No kidding! Children not welcome to dine here
September 20th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
Share this on:

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’.”

More from Food & Wine:
Pilgrimage-Worthy Restaurants
Napa Valley Wineries to Visit
America’s Greatest Brunch Spots
Best Chicken Dishes in the U.S.
Best Burgers in the U.S.

Cafe owner faces mom backlash after crumby Facebook post
Autism, dining out and a side of kindness
The waitress, the autistic girl and the broken hamburger
When crying kids disrupt dinner, who ends up paying the price?
Are some diners facing discrimination?
I scream. You scream. Some of us scream for scream-free restaurants
Make your kid more restaurant-friendly

© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

Posted by:
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 |
  15. Maggie

    There"s nothing Worse than having kids throwing tantrums & running around while trying to enjoy your meal. Most of if it I blame on the parents. If my kids had acted like that ,they would never have eaten out in public.

    October 12, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
  16. USVNVet

    What's so horrible about this?

    Once in a while I'd like to eat someplace where there are no children running around, screaming and generally making dinner a not so nice experience.

    Perhaps if more parents controlled their kids this wouldn't be necessary.

    We don't go out often and the last time my husband and I went out to eat the couple next to us who had 4 kids (that were IMHO out of control) allowed their kids to throw food at each other, they were running around screaming and one came up and stuck his hand in my food (BTW his hand was filthy and he got yelled at by me) and his parents were upset that I yelled at their little darling.

    I understand what it's like taking 4 kids to a restaurant but if you can't control your children then you need to either leave or go places that are child friendly (like McDonald). My kids weren't perfect but before we went out, my kids were given rules. If they got too rowdy and a trip to the bathroom for a talk didn't work, we got our food to go and we left.

    October 12, 2013 at 4:01 am |
    • Canuck (Canadian) Person

      Out of curiosity USVNVet when the parents got upset did you tell them that you don't care if you upset them by yelling at their kid or did you tell them that it's their fault that their kids were out of control?

      November 3, 2013 at 7:20 am |
  17. jeff

    Isn't this age discrimination?

    October 10, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Rob

      No, we are not saying that because you are a certain age you can't eat in a restaurant just that you can't eat in a particular adult themed restaurant. I am sure if the waitresses were topless or the music was rage against the machine you would have no age discrimination issues but what about the right to quietly have dinner without someone else disturbing you by forcing you to be exposed to misbehaving children? Parents still amaze me with the lack of thought process when allowing their kids in certain places. I was at dinner the other night, sitting at a 2 seat table in the bar area of a nice restaurant, not even some place I would say bar children from but still the bar area. This couple comes in and sits their two children right up at the bar. The bartender tells them, "Excuse me your children can't sit at the bar" and the parents argue that the 16-18yo hostess said it would be fine and still argued after the bartender explained that in the state of MD it is illegal for a minor to sit at the bar. Now I ask, what parent in their right mind would put their 9-10 yo kid up on a bar stool in a bar full of adults on a Thursday night during NFL season!? Our society has truly gone down the drain.

      October 11, 2013 at 1:51 am |
      • katt

        I once witnessed people having their 8-year-old's birthday party at a bar. Nothing surprises me any longer.

        October 12, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  18. BK Moore

    I think more restaurants should implement the "no children after 8" policy. Nothing kills your game on a date like screaming children (unless it's a crappy DJ, well yeah, that can kill the mood too). But kids? hell, they better stay out of my stash. (Seriously, if you breed 'em, you gotta feed 'em, but those of us who live litter-free shouldn't have to deal with it.)
    – 10/10/2013 BK Moore, Rogue CNN Correspondent

    October 10, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • jeff

      So you were never a kid? Wow, I'm impressed.

      October 10, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
      • Huskee

        So we've all been kids so all kids should always be allowed in bars without age stipulations? An extreme question begets an equally-extreme question in return. No kids in bars after 7. You don't like, you go elsewhere.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:48 am |
    • jeff

      Oh, and who is going to be paying for your sorry ass and taking are of you when you're old. Sounds like you had a bad childhood. That's too bad. You might want to seek counseling.

      October 10, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
      • Crocky

        I'm sure that this gentleman has thought about that and saved accordingly...and there are places such as assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities where kids dump their parents all the time and don't bother to visit them at all.

        Having a kid gives people no guarantee that they'll have someone to take care of them when they're old and infirmed.

        October 11, 2013 at 8:53 am |
  19. waitnonasunnyday

    I don't want to pay to have dinner with your brats. I don't want to see them or hear them. Feed them at home until they are at least 8.

    October 10, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
  20. Mrs D

    Unfortunately not everyone raises thier children with manners.. If they did this would not be an issue. I too raised my children to have impecable table manners. I dont believe it is approriate for unruly children in fine dining establishments. If the parents dont want to teach them appropriate behavior then they should not take them out to restaurants and ruin someone elses meal. Just my opinion. I can imagine how most of these kids are going to behave as adults... scary.

    October 10, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
  21. OrlandoRestaurant

    Add Christini's in Orlando to the list. When I moved here 10 years ago with my 4 year old son, I who dines out often was looking forward to going to this restaurant until I saw the placard on the door that children were not allowed. I said something to the manager and have boycotted, never eaten there dont plan to.

    October 10, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Stay Away

      You're the kind of error IT people deal with all day: ID 10 T

      October 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Huskee

      I'm sure they care. Do you not realize they win? They don't want you and your "WelI I never!" attitude. No kids after 7, eat elsewhere. And whine all you want, your kids will grow up just like you.

