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Dining with a 3.5 year old...

shiro miso Apr 17, 2008 01:34 PM

Hi Everyone,

My 3.5 year old son and I are looking for places to have the *restaurant experience* in the Danforth/Leslieville/Beaches area of the city. I am looking for kid-friendly but not total garbage food. ;-)

If anyone has had good experiences in these areas with young children, please share! My son is quite well behaved, but won't sit for long periods without losing it a little bit (what 3.5 year old can?!)

Thanks all,

Shiro Miso.

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  1. TorontoJo RE: shiro miso Apr 17, 2008 01:46 PM

    Seven Numbers on the Danforth, or really any Greek spot on the Danforth. All very family friendly. And loud! But I suppose that comes with the territory. :)

    Now that the weather is nicer, maybe a spot with a patio out on the street? Lots of things to watch to keep your son entertained.

    1. sloweater RE: shiro miso Apr 17, 2008 02:36 PM

      Il Fornello is very kid friendly. The food is decent for what it is and you won't get any attitude from the staff for having the "nerve" to dine out with your child.

      1. Otonabee RE: shiro miso Apr 17, 2008 04:05 PM

        For brunch another couple and us have taken our two now-two year olds to Hello Toast and Barrio on a number of occasions. The Sunshine Cafe in the Beach is pretty accommodating as well for lunch (they are used to the mommy crowd).

        Il Fornello on Queen was excellent to us the one time we were in there. Very helpful and incredibly sweet!

        1. JamieK RE: shiro miso Apr 17, 2008 07:21 PM

          There are always a few strollers parked in front of Melanie's on the Danforth just west of Woodbine. The food is pretty good.

          Melanie's Bistro
          1870 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1J4, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: JamieK
            JamieK RE: JamieK Apr 17, 2008 07:23 PM

            Just thought of another one -- Ten Feet Tall is kid-friendly. Try the sweet potato frites.

            Ten Feet Tall
            1381 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J, CA

          2. p
            phoenikia RE: shiro miso Apr 17, 2008 07:52 PM

            Here's a recent article in Toronto Life that you might find interesting. It has some suggestions of kid-friendly (as well as kid-unfriendly) establishments: http://www.torontolife.com/features/b...

            On the Danforth, I'd recommend Mezes for a kid-friendly restaurant.

            4 Replies
            1. re: phoenikia
              shiro miso RE: phoenikia Apr 18, 2008 07:30 AM

              Thank you all so much for your suggestions. I have been meaning to try out Ten Feet Tall forever... didn't realize they were kid - friendly.

              1. re: shiro miso
                Kai RE: shiro miso Apr 18, 2008 09:03 AM

                I live in the Beaches and we regularly take our two and a half year old to The Beacher Cafe -- Queen and Maclean. It is very kid-friendly and the servers are all about getting things to the table as quickly as they can manage and it is usually quite full with families and kids.

                Food is standard brunch fare - my son like the kid's order of French toast and the waffles. They have a narrow outdoor seating area that would be great on a weekday.

                1. re: shiro miso
                  julesrules RE: shiro miso Apr 29, 2008 10:32 AM

                  TFT is definitely very kid-friendly in attitude. My only concern is that the food can take a while, especially if they are busy. I suggest ordering the sweet potato fries for your son to nibble on as soon as you sit down.

                  Three's Company have always been friendly to us at brunch. Euro Crepe Cafe is casual, but they really get it there, they make my kid's crepe first.

                  1. re: julesrules
                    burningrome RE: julesrules May 25, 2008 04:36 PM

                    To add to the chorus of comments - we've taken our 17 month old to Melanie's and 10 Feet Tall about 6 times in the past month - both places are very baby friendly!

              2. j
                Julie McCoy RE: shiro miso Apr 18, 2008 11:16 AM

                Am I right in thinking you would likely go earlier in the evening? If so, that always makes places easier for kids before the 8:00 crowds turn up. But in my circle of friends the places we have frequented with kids are below:

                Lil' Baci
                892 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1J3, CA

                401 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P1, CA

                Paul's Spaghetti
                488 Cosburn Ave, Toronto, ON M4J2N5, CA

                New York Cafe
                757 Broadview Ave, Toronto, ON M4K2P6, CA

                456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

                Three's Company
                673 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J, CA

                1. JamieK RE: shiro miso Apr 28, 2008 02:46 PM

                  Just wanted to add Quattro Ragazze to your kid-friendly list. Family owned and operated and they love children. On the Danforth about a block and half east of Coxwell.

