As a family, we love to eat out. We never really ate out when I was a child, so I generally take every chance we get now for a restaurant meal. Our choices have changed somewhat since having Eden, though.
Eating out with Eden was easy as pie when she was tiny. All we needed was somewhere to park the buggy and we were good to go. Since she’s been eating real food, though, we’ve quickly developed a list of “go to” restaurants where a toddler potentially throwing food isn’t the biggest of issues. Here’s a list of our favourite family friendly restaurants!
Garfunkel’s is a bit of a London institution if you ask me. They always have well priced meals, usually quick service and the restaurants are always roomy and clean with plenty of high chairs. Their kids menu leaves a lot to be desired, but the portions of the adult meals are big enough that it’s easy to share with a toddler or young child. There are always crayons available too, although sometimes you do have to ask for these.
I’ve always loved Giraffe. I love that they have many a healthier option on their menu and it’s not all just the same old stuff. Their kid’s portions do tend to be a little bit on the massive side, so this is a place where we ask for an extra plate so that Eden can share with us – although she always gets her very own Giraffe shaped drink stirrer to play with and drawing sheet to doodle on. Again, always clean and always lots of high chairs available.
I know, I know. It’s Pizza. It’s not the “most healthy” but I’m all for everything in moderation. They also have a free salad bar which you can tuck into with every main meal! A salad bar is always a draw to us as we will happily let Eden fill up on all the fruit and vegetables that she can. Plus, it tends to be cut up into manageable, toddler sized chunks. You know what you’re getting from Pizza Hut – the restaurants are always clean and there are always high chairs. Plus the kids food is well priced if you did want to order something for small people. My favourite thing about Pizza Hut is that they have plastic crockery and cutlery for kids!
We’ve always loved Frankie & Benny’s. There’s something for everyone here and that goes for the kid’s menus too. They offer meals for toddlers right through to older kids and even offer a couple of Ella’s Kitchen puree options too. I do find the prices a little high sometimes, but there are always vouchers and such available online that take the price down. The restaurant isn’t loud, but it also isn’t so quiet that a toddler having a shout disturbs people. Again, the stores are always clean and there are always plentiful supplies of high chairs. Oh, and they have balloons… And you get to learn Italian while you pee…
Whilst technically a pub chain, Hungry Horse also have a large food menu. They do food for toddlers through to big kids and adults and their prices are always excellent. Our local Hungry Horse is fab – never too busy and always clean with super fast service. I always think there’s an ok balance of “good stuff” and “not so good stuff” on the menu, which makes it easy to choose for a smaller tummy.
As far as I’m concerned, Harvester is the jewel in the family restaurant crown. They are always clean, they have highchairs with trays and facilities for warming bottles or baby food. The salad bar is always a massive hit and they always have plentiful crayons and activity sheets for little folk to be getting on with while they wait for their food. I’ve always felt like Harvester genuinely love kids and babies, which is further illustrated by them winning a Tommy’s Award for four years running! Their breakfast is also excellent and we often find ourselves there if we have had a particularly early start.
So, there you have it. Our five favourite family friendly restaurants. Tell me about your favourites in the comments!