Casual dining in Massachusetts is a tasty and fun option for families

Everyone -- perhaps especially families with children -- likes to dine at a casual restaurant, diner, or drive-in on occasion, particularly on a vacation. Massachusetts has plenty of great restaurants serving American and traditional New England food that serve inexpensive and good food.

Check out more great dining experiences at our VNE Blog!
Pretzels and Beer - Harpoon Boston Brewery - Boston, MA
Harpoon Boston Brewery

306 Northern Avenue Boston, MA, 02210 Phone: 617-456-2322

Piping hot pizza, freshly made pretzels the perfect accompaniments to brewery’s beer, cider, seltzer

Is a glass of beer really complete without a pretzel – or a pizza? At the Harpoon Brewery in Boston, the answer is: Why risk it? While you’re enjoying your fresh IPA or Craft Cider or Arctic Chill Hard Seltzer (or, better yet, a flight of beers you choose), you can also dig in to the brewery’s famous Seaport Square pizza, a large, hearty, Sicilian-cut square pizza. Order plain cheese, pepperoni, veggie or with sausage, pepper and onion. As for fresh pretzels, handmade in the kitchen daily, you can get them with ale mustard, IPA cheese, bacon ranch or garlic parmesan butter (There’s even a cinnamon sugar pretzel for the sweet tooth!). Make new friends at communal tables, bring your own group to your own table or grab a seat at the bar.
Colorful Cocktails - Salem Waterfront Hotel - Salem, MA
Salem Waterfront Hotel

225 Derby Street Salem, MA, 01970 Phone: 978-740-8788 Toll-Free: 888-337-2536

Friendly atmosphere, waterfront location and great food – this pub has it all

At the Regatta Pub & Patio at the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites, the atmosphere is as delightful as the food. Enjoy inside dining in the warm, friendly pub, or have a bite and a brew outside on the patio. In the evenings, fire pits and fire towers provide a happy glow – and so do the varied menu selections. For lunch or dinner, start with pork pot stickers, mahi-mahi tacos or New England clam chowder. Entrees include a seafood Cobb salad, lobster roll, fish and chips and the popular Witch City turkey sandwich. Drinks include wicked rum punch or a season-inspired martini as well as a large beer and wine selection. There’s a special menu for kids at all three meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Coffee at the Zoo - Southwick's Zoo - Mendon, MA
Southwick’s Zoo

2 Southwick Street Mendon, MA, 01756 Phone: 800-258-9182

Casual, friendly restaurant and tavern serves up New England favorites to zoo-goers

When you head out to the Blackstone Valley to visit the animals and go on the rides at Southwick’s Zoo, make a day of it with a visit to Galliford’s Restaurant & Tavern! At Galliford’s, we take pride in serving upscale New England fare made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. From our signature Bourbon Steak Tips and Pan Seared Salmon to our rustic, hand-crafted pizzas, there's something for everyone on our extensive menu.
Our cozy and welcoming atmosphere is perfect for families, couples, and friends looking to share a special meal together. With attentive service from our friendly staff, you'll feel right at home from the moment you walk in the door. At Galliford’s, everyone is family!
Outdoor Dining Firepit - Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club - Brewster, MA
Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club

2907 Main Street (Route 6A) Brewster, MA, 02631 Phone: 508-896-9000 Toll-Free: 800-343-6074

Elevated coastal cuisine served at resort’s scenic restaurants, taverns, terraces

Oh, the places you can eat at the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club! Do you want flavorful bar cuisine in the cozy English-inspired Balzo’s Pub where you can watch the big game or listen to live music? Or do you want a more refined dining experience with elevated New England fare at the Ocean Terrace, with a spectacular view of Cape Cod Bay? Maybe you’re seeking lite bites and mini lobster sliders under a tent on the Front Lawn, or frozen drinks and kid-friendly sandwiches at the Shark Bah at the Arbor Pool. Golfers enjoy sunny al fresco lunches at the Linx Tavern Bar, and resort guests often end their summer days at the Beach Bar atop the dunes, watching the sun set over the bay.
Lobster Crusted Cod New - Dan'l Webster Inn and Spa - Sandwich Village, MA
Dan'l Webster Inn and Spa

