No kidding! Children not welcome to dine here
September 20th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

It’s a great time to be very young. If you’re a Brooklyn-dwelling one-year-old, you can take DJ classes. (Local DJ Natalie Elizabeth Weiss is teaching kids to mix electronic music. “You can’t pick up a cello when you’re three months old but you can push play,” she said.) If you’re four, chances are there’s a yoga class and a sushi-making seminar just for you and right in your neighborhood.

But there are some things kids can’t do now, and one of them is to hang out with their parents at several restaurants around the country. Unless you have a fake ID that says you’re over 10, be prepared to be shut out of the following spots.

La Fisheria - Houston, Texas
Kids under nine are banned after 7 p.m. To be crystal clear on this point, the following statement is posted on the restaurant’s door: “After 7:00 pm, people over eight years old only. For your understanding, Thank you. We are a family friendly restaurant, and we also respect all of our customers so we introduce this new policy to the restaurant. Thanks for your understanding.”

Chef Aquiles Chavez told KHOU News, “We find children that are crying, some kids running under tables and our customers don’t like. Seven o’clock is not a time for children, especially when we serve drinks and wine.” But before 7 p.m., any children who aren’t picketing the place can enjoy a dedicated kids menu including items like Mexican mac and cheese.

McDain’s - Monroeville, Pennsylvania
Kids under six are not allowed into McDain’s. Owner Mike Vuick told MSNBC three solid reasons why: “One is the increasing number of small babies that can’t be controlled. They can’t be quiet and really they can’t be expected to.”

Second, he cited kindergarten-age kids who “have shown increasingly poor manners.” Third, he faults parents who “act like we’re the ones being offensive” when restaurant staff ask them to quiet their children.

Luigi Q - Hicksville, New York
This Italian restaurant has been banning kids under 14 since it opened almost 20 years ago. Says owner Luigi Quarta, “Most people who come in come to enjoy a martini or a bottle of wine after working all day. They are delighted they don’t have to be around all the crying. I love children and they love me but this restaurant is the type of place where they don’t need to be.”

Grandview Saloon & Coal Hill Steakhouse - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
No children under six is the rule at this steak house on Mount Washington. And that applies to everyone. Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Gaby Sanchez and his wife tried to take their 10-month-old baby to the restaurant for lunch in May to celebrate a win against the Detroit Tigers the night before. They were shut out.

The Sushi Bar - Del Ray, Virginia
You have to be an older kid to get into this sushi spot, in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Sushi Bar has a no patrons under 18 policy. They say it “allows us to provide the perfect environment for small groups and couples out on ‘date night’.” Owner Mike Anderson has four other restaurants, all kid-friendly.

He told MSN that he decided to do this after checking out the crazy, kid-filled scene at one of them, Mango Mike’s. “There must be 50 kids in that joint. It’s pandemonium. We ran it by some parents that had kids, and I would say eight out of 10 thought it was a great idea. They said, ‘You’re on to something here’.”

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Make your kid more restaurant-friendly

© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Kids in Restaurants • Restaurants

soundoff (775 Responses)
  1. Nics

    Thank God, people need to realise that not everyone loves kids and does NOT wish to hear and see your little darlings running around screaming when they go out for a quiet evening together! We don't all have to adore your offspring, and we have rights too!!!!

    May 4, 2014 at 11:33 am |
  2. konradwithak13

    This is a really interesting article. I wasn't aware that there are places that do not allow children under a certain age. Growing up with five younger siblings, I can definitely say I wish there were times that I wished my brothers would've been kicked out of a restaurant.


    March 25, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
  3. ash

    I am a mum to a very hyper child who doesn't sit still (and might I add that I am a good mum his behaviour isnt because of me) but anyway I agree there needs to be some places that kids can eat at and some that they can't. I also agree with some places having the no kids after 7/8 rule, why do little kids need to be eating that late and if for some reason you feel the need to find a family friendly restaurant. I admit I have taken my son to a bar/lounge for a karaoke that allows kids as long as they stay seated, I come armed with tablet or phone (and headphones) filled with games and also stuff to draw with and as soon as he has had enough sitting still guess what I Leave. I also take my son out to dinner and I do so before the dinner rush at a kid friendly restaurant so that we eat and are gone before heaps of people get there because I know my son can't sit still, doesnt handle large crowds, will talk loud and want to run around. People have a right to have a nice kid free dinner.

    November 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  4. Nicole

    I think this ban is great, especially after certain hours. Of course they are parents with well mannered children who feel this is unfair, but the rule should apply to all children under a certain age... regardless. My niece hides under tables, spins in the aisles, the whole 9. It's embarrassing to me. My sister gets highly offended if someone calls out the behavior. I've been in restaurants where kids go nuts and the parents, like my sister, allow it.

    November 6, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Canuck (Canadian) Person


      No offense but your sister shouldn't be setting a bad example by permitting her kid to do whatever he or she wants nor by getting defensive if her kid is criticized for his or her poor behavior.

      November 15, 2013 at 7:05 am |
  5. Canuck (Canadian) Person

    Well to be honest I don't blame restaurants who resort to this child ban policy.I may feel bad if parents of relatively well mannered kids are subject to this policy but I don't feel bad when kids who generally misbehave and their blameworthy parents are banned from stepping in or dining at some restaurant(s). If blameworthy parents don't like it they should have tried harder in raising their children in a competent manner,also,if certain restaurants in my country (Canada of course) enacted a similar policy I ain't going to object and finally if there is any reason why restaurants throughout Sweden & UK may not enact such a policy is because I sometimes feel that British & Swedish society provides kids with too many rights which would be ridiculous for them to do.

