that are waiting to be devoured by great appetites of all ages—even diners who require high chairs.
- Cheu Fishtown – Quirky, Asian-inspired street bites served up in a colorful and casual Fishtown space (a former stable) win over visitors of all ages. On the menu: pastrami bing buns and spicy mapo tofu rice cakes, plus milder shumai and Bubbie Chow’s brisket. The kitchen gladly adjusts spice levels when possible, and servers happily provide utensils to chopstick cheaters. Reservations can be hard to come by here: Arrive early for prompt seating. 1416 Frankford Avenue, (267) 758-2269, cheufishtown.com
- Gran Caffe L’Aquila – This polished Abruzzi cafe—built with materials from an actual Abruzzi cafe—is both the day-to-night picture of Rittenhouse refinement and a great spot for a first taste of authentic Italian cuisine. On the menu: imported salumi, homemade gnocchi and spaghetti carbonara served with bacon If bacon gelato won’t do, there’s also cherry, pistachio, Nutella, vanilla… Diners who can’t decide on one flavor opt for the gelato tasting. 1716 Chestnut Street, (215) 568-5600, grancaffelaquila.com
- Harp & Crown – Chef Michael Schulson has built a reputation for creating stylishly spirited cocktail hideaways. His first venture west of Broad Street is no exception, right down to the below-ground bowling lane. And yet, it’s also quite popular with the kids, who go for the glazed carrots, margherita pizza, beet salads and, yes, the breadcrumb-crusted mac and cheese. The Longfellow Sours, however, are adults-only. 1525 Sansom Street, (215) 330-2800, harpcrown.com
- Hungry Pigeon – Queen Village’s hip, all-day bistro serves serious, seasonal food without taking itself too seriously. After breakfast (banana bread sticky buns) and lunch (cheeseburgers, fries), chef-owners Scott Schroeder and Pat O’Malley offer an after-school menu with peanut butter and jelly and fried Lebanon bologna sandwiches. The changing dinner menu stylishly spins comfort fare, and family-style dinners can accommodate for parties of up to 14. 743 S. 4th Street, (215) 278-2736, hungrypigeon.com
- Mission Taqueria – Upstairs from his family’s third-generation establishment, The Oyster House, owner Sam Mink has created a sunny cantina where house-made tortillas swaddle chicken mole, fried mahi mahi or sweet pork al pastor, and everyone loves the sweet potato tostones and nachos. Picnic tables add a casual feel, high chairs (and fresh-fruit margaritas) are ample, and all turns are free turns at the foosball and shuffleboard tables. Not wheelchair accessible. 1516 Sansom Street, 2nd floor, (215) 383-1200, missiontaqueria.com
- Parc – Rittenhouse Square’s busy French brasserie has a vast menu that includes homey bread baskets, urbane oyster towers, chicken liver pates, heavenly omelets, next-level macaroni au gratin and awe-inspiring profiteroles. With booths, highchairs, restroom changing tables and a convivially buzzy decibel level, kids fit right in here. 227 S. 18th Street, (215) 545-2262, parc-restaurant.com
- Urban Farmer Steakhouse – The sustainable steak restaurant in The Logan Philadelphia Hotel offers a kids’ menu with farm burgers and English muffin pizzas. Meanwhile, adults will find impeccable rib-eyes, scallops and updated spins on classic sides. 1850 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 963-2788, urbanfarmerphiladelphia.com
- Vedge – Considered by many to be the world’s premiere vegan restaurant, this special-occasion showpiece from chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby (pastry) welcomes a surprising number of little ones—especially those with specific dietary needs—into its elegant dining rooms. The seasonal menu always surprises, and Landau and Jacoby, parents themselves, gladly cater to pickier palates. 1221 Locust Street, (215) 320-7500, vedgerestaurant.com
- Zahav – Multiple James Beard awards haven’t kept Michael Solomonov from aiming to please simpler eaters. His Israeli destination’s traditional hummus and laffa bread have bread-and-butter appeal. In fact, straight-up za’atar with a side of pita is the preferred order of one of chef Solo’s own kids. 237 St. James Place, (215) 625-8800, zahavrestaurant.com
- 24 – Chef Jose Garces’ new-school Italian restaurant welcomes younger diners with their own menu, crayons and an industrial-hip atmosphere that absorbs any unexpected meltdowns. Meanwhile, parents need not compromise when the kitchen specialties are lamb sausage pizza with Castelvetrano olives and oven-roasted branzino with polenta and caper butter. 2401 Walnut Street, (215) 333-3331, 24philly.com
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On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.