Looking for the best kid-friendly London restaurants for your next vacation getway? We have some helpful tips for finding the best places to eat in London with kids.
Selecting Kid-Friendly London Restaurants
Dining out is one of the best parts of a family vacation. No one has to cook and clean up the dishes. You have the opportunity to relax and talk to the people you love the most. When you’re away from home, you may even enjoy beautiful scenery and new types of cuisine that you wouldn’t get to try back home.
The problem is finding kid-friendly restaurants while you’re traveling in London. The first concern is ensuring that children of all ages are accepted, including the babies and toddlers who may get cranky or the occasionally moody teenagers.
The second concern is the food selection. Will an upscale restaurant that caters to fine dining have foods that your picky toddler recognizes and wants to eat? Will the food have so many overwhelming spices, herbs, and sauces that your kids won’t know how to handle them? What about those restaurants that give their foods cute names or use unusual ingredients?
We did some research into the best kid-friendly London restaurants with the goal of helping you plan your dining experiences in advance. We’ll talk about some of the best cuisines and what restaurant amenities you may find in the best restaurants catering to the little ones today.
Sizing Up London’s Family Restaurants
London is filled with delicious food. Whether you’re interested in fine dining experiences or you like eating at the small family restaurants right beside the locals, you don’t have to look hard to find amazing food that will appeal to kids and adults of all ages.
Start by sitting down to a full English breakfast made fresh to order. Then take your kids for tea and give them the true England experience of mid-day refreshment. From there, encourage the little ones to try something that is authentically London. Some options include:
- Black pudding
- Yorkshire pudding
- Bangers and mash
- Tikka masala
When Sunday comes around, you’ll find many London pubs and restaurants serving a roast. That’s a regional custom that you may want to enjoy with your kids because it’s similar to roasts they may have enjoyed back at home.
London also has quite a few restaurants serving ethnic cuisines. From Indian and African to Asian and Caribbean, you can find just about anything if you know where to look. If you don’t know where to go, check with the concierge at your hotel or the owners of your bed and breakfast. They will hopefully point you in the direction of the best restaurants in any cuisine.
What to Look for When Dining Out in London with Kids
What qualifies a kid-friendly London restaurant dining option?
At the very least, it should have foods that are appealing to children of all ages. That often means a small menu dedicated to younger kids. It may also mean simpler menu items that don’t have intense seasonings or spices that are typically not acceptable to a child’s palate.
The best kid-friendly London restaurants will go an extra step or two, providing at least one child-focused special. Some examples of specials often seen in London’s dining scene today include:
- Entertaining décor that will hold the attention of a child. One great example is the Indian puppets that decorate the walls at Masala Zone Covent Garden.
- Coloring pages and crayons
- Take-home gifts or prizes. One of the best examples is the recipe that kids are sent home with when they dine at Tredwells. The restaurant is dedicated to budding gourmets, so a take-home recipe is right on target for frequent visitors.
- Happy hours for kids, which means select times during which kids under a given age eat for very little, if not completely free. The Coal Shed is a great example. Kids under seven can select from free items on a mini menu available up until 7 pm.
Tips for Dining in London with Kids
If there’s one thing that can turn a happy tot into a fussy mess, it’s sitting in one spot for 30 minutes to an hour while trying to be quiet. You can avoid that by finding kid-friendly London restaurants that allow you to book online. Calling in for reservations will work as well, but you don’t have to stick to upscale dining to get in the line online these days.
You should also check online for menus before selecting a restaurant. It’s one thing to hear that a restaurant is child-friendly, but another entirely to know that there is something on the menu that your kid will eat and enjoy.
One last tip before we leave you to continue planning your family trip to London: Don’t assume that your children won’t eat some of the more adventurous ingredients found in some London restaurants.
While you may not want to push them to try something new, go into every dining situation with an open mind. If they want to try something you don’t think they’ll like, let them have a small bite. You never know when a nibble will turn into a new favorite food.
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