Top 50 restaurants for dining with kids listed

October 18 2018

For many people, a trip to a restaurant is a chance for young adults to spend time with a group of friends, or enjoy a romantic meal for two. 

When people settle down and have families, however, everything changes - not least mealtimes. Quite apart from the extra mouths to feed, there is the challenge of dealing with kids who may have unusually big appetites, unusually small ones, an excessively sweet tooth or very fussy eating habits. Often, mealtimes can also be accompanied by generally challenging behaviour.

For that reason, eating out may be a difficult thing to accomplish with children, unless the restaurant in question is geared up for youngsters. That may be the case for fast food outlets, but what of higher quality providers? 

The summer holidays are a time when the challenge may be the greatest, as families go on vacation and enjoy trips to unfamiliar places. However, that can mean eating out at locations they have not been to before without being sure how suitable they are for the kids. 

For all these reasons, parents may be delighted by the publication of a list of the 50 best restaurants in Canada for kids, places geared up to the fact that these often noisy, restless and fussy people are, ultimately, still diners who want to be fed and have a good time. 

OpenTable has produced the 50 Best Restaurants for Kid-Friendly Dining in Canada 2018, which rates them as places where families can enjoy a great combination of good food in child-friendly environments. 

Explaining how and why the list has been compiled, chief dining officer at OpenTable Caroline Potter said: "We view restaurant dining as an opportunity for families to bond over delicious food in an engaging atmosphere.

"We are excited to connect people who enjoy going to restaurants that strive to accommodate all members of their party, regardless of age. These family dining options encourage togetherness and new food experiences."

Indeed, it may be one of the great features of eating out is the chance to try something new, without the 'threat' that this will become a regular feature of the home menu. By encouraging such trips at this time of year, in between Summer Camps and the start of the school year, OpenTable may help open up plenty of dining opportunities for families. 

The list is not a league table, so there is no 'number one restaurant'. Instead, they are arranged in alphabetical order. Nor have they been picked by a self-appointed expert. The ratings have been based on 55,000 OpenTable member reviews in the 12 months to May 31st this year, ensuring that the establishments chosen match the contemporary reality of the experiences diners have had. 

Not surprisingly, Toronto features heavily with 11 establishments on the list, including Piano Piano with its specially designed menu for kids. There are also eight restaurants in Vancouver featured, including Gyu-Kaku, which has a family-orientated Japanese menu. Other major cities like Calgary and Montreal have multiple entrants too, while the list also includes outlets in places like Niagara Falls, Vineland and Ancaster in Ontario and Anjou in Quebec. 

It all goes to show that there is plenty of good choice available for families, and there is therefore no reason to hold back from taking the kids out to a restaurant.