Family-friendly restaurants: our top picks for people with kids
If you’ve got children, you’ll know one thing to be true – taking them out to a restaurant can be a 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 spelled 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 real quick. Or, you can skip the hassle and keep reading on.
Possibly the easiest sell, getting the kids to sign off on burgers won’t be hard. Check the menu before you head out to make sure their favourites – from sliders and fries to crispy nuggets – are catered for. 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 one 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.
Betty’s Burgers Nippers menu has plenty of children classics. To top it off, treat them to a Kids Concretes. For $5 they’ll get a frozen custard ice-cream topped with their choice of M&Ms, Maltesers or meringue mix-ins.
The Sporting Globe has free kids’ meals all day on Monday and Tuesday. Even better, kids can grab a free ice-cream sundae or a mini football with each meal purchased! What a winner.
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.
Mex-cellent kid’s options
Mexican is a great choice if you’re keen to keep the menu healthy. Most dishes contain vegetables (reminder: guacamole counts!) and there isn’t much that’s deep-fried. Scared of their reaction to spice? Ask for mild sauces or skip them altogether. Older kids can add sour cream to their dish of choice to dial down the heat.
Guzman Y Gomez serves up kid-friendly Mexican with GYG’s Little Guy burritos, pint-sized tacos and kid’s nachos. Everything on the menu is low on spice but big on flavour.
El Camino Cantina kids menu has the little ones sorted with a range of snack pack options including dessert and a drink. Fussy eaters are more than welcome here!
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.
<Cafe 63> is known for its well-priced menu and the kid’s section is no exception! We recommend the Minnie Mouse pancakes or the Sail Boat (bacon, sausages and toast.
Shingle Inn has a babychino that the kids will rave about! Plus, if you're looking for something a little bit more fancy, they offer a delightful Kids High Tea fit for any Prince or Princess.
has a yummy Crema Kids menu making it the perfect place for parents and kids
Keen on an after-dinner sugar hit? There are options galore. Whether you dine in somewhere with both savoury and sweet menus, or head straight for dessert, the kids will go wild over pancakes, gelato and cake. Some restaurants offer sweet menus especially for kiddos, so you can rest easy knowing they won’t overindulge.
San Churro lets you savour 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.
Gelatissimo has bite-sized bambino gelato cones filled with delicious gelato and topped with chocolate. The perfect post-dinner treat (after they’ve eaten all their veggies of course!). Catering to most dietary requirements, Gelatissimo also offers a range of vegan and low-sugar flavours so no one will have to miss out!
Allergy and dietary-friendly options
Nonna's is a great option for families with gluten or lactose intolerances. With a full kids menu, plus dietary options it's the perfect place to keep everyone happy at dinner time.
The Coffee Club has a huge kid’s menu. Better yet, the menu features helpful icons that indicate toddler-friendly options. We can’t go past the rainbow pancakes or the super kids' brekkie bowl. Plus, they offer a good range of vegan meals, plant-based milk substitutions and low-gluten options.