      October 13, 2013 at 1:50 am |
    • SB

      THANK YOU!!! I live inj Orlando and have ben looking for a good restaurant to take my girlfriend, away from big fat kids with little annoying children. Christinis is my new spot!

      October 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
  22. dirksterdude

    Kids are great as long as they are yours. If they are not yours they are irritating in more than just restaurants. I have little or no patience for children that are misbehaving in such a setting. I don't go to a restaurant to listen to a kid make noise or be annoying. Of course I don't do or say anything, except decide whether I want to frequent said restaurant again. There are 2 or 3 places I used to go that now I refuse to go even in special occasions such as Christmas, Birthdays, Independence Day, etc.

    October 10, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Steven

      My wife and have been out a few times in the last year, with and without our children. Fortunately, our children have been raised to be well-behaved in public, with silliness and pettiness simply not to be tolerated. Lately, on several occasions, I have seen adults act worse than any children. And it is not always the type of people one might expect to act out of line. When adults act the fool in public it is far worse than a crying baby. Kids may have something of an excuse for childlike behavior, grown adults do not. Lust a point, good day.

      October 10, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
      • J brown

        "silliness is not tolerated"? What's a childhood without a little silliness? :-(

        October 16, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
        • David

          Obviously he meant silliness was not allowed in the restaurant. There is a time in place for everything.

          October 25, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  23. Christie

    When our children were young, we would take them out at "off hours" (4:00 for dinner) and asked to be sat away from people, so we could teach them how to act in a restaurant. By the time they were 3-7 (4 of them) They were able to go to any restaurant and act better than many adults.
    That was us.....
    It seems that eating out these days is more of a "common" thing than it was for us when our children were small. It was special!
    I do not like going out on a date with my husband and listening to screaming, out of control children.
    One time, a group of kids were RUNNING through a Mexican restaurant and throwing DOUGH BALLS they stole from the tortilla machine!
    One of them landed in our food.
    Unfortunately this was a group of people who were eating out after church and we were too.
    I walked over to their table and as graciously as possible told them that they were causing harm to the name of Christianity their children were so misbehaved.
    They didn't care!
    And THAT is why restaurants are shutting out kids; parents who do not care!
    It is sad.
    As a mother to 8 children, when I go on a rare date, the LAST thing I want to hear is an out of control child.
    Eating out is NOT a right, it is a privilege.
    If I find a restaurant that has a no children after 7 policy.... I'll go there, and applaud them for being sensitive to all.
    Serving the little ones before 7 and those who wish to eat in peace and enjoy atmosphere after 7!
    If you don't like it? Teach your children how to behave in public!

    October 9, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • Crystal

      Well said! Wish more restaurants would catch on to the trend! Personally, I would not mind if they made it 6pm. We frequent a local bar and grill some nights simply because they don't allow anyone under 21, it doesnt hurt that they have good food, but the draw for most is the no children and the entertainment.

      October 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  24. A72Cut

    Inept cook that I am, I eat out a lot. My friends and I visit all sorts of restaurants from simple, inexpensive places to a few very nice places. I think a great rule of thumb would be that if it has a drive-through, a cartoon mascot, or a kids menu; the more the merrier.

    If it has a bar; NOT!

    October 9, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
  25. Gery Horan

    My mom had six of us, three boys and three girls, and each and every one of us could be trusted to behave at a restaurant because we were all explicitly TAUGHT MANNERS which we learned by first practicing them at the dinner table at home. So many people today, don't even sit down as a family at home to eat a meal. How are kids going to learn if they don't first practice manners at home? We had to ask to be excused from our own dinner table, and if everyone wasn't finished their meal, the answer was no you may not, and you waited politely until everyone had finished. You were expected to be able to carry on polite conversation and tell what you had done in school that day, or talk about what book you were reading, how you did on your history test, etc. On the rare occasion that all of us went out to eat together, it was a treat. Even for lower end dining (not McDonald's but a restaurant like Chili's or the equivalent) we were expected to dress in clean, nice, casual clothes which did not include jeans and tee-shirts, so that we appreciated that we were going out and that it was special.

    If on an incredibly rare occasion, any one of us started to argue or fight with a sibling (and I'm talking if your were lucky if you got a word or two out before my mom swooped in) , or if we ever thought to get out of our chair at a restaurant, we would immediately be taken out of the restaurant by one of our parents. It was a sign of pride for my mother that we could be trusted anywhere and we were praised by our parents for good behavior. Go figure, we actually LIKED hearing that our parents were proud of us and we all tried really hard to make them proud when we went out.

    I have two kids. I taught them exactly the same way I was taught, and both of them could be taken just about anywhere although it did take more practice for my daughter who is more boisterous by nature than my son. We handled it just like my mom did. If she couldn't sit nicely and use her manners, mom took her out, and dad and her brother finished at the restaurant alone. She figured it out pretty rapidly after being removed and missing dessert just a time or two! I think I was just as proud of them for learning good manners as my mom was of us and I've got to say, if I hadn't grown up being taught by my mom's example, I don't know if my two would have turned out as well behaved as they did. I had older parents being the youngest of the brood, and I wonder if today's parents really are as clueless as they seem because they weren't lucky enough to have good examples when they themselves were young.

    October 9, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
1 2 3 4 5
| Part of