London is an incredible place to visit for young and old, but finding a place to eat that is happy to see the entire family can sometimes be a challenge. When you’re out sightseeing with the kids in England’s capital city, stop at one of these eateries to refuel for the next adventure.
Fire & Stone – Covent Garden
After wandering the shops of the famous piazza, drop in to Fire & Stone for hand-made pizzas topped with remarkable flavours you won’t find anywhere else. The kids’ menu was designed by British “daddy cook” Nick Coffer and is geared towards making little lunchers happy.
While the youngsters are munching cheese pizza and beef penne, Mom and Dad will be more than satisfied by toppings such as brie and butternut squash, Indian butter chicken with mint yoghurt or Peking duck. Yes, those are standard pizzas offered here. Pasta, salad and the usual sides will take care of anyone not in the mood for pizza – and don’t forget the sweet slider plate after the meal to share five mouth watering desserts among the family.
Honest Burgers - Soho
When they started in 2011, proprietors Tom and Phil had a simple goal – do one thing and do it well. They never lost sight of that, and this Soho restaurant offers only six sandwiches, but wow are they tasty!
Served with their signature rosemary chips, the beef or chicken burger is cooked to perfection. Vegetarians can select the fritter made from cauliflower, corn and shallots, and they even have gluten-free buns on the menu.
Beer, wine, cider and a few spirits are available, but no desserts. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner only.
Stepney City Farm Café – East End
A working farm and rural arts centre, Stepney City Farm is free to visit and a great way to spend a morning. Feed the animals, tour the gardens and then stop at the café for an amazing meal made from local produce. The menu is constantly changing and offers smaller portions for children.
Weekday breakfasts are an array of stuffed croissants and breakfast pastries, but if you can manage to be there for Sunday brunch you’ll be treated to a hearty farm-style meal with eggs, sausage and in-season fruits.
Sticky Fingers – Kensingtoncreativecommons.oge/David_Fleming
Founded by Rolling Stones’ bass player Bill Wyman, Sticky Fingers is a little bit loud, a little bit ‘busy’ and a lot of fun. When the kids are wound-up from an exciting day and can’t settle down, this is a good choice for a boisterous bunch. For rock fans, the memorabilia decorating the restaurant is like a visit to a music museum.
They have a full menu of burger, ribs and wings and the kids’ menu has smaller portions of favourites, including baby back ribs. A glass of homemade lemonade goes with just about everything on the menu.
Even better, come here for a mid-afternoon break of deep-crust apple pie and a thick shake before you browse through the merchandise for souvenirs.
Hix – Soho
Mark Hix campaigned to improve the choices for children in restaurants. As you would expect, the kids’ menus in his restaurants are bursting with healthy tot-tasty offerings that will have your youngsters happily enjoying a meal. Kids under 10 eat free for lunch, and all drawings (paper and colouring pencils provided) are entered into a monthly contest.
The menu for adults is extensive, ranging from fish fingers to porterhouse steak. Vegetarians will find a small selection of lighter fare and may need to fill up on the delicious desserts.
To enjoy a real British treat, make time for the Sunday Roast, which features ever-changing local specialties and in-season vegetables. There are no kid specials on Sunday, but this could be your opportunity to indulge in some of the best, most imaginative mixed drinks anywhere. The beverage menu is a full 24-pages long and includes non-alcoholic beverages, a large selection of beers and spirits from all over the world.
Imperial China – Chinatown
Dim sum is a great way to satisfy picky eaters, and the more people at the table, the greater the fun. If you’ve never eaten dim sum, it’s a selection of bite-sized portions served in steamer baskets or in small dishes. Carts are brought to your table and you can choose which delightful dumplings you’d like to try.
Chinese dumplings are a mix of veggies, meats, custards and other flavours. Sometimes just the novelty will encourage the unadventurous to try a bite, and if it doesn’t satisfy, there are dozens of other choices.
A dim sum lunch can take a while, but there is a bridge over a koi pond that youngsters can investigate if they start to get restless.
The Electric Diner – Portobello Road
Another great spot for when the kids are charged up and kind of wild, the Electric Diner is usually filled with energetic kids and loud music. The food is French-American and includes hamburgers, hot dogs, fried chicken and mac ‘n’ cheese. Adults can choose more exotic options such as squid or a quinoa salad. Anyone with a ticket to a film showing at the Electric Cinema gets a discount on weekday evenings.
This place is laid-back and not at all fancy. They don’t mind messy toddlers, choosing to provide friendly service and simple, yet tasty food without worrying about décor.
The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party – Sanderson Hotel
This really is an all-about-the-kids splurge, but the food is good and adults will have fun watching the little ones. Menus are tucked into vintage books, the teapots and dishes are festooned with delightful images and the food is whimsically arrayed to suit the atmosphere.
Marshmallow mushrooms, a sponge clock and cute little Victorian fruit jellies are some of the treats that await your youngster at this daily event. Dainty sandwiches and savory scones ensure that it isn’t just a sugar-fest.