Ready to Dine In Again? Here’s 11 Toronto Family-Friendly Restaurants
There are two types of parents: Those who embrace dining out with young children and those who say, “No way; that idea is madness!” If you fall into the latter group, we get where you’re coming from. Eating in restaurants with kids can be at best challenging and at worst, well, just let your imagination run wild. But trust us; it is possible. The key, besides a well-rested child, of course, is to pick the right restaurant. You want one that in addition to serving kid-friendly food also offers a kid-friendly atmosphere; a space where shrieks of joy (or not joy) from your kids won’t be met with dirty looks. Below we round up eleven of Toronto’s most family friendly restaurants.
11 Family-Friendly Restaurants in Toronto
299 Roncesvalles Ave., Toronto
Barque is beloved by west-end families for its delicious food that comes out quickly and is accompanied by crayons and colouring sheets, to keep your little ones busy while you and your partner decide just how you want to build your BBQ plate. The kids’ menu is a scaled-down version of the adult one, and with options like brisket and ribs, it’s a great way to introduce your kids to BBQ. (There’s also crustless grilled cheese.) We also love how Barque has decided to ditching tipping and instead pay its staff a higher wage. The restaurant isn’t a big space—though it does offer booths and stroller parking—and it does fill up. Because of that, we do recommend that you book a table in advance.
1646 Queen St. E, Toronto
There’s no kids’ menu here but why would you need one when the star of this Italian joint is pizza. Over a dozen varieties are available as is the option to build your own pie. Plenty of other beloved Italian dishes are also up for ordering, including various pastas, chicken parmigiana and minestrone soup. With over 35 years of experience, this place prides itself on a warm atmosphere with cheerful servers who understand the challenges of dining with kids.
344 Queen St. E, Unit 4, Toronto
As the name of this Corktown restaurant suggests, this spot is strictly for breakfast and lunch, two meals that are often more child-friendly than dinner. The kids’ menu is small but should keep most kids happy: They can choose from grilled cheese, scrambled eggs and pancakes or an egg/pancake/sausage/bacon combo. Or they can order something off the well-rounded main menu, which features all your expected breakfast classics as well as sandwiches, burgers and more. Service is friendly and fast but don’t worry about feeling rushed; Figs is always about making sure you feel at home.
804 O’Connor Drive, Toronto
With lots of space, comfy bench seating and friendly service, this East York restaurant is a great spot for meeting family members or friends who also happened to have kids. The lengthy menu has something for everyone including kids, who have their very own menu. Your little ones can choose between a couple chicken dishes, a couple pasta options and pita pizza. There’s also an awesome dessert menu: Mud Pie anyone?
1132 Dundas St. W, Toronto
Countless families have dined at this Toronto institution, which has been operational since 1932 and served as the location for dozens of movie and TV shoots. While many restaurants along this stretch of Dundas West are too-cool-for-kids, the Lakeview welcomes them with crayons and a Captain Canada-themed activity sheet that also includes a just-for-kids menu. Options include chicken fingers, grilled cheese on potato bread and veggie burger. The adult menu is also packed with kid-friendly meals including several 24-hour brunch options. And of course, let’s not forget the amazing milkshakes that yes parents, you can get “fortified.”
Atrium on Bay, 40 Dundas St. W, Toronto
If your family enjoys dim sum, or if you’d like to introduce your kids to the fun and tastiness that is countless Chinese dishes delivered to your table on carts, this downtown restaurant renowned for its dim sum is a must-visit (it also offers non-dim sum dining options). The atmosphere is a bit more refined than some of the other spots on this list, but the staff is used to children and large, lively groups and the dishes come out quickly. The food served here consists of dozens of authentic Cantonese dishes that receive rave reviews. This spot is also located within walking distance of transit, multiple parking lots and some of the city’s top tourist attractions, making it a great restaurant to include in a day-out-in-Toronto.
30 Eastwood Rd., Toronto
It’s no surprise that this east-end gem has been repeatedly named as one of the city’s most family-friendly restaurants. It features a relaxed atmosphere, space for strollers and even entertainment for the kids in the form of trivia and other games available on the restaurant’s tablets. There’s also a sprawling menu that features everything from brunch classics to burgers to pasta. And of course, there’s a kid’s menu, where you’ll find such options as grilled cheese, spaghetti and fish and chips.
54 The Esplanade, Toronto
You can’t have a list of family-friendly Toronto restaurants without this classic, located within walking distance of several theatres and other attractions. It’s designed for families, and no one will look twice if your precious angel decides to melt down. The adult menu is pretty much just as child-friendly as the kid menu, with both offering lots of (surprise!) pasta options. While waiting for your food to arrive, explore this massive space, which can seat up to 600 and houses a 100-year-old carousel. Want to take your kids’ dining experience up a notch? Call in a reservation and arrange to eat on an old streetcar or a king-sized bed.
Various locations across the GTA
Now an international chain, this success story got its start right here in the GTA! Part of the reason for that achievement is its varied but delicious menu, which features shawarmas, pitas, and a variety of meats barbequed over a charcoal grill. There are also ample vegetarian options, and all meat is halal, with much it of raised right here in Ontario. Need to feed a big group? Be sure to check out the platters. Besides being tasty, the turnaround time on orders is usually quick.
155 University Ave., plus 5 other locations across Toronto
Need a kid-friendly restaurant where you can dine with friends or family members who are staying at one of the many hotels located right downtown? Then the University Avenue location of Pizza Libretto is your solution. This spacious spot can accommodate large groups, strollers, and people with little patience (the authentic Neapolitan pizza cooks in minutes). Crayons are often provided while always available is a kid-appropriate menu that Libretto offers at all five of its Toronto locations. Just note that some spots, like Ossington one, aren’t quite as stroller-friendly at the University location.
2036 Danforth Ave., Toronto
While this spot is best known for elaborate milkshakes and other desserts, it also features a few savory items that are surprisingly tasty, such made-to-order poke bowls. Tell your kids that they can’t have a Magical Blue milkshake (it features bubblegum flavour ice cream, cotton candy, marshmallow and a unicorn cookie and lollipop) until they eat their lemongrass or satay chicken sandwich. As you would expect, the interior decor of this place is unicorn-themed so come prepared to take some cute photos.
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