The clatter of carts whizzing by the tables and the cacophonous conversations of extended Chinese families at this dim sum haven mask the squeals, shrieks and coos of the still-on-breastmilk set and provide a welcome distraction for bored toddlers. Stuff your own and your babes’ faces with little plates of hum bao, shu mai and roasted duck—the management doesn’t care if you make a mess, and if you have to split unexpectedly, just stop ordering.
3016 SE 82nd Ave., 771-2299, oceancityseafood.com.
Southeast Portland moms swear by this easygoing, farm-centric spot, which serves brunch daily. This is grown-up breakfast grub, from rich French toast with rhubarb compote and orange vanilla bean crème fraîche to asparagus, goat cheese and Swiss chard tarts, served with a side of crayons for scribbling on the butcher paper covering the tables. The kitchen will substitute soy milk, tofu or tempeh in most dishes, making feeding finicky small tummies easy.
5222 SE 52nd Ave., 774-1020, toastpdx.com.
A pint of excellent local organic ale for you, multiple playrooms packed with chalkboards, train tables, books and dinosaurs for the kids. At the original Powell location, there’s a big-kids menu with everything from burgers to apple slices and milk (there’s even organic baby food), while BikeBar offers 6-inch chewy pretzels, organic apple juice and chocolate-chip cookies.
2944 SE Powell Blvd., 232-4677; 3947 N Williams Ave., 287-6258, hopworksbeer.com.
This old-school Italian joint (it opened in 1959) specializes in giant vats of lasagna, gargantuan pizzas and strong cocktails. It offers free plates of spaghetti with tomato sauce for kids under 6 and a $3 children’s menu, so you can afford a third cocktail. Like an Olive Garden with a soul, Amalfi’s is always packed with grandmas and grandpas, a place where bland Muzak drowns out tantrums and dinners come with free ice cream.
4703 NE Fremont St., 284-6747, amalfisrestaurant.com.
Tasty N Sons
John Gorham may not consider his all-day brunch spot a family destination, but foodies with kids flock there anyway. The space is already loud, the staff doesn’t act like you just vomited on them when you ask for a high chair, and the plates are easy to portion out for kids. Have a bloody mary with bacon while you wait for a table and tell the kid you’ll let her have a chocolate potato doughnut if she tries two bites of the shakshuka.
3808 N Williams Ave., Suite C, 621-1400, tastynsons.com.