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Eggs and soldiers at the Goring in Belgravia, one of the best places to visit for children in London
Eggs and soldiers at the Goring in Belgravia
thegoring/Instagram

10 Fun Child-Friendly Restaurants in London

A kids’ tasting menu, curries and crayons, and luxurious banana splits

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Eggs and soldiers at the Goring in Belgravia
| thegoring/Instagram

For people with little mouths to feed, the arrival of summer means week after week of racking their brains trying to come up with any idea to keep their offspring occupied. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is to treat them to a nice meal, but it can be difficult trying to find somewhere that will actually both suit and welcome the young diners as customers.

Child-friendly chains such as Wahaca and Pizza Express can be reliable standbys, but sometimes it’s good to go out of culinary comfort zones and not face the same, after-thought menus time and again. Here are eleven great restaurants to take the kids which make a welcome change from the usual suspects.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Dishoom King's Cross

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5 Stable St, Kings Cross
London N1C 4AB, UK

Not only is the King’s Cross branch of Dishoom’s mini London group perhaps the best of the lot for buggy parking, it services the needs of older children, too, offering what it calls “one plate meals for little Dishoom-wallas.” For £7.50, kids can choose from either a mildly spiced grilled chicken thigh or paneer tikka with peppers, both of which are served with Bombay potatoes, slaw, and a glass of fruit juice.

2. Masala Zone Covent Garden

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48 Floral St
London WC2E 9DA, UK

Of the seven branches across London, Masala Zone Covent Garden will most appeal to younger diners, as they can gawk at the traditional Indian puppets that festoon the place as they wait for their food. Although they can occupy themselves at every branch with colouring books and crayons which are provided by the amenable staff. Mini thalis with milder curries are available from £6, and for those that can handle more heat, the rolled dosas prove popular.

Masala Zone’s children’s thali
Masala Zone [Official Photo]

3. Tredwells

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4A Upper St Martin's Ln
London WC2H 9NY, UK

The target market for this restaurant from chefs Chantelle Nicholson and Marcus Wareing is budding gourmets — its “Culinary Kids” menu seeks to introduce new flavours and textures. At much better value than an average tasting menu, for £17, children receive six courses of dishes such as mozzarella with mild chorizo; hake, salsa verde, and purple sprouting broccoli; and salted caramel soft serve with chocolate sauce, plus a recipe to take and make at home. The cheaper “Junior Menu” is aimed at even younger palates, with decent but risibly named offerings such as ‘legendary lamb croquettes’ and ‘awesome omelette,’ served with ‘perky peas’ and ‘bravo broccoli.’

Tredwells’ “Culinary Kids” tasting menu
tredwells/instagram

4. Cafe Murano St James

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33 St James's St, St. James's
London SW1A 1HD, UK

For £10, young visitors to any of chef Angela Hartnett’s northern Italian mini-empire can treat themselves to classic Italian executed beautifully. Chicken Milanese with potato fritti, basil and tomato pasta, or tagliatelle with sausage ragù, plus a choice of fruit juice and a scoop of ice cream. The St James’ Street branch is particularly bustling, so most forgiving of youthful exuberance, which seems apt as this is where Hartnett first shot to stardom as the head chef from the original Petrus in the early 2000s.

Cafe Murano by Angela Hartnett
cafemurano/Instagram

5. Big Easy Canary Wharf

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Canary Wharf, Crossrail Pl
London E14 5AR, UK

Little carnivores (aged 10 and under) should be satisfied by the menu available at all branches of Big Easy. For £9.90, they can dig into a burger, rack of ribs, barbecue chicken or macaroni cheese with a generous side and then ice cream to follow. There’s also a great range of soft drinks, like a root beer float. Even better for mums and dads, kids eat free at the weekend 12p.m. to 4p.m., with a choice of burger and fries or macaroni cheese. Regular live bands add to the fun and the buzz. Just try not to wince at the spelling of “BAR.B.Q.”

A Big Easy burger
bigeasylondon/Instagram

6. Hixter

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16 Great Guildford St
London SE1 0HS, UK

Mark Hix’s Hixter near Borough Market is a celebration of chicken, steak and modern art. This theme carries through to the children’s menu with choices such as a quarter roast Indian rock chicken and mini chateau steak, and a “Design Your Own Dish” challenge for the child to show off their own artistic flair. It’s also worth exploring the bar menu — for £10, they can pick three ‘snax’ like chicken popcorn, crispy potato skins with crushed avocado, and chips and curry sauce. From the à carte menu, the salted caramel fondue with marshmallows and doughnuts is a clear winner. Note that at certain times of day, children under eight eat for free.

