With Covid restrictions lifting at last, lots of us will be visiting restaurants with our families again. This guide will help you to enjoy a positive, sustainable experience and introduce you to some of the best kid-friendly restaurants in London and across the UK.
One of the things that we have all missed over the past year is the opportunity to grab a bite in a restaurant. Whether fine dining or fast food, nobody can deny that there is something special about somebody else doing the cooking!
Having said that, eating out with kids isn’t always easy. An unfamiliar environment can lead to tricky behaviour. A massive menu may be an issue for fussy eaters. Other diners may not be kid-friendly, even if the restaurant is. Alongside these potential pitfalls, parents who are trying to do things sustainably may face an extra challenge.
Luckily, there are few simple tips you can follow to make sure that everybody enjoys themselves – from your children to your fellow diners.
Y’earn’s Top Tips for Dining Out With Kids
- Don’t leave it to chance! Make a reservation in advance. There is nothing worse than trying to find a place to eat with hangry kids in tow. Hangry adults are hard enough – but hangry kids don’t care about causing a scene.
- With this in mind, consider dining at lunchtime or earlier in the evening. There is a higher chance that the serving staff will be able to give you more attention and there will be fewer other diners to potentially disturb.
- Bring some form of entertainment for your little ones. Everybody loves a colouring book. Lots of restaurants will offer something for kids to enjoy.
- Order from the kids’ menu and be sure to ask the person serving you about portion sizes. If your 3-year-old might not manage a whole plate, see if they can share with a sibling to avoid waste.
- Practise ‘eating out’ at home. Praise your children for that great behaviour and show them what to expect when they go to a restaurant. This can be a fun activity for all of the family.
Our Favourite Kid-friendly Restaurants
Once you have these tips under your belt, the next step is choosing where to eat. We love the following kid-friendly restaurants, all of which are also committed to making the world a better place through sustainability and charity work.
- The Rainforest Café, London
Eating out in the Amazon rainforest – what’s not to love? The Rainforest Café is centrally located and your kids will love the jungle settings, the animals and the entertainment. A strong favourite amongst kid-friendly restaurant options!
Through their work with the World Land Trust (whose patron is none other than Sir David Attenborough!), The Rainforest Café have established a rainforest reserve in Ecuador. We like their approach to sustainability!
- Wagamama, London and across the UK
The dining concept behind Wagamama is that you get your food when it’s ready, meaning that it is possible to be in and out in less than an hour. Certainly making it a kid-friendly restaurant, as there’s no doubt little ones can get restless. Influenced by Japanese cuisine, the food is delicious and there truly is something for everyone.
Wagamama are also proud members of the Sustainable Restaurant Association. You can read more about the changes they have made to the way they run things here.
- Honest Burgers, London
From humble beginnings in Brixton Market, Honest Burgers now has restaurants across London. We think the burgers are the best you can get and the service is fast – a perfect kid-friendly restaurant for hangry people of all ages!
Honest Burgers’ commitment to sourcing food locally means that menus vary even across the city… which sounds just right to us.
- Dishoom, London
Vegetarians and vegans can always find something to enjoy at Dishoom which offers the best of Indian cuisine in a beautiful setting. There is a dedicated kids’ menu. This is definitely the place to go for lovers of spice! A kid-friendly restaurant which is also great for introducing little ones to new flavours.
Dishoom believe in doing good and have supported a number of charities over the years. They have donated over ten million meals to children in the UK and India who might otherwise have gone hungry.
- Giraffe, London and across the UK
Long before veganism went viral, Giraffe offered a great selection of vegan food. We think their ‘hidden veggie pasta’ is genius, especially if you are trying to get your children to eat more vegetables.
Not only are they vegan and kid-friendly restaurant, but Giraffe support Action Against Hunger which is an international charity who aim to beat world hunger.
- Wahaca, London
Kids are very welcome at Mexican restaurant Wahaca which has branches all over London. Our favourite is at the Southbank Centre, where the restaurant is built in old shipping containers. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu and all of the food is excellent.
Just like Wagamama, Wahaca are members of the Sustainable Restaurant Association and they are, impressively, completely carbon neutral. Their meal is also 50% vegetable, all of which are sourced in Britain.
Wherever you take your kids out to eat this summer, planning ahead is key. We hope that you will find the perfect kid-friendly place to enjoy with your family.
If by chance you are not able to secure a booking at a family-friendly restaurant, take a look at our selection of travel high chairs which are available to rent right now, and will make any dining experience easier. And if perhaps you need some inspiration for an eco-friendly holiday this summer, then look no further, just be sure to check out our top tips for travelling with a baby or toddler.
We also have a huge range of items for rent especially for days out with the family. Not only are these easier on the pocket, they are also better for the planet. Economically and environmentally friendly – what’s not to love?
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If this is your first visit, hello, let us introduce ourselves. We’re Y’earn and we exist to create more love, less landfill. Pretty lofty, right? Well, not really, it’s actually pretty simple. Our aim is to make renting as common as owning so we live more sustainably while helping the community around us.
Y’earn is a parent-to-parent marketplace to rent Baby & Kids items from people in your community or make some cash if you have items you don’t need right now. We’re a sustainable business that plants 🌲, adopts 🐝 and donates to children’s charities. We’re helping each other and the planet, one rental at a time.
You can read more about how Y’earn works here.
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