Family-Friendly Restaurants in Toronto: No Happy Meal Required

Your kids may be more inclined to sippy cups than fine glassware, but that doesn't mean you are stuck in the land of ketchup soaked dinners until they hit 18. Toronto definitely has enough kid-friendly restaurants to get you through the picky years without making you have to sit next to a clown. 

So your kids like pizza. Why not get them used to the real, authentic, neapolitan style pizza at Pizzeria Libretto? The pizza is doughy and wonderfully simple for your kid who only likes cheese and doesn't like vegetables. You may even be building a globe trotter or a gourmand through the excursion.

So your kids like sports and television. Make the eye-glueing a bonding experience at Wayne Gretzky's. Raucous and fun, it is a great place to have lunch with the kids and let them blow off some steam all in the name of being a fan. And yes, there are chicken fingers (and bar drinks for you).

If your kids are more into hamburgers and hot dogs, let them expand their meaty repertoire with a visit to Roncesvalles' Barque Smokehouse. There is a kids lunch and brunch menu, where kids can try the brisket wrap and drink their milk out of a plastic cup with a straw.

Expand your family horizons and let's chow down together.


Pickle Barrel -Yonge & Eglinton
Photo courtesy of Pickle Barrel Facebook page

The Pickle barrel is a huge place with a huge menu. All the better for your double stroller and shopping bags and giant purse. The Pickle Barrel's slogan is "Always something for everyone" which is a relief for a family or a larger group....  Read More

The Beaches
Photo courtesy of Licks Facebook page

Although the most beloved location of Licks (in the Beaches area) closed, hope is not lost. This Canadian-owned, Canadian-proud operation still has three Toronto locations to bring food into your belly fast without having any resemblance to...  Read More

Montreal's smoked meat fits in well in Toronto, with this popular deli on College Street. Hand-smoked and hand-cut, the attention to detail results in a sandwich that is on every meat-lover's "must eat" list. Zane Caplansky taught himself how to...  Read More

Wayne Gretzky's
Photo courtesy of Wayne Gretzky Facebook page

If you go to Toronto, and talk badly about Wayne Gretzky, it is about on par with going to London and bad-mouthing the Queen. It may be even worse. Get on board by getting your sports fix at Wayne Gretzky's in the heart of the entertainment...  Read More

High Park/Roncesvalles

"Let's take the kids to a bar!" is not a phrase you will hear many parents uttering. They might want to make an exception. Although they have a strong and confident cocktail list, The Ace also wants to be known as a family friendly restaurant,...  Read More

Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs
Photo courtesy of Fancy Franks Facebook page

Sure, you could go and indulge in some street meat. But if you want a hot dog that deviates from the trinity of ketchup-relish-mustard, you must give Fancy Franks a try. To start, they have all premium beef hot dogs, rather than a generic...  Read More

Little Italy
Hey Meatball
Photo courtesy of Hey Meatball Facebook page

When men stand with a sign that says "You'll love the the taste of our balls" you have to take notice. When it comes to chef Rod Bowers, it is indeed true. His restaurant Hey Meatball in Little Italy in Toronto is a small grab-and-go restaurant...  Read More

Old Spaghetti Factory
Photo courtesy of Old Spaghetti Factory Facebook page

The Old Spaghetti Factory has been a landmark in Toronto for 40 years. Originally a blacksmith shop from 1898, the old warehouse was converted into a restaurant in 1971 with high ceilings, European stained glass windows and an 100 year old...  Read More

West Toronto
Pizzeria Libretto
Photo courtesy of Pizzeria Libretto Facebook page

This is the real deal kind of pizza. You may find yourself enthusiastically affirming the taste of real Neopolitan Pizza at Pizzeria Libretto in Italian. Or, if words fail you, "Mmmm" works well in most languages. This pizza has a soft chewy...  Read More

High Park/Roncesvalles
Barque Smokehouse
Photo courtesy of Jill Chen

If you are a person who hears the words "baby back ribs" and salivates, you must make a trip over to Roncesvalles for a spectacular lunch. Lucky for us, owners and childhood friends Jonathan Persofsky and David Neinstein left the corporate world...  Read More


Meet Courtney Sunday

Courtney Sunday has lived in England, Switzerland, Canada and the US, finding her way into the professions of freelance writing and yoga teaching in between travel opportunities. She learned...  More About Courtney

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