Despite some recent bad press, under the right set of circumstances, kids and restaurants can mix well. Patio dining is a great way to ease them into fancy (read: anywhere but your kitchen), sit-down meals and given how short and sweet patio season in Calgary is, there’s no better time than the present to enjoy a nice meal al fresco.
To make things go a little more smoothly, avoid peak times (especially when your kids are really little), order as soon as you sit down, and go mid-afternoon (working around the sacred nap time, of course).
Many patios allow kids, but they might not cater to children. That’s the case with Earls, which asks you to bring your own booster seats, bibs and toys. We’re not put off by the fact Earls doesn’t have a children’s menu. As long as your kids will eat chicken fingers and fries, edamame or even calamari off the appy menu, they’ll be A-OK. Earls Calgary Downtown Tin Palace on 4th Street is our location of choice and comes highly recommended from savvy scouts and locals with kids.
If you like to refresh more than your palette between courses, we like the Raw Bar in the Hotel Arts. Located poolside, there is no charge for paying restaurant customers to indulge in a dip. Choose something from the full menu if you drop by in the evening or, if you’re stopping in earlier in the day, enjoy some appetizers or mains from the afternoon menu, available from 2 to 5 pm. Or skip the food all together and pamper yourself with a cocktail and swim on a hot weekday afternoon. The pool is open from sunrise to sundown, and with no age restrictions in place, this ultra-chic patio takes family water play to a whole new level.