Brunch with the Under 5 Set

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As I was out to brunch last weekend (at an establishment not to be named), it occurred to me, this could be going so MUCH better. Said spot is a South End brunch mainstay, been open for eons. And they have one, count it, ONE, highchair. Though my reservation explicitly asked for one and noted a toddler would be joining our party, there was not even that one they own at our disposal during our reservation. High chairs, a luxury item? You’d think given the state of things. Which leads me to my point and post- there are places that are brunch friendly to the family set dining out with the tots….and places that fail miserably.

Let’s shower those spots that get it right, visit after visit, with praise. They have ample stacks of clean highchairs. Crayons by the pile. Placemats to color upon. Cups with lids. And the holy grail of all parents out with those babes, changing tables in the rest rooms (how are these not code?!).

Top of the heap? Our local spot Steel & Rye, on the Dorchester/Lowermills line in Milton. The brunch and children’s menu is on point and innovative. The rotating donut specials are heaven. High chairs and boosters abound. As does outdoor seating in the summer months. I also happen to like that the spot has a pretty good amount of dining chatter and background noise- something you start to notice when you need to potentially cover up the cries of an impatient tot. And don’t forget your cocktail with brunch- you’ve earned it. My cocktail du jour is Rye Rising, a little bit coffee, a little bit boozy….if this doesn’t get you prepped for brunching with babies, I don’t know what will. Brunch runs from 11-2:00 and reservations are recommended.

I ventured out with a baby and a friend to Stephi’s on Tremont not long ago and was blown away by their attentiveness. They took the time to place an advance order for my daughter (expedient service is a must with an impatient and/or hungry child), brought out a cup with lid, along with all our favorites, crayons, color placemats, the whole shebang. The staff and manager visited to make sure everyone, little’s included, were enjoying their meal. Well played and delicious. Brunch served Saturday and Sunday, from 10-3:00.

And once the weather gets better, I’d have to say South End Open Market’s food trucks make for the ultimate brunch out with your entire family. The variety just can’t be beat. Start with some donuts from Union Square and move on to a main of Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, crepes, BBQ, what ever everyone desires. Outdoor seating can get scarce, so come with a team to score seats, or come nice and early. My daughter can dine al fresco, strapped into a stroller, rolled right up to a table. Toys and goodies are up to you, but the ambience and people watching can’t be beat. Look for the 2015 season to start in mid-May, Sunday from 11-4:00.

Noelani shares her favorite activities, places to shop, and ideas for city living – all with kids in mind. Peruse all of Noelani’s posts on The Boston Day Book here. Be sure to catch up with Noelani on her life and style blog, Mon Petit Chou Chou. Follow along on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

Image Credit: Noelani Zervas

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