I don’t know about you, but frigid temps make me crave comfort food. There’s a sad irony in the fact that January — when everyone sets their new year’s resolution goals — usually comes complete with weather that doesn’t entice you to jump up and say, yes! I’ll just have the salad, please!

Perhaps it’s not so ironic that January is the month Chef Bryan Voltaggio opened Volt Family Meal at the Inner Harbor. The concept? Comfort food with Voltaggio’s signature twist, designed with families in mind.

My mom, the Bug and I had a chance to check out the new family foodie haven last weekend for lunch. Hands down, the service at Family Meal is friendly and fabulous. From the moment we walked in, everyone was warm, friendly and mindful without being intrusive. We were greeted with crayons and coloring menu and our waiter immediately took the Bug’s order while the adults perused the menu — knowing how antsy hungry kids can get. {Yes, definitely scored mom points for attentiveness..}
kid-friendly dining in baltimore: volt family meal - (cool) progeny

The kids’ menu, aptly titled ‘happy camper menu,’ has your traditional kids food items: chicken tenders, cheeseburger + fries, grilled cheese + fries, spaghetti with tomato sauce + garlic bread. Each child entree comes with a green salad and applesauce that tastes like Grandma’s apple pie. (It was a hit all around.)
kid-friendly dining in baltimore: volt family meal - (cool) progeny

Lucky for us, the Bug is going through an epicurean adventure phase, so she was game to try something new. What does she do? She orders brussels sprouts off the ‘to share’ menu. I’ll be honest. I did the ‘are you really sure about that’ mom wince. The restaurant kindly sent over a few other items from the share menu for us to taste, including pimento mac + cheese and green bean casserole. Cozy foodie fun.
kid-friendly dining in baltimore: volt family meal - (cool) progeny

Brussels sprouts scored a home run with our Bug. She actually asked for seconds. And thirds. I think we’ll call that a ‘mom-win.’ Thanks, Chef!

Mac + Cheese? Not so much. You’ll notice it’s not on the kids’ menu and our kiddo is a mac + cheese purist. The adults, however, really liked the depth of flavor with both the pimento mac + cheese (must have been the tillamook cheddar) and green bean casserole (it’s not your grandma’s condensed soup version but it’ll evoke memories of Christmas dinner).
kid-friendly dining in baltimore: volt family meal - (cool) progeny

Mom ordered Family Meal’s infamous fried chicken (our waiter said that’s the dish everyone gets, although his favorite was the burger). It’s 100% worth the three extra miles on the treadmill and definitely lived up to the hype. Plus, it comes with pickles. How can you not like that?
kid-friendly dining in baltimore: volt family meal - (cool) progeny

I ordered a lobster roll and iced tea. A little bit of summer on a chilly January day. The tea blend was handcrafted by Voltaggio at a Frederick-based tea house and is freshly steeped in the restaurant. As delicious as it was on a cold day, it’s going to be that much more refreshing on a hot July afternoon.
kid-friendly dining in baltimore: volt family meal - (cool) progeny

We topped off our lunch with Smith Island Cake. Doesn’t get more Maryland than that.
kid-friendly dining in baltimore: volt family meal - (cool) progeny

Even though the restaurant has only been open a few weeks, there were tons of families dining there and a good number of strollers parked at the front door. Kid-friendly without the Fudrucker’s vibe. And you can get a handcrafted cocktail.

Definitely (cool) approved.
kid-friendly dining in baltimore: volt family meal - (cool) progeny

Volt Family Meal Baltimore

621 East Pratt Street
End of Pier IV
Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone:  410-601-3242
Hours: 7am-10pm, Monday through Sunday

GETTING THERE: Located at the end of Pier IV, it’s an easy walk from Pierce’s Park. Stroller parking is available and you have your choice of parking garages nearby (Pier V or Lockwood Garage are close).

COST: The menu is reasonably priced. Kids meals are $6.99 – $7.99, which includes applesauce and a green salad. Adult-sized lunch plates are $11.99 – $17.99. Shared items are $3.99 – $4.99 and are perfectly sized for a small party of 3-4.

FAMILY ACCESSIBILITY: As mentioned, the staff is great. Stroller parking is available by the hostess station. Both the men’s and women’s restrooms are equipped with changing stations.

KEEP ‘EM HAPPY:  Kids receive a crayons and coloring page when they arrive, and the Bug’s dish came out super quick. Might be worth bringing a busy bag or iPad if you’re hoping to linger over a cocktail.

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Editor’s Note: Many thanks to Volt Family Meal for inviting us to come for lunch!