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Birthday dinner for wife at "kid-friendly" restaurant?

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  • Craig Jul 20, 2010 11:17 AM
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Hi all,

We're planning on going out for a birthday dinner for my wife tomorrow, but with a catch -- we're bringing the kids along!

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for a mid-range restaurant that would provide a nice birthday dinner but still be OK with serving a three-year old. He's well behaved in restaurants, but not very adventurous when it comes to food (we're working on it!!).

Ideal location would be somewhere downtown (I work at Adelaide & Spadina) or in the East End (we're at Danforth & Coxwell). However, have-car-will-travel.

Without suggestions we'll probably end up at --- blegh --- Red Lobster or something similar. Would much rather have a great suggestion for a non-chain place with better food.

Looking forward to your suggestions, and thanks in advance!


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  1. If you come early most mid-range restaurants downtown are fine with kids. How about Jules - if all else fails they will be introduced to superior fries!

    1. I think there are many restaurants you could choose that are non-chain. Since you live in the east end, most of the Greek places on the Danforth are definitely kid-friendly. For something a notch above the typical souvlaki joints, you could try Pantheon (my choice) or Avli. Pantheon has a decent wine list (upscale greek selections), and I find the fresh whole fish usually dependable.

      401 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P1, CA

      1. I think you may actually be ok at a place like Globe. Well it is a nice place with good food I always feel like it is a relaxed environment when I'm there.

        If that's not what you're looking each time I've been to Buca there have been families with kids dining.

        604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA

        1. How about Melanie's Bistro which is in the Coxwell and Danforth area? I have only had brunch there and it was very good. Definitely welcoming to families but has a nice environment if the meal is for a special occasion.

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

          2 Replies
          1. re: Zengarden

            Second that recommendation. Close to their home; it's a welcoming atmosphere for kids (I have seen quite a few there when I've been), and the food is quite good. Great opportunity to experience something new in the neighbourhood and support local business, as well!!

            1. re: Zengarden

              Thanks everyone for recommendations! We have reservations at Melanie's Bistro so I'll report back on how it goes (both food-wise and kid-friendly-wise). I checked with them on the phone and they seemed happy to accomodate kids, so barring a blow-up we should be good. :)

              (PS - Keep meaning to try Le Select Bistro as well, but haven't gotten down there yet. Now that I know they have a kids' menu, it's one more excuse to go at some point!)

              Le Select
              432 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V1E3, CA

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

            2. Le Select Bistro (location is right - Spadina and Wellington!) has a kid's menu so they are pretty family friendly. It is surprisingly sophisticated, but they could probably bring you some plain pasta or a Frenched-up variation of grilled cheese if Small is a bit particular.

              Le Select has a great wine list, a pretty patio for this time of year, and I think the food is solid - it's one of our go-tos.


              Le Select
              432 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V1E3, CA

              1 Reply
              1. re: Rabbit

                I always forget about them yet I love it so much! Great idea Rabbit!

              2. For an east suggestion, Le Papillon on the Park is very kid-friendly. The last time I was there, there were about two or three happy infants kicking away in their bouncy chairs on the patio (with both staff and patrons cooing over them) and downstairs there were school-age children. The food, ambience, service all good. Patio is great.

                Le Papillon
                69 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E1B5, CA

                1 Reply
                1. re: JamieK

                  I was just going to suggest Le Papillion on the Park but JamieK beat me to it. They LOVE kids there -- we often bring our 8-month old and they love her there. We go for an earlier seating and we've never had any problems. The food is great too.

                2. Yes, Melanie's is great for kids, quality place when we used to live on Glebeholme. Mezes is good in Greektown. Had a great meal last night with the 3 year old at Sidecar, on College in Little Italy.

                  456 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4K1P4, CA