Baby-friendly Restaurants

Archived Q&A and Reviews

April 2004

We have a 6 week old girl and are looking for baby friendly restaurants in Alameda, Berkeley, Oakland, San Leandro or nearby areas. Baby friendly for us means the occasional crying fit and breastfeeding are ok. Thanks. BAC, a new mom

We often go to Thai e Sun, a Thai restaurant on Shattuck just a block or two north of University. Not only is it my favorite Thai restaurant in the East Bay, but if you go before 6 o'clock it's often empty (gets a good crowd later--early emptyness is not indicative of bad food). There is a nice grandma-type woman who runs the place and she loves babies and is always helpful, kind, and delighted to see us. Our daughter crawls around the restaurant while we eat. zac
Cactus Tacqueria, on College just across from Rockridge Bart.

Spettro, on Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland.

Barney's, on College or Piedmont Avenues. I think both have back patios. The food isn't that good though, unless you really like burgers.

Dona Tomas, especially the back patio. It's fairly upscale but there are generally several tables with kids whenever we go. Just south of 51st on Telegraph in Oakland. Great food. Go early though, or make a reservation, on Fridays/Saturdays. Not open on Sundays or Mondays.

Loves to go out to eat

I found that the majority of restaurants in the area are pretty baby friendly (and I think we visited most of them at some point with our little baby!), I imagine since there are SO many people with babies and small children around the restaurants are used to it and expect it. I think only the quieter fancier restaurants where you yourself would be bothered by crying babies should you avoid (i.e. a place you would go to have a nice meal away from noise and be willing to spend good money to do it. Even in those cases, when our baby was still very tiny and mostly sleeping in the car seat, we would occasionally venture to places like Oliveto's. I would step outside if she started crying.) I never noticed anyone look askance at me breastfeeding, though I must admit I was more discreet in such places.

We have found Chinese restaurants in general to be extremely friendly and welcoming, if not solitious and fawning! In particular, Jin Ling and King Yen, across the street from each other on College Ave. in the Elmwood section of Berkeley. Perfectly good fresh food too, though not top of the line gourmet. Choose places that have room enough for baby gear, and for you to be able to spread out a little (as opposed to tight, crowded and especially busy places like Great China on Kittredge in Berkeley). Also, Le Cheval in downtown Oakland (Vietnamese) is big and baby-friendly. It does get very busy, but they don't rush you once you're seated Also, there are the family standards like Pasta Pomodoro (I've never been inside, but sat outside on the patio. They have a children's menu so they must be child friendly. Mediocre food, though.) And Picante (Mexican food) on 6th & Gilman in Berkeley. A total kid-fest. I can't believe it sometimes when we go, how many kids and babies there are! The bonus there is they have a bar, so (if you are at all indulging yet, or for your husband and friends), margueritas are available to sooth those jangling new parent nerves!

Get out and have fun! mom who loves to eat out

Picante in Berkeley by 6th and Gilman seems to be a kid friendly place. We take our very active toddler there all the time. We also see young babies there as well and people including the staff don't seem to mind the babies and kids being themselves.
a Picante regular
We have been happily taking our now two year old to a couple of restaurants in Alameda. Our top choice is usually Sapparo's Sushi at Santa Clara and Webster. While it is not a particularily loud restaurant it is very kid friendly. The wait staff love our son and are always talking to him, giving him extra tofu in his miso and slapping five as they go by. We used to sit at the floating boat sushi bar but wuth a toddler this is now impractical- as a little baby though it was fine and for awhile he'd sit and watch the stuff go round and round. I breastfeed wherever I am so I am probably not a good judge on this one but No one ever looked at me funny when I did. I also think that La Pinata (Santa Clara and Park) is great for kids. It is really loud so one little baby crying makes no difference at all. It is very busy and my son loved to watch all the activity. Don't bring the stroller though as there isn't room in between the tables. Though the food isn't at all that Applebee's in Southshore actually has those cradles for your infant car seat which is nice and it's a family joint so noise is ok. I also have taken my son to Ole's Waffle House (just in from Park and Santa Clara) many times- again the joint is always loud so an occassional cry makes no difference. The food is great funky diner, greasy spoon stuff. Finally, we do a lot of take out from China House also at the corner of Santa Clara and Park where they have the best BBQ pork wonton soup I've ever had! Happy eating. Juliette