Where to Enjoy Center City Restaurant Week With Kids
Deals at Philly restaurants start September 15! Here's where to go with your family.
Center City Restaurant Week is coming up September 15–27, offering diners three-course dinner for $35, and (at some places) three-course lunch for $20 at dozens of great restaurants around town.
Before kids, Restaurant Week was a chance to go to some swanky restaurant you’d been dying to try for a (relatively) cheap date night. That hot new restaurant only has a table at 9:45 pm on a Tuesday? No problem! But at this point, your nights may end much earlier; or if not, paying a babysitter makes that discounted prix fixe somewhat less of a steal.
But don’t lose hope! You can still take advantage of Restaurant Week and include your family too — you just need to be a little strategic. This could mean opting for lunch instead of dinner (which is cheaper anyway) or going at early off-peak dinnertime, and certainly reviewing the menu ahead of time so your picky kids won’t revolt. Obviously you need to use your judgment — while some kids could handle a crowded upscale bistro, you know your own kids best. You’ve been warned, so on with our top picks for Restaurant Week with kids.
124 S. 13th St.
If your kid’s palate is more daring, this is a great option. First off, this is consistently one of the best Restaurant Week menus overall, because they pretty much open up most of their tasting menu and let you pick a handful of options from each category. It’s so many courses, and you get to try so many dishes. And then the meal ends with adorable mini soft serve cones on a little metal stand! The one caveat is that you have to go in even numbers because the options and quantities they give are for two diners.
1216 Chestnut St.
This upscale pizza place has fun door-themed decor, high chairs, coloring for the kids, and all their favorite foods! The $20 lunch menu looks the most promising, with items like Dippy Dippy Snack Snack (focaccia with a yogurt and tomato dip), spaghetti, and of course pizza! And for dessert, kids will delight at Nutella pizza (chocolate pizza is like some magical, topsy-turvy nonsense!) or homemade gelato.
1234 Locust St.
This retro American comfort food spot has plenty of options for your inner child and your actual child. The cheese curds are a must, and it’s catty-corner from Nest, so your kids can run out some excess energy before your meal.
1500 Walnut St.
The whole conceit of this place is eating like a deranged chocoholic, so of course this is a safe bet for kids! This restaurant is offering both lunch and dinner menus, so you can be flexible with your schedule. Meanwhile, there is virtually no item on either menu that a kid would turn away. Cocoa-dusted waffle fries, burgers, mac and cheese, pizza flatbreads, an appetizer made of dips, and obviously chocolate in its many forms all make an appearance. Kids will also love the fun experience of making s’mores at the table.
121 S. 13th St.
What’s not to like about El Vez? Tacos and nachos? Check. Guacamole served in a molcajete with a cute animal face? Hey there! Fun décor like a wall of skeleton nichos that will remind your kids of Coco, and a motorcycle spinning over the bar for no apparent reason? Of course! Don’t forget to visit the photo booth before you leave!
325 Chestnut St.
Obviously Asian fusion by Stephen Starr is going to be a crowd-pleaser. We recommend going for lunch, both for atmosphere and for their fun bento box options! Kids can fill up their little compartments with choices like Kobe beef sliders, dumplings, and vegetable rice. And for dessert, they’ll love the “Dip Sum” doughnuts.
Photographs courtesy of Visit Philadelphia.