9 Family-Friendly Restaurants in Toronto

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 nine such spots that are located across Toronto.

1. Barque Smokehouse

 

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barque.ca/smokehouse

299 Roncesvalles Ave

Barque is beloved by West-end families for its delicious food that comes out quickly and is always preceded by a bucket of seasoned popcorn. Meals are also 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, ribs and pulled pork, it’s a great way to introduce your kids to BBQ.

Barque 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.

2. Churrasqueira Martins

churrasqueiramartins.com

605 Rogers Rd
2700 St. Clair Ave W

The warm, family-friendly atmosphere of this popular Portuguese restaurant (now with two locations) makes it an ideal place to bring the kids and enjoy some succulent, charcoal-grilled chicken. While traditional Portuguese meals dominate the main menu, the kids’ menu offers a few pasta options and of course that perennial favourite of all children’s menus: Chicken fingers. There’s also an extensive dessert menu that is ideal for bribing your kids into eating their vegetables.

3. Lakeview Restaurant

 

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thelakeviewrestaurant.ca

1132 Dundas St W

My family is a big fan of this Toronto institution (it’s been open since 1932). 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 on that menu include mac and cheese, chicken fingers and grilled cheese. 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.”

4. Marche Movenpick Brookfield Place

 

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marche-movenpick.ca

181 Bay Street #107S

A playground located inside a downtown restaurant is pretty much unheard of except here, at Marche Movenpick’s Brookfield Place street-level location. While the playground isn’t as elaborate as what you’ll find at your local McDonalds’ PlayPlace, it’s still sure to entertain your kids while you enjoy one of Marche’s delicious dessert options and freshly squeezed juices.

Marche’s marketplace-style layout provides something for even the pickiest eater and its huge footprint with various nooks and rooms makes it perfect for a family-friendly gathering spot. Just note that Marche can get pretty busy when there’s a big event happening downtown (think Leafs or Blue Jays game) so you may want to avoid it then.

5. Old Spaghetti Factory

oldspaghettifactory.net

54 The Esplanade

You can’t have a list of family-friendly Toronto restaurants without this classic. It’s designed for families and no one will look twice if your precious angel decides to meltdown. The adult menu is pretty much just as child-friendly as the kid menu, with both offering lots of 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.

6. Paramount Middle Eastern Kitchen

paramountfinefoods.com

1585 The Queensway
1090 Don Mills Road
2450 Sheppard Avenue East

Want to expose your kids to something different then the usual burgers and pizza? Then check out this local chain that is built around authentic Lebanese cuisine. Paramount serves up shawarmas, pitas and a variety of meats barbequed over a charcoal grill. There are also ample vegetarian options and all meat is halal and raised right here in Ontario.

While all Paramount locations strive to be kid-friendly, the locations noted above all house indoor playgrounds, a feature we think makes them extra-ideal for hungry families.

7. Piano Piano

 

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pianopianotherestaurant.com

88 Harbour St.

Dining out with young kids at an elegant Italian restaurant may sound like a dream but thanks to Piano Piano, that scenario is completely possible. This well-reviewed Annex restaurant features special “play and eat” hours during which your children can entertainment themselves with books, toys and even an arcade game while you sit nearby and indulge in dishes like roasted scallops and black truffle linguini. There’s also a kids’ menu—created by a certified nutritionist—that features fruit, pizza and even a snickerdoodle cookie.

8. The Pickle Barrel

picklebarrel.ca

312 Yonge St

While The Pickle Barrel has a number of locations across the GTA, we’d like to draw your attention to its downtown restaurant. It’s conveniently located near the Eaton Centre, making it a great way to reward a day of well-behaved shopping.

This spacious restaurant has a menu to match with dozens and dozens of choices including deli sandwiches, steak and fish. The kids’ menu is also surprisingly varied and features such options as fajitas, corned beef sandwich and even salmon. All kids’ meals also come with a drink, a side and a dessert and you can expect to be seated with a cup full of crayons to help entertain your kids.

9. Uncle Betty’s Diner

unclebettys.com

2590 Yonge St

With a name like Uncle’s Betty, you know that this North Toronto spot is going to be a bit silly. Run by a husband-and-wife duo, this space knows that kids aren’t always going to be quiet—or still—and they’re okay with that.

Your family will be more than okay with Uncle Betty’s menu, which offers classic diner food including burgers, salads and a variety of spins on hot dogs. All meals from the kids’ menu include a choice of fries or veggies and dip, with options such as chicken fingers and spaghetti as the main. And let’s not forget about the homemade donuts. Pair with a scoop of Kawartha’s Dairy ice cream and create your own Uncle Betty’s ice cream doughnut sandwich.

 

 

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