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Restaurant with kids

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I am looking for suggestions of restaurants that would be suitable and fun to go with a 6 and 8 year old. We have done many dinners with them at pubs and other "kid friendly" places, but are looking to expand our repertoire and bring them to a restaurant that doesn't have crayons or tvs.

They are pretty good eaters overall and willing to try anything, but given the choice they will always default to chicken fingers or pizza! My husband and I go to restaurants on our own, but we'd like to be able to do more of it with the kids. We are open to all kinds of food, and mainly are looking for an atmosphere where kids are welcome but that's a step up from the usual kid places. I saw that Guu has been recommended for kids, just wondering what the lineups would be around 6pm on a Thursday? Another thought is Terroni. Location wise, anything midtown, downtown, or Leslieville, Danforth etc. Any suggestions are welcome!

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  1. Astoria on the Danforth and Pizza Libretto Danforth (you can make a res) are both good choices.

    I take my son and his best buddy to Astoria often. They love the flaming saganaki and the souvlaki on a bun with tzaztiki.

    Middle Eastern cuisine is often a hit with the kids too. In Midtown, you could try Tabule (Yonge south of Eglinton) or Jerusalem (Eglinton west of Bathurst).

    3 Replies
    1. re: elasticwaistband

      Agree with those recs - Pizzeria Libretto is especially welcoming for all ages (some of the best and most personable service in the city, IMO). We've also been to Mezes on the Danforth and they've been very welcoming to our kids and the menu has loads to choose from. Will have to try Astoria.

      Terroni on Queen (the original location) and the Terroni on Price are very welcoming to kids. If you go to the Terroni on Price Street at 5:30 most weeknights, you will see families with young children at 70% of the tables.

      We've taken our kids to Guu - we went to the one on Bloor to avoid the line-ups.Very fun. They also love Khao San Road, anywhere in Chinatown, Playa Cabana, United Dairy, Yamato (very fun for kids), sushi spots (they like to watch the sushi being made), Easy, Lady Marmalade. Generally speaking, we find Toronto restos to be very kid-friendly. Enjoy.

      1. re: peppermint pate

        Yuo seconded, nice list. I also have had great success with Le Select - they even have a kids menu - and of course any Chinese restaurant is good with kids. We even took our 3 year-old daughter to eat Peking Duck at Lai Wah Heen one time...she loves duck...

        1. re: childofthestorm

          makes me miss when *I* was a kid and Le Select was at its old location....and you could get the bread baskets with the rope pullies....

    2. It's not a "step up" but my kids like Indian buffet. Gautama is my dad's current pick for best buffet on Gerrard (he goes a lot and there seems to always be a frontrunner in terms of selection and freshness). I'm not familiar with current best options in TO for better quality a la carte Indian, but items like sweet lassis, pilaf, nan, tandoori chicken, butter chicken and gulab jamen are good ways to introduce kids to Indian.
      Oh and again not a step up, and really any Vietnamese place should be good for kids, but the owner here loves kids (for those with babies, she might actually take your baby away while you eat) and they have cheap pitchers of local craft beer:
      http://www.timeforpho.com/

      3 Replies
      1. re: julesrules

        What do you like to get @ Mi Gia Phung?

        1. re: kwass

          They're very proud of their house-made noodles so I get one of those dishes. Wasn't as thrilled with their bun (it's fine/standard but I have high expectations set by Anh Dao, basically no other place has lived up to theirs for me). It's pretty standard Toronto Vietnamese fair but I like their beer, hospitality and patio.

          1. re: julesrules

            Thanks julesrules

      2. We've had great experiences at Terroni as well, though i prefer the la bettola location over terroni on queen. Relish was also great...the menu was a little eclectic for my then 4 year old's palate so they made a cheese flatbread pizza for him. Queen margherita pizza is another place i have gone to sans child, but i would go back with him.