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The Best Kid (Family) Friendly Restaurants in Toronto

Posted by Erinn Beth Langille / October 31, 2014

kid friendly restaurants torontoThe best kid and family friendly restaurants in Toronto cater to the (often) fickle tastes and short attention spans of young ones, and allow parents and children alike to enjoy a meal out. While the kid menus offered at these restaurants deal in the familiar grilled cheese, butter pasta, chicken tenders and chips, there are subtle hints on the menus that suggest a child's palate can, and should be, pushed and developed. These family-friendly restaurants can help kids graduate into real diners, one bite at a time.

Here are the best kid and family friendly restaurants in Toronto.

See also: The top 10 kid friendly brunch restaurants in Toronto

The Ace

The Ace

The Ace is perfect for kids and parents alike - each has their own menu full of comforting favourites. For kids, order up the Little Ace (a cheeseburger and French fries), or the mac 'n' cheese (with cauliflower florets for a hidden vegetable), while parents will love the Ace country-fried chicken or the steak frites. More »

Pizzeria Libretto (Danforth)

Pizzeria Libretto (Danforth)

The Danforth location of Pizzeria Libretto is particularly good for families. They have all of the great pizzas, the salads, the kid-friendly arancini and ricotta gnocchi, but they also accommodate a child's level of focus by providing paper and crayons, speedy service, and change tables. More »

Barque Smokehouse

Barque Smokehouse

A smokehouse might not be the first place you'd think of taking your kids to, but Barque has a separate menu of bites for ankle-biters. Kids can choose one item from each menu list - drinks, "Moo, Cluck, Oink" (with chicken wraps and grilled cheese are among the items), "Trees and Stuff" (greens), and "If I Eat My Trees and Such" (dessert). More »

Caplansky's Deli

Caplansky's Deli

In places like Denmark, kids love liver sandwiches and pickled fish; back here in Canada, maybe not so much (though hopefully times are changing). That's why Zane Caplansky was wise enough to create a kid-friendly side menu for his famous deli staples. While parents dine on smoked meat, gefilte fish and meatball subs, children have their choice of grilled cheese, butter pasta, hot dogs and breakfasts. More »

The Beet

The Beet

Starting kids off eating local and organic is important to many parents these days, and with a family-focused neighbourhood like the Junction as your 'hood, it's no wonder The Beet caters to children and even babies. Kids can enjoy baby-sized pureed portions of banana, apple sauce or sweet potato, a nibbler platter, vegan mac 'n' cheese or a Beet Box (a choice of grilled cheese or PB&J), while parents nosh on lamb burgers and tofu wraps. More »

Prohibition

Prohibition

The pub is the traditional centrepiece of English family life, and Prohibition Gastrohouse carries the torch in Riverside with its family-friendly atmosphere and menu. Their in-house smoker and pub favourites are sure to delight any parent, while kids can enjoy the games on TV and feast on cheese or pepperoni pizza, mac 'n' cheese, Caesar salad and soft-serve ice cream. Just don't keep them out until last call, OK? More »

Uncle Betty's Diner

Uncle Betty's Diner

Uncle Betty's Diner is a popular family-friendly spot near Yonge and Eglinton. Brunch is a real hit, with pancakes, donuts and stuffed French toast on the menu that will have them running around hopped up on sugar for hours. Lunch and dinner are a bit more chill, with mac 'n' cheese and Cap'n Crunch chicken fingers for kids and the Ultimate Grilled Cheese for adults (though the pulled pork and mac 'n' cheese sandwiches might be a hit with all ages). More »

This End Up

This End Up

I love This End Up. I dream about their roast beef sandwich, and it's great to see children in there, looking around at all the cool stuff and enjoying such delicious eats early on. Their top-secret kids' menu has chicken fingers, fish fingers, a grilled cheese and a kid-size burger, and if it is anything like their Better Mac (for grown-ups) they are in for a real treat. More »

Lakeview Restaurant

Lakeview Restaurant

Kids can get up really early, and It's a pain to wait around for places to open with hungry and cranky mouths to feed. The Lakeview takes care of the worry since it's open 24 hours and offers a great children's menu that kids can colour in and play with while you wait for your meal. Kid-friendly faves include fish and chips, grilled cheese, hamburgers, waffles and scrambled eggs plus old-time root beer floats (come on, every child should experience a root beer float at least once in their lifetime). More »

Against the Grain

Against the Grain

Leaside's Against The Grain (there is also a location at Sugar Beach) supports neighbourhood families by offering a relaxing environment for both parents looking for a cool micro-brew and burger as well as their fussy children. Kids dine on pepperoni and mozzarella flatbread or mini cheeseburger sliders, while moms and dads get baby beet salads, pulled pork, fish tacos and burgers. More »

Mill Street Brewpub

Mill Street Brewpub

The blend of beer and babies shouldn't scare parents away from the Mill Street Brewpub, as they do their best to bring families into the fold. Parents can sample the beers, like Tankhouse and the Organic, while the young ones eat up pasta with chicken and vegetables in a creamy alfredo sauce or butter or tomato sauce, mini burgers and fries, chicken tenders, or the ever-popular grilled cheese. More »

Famoso

Famoso

Italian favourites are usually a hit with kids and parents alike. At Famoso they just scale back the portions on some of the dishes, making a Margherita or Marinara 'pizzetta' with a pop and a scoop or gelato just for children, while parents enjoy full-sized grease wheels complete with adult flavours like white truffle oil, sopressatta and gorgonzola cheese. More »

Discussion

20 Comments

Twee / October 31, 2014 at 11:57 am
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"Hey Junior, isn't this $35 organic slop delicious? Much better than Pizza Nova, right?"


