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.
Whitfords Brewing Co. Menu features delicious mini beef sliders with chips for the kids - If there is room for dessert, Whitfords Brewing co. also offers two yummy desserts that include a scoop of ice cream, with a choice of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and caramel topping. If ice cream won't hit the spot, then Belgian waffles with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce could be the winning choice!
At TGI Fridays, kids eat free between Monday and Thursday. Yep, for every adult main meal purchased (minimum $25), you can score one free kids’ meal. Plus, their delicious range of $4 kids’ desserts is guaranteed to buy you a few minutes of peace and quiet.
At The Coffee Club Little ones aged 12 and under are spoilt for choice, not only for lunch but for breakfast too! Choices for breakfast include kids' eggs on toast/avo on toast, both served with hash browns, along with rainbow pancakes!. For lunch, choices include pizza, chicken nuggets and chips, and fish and chips - don't forget a drink as well to make sure that food goes down smoothly; choices include a range of fresh juices and three flavours of milkshake.
The Northshore Tavern has a mini cheeseburger with chips and nuggets with chips for just $10. For dessert, kids can get a scoop of ice cream with hundreds and thousands with a choice of strawberry or chocolate topping for only $3! - but wait, there's more.. kids receive a FREE activity pack and drink along with the ice cream that will keep them busy after they finish their dessert.
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.
TGI Fridays we all know serves American classics - but for the kids that fancy something a little bit different from the norm, a Mexican option is available also. A Fajita Plate with stripes of chicken that consists of
Grilled chicken served with 2 flour tortillas, lettuce, cheese, and your choice of tomato sauce, guacamole, or sour cream, all for just $11.90!
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 yummy Kids club menu making it the perfect place for parents and kids alike to unwind with a baby chino, which comes FREE with any kids club menu option; Awesome, right?
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 Doughnuts, pancakes and cake. Some restaurants offer sweet menus especially for kiddos, so you can rest easy knowing they won’t overindulge.
Krispy Kreme lets you savour a decadent hot chocolate, while the kids get thoroughly sugared up with a range of different flavours of doughnuts. It’s the ultimate family-friendly dessert destination.
Miss Maud's kids menu is a sight to behold. With delicious options that include vanilla ice cream pancakes with bananas, strawberry that is finished off with drizzling maple syrup - a gingerbread man and marshmallows are also on the menu. If these tasty options don't get your little one's taste buds tingling, then perhaps sharing a slice of cake from the adult dessert menu may be the go!.
Allergy and dietary-friendly options
Tao Cafe is a great option for families with gluten or lactose intolerances. Tao Cafe is no exception with a large variety to suit both yours and your litle one's tastebuds. Hot tip: If your kids are soy or gluten-free, BYO your own tamari or coconut-aminos so they too can dip away!
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.
Boba Bear has bite-sized 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, Boba Bear also offers a range of vegan and low-sugar flavours so no one will have to miss out!