Parent-Friendliest Restaurant 

Kensington Circus Pub

There are a handful of local eateries popular among young families -- in the early evening, for instance, you'll find Berkeley's Picante and North Oakland's Cactus Taqueria packed with babies and toddlers. But there are precious few joints where a grownup can sit back with a beer and a burger while the young'uns entertain themselves. The Circus Pub is that rarest of local rares, a restaurant with its own toy-stocked children's play area. The beer menu is outstanding and the food is decent -- try the fish and chips. There's also lots of finger food on the menu, so the kiddies can wander over and graze. But let's get real. You didn't come here for the chow. With one eye on your mate, the other on your sandwich, and your ears alert for the sound of your toddler stirring up trouble, you might just get to carry on an actual adult conversation -- that is, if you have anything left to talk about beyond diapers, dinosaurs, nursery rhymes, and Thomas the Tank Engine.

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