*disgusted kid*
chris / October 31, 2014 at 12:18 pm
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I have never seen kids in Caplanslky's. Let's keep it that way. Please remove it from the list.
Great list! / October 31, 2014 at 12:26 pm
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Thanks for the list! Gives me some restaurants to avoid. Children are rarely as interesting to other diners in a restaurant as they are to their slavishly devoted helicopter parents.
freddietwostep replying to a comment from Great list! / October 31, 2014 at 12:45 pm
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Ha, I agree. I was going to say that the title should be "Restaurants to Avoid".
two cents replying to a comment from freddietwostep / October 31, 2014 at 01:10 pm
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You mean, "Restaurants to Avoid Dbags like you" (and "Chris" and "Great list!").
Bob / October 31, 2014 at 01:20 pm
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Hipsters don't have no kids!
linden / October 31, 2014 at 01:25 pm
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actually a family with two children can spend much more on meals in a restaurant, especially if the kids order from the regular menu. It could be a smart business move to provide kids friendly environment. Besides, they will finish a dinner/ lunch much faster compare to someone who orders few drinks.
parental unit replying to a comment from Great list! / October 31, 2014 at 01:40 pm
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Hey "Great list!", you're right. Children are rarely interesting. We should avoid them at all cost. I hate when there are kids in my local! We should ban them from public places. In fact, why not ban them altogether? I saw some kids being annoying at the park the other day when I was trying to be ironic and drink shitty beer. Kids should not be allowed in parks. I'm busy trying to be as interesting as I can be, and nothing cramps my style like kids being uninteresting (except for me when I was a kid...that was different because I was a cool kid -- not like the others.) And those slavishly devoted helicopter parents...i know right! When I have kids I'm gonna be so un-devoted to them because I'm not going to let them interfere with my brunching and park hangs at Trinity with cans of PBR. They can look after themselves and stay indoors at all times. Except for me when I was a kid...that was different. And now that I'm an adult...to hell with the rest of kids. They're gonna get in the way of me vibing out.
Duncan / October 31, 2014 at 01:40 pm
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The issue is never with the children but with the children's parents, how they let their children behave while in a restaurant and their (the parents that is) lack of concern & courtesy for the other guests in the restaurants. Having a child friendly restaurant doesn't give parents a license to not ensure that children behave properly. Not that it matters at all but I am a parent of 2 boys.
Wow replying to a comment from parental unit / October 31, 2014 at 02:12 pm
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Great List just got served!
B replying to a comment from chris / October 31, 2014 at 02:27 pm
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Caplansky's should just be removed from Toronto - nay, existence! - all together.
Laura replying to a comment from Great list! / October 31, 2014 at 02:39 pm
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So obvious your parents never loved you.
BOO / October 31, 2014 at 02:55 pm
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As a parent of a young child, the issue is rarely about the kid-friendliess of the food but the amount of space available for stroller/high chair, and if the chairs are booster-seat friendly. There are a lot of restaurants on the list that are definitely too small for a stroller & highchairs.
Burgers / October 31, 2014 at 03:17 pm
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The Burger Cellar is also a great place for the family. I always see lots of families whenever I eat there. How can you go wrong with burgers when it comes to kids? Plus, the more gourmet options allows the adults to have something more substantial than just fast food. Plus, the staff always seem to be really friendly, even when there's a bunch of kids running around.

Downside is that it's not going to be a cheap meal. But for a night out for the whole family, it might be worth it!
They / October 31, 2014 at 05:15 pm
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This is why we have Jack Astors, Kelsey's, Casesys, East side Marios, Montanas, Moxies.

Those are for families.. Enjoy them all.

These other restaurants are for when parents want a date night, or go out with friends and enjoy civilized interaction away from the kids.
Ryan / October 31, 2014 at 05:19 pm
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I have a solution to all this strife about children. If you are planning on having children, come see me for approval. I know what's right and best.
Meddling Kids! / October 31, 2014 at 10:28 pm
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I suggest if you dislike children that much then dine at very high end restaurants or at any other restaurant after 8pm, oh and restaurants with a lot of different foods no pasta, pizza ,chicken fingers or hamburgers, NUTS, NUTS AND MORE NUTS!! We can't forget about all the nut allergies! I dine out a lot with my children and the last thing I want is for a man or woman complaining to their date about how they dislike children or rolling their eyes.
jquery photo gallery / October 31, 2014 at 11:07 pm
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Piece of writing writing is also a fun, if you know then you can write if
not it is complicated to write.
Great List! / November 1, 2014 at 02:04 am
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I also enjoy avoiding thin-skinned Helicopter Parents who are filled with rage when anyone is not interested in their little Zoe and Alec's yapping at full volume while refusing to eat their plain spaghetti with butter and NO green stuff. You may have given your life over completely to hovering over your children, anticipating their every whim and imaginary need, but personally I enjoy other things when I dine out. My parents loved me very much, which is why I respected them and allowed them to eat and talk to one another as adults. I did not require them to drone on constantly to me in loud voices in case I might momentarily have nothing to do and therefore somehow suffer. We were actually able to quietly amuse ourselves when we were young and did not require to be endlessly entertained and amused.
Great List! / November 1, 2014 at 02:08 am
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Oh, and also we didn't have a lot of money, so we weren't rich enough to be allergic to every single thing. We just ate a well rounded meal of different food groups, and somehow managed to make it quite well to adulthood in those days of incredibly unsafe Gluten Zones.

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