Family friendly places near downtown Toronto..
I will be visiting Toronto next weekend for a conference. Staying at the downtown Novotel. I will be with my wife and 17 month old daughter. So, we're looking for casual places to eat where I can take a baby. Definitely no chains. I'm thinking ethnic food since most of those seem casual, i.e. chinese, thai/malaysian, cheap spanish with chorizo tacos, west indian, etc. I will have a car so can drive a little bit. thanks!
Lots of options. Terroni is a great choice - southern Italian food, casual but hip atmosphere, great food and very kid-friendly. There is a newish large location just east of the downtown core and the original spot on Queen Street West. Anywhere in Spadina's Chinatown will be very kid-friendly. For tapas, there is Torito in Kensington Market (very fun area to take your daughter in the stroller), right next to Chinatown. There is also a not bad taco shop just west of there called La Taquilleria (sp.?), where you could get tacos. But for tacos, I really like El Jacalito at Bloor and Dufferin for cheap Mexican food - great tacos. You could also do a little chow trip through St. Lawrence Market and grab some snacks and sandwiches along the way. And the best tip I can give you is to get one of those Phil and Ted "Me Too" chairs - or something similar - folds up to nothing and you never have to worry about whether or not the restaurant has enough high chairs. We generally find the city restaurants to be pretty kid-friendly, particularly if you're eating on the earlier end. Oh yes, there is also the new pizza spot in town - Pizzeria Libretto - Dundas and Ossington - awesome pizza and there were little kids there when we were there. Have fun!
You could try the Victoria Restaurant on Queen St E. about three blocks east of Yonge. Across from St Michael's Hospital (S.E. Corner) Not ethnic, but the food is pretty good, fast and not that $$. Don't think a kid would be a problem. It is a businessman's lunch counter, sort of, but it slows right down after 5PM if that is your schedule. Ate there regularly when I had my eye overhauled at St. Mike's.