149 Main Street Historic Sandwich Village, MA, 02563 Phone: Toll-Free: 855-520-0550

From the tavern to the glassed-in conservatory, dining at this inn is an experience not to be missed

You have your choice of places for delightful dining at the Dan’l Webster Inn & Spa: And all of them are exceptional. Experience the fusion of regional and organic ingredients in the one-of-a-kind glass-enclosed Conservatory or by sunlight or moonlight in the Marshview Terrace or patio. Relax with a burger and a brew in the Tavern at the Inn, where Daniel Webster visited when it was a tap room. Or, enjoy candle-lit, fireside dining in the cozy Music and Webster Rooms. Savor tender prime rib as well as creative dishes inspired by the Cape’s bountiful seafood. The inn’s wine cellar has received the Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. And don’t forget dessert, with confections including carrot coconut cake and key lime pie.
Champney's Restaurant & View of the Bar 500x250 - Deerfield Inn - Deerfield, MA
Deerfield Inn

81 Old Main Street Deerfield, MA, 01342 Phone: 413-774-5587

Classic New England dining experience at this inviting inn’s restaurant, tavern

Providing classic comfort food as well as innovative flavors to surprise your tastebuds, Champney’s restaurant and tavern at the historic Deerfield Inn offers that inviting New England dining experience. Seasonal dinners, lunches and breakfasts are based on what’s fresh from local farms, artisans and other purveyors. Choose chicken pot pie, slow-roasted turkey dinners, fish and chips or Norwegian salmon, among many exceptional entrees. Enjoy a creative cocktail by the fire or chat with guests and locals with a glass of wine or a local brew at the magnificent mahogany bar. Special nights have special deals on pizzas, burgers, oysters and prime rib, and there are a variety of budget-friendly family meals to go. Watch for special dining events like the yearly Robert Burns Dinner.
Common Breakfast 500x250 - Harbor Light Inn - Marblehead, MA
Harbor Light Inn

58 Washington Street Marblehead, MA, 01945 Phone: 781-631-2186

Popular tavern a welcome retreat for inn’s guests to relax, plan their day’s activities

Cozy and welcoming, the tavern at the Harbor Light Inn is the perfect spot to relax in after a day spent exploring Marblehead, Salem and the North Shore of Massachusetts Bay. Sit in a comfortable chair and relax with a glass of wine, beer or a cordial while you talk about tomorrow’s plans. The popular tavern also serves a variety of bar bites, including shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, buffalo chicken bites, Philly cheesesteak egg rolls and a cheese and fruit platter. The inn also provides individual breakfast trays to each guest every morning, with a selection of house-made hot items like quiches and breakfast casseroles, as well as fresh fruit, baked sweet breads, homemade granola and, on the weekend, creme brûlée French toast.
Fine Dining - Mirbeau Inn & Spa - Plymouth, MA
Mirbeau Inn & Spa Plymouth

35 Landmark Drive Plymouth, MA, 02360 Phone: 508-209-2626 Toll-Free: 877-647-2328

Multiple dining options at luxury inn and spa inspired by aura and menus of French bistros

Inspired by the creative menus and atmosphere of French bistros, dining at Mirbeau Inn & Spa Plymouth is both casual and elegant, with selections to please every palate and settings to delight every sensibility. The dining room of the Bistro & Wine Bar features seasonal, locally sourced options, from butter warmed split lobster tail to grilled rack of lamb and steak frites. Desserts include beignets, profiteroles and housemate sorbets. The bistro serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and a bountiful brunch on Sundays. The Garden Bar offers al fresco dining (try the champagne and grilled brochettes) among the inn’s Monet Pond and gardens. Other dining venues include the Aqua Terrace, solarium and, in season, outdoor shady spots under umbrellas. In-room dining is also available.
Mirbeau accolades include Forbes Travel Guide recognition, AAA Four Diamonds and Conde Nast Top 20 Resorts in New England and Top 100 Hotels and Resorts in the World.
Chicken & Waffles for Brunch - Greater Merrimack Valley MA
Greater Merrimack Valley

