5 Tips for Eating In Boston with Kids

1. Always Tip

Waiters in the US don’t make minimum wage and depend on tips. And they work hard for that money, checking in on your often and constantly bringing you cold water. It’s customary to tip 15-20% of the entire bill. Unlike in Europe, tipping happens after you pay the bill. If paying by card, there will be a line for you to write your tip, and do the math. If paying by cash, it’s ok to leave the cash on the table. If you are a large group of people, usually six or more, you may automatically be charged a tip of 18%. Always double check to make sure you’re not tipping twice, or not at all.

2. Split Your Entrees

The food in restaurants in Boston (and generally the US) is pretty huge. And somewhat expensive if you’re in the touristy areas. Since we’re not fans of wasting food, ask about the size of the portions before ordering for everyone. Most restaurants will gladly provide smaller portions for kids or will let you split orders. When we split an entrée, we usually tip a little more to make up for the difference the waiter would have made had we ordered more food.

3. Drink and Eat Local

There are so many new businesses in Boston, from breweries to bakeries, farms and sodas, so ask your waiter what some of the local options are. Most waiters are only too happy to help you make a decision or give you more information about your order, because, well, they need that tip. Plus, you get to try something that you may not otherwise have the chance to. And supporting the local economy is always a good idea. 

4. Find Food Trucks and Farmer's Markets

Ok, maybe you’re skeeved out by food trucks. But then think about all those crushed up snacks in your kids’ car seat. And how they always seem to be crunching on…something. We promise the food trucks are way better than found food.  food trucks that are along the Rose Kennedy Greenway (and near South Station), in Charlestown’s Navy Yard and elsewhere. The range of food is incredibly diverse, and absolutely delicious, and you’re supporting up and coming chefs. Just be prepared for the long lines during peak lunch hour (11:30am-1:30 pm). During the summer months, there will also be farmer’s markets near South Station and Copley Square where you can get delicious bread, cheese and fruits and veggies. Bring your reusable bag, buy some yumminess, and go for a picnic in a park. 

5. Eat at Grocery Stores

Eating out with the family can add up in Boston.  The grocery stores in the US are pretty large and the amount of choices can be overwhelming for Europeans, but one of the great things is they have space for food bars and in-store dining. And honestly, what kid doesn’t love a buffet? Roche Brothers in Downtown Crossing has a tremendous selection at their hot and cold food bars as well as take away options downstairs. Star Market in Copley also has lots of options.