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Dining with a 3.5 year old...

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

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

          1 Reply
          1. re: JamieK

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

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

          2. 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

              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

                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

                  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

                    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. 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:

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

                Avli
                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

                Mezes
                456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA

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

                1. 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.

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

                  1. 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

                      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

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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. 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

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

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                        Michelangelo
                        1910 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4L2C1, CA

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

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

                        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

                          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.....