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restaurants to take 12 year old boys?

they're going to a concert downtown next friday and we want to take them for dinner beforehand. any ideas for kids besides the spaghetti factory?

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  1. One option is Milestones on John and Richmond... not that it is great but they have a wide menu and you can take them to see the City TV building on the way etc..

    1. My son just turned 13 and his favorite place is Hernando's on Wellington,west of Church.
      He loves the nacho's and the deep fried ice cream.

      1. Anything, and I mean anything, is better than the spaghetti factory. There cannot be any place in Toronto worse than that disgusting pile of crap.

        The mediocre places on Front (depending on where your concert is, and I'm assuming it's at the ACC or Skydome) are all a million times better (Gus Badalis, etc.) for pizza that kids will eat. Even Movenpick in BCE Place (which I dislike) seems to be a hit for the crowd that doesn't mind actually lining up to get its own food.


        1. CK, I respect your opinions, however Movenpick can be a bit of an effort when herding children.

          What venue is the show at? ACC or Nathan Philips?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Googs

            No offence taken - I find Movenpick an effort on my own. I used to work at BCE Place and avoided it like blood poison.


            1. re: Cereal Killer

              I also find that since it has become Richtree Market, it is not as good (as good as it was)

          2. Most kids like french fries, and most adults who like food can't stomach the Front Street places that offer more concept and less food. I'd therefore recommend Biff's or Starfish... they both have foods that kids will enjoy (perhaps Biff's more than Starfish) and somebody with adult taste won't suffer. And the french fries are awesome.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chip

              I agree with Chip in that it depends on the degree in which you are willing to bend your own palate. Personally I wouldn't suggest Biff or Starfish for pre-concert I would take my 12 yr old there for a more formal celebration like report card or something.

              For a fun trip to a concert downtown I know Mr. GreenJeans is loved by all kids but can be painful to many adults. The Ex-Marche whatever it's called now is unecessary work when with kids, although it was always a great place to induldge in a crepe. All kids love Jack Astors and there is decent food for the grown ups. Hot House is very good for all. Another great place for kids that is atleast better than the spaghetti factory is East Side Marios, but really not great for adults...at all.

              I think I would go to Jack Astors or Hot House if it were me. Milestones is good too depending on the location of your event.

            2. I think it really depends on what type of food the 12 year olds like... if they are full on burger and fries type of boys then Jack Astors or East Side Marios is a great call. If the boys are more adventerous and up for a bit of fun what about Korean BBQ.

              1 Reply
              1. re: books

                Yea that is great for the adventurous 12 yr old!

              2. If these 12 year-old boys don't get to go out downtown often, I'd take them to a restaurant that is different from what is found in the burbs. I'm making a presumption that these are suburban boys. Also, I'm not sure how much you want to spend.

                I'd take them to Chinatown, if they like Chinese food. Hotpot might be fun for them.

                Or Pantheon in Greektown, if they are pickier eaters. Saganaki aka flaming cheese might be a good thing to order, for the visual wow factor.

                Can imagine some 12 year old boys would also get a thrill at a Japanese steakhouse, too... there's one in the Royal York and another in Yorkville.

                1. As a parent, I refuse to sink to the level of Jack Astor's and The Spaghetti Factory. My son may be a bit conservative in his tastes but we can usually find something we are all happy with. I wouldn't dream of taking him to Starfish though - that would be a serious waste of money. I think Korean BBQ is a great option. Chinatown, too. We took kids to King Noodle House and we all loved it. Is there still an Il Fornello on King St.?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: crawfish

                    Assuming the venue's the ACC, there's an Il Fornello even closer at Queen's Quay & York.

                  2. Lone Star on Front St. would be a good place for 12 year old boys.

                    1. Better than Lone Star imho is Texas Armadillo, on the N side of Front St just W of University. Underneath it is a place where two hearty-eating twelve year olds would enjoy themselves, as well as the more "sophisticated" atmosphere - Canyon Creek Steakhouse. The best pork chop in Toronto, and pleasant service for adults and kids alike.