Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants and More Places to Eat Near the National Mall in Washington, DC

There are several great places to eat with kids near the National Mall. Photo courtesy of Carmine's
There are several great places to eat with kids near the National Mall. Photo courtesy of Carmine's
3/1/24 - By Anna Fader

When people think of Washington, DC, the National Mall and Memorial Parks are typically the first place that comes to mind. Home to over 100 monuments and memorials, it tops our list of the best tourist attractions in DC. But finding good, kid-friendly food near the National Mall can be a real challenge—one you really don't need when you and your kids are hungry and tired from a long day of walking.

To help you fill your families' tummies fast, here are our favorite kid-friendly restaurants and other places to eat near the National Mall. From sit-down eateries to food trucks to museum cafes, all of these spots are within walking distance of the Mall.

For even more great places to eat with kids in our nation's capital, check out our Kid-Friendly DC Restaurants Guide.


Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants Near the National Mall in DC

1. Old Ebbitt Grill

Old Ebbitt Grill is one of the most famous restaurants in DC, in part because of its location across the street from the White House. Founded in 1856, it's also one of the city's most historic venues: It's DC's oldest saloon, frequented by several presidents including Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore Roosevelt. The menu is heavy on seafood, but there are also burgers and sandwiches, pastas, salads, and more, plus a kids' menu with various children's favorites.

2. The Hamilton

The Hamilton looks like a tourist trap, but the food's good and plentiful. The restaurant is huge, so getting a table without a reservation is easy, and it’s owned by the same people and offers a similar menu as Old Ebbitt Grill. The kids' menu features burgers, chicken tenders, mini cheese pizzas, mac and cheese, and pasta.

3. Cafe Berlin

In nice weather, grab a brat and a beer at Cafe Berlin's outdoor biergarten. Enjoy a Bavarian lunch or dinner that features a variety of German-inspired sandwiches and entrees, including schnitzel, sausages, and goulash.

4. Carmine's

Enjoy delicious Italian fare at the fun and bustling Carmine's, which serves up heaping plates of family-style food in DC's Penn Quarter, just a few blocks from the National Mall. Calamari, pasta, mouth-watering chicken dishes, scrumptious Italian cheesecake, and cannoli are just some of the treats found on this extensive menu.

5. Oyamel Cocina Mexicana

Located four blocks from the National Gallery of Art, this restaurant features a vibrant atmosphere and specializes in Mexican cuisine. Enjoy treats such as tacos, guacamole, enchiladas, and more, followed by sweet indulgences like flan and chocolate custard. Adults can also choose from unique margaritas or perk up with an espresso.

6. Hill Country Barbecue Market

This New York import is known for its delicious and mouthwatering BBQ, and the DC location is large and great for groups. Enjoy brisket, pulled pork, chicken, and more along with sides like cheddar mac and cheese, German potatoes, and fresh baked cornbread. Kids can get their own child-sized combo that includes a meat, a side, and a cookie.

RELATED: Kids Eat Free: 15 DC Area Restaurants with Free Meal Deals for Families

Grab a quick, tasty, and easy bite from one of many food trucks around the National Mall. Photo by Ted Eytan/CC BY 2.0

Quick Kid-Friendly Bites Near the National Mall

7. Food Trucks

All along 14th Street near the Washington Monument and 7th Street near the museums, you'll find a plethora of food trucks lined up daily with a huge range of offerings, from pizza and hot dogs to burritos and gyros. You'll even find sweet treats like ice cream. Pick what you like, then plop down on a bench or the grass for an easy and delicious picnic.

8. Shake Shack

This national chain, famous for its Shack Sauce, is wildly popular—and for good reason. The grilled burgers and crinkle-cut fries are delicious, and the frozen custard and shakes are hard to resist. With a location just four blocks from the National Mall, it's the perfect place to grab lunch or dinner while touring the monuments.

9. Mitsitam

Inside the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian is this renowned cafeteria offering a good variety of seasonal, indigenous foods. It’s the best place for a quick meal or snack without having to trek off the Mall. The menu includes items such as soups, lobster rolls, burgers and sandwiches, hot entrees including cedar-planked wild salmon and braised pork shanks, and a variety of dessert tarts.

10. The Pavilion Cafe

This lovely cafe is located inside the National Gallery of Art and overlooks the sculpture garden. Indulge in soups, hot or cold sandwiches, salads, and flatbreads. The children's menu (for diners 12 and under) features a hot dog and a turkey and cheese sandwich, both served with chips and a small juice.

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