Now that the sun has finally decided to grace us with its presence, it’s time to think about one of the biggest joys of the warm weather months: outdoor dining.
There are plenty of places to dine outside in and around Charm City, and though some are best reserved for date nights sans kids, many are ideal for dining as a family.
These are a few of our favorites (in alphabetical order):
10 Places to Dine Outside with Kids in Baltimore
Donna’s Café at Cross Keys
The Village of Cross Keys | 5100 Falls Rd., Baltimore | 410-532-7611 | website
There’s something about Donna’s that just feels easy (and easy is key when the whole family is involved). The menu is familiar – the place has been around forever, after all. The food is always good and with dishes like grilled cheese and pizza, it’ll make even picky eaters happy. And the patio is as charming as it gets. Whether you’re seated at a table under the overhang, shielded from the sun by an umbrella on the patio, or you grab a spot on the low-slung sofa, you’ll be in a prime spot.
Baltimore Museum of Art | 10 Art Museum Dr., Baltimore | 410-889-3399 | website
Gertrude’s status as the in-house restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art means that whether you’re seated inside or out, you’ll be treated to an appealing view. But the outside area, overlooking the museum’s sculpture garden, is one of the loveliest spots in the city. It is one of the more sophisticated places on this list – both the space and the menu, with its global spin on Chesapeake cuisine, are probably most appropriate for slightly older kids. In addition to dinner, the restaurant also does a brisk brunch and lunch business and it is open during the mid-afternoon on weekends – prime time to squeeze in a museum visit and early dinner.
Gunther & Co.
3650 Toone St., Baltimore | 443-869-6874 | website
Gunther & Co. is well-known for its gorgeous interior, but its outdoor patio is just as dreamy – a combination of brick and greenery that blends its urban location with the magic of nature. The patio is anchored on one side by a bar – it’s a prime happy hour spot – but the restaurant is also quite kid-friendly: its kids’ menu is one of the more interesting around town. With options like a petit steak and grilled shrimp, it acknowledges that kids might have smaller appetites, but they can still be adventurous eaters.
McFaul’s IronHorse Tavern
2260 Cromwell Bridge Rd., Parkville | 410-828-1625 | website
Located in the old Sanders Corner building on a shady stretch of Cromwell Bridge Road, McFaul’s has plenty of indoor space, plus an outdoor deck overlooking the woods and the NCR trail. McFaul’s is open for all three meals including, as a bonus for parents who want to get their weekends started early, the restaurant opens at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday, offering a fun breakfast menu that will make kids cheer (tater tots with cheese sauce, anyone?).
Mt. Washington Tavern
5700 Newbury St., Baltimore | 410-367-6903 | website
Sitting under the sun or stars on the Mt. Washington Tavern’s SkyBar is such a pleasure. On one side, the patio offers a birds-eye view of downtown Mt. Washington. On the other, you can peer into the restaurant through doors framed by seasonal greenery. The Tavern is fun for adults, but it’s also a wonderful spot for kids, with a menu stocked with time-honored kid classics like grilled cheese and pasta.
(Pictured above is their crabcake sandwich!)
1703 Aliceanna St., Baltimore | 410-299-8480 | website
The queso can’t be beat, the tacos are terrific and, though they’re not kid-approved, the margaritas are stellar. But one of the best things about Papi’s Tacos in Fells Point isn’t on the menu at all: it’s the patio that sits behind the restaurant. The walled courtyard isn’t large – it’s just big enough for a handful of tables – but if you manage to nab one, you’re lucky indeed.
301 W. 29th St., Baltimore | 443-347-3570 | website
With ten different food options, including everything from pizza to rice bowls, and a cool, open seating floor plan (including some scaled down tables and chairs designed just for kids), the Remington food hall R. House is one of the most family-friendly places to eat in town. Sleek patios flank the building on two sides and garage-style doors let the outdoors in, so it feels like you’re dining outside even when you have a roof over your head.
Stone Mill Bakery Café
Green Spring Station | 10751 Falls Rd., Lutherville | 410-821-1358 | website
Stone Mill Bakery’s cafe, in Green Spring Station, is famous for its soups, sandwiches and – of course – bread, but it deserves just as much attention for its pretty outdoor seating area, settled into the garden outside the restaurant. Stone Mill also has toys for kids to play with and it’s just a hop and a skip to Meadowood Park, a perfect place to stop pre- or post-meal.
Miss Shirley’s Café
Locations in the Inner Harbor, Roland Park and Annapolis | website
With it’s uber-kid-friendly menu (all that breakfast food!) and fun overall vibe, it’s no surprise that Miss Shirley’s is a go-to spot for families with kids of all ages. When it’s warm, each of the café’s three locations outfits its outdoor space is stocked with clusters of outdoor tables topped with umbrellas in Miss Shirley’s signature orange, making it easy to soak in a little sunshine with your side of savory grits. Plus their Kids’ Bento Box meals offer lots of variety (and, most importantly, the fruit doesn’t touch the chicken fingers!).
641 S. Montford Ave., Baltimore | 410-522-1000 | website
There’s not much more kid-friendly fare than pizza, but Verde’s take on Neapolitan pie is thoughtful enough that it won’t feel like you’re pandering to young appetites. The restaurant’s location on a corner in the heart of Canton means that outdoor space is at a premium. But with a handful of tables scattered along the sidewalk, Verde’s outdoor dining is the ultimate in city al fresco.
SUMMER PASSPORT HOLDER DEAL
Are you participating in our 2018 Summer Passport program? Take your Passport to Miss Shirley’s for 50% off a kids’ bento box meal with the purchase of an adult entree!