61 Market Street, Unit 1C Lowell, MA, 01852 Phone: 978-459-6150

Great options for delicious dining close to cultural venues in downtown Lowell

Dine in style – or, rather in one of many styles – near downtown Lowell’s cultural, historic and entertainment venues. Enjoy the ambiance, magnificent architecture and hand-cut steaks at Cobblestones in a building that dates back to 1859. Walk on cobblestoned streets to Fuse Bistro in the old firehouse building, where they specialize in upscale flavors in a casual setting. See why the locals love Worthen House Caffe, Lowell’s oldest bar, where Poe and Kerouac stopped by. The largest variety of Greek food in New England is served up at the Athenian Corner Restaurant, where there’s also Greek and Middle Eastern music and bellydancers on Saturdays. And it’s all about the hot java and wholesome American meals at Four Sisters Owl Diner, located in a vintage Worcester Lunch Car.
Grove Restaurant - Briar Barn Inn - Rowley, MA - Photo Credit Kim Crawford
Briar Barn Inn

101 Main Street Rowley, MA, 01969 Phone: 978-653-5323

Diners treated to creative regional classics served in a welcoming, light-filled space

Extraordinary dining in a rustic but elegant setting: That’s what awaits you at this inn’s on-site restaurant, Grove, at Briar Barn Inn. Both locals and guests have fallen in love with Grove’s open-concept, light-filled dining room, with hardwood floors and exposed beams. And they love the cuisine, too: seasonal menu offerings from an award-winning chef focusing on farm-fresh ingredients, inspired flavors and regional classics with creative twists. You might start your meal with street corn or an apple salad, moving on to cioppino or steak frites. Dessert might be a chocolate caramel tart or cinnamon bread pudding. Cocktails are classic, beers are local, and there’s a vibrant wine list. Weekend brunches feature breakfast pizzas, biscuits and gravy and Bloody Mary flights.
Outdoor Dining Patio 500x250 - Cape Codder Resort & Spa - Hyannis, MA
Cape Codder Resort & Spa

1225 Iyannough Road Hyannis, MA, 02601 Phone: 855-861-4370

Creative, made-from-scratch cooking at this lively resort’s two restaurants

At the Cape Codder Resort & Spa, you’ll be able to see for yourself why locals and tourists have raved for generations about the Hearth ’n Kettle restaurant. The restaurant is known for its hearty, made-from-scratch cooking for breakfast, lunch and dinner (you’ll want to seriously consider the turkey dinner or Yankee pot roast). The resort’s other restaurant, the Grand Cru, is a great place to get a handcrafted pizza or creative Italian entree on the weekend. Stop in for a light bite or complete meal, a glass from the carefully selected wine list or a seasonal cocktail. There’s live jazz, blues and popular music, too. Another dining option at the resort: the Gazebo Cafe in the fabulous water park.
Casual Dining - Hotel on North - Pittsfield, MA
Hotel on North

297 North Street Pittsfield, MA, 01201 Phone: 413-358-4741

Creative culinary offerings can be found at this boutique hotel’s casual-dining restaurant

Come see why the Berkshire Palate, in the Hotel on North, is such a popular gathering place for hotel guests and locals. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant features the freshest ingredients, locally sourced when possible, to create dishes that satisfy the goals of their mission statement: respecting the ingredients as well as the patrons consuming them. The seasonal menu for fall, for example, might include squash and apple bisque, pork bolognese, roasted duck breast with warm fig compote and red wine short ribs. If variety is the spice of life, you’ll find it here, from baba ganoush and fig and walnut salad to bistro burgers, crispy calamari and scrumptious wings. Enjoy a cocktail at the bar (or in the hotel’s birdcage elevator!).
Faneuil Hall Marketplace - Boston, MA - Photo Credit Brian Dusza
Faneuil Hall Marketplace

1 South Market Street Boston, MA, 02109 Phone: 617-523-1300

Faneuil Hall Marketplace is Boston’s hottest, newest old spot for dining and entertaining. Full service restaurants include Ned Devine's Irish Pub, Salty Dog Oyster Bar & Grill, and Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville®, and merchants on the Collonade include Jen Lai Noodle & Rice, the Boston & Maine Fish Company, and Aris BBQ. It’s always a festival with free entertainment and incredible shopping.