    November 3, 2013 at 7:50 am |
  6. Momm

    What nonsense.
    My children are always delightful, even if they are grumpy or fidgety. What happens to people that when they mature they forget what it was to be a child?

    October 17, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • cb

      Some people do remember what it was like to be a child, some of us did not like children when we were a child and still do not, some adults choose not to have children, and I am greatful for a place to go where I am not forced to be around others children, because there are those that are adorable and well behaved but for each one of them there are 20 there are totally obnoxious and the parents are usually just as bad! Obviously I am not a people person I believe you should be able to go out in public and enjoy a meal in peace occasionally, so hate me it really isnt going to cause me to lose any sleep that you dont like my opnion but myself and people with similiar feelings are allowed to feel the way we do so just get over it!

      October 17, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • macattack1971

      Don't you know it people...everyone else's kids are frigin darlings. "i wasn't annoyed by your child child jumping up and down and screaming while i am trying to eat a nice meal that i paid for. it was the invisible child next to her that i was berating." the problem with parents is that they think that their child's lack of self control is 'cute.' it is not.
      when our son was born, my wife and i decided that we we would go out to dinner by ourselves until our son was mature enough to handle the situation of eating in public. i commend this restaurant for doing what they are doing but i wish i was commending the parents to think about doing this themselves rather than those who have written nasty comments on the board.

      i think parents need to grow up first before their kids try to

      October 18, 2013 at 12:35 am |
    • skippedlikearock

      There actually is an answer to the "adults" who forget their age. It's called a bouncer. There is a reason most mcdonalds have playgrounds.

      October 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • David

      I've had this argument with my friend many times. She is mad at me when I won't let her kid sit next to me or if I seem upset when she lets him dance in the aisle, stand on the seat, get under the table, or play a loud video game at the table. She says let kids be kids. I try to explain to her that at a restaurant is not the place for this and she should be respectful of other people and she just scoffs at it. I call it breeder syndrome.

      October 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Jo

      Parents today think that everyone should have to tolerate their children; whether it be at a restaurant; movies, department stores; smaller retail shops; and even going to a House of Worship. I see it all the time. These parents only think of themselves, and not anyone else around them. Well; they should teach their children early to behave. Don't get me wrong. I do love children, but there are other places for them to let go, like in school yard, their back yards, playgrounds; etc. What's so wrong teaching them to behave. There are so many opportunities for them to have their fun with as much noise as possible. Last evening, I had to tolerate a couple who was trying to make their young daughter laugh, by making these loud noises with their lips! Come on, give us a break! It's not amusing to other people around you; can't they wait until they get home! GIVE US A BREAK!!!!

      January 14, 2014 at 4:12 am |
    • Nics

      Of course they are, and we should ALL love them, right??

      May 4, 2014 at 11:44 am |
  7. Jeffrey Ehrlich

    I started taking my kids (and now my grandkids) to restaurants when they would interrupt diners with crying, and they were much younger than the ages allowed by these restaurants. I'll just dine elsewhere, all the time. It's one thing not to want screaming kids; it's another to ban everyone regardless of their behavior. I've seen loud obnoxious 30 year olds. Let's ban them too.

    October 15, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
  8. Darbie

    eh.. my kid is well over those ages mentioned BUT I would never allow him to run through anywhere like a nut. Fortunately he was well behaved in public... save for ONE time and we left immediately. I really don't get why people cannot control the kids. Planes, the grocery store, the movies, nice restaurants he was always an angel. The only place he acted up at was a children's museum, go figure. And again... we left as soon as he started those shenaigans

    October 13, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Sunflower2

      good for you! Rare to find good parents these days.

      October 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  9. Jana

    I think this is GREAT!!!! These restaurant owners have my full support & I hope that many more follow their example.

    October 13, 2013 at 9:40 am |
  10. Huskee

    KUDOS! But I would say 13+...a seven-yr old and a nine-yr old are the same, both young kids, so why stipulate 8+?. Any parents who feels this is discriminatory or unfair will eat elsewhere and that's the point! If I ran this establishment I would feel the same as this owner.

    October 13, 2013 at 1:46 am |
  11. BanEveryone

    The more I am thinking about this...Why stop at the kids! I would love a drunk free dining hour! Maybe an under 30 ban at certain times so "real" adults could enjoy a meal without drunk, loud, obnoxious college students and 20-somethings acting like idiots. Lets re-institute dress codes – ban piercings, visible tattoos from dining establishments as well – who wants to look at someones inked face, neck, arms etc while they are eating! Cell phones...lets ban them from restaurants as well. Nothing worse than trying to enjoy your meal while someone is yapping loudly on the phone at the next table.

    Hey wait a sec...maybe it is the parents like this that are causing the need to ban the children because they don't know how to behave as adults.

    October 12, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
  12. SimplyAwed

    I totally understand the reasoning behind this. I have had more than one meal ruined by unruly children not being controlled by their parents. It used to work to my son's benefit – he always is an angel in restaurants and has had strangers pay for a dessert (including restaurant managers) when kids at another table showcased horrible behavior. Their unruly brat-lings made my kid look fantastic! That said, as a parent I would never go to a restaurant that didn't allow children mainly because I don't go out to eat much and 90% of the times we do the kids are with us so a restaurant that banned kids would not be on our agenda...obviously!!! LOL When the kids are grown, I might consider it if I were going out for a romantic night on the town.

    October 12, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
  13. NyteShayde

    Good, go be outraged somewhere else for dinner. I get a quiet night out.

    October 12, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
  14. Name*mrs davis

    Such venom from some parents that don't think it's ok for a restaurant to choose not to serve young children after a certain time. Why the hostility? Hope ur not those that think that thier darling children running through a restaurant are sooo cute. These are the same parents that tell the school " not my Johnny.... ".

    October 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
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