Salted caramel fondue with marshmallows and doughnuts
forkinghungrygirls/Instagram

7. Pique-Nique

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Tanner St, Bermondsey
London SE1 3LD, UK

One of the best places in London to eat roast chicken is kind enough to offer that same chicken to its young audience. At Pique-Nique, the neighbouring sister site to the fantastic French bistro, Casse-Croute in Bermondsey, children are presented with a simple choice: chicken, potatoes, and ice cream for £10 or go home. 10/10, too, for the menu itself.

8. Goring Dining Room

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15 Beeston Pl, Westminster
London SW1W 0JW, UK

Little princes and princesses may be tempted by the very English offerings at the Queen Mother’s favourite hotel where Kate Middleton famously spent her final night before becoming the Duchess of Cambridge. Enjoy savoury options including nursery-style boiled eggs and soldiers, fish fingers, chips and peas, and bangers and mash, but it’s the puddings which will really win hearts, such as the lavish Knickerbocker Glory and the giant banana split.

Eggs and soldiers at the Goring in Belgravia, one of the best places to visit for children in London
Boiled eggs and soldiers at The Goring
thegoring/Instagram

9. Hai Cenato

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2, 79 Buckingham Palace Rd, Westminster
London SW1E 5DJ, UK

This self-billed New York-Italian restaurant from chefs Jason Atherton and Paul Hood mainly deals in pizza and pasta, and the short but sweet children’s menu at £8.50 offers a choice of margherita pizza or pasta followed by a cone of gelato. Convenient for pre and post-theatre crowds thanks to its proximity to Victoria Palace Theatre, it’s worth noting that kids eat free at Saturday lunchtime and all day on Sunday.

Pizza is often a winner
haicenato/Instagram

10. Kitcho

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57 Greenwich High Rd
London SE10 8LP, UK

This small Japanese restaurant sits halfway down Greenwich High Road. Its main trade is takeaway as evidenced by the plush waiting area and piles of magazines but blag a table near the back and relish Japanese food done well. There’s no kids’ menu as such, but plenty to please even the fussiest of children, with excellent pork and chicken katsu — fried cutlets similar to schnitzel — and chicken karaage — crisp fried chicken — as well as a wide range of udon dishes, fat noodles which every child seems to enjoy slurping down, and more familiar ramen and rice dishes. For the grown-ups and more adventurous children, the set sushi and sashimi platters are exemplary, but it’s even more fun to play it by ear with ingredients like sea urchin, spot prawns and abalone to choose from.

Kitcho’s sushi
meemalee/Instagram

1. Dishoom King's Cross

5 Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AB, UK

Not only is the King’s Cross branch of Dishoom’s mini London group perhaps the best of the lot for buggy parking, it services the needs of older children, too, offering what it calls “one plate meals for little Dishoom-wallas.” For £7.50, kids can choose from either a mildly spiced grilled chicken thigh or paneer tikka with peppers, both of which are served with Bombay potatoes, slaw, and a glass of fruit juice.

5 Stable St, Kings Cross
London N1C 4AB, UK

2. Masala Zone Covent Garden

48 Floral St, London WC2E 9DA, UK
Masala Zone’s children’s thali
Masala Zone [Official Photo]

Of the seven branches across London, Masala Zone Covent Garden will most appeal to younger diners, as they can gawk at the traditional Indian puppets that festoon the place as they wait for their food. Although they can occupy themselves at every branch with colouring books and crayons which are provided by the amenable staff. Mini thalis with milder curries are available from £6, and for those that can handle more heat, the rolled dosas prove popular.

48 Floral St
London WC2E 9DA, UK

3. Tredwells

4A Upper St Martin's Ln, London WC2H 9NY, UK
Tredwells’ “Culinary Kids” tasting menu
tredwells/instagram

The target market for this restaurant from chefs Chantelle Nicholson and Marcus Wareing is budding gourmets — its “Culinary Kids” menu seeks to introduce new flavours and textures. At much better value than an average tasting menu, for £17, children receive six courses of dishes such as mozzarella with mild chorizo; hake, salsa verde, and purple sprouting broccoli; and salted caramel soft serve with chocolate sauce, plus a recipe to take and make at home. The cheaper “Junior Menu” is aimed at even younger palates, with decent but risibly named offerings such as ‘legendary lamb croquettes’ and ‘awesome omelette,’ served with ‘perky peas’ and ‘bravo broccoli.’

