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Kid Friendly AND good food?

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rewby Sep 13, 2011 09:24 AM

I'm just back from a two month trip to Europe; I think I cooked about 4 times during our entire stay. Why? Because the restaurants were largely wonderfully delicious, well priced, and easy with a toddler. I wouldn't dream of eating out that often here; it's a chore to find a place with good food and a kid friendly atmosphere (let alone a high-chair)! I do have a few places I like to go, so I thought I'd share them; but mostly I would LOVE to hear what you people like! Downtown Toronto is where I'm at.
1. Bar Italia -- food isn't great, but good; more importantly, the staff is wonderful with my wild child.
2. Burger Bar -- yummy organic hot dogs for the kid, yummy burgers for me, and an owner who gets it cause he has a child of his own.
3. New, Le Kensington Bistro, where La Palette used to be -- I was somewhat put off my the lack of atmosphere (or so it seemed from the outside), but once in, the food was really tasty, extremely reasonably priced, and the staff (and owner) were very welcoming with my kid. Even played with the toddler while I wolfed down steak-frites.
4. Terroni, of course, if you go when there's no line (when's that again?).

Seriously, that's all I can think of. Does anyone know, is La Soceite child-friendly? Harbord House? Tati? And other thoughts are welcome!!!!!

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Bar Italia
582 College St., Toronto, ON M6G 1B3, CA

Harbord House
150 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1H2, CA

La Palette
492 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

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  1. c
    Chocolatemama RE: rewby Sep 13, 2011 10:19 AM

    I would recommend Le Select Bistro for French. It's a nice French bistro type of atmosphere and they even have a kids menu. I would also recommend Paganelli's. They were known as Romagna Mia until very recently. They have great Italian food and are very kid-friendly. When my kids were aged 3 and 1, the waiters even brought them books and baby toys for my toddler! The only thing lacking was the atmosphere, but they have recently undergone some renovations and I haven't been there since so I wouldn't be able to comment on what it is like now. Great food at both these places.

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

    1. l
      LearningHow RE: rewby Sep 13, 2011 11:46 AM

      Someone had posted in another thread that Harbord House has an un-advertised children's menu, so I'm assuming they would be child friendly.
      I was advised by that poster to email the restaurant to get a copy, which I did but did not receive a reply.

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      Harbord House
      150 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1H2, CA

      3 Replies
      1. re: LearningHow
        domesticgodess RE: LearningHow Sep 13, 2011 09:34 PM

        What about The Grilled Cheese (kensington market) or the Old Spaghetti Factory?

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        Old Spaghetti Factory
        56 The Espl, Toronto, ON M5G, CA

        1. re: domesticgodess
          l
          LearningHow RE: domesticgodess Sep 14, 2011 05:48 AM

          I would not be recommending Old Spaghetti Factory to anyone.

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          Old Spaghetti Factory
          56 The Espl, Toronto, ON M5G, CA

        2. re: LearningHow
          c
          canadianbeaver RE: LearningHow Sep 14, 2011 07:40 AM

          That was me....and sorry they never sent you anything back, so weird. But they are definitely kid friendly although they only have two high chairs.

        3. a
          AaronRobertson RE: rewby Sep 13, 2011 09:58 PM

          Harbord House is definitely kid friendly. I've witnessed John distract a kid long enough for the parents to finish their food. Hard to get a stroller up the front steps, but lots of room to park it if it's not busy.

          We're not gonna try to jam a toddler and a stroller in there when there's a lineup on a Friday night though!

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          Harbord House
          150 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1H2, CA

          1. Googs RE: rewby Sep 14, 2011 06:51 AM

            Fusilli is not only child friendly, they love children their. Giuseppe and Cora, the husband and wife team that run the place, are loving parents in their own right and that shows whenever families come to dine. If your child doesn't see something they want on the menu, it's never a problem to make something special just for them. It's a simple Sicilian trat of the sort that's very underrated these days.

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            Fusilli
            531 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M5A1V1, CA

            3 Replies
            1. re: Googs
              r
              rewby RE: Googs Sep 14, 2011 07:04 AM

              I will definitely try Le Select -- I worked there as a teenager over 20 years ago when it was on Queen Street! It never occurred to me to go their with my child. And I will also try Harbord House. The problem is distance -- when my kid comes home from daycare the last thing I want to do is make a long trek, I just want to go out the door and down the block (we live in the south Annex).
              I remember as a kid loving the Organ Grinder -- I wonder if it's still there.

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

              Harbord House
              150 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1H2, CA

              1. re: rewby
                a
                AaronRobertson RE: rewby Sep 15, 2011 10:51 AM

                Our summer dining out strategy has been to get takeout and eat it at one of the picnic tables next to the playground in Christie Pits. Works for everyone except when the wasps join us.

              2. re: Googs
                g
                gilbert1111 RE: Googs Sep 18, 2011 06:44 PM

                Agree completely about Fusilli. Went with my granddaughter, and it was wonderful.

              3. ingloriouseater RE: rewby Sep 15, 2011 03:16 AM

                la societe is barely grown up friendly....give it a pass

                4 Replies
                1. re: ingloriouseater
                  Googs RE: ingloriouseater Sep 15, 2011 06:41 AM

                  Really? A Yorkville restaurant that doesn't tolerate children well. Huh.

                  1. re: Googs
                    iMarilyn RE: Googs Sep 15, 2011 07:34 AM

                    I've seen lots of kids at La Societe. Really rich kids.

                    1. re: iMarilyn
                      j
                      JennaBean RE: iMarilyn Sep 15, 2011 10:19 AM

                      Who like bad food as much as their parents!

                  2. re: ingloriouseater
                    ingloriouseater RE: ingloriouseater Sep 15, 2011 10:19 AM

                    my point had less to do with children and more to do with the fact i think la societe sucks la fromage!

                  3. thenurse RE: rewby Sep 15, 2011 05:46 AM

                    Queen Margherita is kid friendly.
                    Also Gio's, 7 Numbers and L'il Baci.
                    Globe for brunch or lunch is very accommodating - they have high chairs.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: thenurse
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                      froglegs RE: thenurse Sep 16, 2011 07:29 AM

                      Queen margarita is too far!
                      La societe not good choice.
                      Organ grinder is no more (I think).

                      There are many ethic places in the annex that might be kid friendly. Noodle houses , pho and the like.
                      What about japanese ? Guu?

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                      Guu
                      398 Church Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2A2, CA

                      1. re: froglegs
                        iMarilyn RE: froglegs Sep 16, 2011 08:22 AM

                        Are children allowed at Guu?

                        1. re: iMarilyn
                          grandgourmand RE: iMarilyn Sep 16, 2011 08:46 AM

                          yes. as long as they respect the 2 hour limit.

                          1. re: grandgourmand
                            Googs RE: grandgourmand Sep 17, 2011 09:21 AM

                            LOL! Yes, the first rule is if the child can pronounce the name the child can eat there.

                            1. re: Googs
                              c
                              childofthestorm RE: Googs Sep 18, 2011 07:05 AM

                              I took my 2 year-old to Guu and she had such a blast, got so wound up by the energy of the place, that we ended up scarfing down the last of our food and getting out of there before she started to bounce off the walls.

                              1. re: childofthestorm
                                r
                                rewby RE: childofthestorm Dec 21, 2011 05:18 PM

                                Just heard that Hey Lucy and Axis Gastropub on Bloor are both relatively kid friendly. Anyone been to these places? Are they also places where the food is actually edible?
                                I've also discovered that Rancho Relaxo on College is a wonderful place to take a small child.

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