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Happy Meals: 12 Family-Friendly Restaurants in Baltimore

These eateries cater to appetites both big and small.

When it comes to palate pleasers, Baltimore’s sizzling dining scene delivers (and we don’t mean just pizza!). Families have plenty of options, too—many near popular attractions. From a “Top Chef” updating retro classics near the National Aquarium to local stars plating up breakfast favorites all day long, these restaurants cater to appetites both big and small.

Upscale Restaurants in Baltimore

Family Meal

Youngsters at “Top Chef” alum Bryan Voltaggio’s harbor-side digs have their pick of fun—and tasty—fare from spaghetti and meatballs served up TV dinner style to house-made fried chicken. Bonus: It’s a mere hop and a skip from the National Aquarium.

McCormick & Schmick’s

This popular upscale chain offers a buzzy atmosphere and prime patio seating with views of the Inner Harbor. Mom and dad indulge in catches of the day and surf and turf, while children dig into cheeseburgers and popcorn shrimp, plus activity sheets.

McCormick & Schmick’s at the Inner Harbor
McCormick & Schmick’s Inner Harbor locale offers a prime spot for watching boats come and go. (Courtesy McCormick & Schmick’s)

Casual Restaurants in Baltimore

Kooper’s Tavern

Inside this fun-loving Fells Point pub is a picture of a yellow lab seemingly popping open a bottle of wine. The family dog, it appears, loved to have a good time, and the restaurant that bears his name pays homage with good food (build your own burgers!), live music and an all-around convivial vibe.

Mother’s Federal Hill Grille

This gustatory matron feeds her guests well with a menu of comfort foods, “95 percent” of which are made from scratch. Young ones salivate over burgers and sandwiches and burn off those calories with arcade games in the Purple Patio, a popular gathering spot for Ravens fans.

Mother's Federal Hill Grille
Mother’s Federal Hill Grille offers an extensive menu, “95 percent” of which is made in house. (Courtesy Mother’s Federal Hill Grille)

Seafood Restaurants in Baltimore


Mo Manocheh’s empire includes Mo’s Seafood Factory, Mo’s Crab & Pasta Factory and Mo’s Fisherman’s Wharf. All are family friendly, with the crab and pasta outfit serving up an extensive noodle menu with plenty of options for tykes.

Phillips Seafood

Located at the Inner Harbor, this famous seafood mainstay serves up popular kid fare (fish and chips, chicken tenders) plus frozen hot chocolate and ice cream sundaes. Parents appreciate the popular crab deck with its water views and proximity to attractions like the aquarium and historic ships.

Phillips Seafood outdoor crab deck
Hit the deck! The crab deck, that is. The one at Phillips Seafood is right at the center of all the Inner Harbor action. (©Kelsey Snell)

Pizza Restaurants in Baltimore

Joe Squared

Teens at this funky Station North pizza joint experiment with out-of-the-box toppings like chicken and Granny Smith apples. Each sourdough-crust pie bears the restaurant’s namesake shape and is baked in a 900-degree, coal-fired oven until nicely blistered.

Uno Pizzeria & Grill

The Inner Harbor outpost of this popular Chicago-based group encourages hands-on involvement at meal-time. Wee noodle lovers play chef, building their own pasta dishes, while pint-sized pizzaioli-in-training assemble their very own pies.

Uno Pizzeria & Grill deep-dish pie
Uno Pizzeria & Grill bakes thin-crust pies as well as deep dish versions, for which the restaurant is known. (Courtesy Uno Pizzeria & Grill)

Breakfast in Baltimore

Blue Moon Cafe

Owner Sarah Simington’s Cap'n Crunch French toast draws crowds at both the Fells Point original and Federal Hill newbie Blue Moon Too. Get your fix 24/7 on weekends.

Golden West Cafe

Zingy southwest flavors amp up the morning meal options at this Hampden favorite. Expect familiars like huevos rancheros alongside funkier fare like “Elvis pancakes” topped with—what else—fried bananas and peanut butter-flavored butter.

Miss Shirley’s

Named after a beloved former employee, this Inner Harbor eatery is known for its warm hospitality and Southern-accented menu. Locals order the crab cake and fried green tomato eggs Benedict.

Sip & Bite

This ‘50s-style Canton diner is the real deal, serving up classic a.m. repasts 24/7 under a neon sign. Our favorite? Hometown hero Olympic swimming gold medalist Michael Phelps’ French toast—Pullman’s bread stuffed with hazelnut praline and topped with bananas, strawberries and cream. Now that’s a breakfast of champions!

Cap'n Crunch French toast at Blue Moon Cafe
Ever popular Blue Moon Cafe has two locations where diners can order the restaurant’s famous Cap’n Crunch French toast. (©Navin75/Flickr, Creative Commons)