                  Quattro 4 Ragazze
                  1792 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1H8, CANADA

                  1. p
                    peppermint pate RE: shiro miso Apr 29, 2008 12:18 PM

                    Re: Ten Feet Tall, Quattro Ragazze, Three's Company and Li'l Baci, does anybody know if they have high chairs?

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: peppermint pate
                      julesrules RE: peppermint pate Apr 29, 2008 12:43 PM

                      TFT has one or two high chairs (and, IIRC, a change table in the women's restroom). Three's Co. has at least one. Euro Crepe Cafe has a few. I have found that more restaurants have them than I expected.

                      1. re: julesrules
                        peppermint pate RE: julesrules Apr 29, 2008 01:25 PM

                        Thanks for all the info, julesrules - I'm often surprised with how many places DON'T have high chairs (and as a twin mom, I need a pair!). I think I'll start a separate thread on baby-friendly places around town but I'll read the Toronto Life article first.

                        1. re: peppermint pate
                          julesrules RE: peppermint pate Apr 30, 2008 05:23 AM

                          Hmm two high chairs can be an issue at some places! We actually purchased a portable folding chair that hooks onto tables and find that pretty handy (Phil and Ted's makes a similar one). www.weewelcome.ca has a section where people rate baby facilities at various restaurants and stores, but it is heavy on chains and seemed to be down when I checked yesterday.
                          TFT was actually featured by weewelcome as a baby-friendly place, even before that I had the definite impression, from the staff's attitude, that they really want to attract families.

                          1. re: julesrules
                            peppermint pate RE: julesrules Apr 30, 2008 07:02 AM

                            Thanks - yes, 2 chairs can be hard - even places that have chairs typically only have 3 or 4 at best and if they're baby-friendly, the chances for us to snag 2 are limited. I know the Phil and Ted's chair that you mean and I think we're going to get ones like that. I once went on to the weewelcome site but it seemed to be pages and pages of chains so I didn't bother. I've been meaning to check out TFT for some time now - pre-kids in fact! - and with all the recent endorsements, it's definitely high on my list. Thanks again!

                            1. re: peppermint pate
                              julesrules RE: peppermint pate Apr 30, 2008 07:34 AM

                              Those chairs are overall great but sometimes there are balance issues with tippy tables, ie. you might have to put them across from each other rather than side-by-side.

                    2. Village Mama RE: shiro miso May 13, 2008 12:02 PM

                      We too have only had great experiences at Three's Company.

                      As for actual 'dining, we got great service at Gio Ranna's Really Really Nice Restaurant and everyone else there was also dining with 5 years olds or younger. Michelangelo's is good too - upper Gerrard (west of Woodbine).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Village Mama
                        JamieK RE: Village Mama May 13, 2008 12:13 PM

                        Hmm, I forgot about Michelangelo's. Good call. Haven't been in a while but the veal picata was great there.

                        1910 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4L2C1, CA

                      2. b
                        bluedog RE: shiro miso May 25, 2008 04:43 PM

                        HAving been through this (twice) on the Danforth, I would add:

                        Bibiche Bistro
                        Aji Sai
                        Danforth Dragon
                        Mong-Kut Thai
                        Avli (I think this was mentioned)

                        This ranges from lower to medium end, but I have to emphasize that so much depends on the child, as I'm sure you understand. In principal, I would say that most places would be OK, as long the child doesn't disturb other diners. We were ALWAYS prepared to leave if necessary. Fortunately we have two great kids who rarely had issues at that age and it happended maybe twice.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: bluedog
                          burningrome RE: bluedog May 26, 2008 10:17 AM

                          We were at Relish last night (Danforth one block east of Woodbine) and had a great great meal - and they have 1 high chair and 1 booster.....

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