Eating out with young children, even if they are your own, does not always make for an enjoyable meal. Yes, we know that childless folks don’t like children running around restaurants, throwing food and toys, or having temper tantrums. It’s even more annoying for us as parents. We have to deal with it!
Still, sometimes we like to go out and eat with our children, and not at a fast food joint with an indoor playground. Occasionally, we want to go out as a family to places that don’t have only chicken fingers and fries on the menu.
Lucky for us, Toronto has a lot of super-kid-friendly restaurants. Restaurants where the staff don’t give you the evil eye when they see you and your young ones. And don’t mind when you ask for more napkins…again.
Here’s a list of restaurants, based on real Toronto parents’ experiences, that are great for a meal with the entire family. This list does not include chains like Swiss Chalet, McDonalds, and the Pickle Barrel. These restaurants are places where adults and young ones can enjoy a yummy meal, without worry!
If you have more suggestions, please share! Here at Help! we love your help, too!
Posh food and atmosphere with huge dining room and a nice outdoor patio. 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042
The Dakota Tavern
Kids can line dance during the Sunday Bluegrass Brunch. 249 Ossington Ave., 416-850-4579
The Sunday Acoustic Family Brunch Buffet features bluegrass music at a “kid-friendly volume”. 1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635
At this Cuban brunch, kids are encouraged to dance! 1585 Dundas St. W., 416-588-0307
Sleek but comfy corner restaurant in the Corso Italia neighbourhood with upscale contemporary fare. 740 St. Clair Ave. W., 416-658-7874
The fries come with bone marrow aioli and the reuben with crème fraîche Russian dressing at this haute bistro. Weekend brunch. No lunch. 227 Ossington Ave., 647-350-2100
The Big Slice
Straightforward pizza joint with all the familiar toppings. 385 Yonge St., 416-977-8451
The Burger Cellar
This souped-up burger place (and wine bar!) offers bison, lamb, and salmon as well as beef burgers. 3391 Yonge St., 647-345-0084
A casual, old-school eatery with no-fuss options like sandwiches and chicken souvlaki. 2463 Yonge St., 416-483-8432
The Longest Yard
Varied menu with local focus and a peanut-free kitchen. Impressive beer, wine, and cocktail menu. Two locations: 535 Mt. Pleasant Rd., 416-487-6468 and 3313 Bloor St. W., 416-239-9484
Get ribs, seafood, and steak served to order at this neighbourhood institution since 1946.
1666 Avenue Rd., 416-783-3077
Breakfast and lunch classics in an upscale-cafeteria setting. No dinner. Two locations: 1 Richmond St. W., 416-861-0514 and 2313 Yonge St., 416-482-4229
Diners and Delis
Bloor Jane Restaurant
A true diner: affordable, reliable, comfort food. Try their strawberry milkshakes! 2434 Bloor St. W., 416-766-5383
Possibly Toronto’s most lauded deli, with piled-high Montreal-style smoked-meat sandwiches. 356 College St., 416-500-3852
No-frills classic diner with eggs, steaks, and sandwiches. No dinner. 3401 Yonge St., 416-850-0121
The Lakeview Restaurant
Some inventive takes on traditional diner fare, like a mushroom-Gruyere sammie and peanut butter milkshakes. Open 24 hours. 1132 Dundas St. W., 416-850-8886
A no-frills North York greasy spoon with eggs, burgers, and everything in between. 3788 Bathurst St., 416-633-8812
United Bakers Dairy Restaurant
Billed as Toronto’s oldest family restaurant (1912!); a mile-long menu of quality diner classics and good vegetarian options. 506 Lawrence Ave. W., 416-789-0519
Borscht, gefilte fish, and chopped steak dinners since 1972. 346 Eglinton Ave. W., 416-487-4506
A typical Chinese buffet with lots of options and frequent specials 865 York Mills Rd., North York, 647-352-2288
Huge selection of Chinese favourites with extensive seafood options and dim sum every day. 69 Yorkville Ave., 416-923-3323
Casual dim sum with lots of variety and traditional cart service. 280 Spadina Ave., 416-408-4999
Trendy Cuban plates and bocaditos (small bites) like empanadas. 392 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-538-7500
Classic Greek grilled shish kebob in Toronto’s Greektown. 390 Danforth Ave., 416-463-2838
House of Chan
Casual fifties-era spot with a mix of steak and lobster and Cantonese and Szechuan dishes. 876 Eglinton Ave. W., 416-781-5575
Excellent variety of pasta dishes and wood-fired thin-crust pizza. 502 Eglinton Ave. W., 416-488-7729
Pizza Banfi Restaurant
A mix of North and South Italian entrées with thin-crust pizza. 333 Lonsdale Rd., 416-322-5231
Pizza e Pasta
If you love Neapolitan pizza, this is the real deal! Two locations: 1182 St. Clair Ave. W., 647-352-7882; 672 St. Clair Ave. W., 647-748-7882
Authentic thin-crust Neapolitan pizza that (bonus!) due to the traditional wood-fired cooking technique, are ready in 90 seconds flat. Two locations: 221 Ossington Ave., 416-532-8000; 550 Danforth Ave., 416-466-0400
Excellent thin-crust pizza and huge pasta menu in a bustling atmosphere. Three locations: 57 Adelaide St. E., 416-203-3093; 1095 Yonge St.,, 416-925-4020; and 720 Queen St. W., 416-504-1992