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Best kid-friendly restaurants: Our top picks for families

If you’ve got children, you’ll know that taking them out to a restaurant can be hit or miss. Not every eatery accommodates little ones, so when you find one with great food that does, it’s almost like discovering a gold mine.

Sorting the kid-friendly restaurants from the rest can be tricky, but there are a few rules of thumb that can help to guide you. Firstly, check the menu. If they’ve got a section separated out just for kiddos, you can be sure they’re family-friendly. Another hint? If the venue has high-chairs, a play area or something to keep your kids occupied at the table (like colouring kits), you’re sorted. If all else fails, a quick call or even an Instagram DM can sort it out for you quickly. Or, you can skip the hassle and keep reading on.

Burger night

Possibly the easiest sell, getting the kids to sign off on burgers shouldn’t be hard. Check the menu before you head out to make sure their favourites – from sliders and fries to crispy nuggets – are covered. Some places also have mini-me desserts if you’re feeling extra generous.

Grill'd has a big variety of Mini Me burger packs, including vego options. Each pack includes a mini burger, a mini serve of chips, tomato sauce for dipping, and water or juice. Best of all, they’re packed in a cute box with a 3D puzzle. Find them on Level 3, near Target.

At The Bavarian kids eat for free on Sunday nights. Little ones aged 12 and under can order a free meal from the Kinder Menu for every adult meal ordered. Choices include crispy mac and cheese balls with smoked bacon, a mini cheese burger with fries, chicken schnitzel with mash or the Kids Grazing Plate. And their Haus Made Gelato is only $3 per scoop. Find them on Level 3, near the Fernwood entrance.

Rashays offers a free twist & drink with every kids meal found on the little rascals menu. The choices of meals range from enjoying a Cooper's Cheeseburger with chips, to devouring a bowl of Billy's Bolognese or even indulging in late night Penny's Pancakes. To top it off, it's only $1.95 to add a bowl of ice-cream to go with the little ones meal with the choices of strawberry, chocolate or caramel topping. Find them on Level 3, near Hoyts.

At Fricken, the kids menu caters to little ones & their love for chicken nuggets. Their kids menus offers a Lil Fricken Box, which includes 2 crispy chicken strips & fries or a 5 piece tempura chicken nuggets meal. So while your little one's get their chicken fix, you can feast from a range of chicken inspired burgers, wraps and salads. Vegetarian and Vegan options included. Find them on the Level 3 carpark, outside of the Fernwood entrance.

Source: Grill'd

Around the world

Let your little ones enjoy the tastes of the world without breaking the bank on flights! Mexican is a great choice if you’re keen to keep the menu healthy. Whilst Thai and sushi is a good one to introduce kids to something new but delicious.

Guzman Y Gomez serves up kid-friendly Mexican with GYG’s Little Guy burritos, pint-sized tacos and kids’ nachos. Everything on the menu is low on spice, but big on flavour. Find them on Level 3, near the food court.

Sushi Musa is the perfect destination for a first time sushi train experience. The Hosomaki Baby Roll's offers a friendly introduction to the world of Japanese cuisine, with flavored rolls of cucumber, avocado, cooked tuna and salmon available. Find them on Level 3, Lathlain Street (street access only).

Chong Co Thai is the place to be when exposing your little one's to the flavorsome cuisine of Thai food. The family friendly nature of Chong Co Thai signifies which dishes are mild, medium or hot, saving you from the stress of the unknown. The Restaurant is also perfect for families that like to adventure and try a bit of everything, with a 4 person set menu option at $40 which is inclusive of 4 appetisers, 4 mains and a serving of jasmine rice. Find them on Level 3, Lathlain Street (street access only).

Sushi Hub is a crowd favourite when it comes to Japanese catering for little tummies. Bite sized maki rolls make for a healthy and delicious food option, and fussy eaters can pick from tonnes of flavour combos. Worried that raw fish will cause noses to scrunch? Opt for yummy veggie tempura or crispy chicken options instead.

Source: Guzman Y Gomez

Kid-friendly cafes

If your kids tend to be fussy about their food, a cafe can be a stress-free option. Many offer all-day breakfast menus, which are easy to mix and match from. Junior isn’t feeling bacon today? More often than not it’ll be no problem to swap it out for another side. Cafes are also great for light supper options. See: anything on toast.

The Coffee Club has a huge kids’ menu. Better yet, the menu features helpful icons that indicate toddler friendly options. We can’t go past the rainbow pancakes or the Mini Bene. Find them on Level 3, near Myer.

The Shed is the ideal stop for when the little one's not feeling too hungry, but still want's something to eat. The delicious range of smoothies from Breakfast Buzz to Pea-Nut-Ella is enough to satisfy anyone's cravings. Find them on Level 2, outside Kmart.

Not only does Caffe Cherry Bean have an extensive all-day breakfast menu, but they also speak to the kiddies with a bit of a sweet tooth. Their dessert menu is inclusive of Belgian waffles, scones, muffins, bananas bread and chocolate croissants. If that doesn't satisfy the sweet tooth, you can accompany it with a premium Belgian chocolate flavored hot chocolate, iced chocolate or frappe. Find them on Level 3, near the Fernwood entrance.

Cup of Joy
has outdoor seating available, making it the place to be on a quiet day with the kids. What's more wholesome then a sunny table, a cup of coffee and the kids enjoying yummy pastries? Find them on Level 1, near Benjamin Way entrance.

Source: The Coffee Club

Sweet Treats

Keen on an after-dinner sugar hit? There are options galore. Whether you dine in somewhere with both savory and sweet menus, or head straight for dessert, the kids will go wild over chocolate, frozen yogurt, ice-cream and international candy. Some restaurants offer sweet menus especially for kiddos, so you can rest easy knowing they won’t overindulge.

Max Brenner lets you savor a decadent white chocolate mocha, while the kids get thoroughly sugared up with waffles, crepes, chocolate fondue, sundaes and more. It’s the ultimate family-friendly dessert destination. Find them on Level 3, near Target.

is the perfect after-dinner sugar hit when seeking a healthier option. There's no need to rush after dinner either as Yogurberry is open until 10pm Sunday-Thursday and 11pm Friday & Saturday. Find them on Level 3, near the Fernwood entrance.

Whether in a mini cup or a waffle cone, Ben & Jerry's is what every little one dreams of when they hear the word D-E-S-S-R-T. Luckily no-one has to miss out on Ben & Jerry's unique flavors as non-dairy options are also available. Find them on Level 3, inside Hoyts.

In the mood to explore treats from all over the world? EzyKandy is for the whole family and offers a unique experience of trying American and European candy, confectionary items and beverages. Find them on Level 3, near the food court.

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