4A Upper St Martin's Ln
London WC2H 9NY, UK

4. Cafe Murano St James

33 St James's St, St. James's, London SW1A 1HD, UK
Cafe Murano by Angela Hartnett
cafemurano/Instagram

For £10, young visitors to any of chef Angela Hartnett’s northern Italian mini-empire can treat themselves to classic Italian executed beautifully. Chicken Milanese with potato fritti, basil and tomato pasta, or tagliatelle with sausage ragù, plus a choice of fruit juice and a scoop of ice cream. The St James’ Street branch is particularly bustling, so most forgiving of youthful exuberance, which seems apt as this is where Hartnett first shot to stardom as the head chef from the original Petrus in the early 2000s.

33 St James's St, St. James's
London SW1A 1HD, UK

5. Big Easy Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf, Crossrail Pl, London E14 5AR, UK
A Big Easy burger
bigeasylondon/Instagram

Little carnivores (aged 10 and under) should be satisfied by the menu available at all branches of Big Easy. For £9.90, they can dig into a burger, rack of ribs, barbecue chicken or macaroni cheese with a generous side and then ice cream to follow. There’s also a great range of soft drinks, like a root beer float. Even better for mums and dads, kids eat free at the weekend 12p.m. to 4p.m., with a choice of burger and fries or macaroni cheese. Regular live bands add to the fun and the buzz. Just try not to wince at the spelling of “BAR.B.Q.”

Canary Wharf, Crossrail Pl
London E14 5AR, UK

6. Hixter

16 Great Guildford St, London SE1 0HS, UK
Salted caramel fondue with marshmallows and doughnuts
forkinghungrygirls/Instagram

Mark Hix’s Hixter near Borough Market is a celebration of chicken, steak and modern art. This theme carries through to the children’s menu with choices such as a quarter roast Indian rock chicken and mini chateau steak, and a “Design Your Own Dish” challenge for the child to show off their own artistic flair. It’s also worth exploring the bar menu — for £10, they can pick three ‘snax’ like chicken popcorn, crispy potato skins with crushed avocado, and chips and curry sauce. From the à carte menu, the salted caramel fondue with marshmallows and doughnuts is a clear winner. Note that at certain times of day, children under eight eat for free.

16 Great Guildford St
London SE1 0HS, UK

7. Pique-Nique

Tanner St, Bermondsey, London SE1 3LD, UK

One of the best places in London to eat roast chicken is kind enough to offer that same chicken to its young audience. At Pique-Nique, the neighbouring sister site to the fantastic French bistro, Casse-Croute in Bermondsey, children are presented with a simple choice: chicken, potatoes, and ice cream for £10 or go home. 10/10, too, for the menu itself.

Tanner St, Bermondsey
London SE1 3LD, UK

8. Goring Dining Room

15 Beeston Pl, Westminster, London SW1W 0JW, UK
Eggs and soldiers at the Goring in Belgravia, one of the best places to visit for children in London
Boiled eggs and soldiers at The Goring
thegoring/Instagram

Little princes and princesses may be tempted by the very English offerings at the Queen Mother’s favourite hotel where Kate Middleton famously spent her final night before becoming the Duchess of Cambridge. Enjoy savoury options including nursery-style boiled eggs and soldiers, fish fingers, chips and peas, and bangers and mash, but it’s the puddings which will really win hearts, such as the lavish Knickerbocker Glory and the giant banana split.

15 Beeston Pl, Westminster
London SW1W 0JW, UK

9. Hai Cenato

2, 79 Buckingham Palace Rd, Westminster, London SW1E 5DJ, UK
Pizza is often a winner
haicenato/Instagram

This self-billed New York-Italian restaurant from chefs Jason Atherton and Paul Hood mainly deals in pizza and pasta, and the short but sweet children’s menu at £8.50 offers a choice of margherita pizza or pasta followed by a cone of gelato. Convenient for pre and post-theatre crowds thanks to its proximity to Victoria Palace Theatre, it’s worth noting that kids eat free at Saturday lunchtime and all day on Sunday.

2, 79 Buckingham Palace Rd, Westminster
London SW1E 5DJ, UK

10. Kitcho

57 Greenwich High Rd, London SE10 8LP, UK
Kitcho’s sushi
meemalee/Instagram

This small Japanese restaurant sits halfway down Greenwich High Road. Its main trade is takeaway as evidenced by the plush waiting area and piles of magazines but blag a table near the back and relish Japanese food done well. There’s no kids’ menu as such, but plenty to please even the fussiest of children, with excellent pork and chicken katsu — fried cutlets similar to schnitzel — and chicken karaage — crisp fried chicken — as well as a wide range of udon dishes, fat noodles which every child seems to enjoy slurping down, and more familiar ramen and rice dishes. For the grown-ups and more adventurous children, the set sushi and sashimi platters are exemplary, but it’s even more fun to play it by ear with ingredients like sea urchin, spot prawns and abalone to choose from.

57 Greenwich High Rd
London SE10 8LP, UK

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