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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.

Burger night

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.

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 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.

At Hog's Breath Cafe you can enjoy a casual style, relaxed atmosphere and fun loving staff! The diverse menu offers a range of tasty chicken and seafood dishes, ribs, burgers and wraps, salads, pasta, delicious desserts, lite options and kids' meals that are sure to keep everyone happy.

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.

Mad Mex serves many of their items ‘small’ to cater for little tummies. Made fresh to order, so you can pick and choose based on your child’s tastebuds. Fussy eaters are more than welcome here!

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 Greenhouse Cafe Is a great spot to sit and unwind with a cup of coffee while the kids snack on a healthy treat.

Espresso Warriors Is the place to meet with your frineds before a trip to the movies you can grab a light meal while the kids enjoy a baby chinno or milkshake.

Sweet treats

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.

Max Brenner 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.

Donut King believes you deserve to Excite your taste buds. That’s why we’re passionate about making delicious donuts, great quality coffee, awesome hot dogs or mind-blowing shakes.

Allergy and dietary-friendly options

Hero Sushi is a great option for families with gluten or lactose intolerances. Hero Sushi 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!

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