For many Toronto young professionals, life doesn’t stop when strollers and diapers are added to the equation.
We still want to take advantage of our great city in all of its amazing restaurant-filled glory (and, likely, document the experience on Instagram) – even when the babysitter calls in sick. And if we don’t have our own kids, we obviously all want to win the “cool” aunt or uncle title by having memorable experiences with our nieces and nephews.
Here are the best kid-friendly (but actually great) Toronto restaurants – and, naturally, there is no shortage of pizza places.
Pizzeria Libretto Danforth
Your kids will love the famous pizza at Pizzeria Libretto as much as you do – and all the savouring will definitely keep them quiet and calm for a hot second. The Danforth location welcomes kids and even provides crayons (especially handy if you left the iPad at home), step stools in washrooms, and a change table.
Terroni is always a reliable option when it comes to consistently delicious, comforting Italian food with a warm, homey (yet refined) vibe. Within its well-adorned walls, you’ll find all the pizza, pasta, and other Italian entrees that you and your kid(s) can enjoy. As an added bonus, they even have highchairs. Just don’t try to modify anything (you’ve been warned).
One of Toronto’s go-to spots for quality Middle Eastern food (and hallüm cheese to die for), Tabule, embraces families at each of its four locations. The menu is extensive enough to accommodate the picky tastes of children, and you get to enjoy a quality meal that’s far from your typical family chain restaurant (and good wine!) in the process.
General Assembly Pizza
New(ish) pizza spot General Assembly is a solid option if your kids are in tow and you have zero time to waste but fast food isn’t an option. The addictive pizza will make this spot a quick fave for both the little ones and adults ( and there’s beer and wine), with counter service at the fast-casual restaurant making for minimal wait times for hungry kids. Family-friendly perks include a spacious family restroom with a change table.
Harbord Village hotspot Piano Piano proves you can be one of the city’s most buzzed about restaurants and still welcome the kiddies. There’s even a designated dining space and separate play area for kids, along with a menu for the mini mes that includes healthy options (though they’ll be happy with the pizza and pasta offerings as well).
A far cry from your typical grilled cheese and pizza fare, Fresh, the longtime favourite spot of Toronto’s health-conscious set, makes a kid-friendly option for a goodness-packed lunch or dinner. The best thing about this spot for kids as they won’t even realize how healthy they’re eating when they mow down on things like green poutine, quinoa onion rings, almond & grain burgers, and colourful smoothies.
Set in the middle of the hustle and bustle, Richmond Station will satisfy your craving for a fresh, ingredient-focused fare (with highlights that include oysters, farmers’ ricotta, and – likely the most kid-friendly – a hearty and juicy burger) and make sure that your child fellow diner has everything he or she needs, with crayons and colouring books, and a kitchen that it happy to make kids meals.
For a family burger night that cuts no corners, hit Wahlburgers. In addition to burgers of all varieties, gooey and memorable mac and cheese with grilled bacon, and chopped salad bowls (basically all the goodness the burgers are made of, minus the bun), the spot will win a child’s heart with milkshakes – and yours too with their boozy (and so delicious) milkshake options.
The historic (and forever delicious) Lakeview Restaurant isn’t just a spot to soak up the booze with its delish comfort food at 2:30 am after a night out. Kids are accommodated with a menu that features things like spaghetti, grilled cheese, and burgers (you have a live a little sometimes) and are given crayons and a colouring book.
Northern Maverick Brewing Company
Northern Maverick Brewing Company can get a little adult-focused once the sun goes down, but it definitely works for an elevated comfort food-filled brunch with the kids in tow, especially if you’re sharing a meal with other adults. The new brunch menu features $5 tulips (13oz) of lager or mimosas during brunch hours (11am to 3pm Saturdays and Sundays), with an order of a brunch item – a consolation for your childless brunch buddies for having to patiently share your time with your kid.
Queen East’s Prohibition Gastrohouse – a large speakeasy type of spot – wouldn’t be the first place you’d think to bring the kids. In addition to dishing up beloved dishes like T.O.’s Best Truffle Mac and Cheese and Smoked Chicken Lollipops, however, Prohibition also features a “Just For Kids” section in their menu (for just $5.99) and kids under ten eat for free during brunch.
The Captain’s Boil
To satisfy a seafood craving in a serious way, hit one of the city’s growing number of The Captain’s Boil locations for a fun food experience involving all the goodness found under the sea. The restaurant specializes in Cajun-Asian seafood, with generous portion sizes of fresh crawfish, lobster, shrimp, crab, clams, and mussels. Things like chicken tenders satisfy the hunger of those less enthusiastic about the prospect of seafood. Disclaimer: A meal here will get messy.
SOCO Kitchen and Bar
Located right in the heart of all the kid-friendly attractions – like the Rogers Centre, ACC, CN Tower, and Ripley’s Aquarium, SOCO Kitchen and Bar, housed in the Delta Toronto Hotel, offers an upbeat, bustling vibe and quality food. You’ll find a selection of comforting, upscale Mediterranean dishes, at a refreshingly (slightly) lower cost than the pricey spots nearby, along with a kids menu.