Thursday, July 11, 2013

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10 of Our Favorite Family-Friendly Restaurants In and Near Framingham (#cbias)


My side of the family consists of many generations of food-lovers.  Luckily, almost everyone in my family is genetically prone to being thin.  When my husband joined our family, he fit right in, as did our 3 children.  For those who live near or are visiting the MetroWest area of Massachusetts, here is a list of our favorite restaurants located in or around Framingham for dining in or ordering takeout.  All of the establishments listed below are family restaurants, with some being especially kid-friendly.


10 Favorite Family-Friendly Restaurants in Framingham . . .

1.  J&M Diner - There are very few restaurants in the area that serve breakfast, so J&M Diner is a local gem.  This family-owned diner serves breakfast and lunch every weekday, breakfast only on the weekends, and is only closed on Christmas day.  The pajama-clad J&M Diner owners and staff treat their patrons like family and serve delicious cooked to order food.  Both my husband and I always order our usuals, mine being the Western Sandwich (no cheese) with home fries and a side of bacon.  Our children are pancake people and always have trouble deciding between one of the J&M Diner limited edition specials, like the M&M Bacon Pancakes, and a classic, such as chocolate chip pancakes.  Remember to stop by the ATM on the way to eat because this restaurant is cash-only.  (kids menu, coloring/activity place mats & crayons) 969 Concord St. (Rte. 126), Framingham, MA

2.  The Villa Restaurant - This family restaurant serves Italian American cuisine.  My husband and I have dined here many times during our date nights, but we have also have brought our children with us several times.  My favorite thing to order is the Baked Stuffed Shrimp, but there is also pizza, pasta, steak, and much more.  You can checkout The Villa Restaurant's menu online, including their Weeknight and Sunday Family Specials.  (kids menu, coloring/activity place mats & crayons) 124 East Plain St., Wayland, Massachusetts

3.  Five Guys Burgers and Fries - This is our family's favorite go-to burger restaurant for dining-in or grabbing food to go.  Each member of the family has his or her own favorites, such as bacon cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon, and bacon-wrapped hot dogs.  (Yes, we are bacon-lovers.)  Each item is cooked to order, so you can order your burger with as little or as many topping as you like.  The french fries at Five Guys are also excellent.  We order take-out from Five Guys so often that my husband has an app on his phone where he can place the identical order as last time in just seconds.  If you dine-in, there are complimentary in-shell peanuts, which our children love as much for a fun activity as an appetizer.  (online ordering available) 301 Cochituate Rd (Rte. 30), Framingham, MA

4.  Taste of China - This is our go-to restaurant for Chinese takeout delivered.  We have never actually eaten in the restaurant.  From the outside, the restaurant seems like a small establishment.  Although this restaurant serves American Chinese food, it also offers some more authentic Chinese food.  One of my family's favorite dishes is the Salt and Pepper Shrimp, one of their Chefs Specialties.  You can checkout the Taste of China menu online.  (delivery available) 855 Worcester Rd., Framingham, MA

5.  Terra Brasilis Restaurant - My family had only recently discovered this restaurant, which offers a Brazilian food buffet.  This restaurant sells their food by weight.  Although we have dined in the restaurant before, our favorite thing to do is have my husband run in to get our favorite items to-go on the way home from work.  It is a super-quick and delicious dinner solution because the food is already prepared, hot, and ready-to-eat.  One of my children's favorite items from the buffet is the bacon-wrapped chicken.  264 Waverly St., Framingham, MA

6.  Anastasia's Oven & Grill - This is another of our favorite take-out delivery restaurants.  Although Anastasia's has delicious pizzas and sub sandwiches, they also offer other things, such as steak tip dinners, fried potato balls, gyros, wings, pasta dishes, and more.  My family loves ordering from this restaurant because of the variety of food and we can all be happy if we are in the mood for different things. Two of my favorite things to order are the steak tip sub and a bacon, mushroom, and onion pizza! (delivery available) 12 Union Ave., Framingham, MA

7.  Mad Willie's - This ice cream shop and restaurant changed ownership in 2012, but remains a family-owned business.  In addition to the delicious ice cream and frozen yogurt offered here, there are a few lunch and dinner items available, such as lobster rolls (in different sizes), bean or macaroni salad, jumbo hot dogs (jumbo is an understatement), chili cheese dogs, and more.  The quality of the ice cream and food items are excellent.  My favorite thing to order is the small lobster roll followed by a Snickers soft serve kiddie cup.  Needless to say, Mad Willie's is one of our children's favorite places to eat.  This restaurant closes for the winter, but reopens each year in March.  963 Worcester Rd., Framingham, MA

8.  Fusion Cuisine - This restaurant offers a variety of Asian cuisine, including Chinese, Thai, and Japanese.  The food is authentic and the dinner menu will offer you a chance to try new things, such as a variety of sushi.  Fusion does have a bar at the center of it, but many of its patrons are families like mine.  The Hong Kong Style Steak Fillets, the Spicy Fried Pork Chops, and the Crispy Tofu Puffs are among my favorite things on the menu. (available for private parties) 12 Pond St., Ashland, MA

9.  Panera Bread - This is a great place to eat if you like high quality gourmet sandwiches.  There are lots of healthy choices on the menu for sandwiches, soups, salads, fruit, and more for both adults and children.  Our children especially like the Grilled Cheese sandwiches and the squeezable organic yogurt from the Panera Kids menu.  My favorite is the Tomato & Mozzarella Panini.  Of course, I cannot forget to mention the Panera bakery, which offers fresh bread, breakfast sandwiches, bagels, souffl├ęs, pastries, and cookies.  Our children talk about the gingerbread men cookies we buy during the Holidays from the Panera bakery all year long until the Holidays are upon us again. (kids menu) 400 Cochituate Rd. (Rte. 30), Framingham, MA

10.  Tennessee's - This restaurant serves Southern-style barbecue.  Although I am not a fan of certain Southwestern spices, my husband and all 3 children love the food at Tennessee's.  Our children are huge fans of the corn dogs, macaroni and cheese, and corn bread, while my husband usually orders burritos.  My favorite item on the menu is the cucumber salad, but I've also enjoyed Tennessee's award-winning Memphis Ribs.  This restaurant has a relaxed casual setting and serves locally brewed soda on tap, as well as Mercury Brewing Company's beer and bottled soda pop. (kids menu) 341 Cochituate Rd (Rte. 30), Framingham, MA


There are so many more wonderful places to dine in the Framingham area, but the above are our favorites.  Which restaurants would you add to the list?

This post was written as part of the Social Fabric Local Restaurants Blog Hop.  Look for another post coming later this month with a compilation of top restaurant picks from cities located all across the country.