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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.

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.

Betty’s Burgers Nippers menu has plenty of children’s 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.

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.

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. Italian is one of the most kid-friendly cuisines on the planet, 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.

Tao Café is a crowd favourite when it comes to Japanese catering for little tummies. Bite sized mini 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, noodles or crispy chicken options instead.

Whitfords Brewing Co. has a kids’ menu full of family faves including beligna waffles, icecream, mini sliders, pizza, chicken nuggets, spaghetti and more.

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.

Miss Maud is known for its well-priced menu and the kid’s section is no exception, making it the perfect place for parents and kids alike to unwind with a ‘chino.

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.

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.

Pretzel has your sweet or savoury tastebuds covered with classic salted to cheese and pepperoni and even marshmallow fluff, it's the perfect post-dinner treat for the whole family.

San Churro has kids churros served with delicious chocolate dipping sauce and sprinkles or if they enjoy something cold treat them to a mini me sundae or mini milkshake. It’s the ultimate family-friendly dessert destination.

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