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What Are the Best Family-Friendly Restaurants?

lorenjavier, flickr

Packing up your brood and heading out for a family meal? Then you may be interested in a new study revealing which kid-friendly establishments got the best and worst marks for things like cleanliness, service and value.

Consumer Reports recently ranked “family-friendly” eateries — meaning they’re typically informal, cater to kids, are open long hours and serve no liquor — based on an evaluation of things like taste, service, mood, noise, menu, cleanliness and value.

At the bottom of the pile? Friendly’s and Waffle House. CR faulted Friendly’s for “lackluster service,” and said both restaurants “drew relatively low marks for cleanliness and mood.”

Less commonly-known chains like First Watch, the Original Pancake House and Le Peep did far better. Like Waffle House, they’re known for breakfast fare, but they ranked first, second and third, respectively, in CR’s report.

But before you swear off Waffle House’s famous “scattered, smothered and covered” hash browns for good, keep in mind these types of surveys are always open to interpretation — others based on different parameters may yield different results.

Also, since “family restaurant” can be defined many ways, places like Applebee’s, Chili’s, Outback Steakhouse, Ruby Tuesday and TGI Friday’s — all of which serve alcohol — weren’t included in the recent CR report.


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