There is nothing more discouraging than having a family meal planned at a restaurant, only to get there and discover that the kids don’t belong. The first clues might be that there aren’t any high chairs, your stroller doesn’t fit anywhere, there’s no kids’ menu, or the server gives your child juice in a tall, breakable glass. In these situations, the meal ahead can feel overwhelming rather than enjoyable.

Bottom line: Doing your homework to find a restaurant that truly makes it easier for you to eat out as a family is a must when you have little kids!

You’re probably already familiar with the chain restaurants that cater to families, like Swiss Chalet or East Side Mario’s. But these local Hamilton restaurants offer something a little more adventurous and unique, with fresh, authentic food—and they all serve families and kids well.

Earth to Table Bread Bar

This restaurant is a number-one choice for families, and as soon as you walk in, you will understand why. There are aisles big enough for strollers, tables large enough for full families, and high chairs wherever you need them. In addition to being a local restaurant, Earth to Table Bread Bar guarantees that all the ingredients used in their dishes are fresh and seasonal.

If variety is something you look for in a restaurant, you will be pleasantly surprised here. The diverse menu features shared plates of fresh calamari, watermelon salads, burgers, pasta, stone-baked pizza, and more. Your palate will be satisfied, and your little ones will have a choice between kid-friendly favourites like mac and cheese, pizza, or a yummy burger. And let’s not leave out the six choices of milkshakes they offer (not including the adult-only ones) for a tasty addition to your dinner.

258 Locke St. S., Hamilton; 905-522-2999

 

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541 Eatery and Exchange

If you’re looking for a casual place to take the family out for breakfast, brunch or lunch, this is it. The menu is classic and affordable, and the restaurant prides itself on being a place “where people can share with one another and everyone has a place at the table.” The most unique part of it all? This restaurant is actually a non-profit cafe that allows patrons to “pay-it-forward” in order to help those who need assistance paying for a good meal. It is a wonderful environment to expose your kids to, in order to help them gain a sense of true community. All of that, plus a nice meal out as a family? That’s a win-win.

541 Barton St. E., Hamilton; 289-389-0541

 

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Chicago Style Pizza

What kid doesn’t love pizza? Going out for pizza is a guaranteed hit for most kids, and this casual spot is no exception. While there are classic cheese pizza or pasta options available for kids, the menu has plenty of variety if you’re looking to try something new. Most say it is the best pizza you can eat in Hamilton, and while the kids probably won’t notice the difference, you sure will.

534 Upper Sherman Ave., Hamilton; 905-575-8800

 

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Cannon Coffee Co.

Breakfast or brunch is often the easiest time to eat out with kids, and Cannon Coffee Co. is a perfect place to do just that. One of the mottos on their menu? “We love your kids, too!” Reading that, all of your anxieties around eating out with the kids are sure to slowly disappear.

Not only do they provide your littlest ones with high chairs, but they also give out crayons and colouring books to keep kids entertained. Your kids will instantly feel this to be the place for them as they wait for their waffles and orange juice. (Waffles feature heavily here.) And for you? Locally roasted coffee that’s steamed and dripped into each individual cup, a menu that includes a breakfast sandwiches (including one with eggs, salsa, and avocado on a jalapeño-Harvarti waffle), brunch plates, and an atmosphere that’s hard to beat.

179 Ottawa St. N., Hamilton; 289-700-0088

 

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