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.

Or perhaps 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. They will also have their own play dough, which was the original Fidget Spinner.

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




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

High Park/Roncesvalles


It is a unique experience to take a kid to a hipster bar, but The Ace in Roncesvalles is more than accommodating to its pint-sized customers. The 12 and under set get their own special menu with the Ace's famous burger on it, alongside the...  Read More



If you have a sports-loving kid, the right thing to do when you are visiting Toronto is to stop over at Wayne Gretzky's in the heart of the entertainment district. Wayne's has 32 high definition televisions that play "all sports, all the time."...  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



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


If you are looking for a hip restaurant to take your kids, Pizzeria Libretto is your answer. This is the real deal kind of pizza. You may find yourself enthusiastically affirming the taste of real Neopolitan Pizza at Pizzeria Libretto in...  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 meal. Owners and childhood friends Jonathan Persofsky and David Neinstein left the corporate world to dedicate...  Read More



The Beet is a lovely restaurant in the Junction area of Toronto, which supports local farmers, buys fair trade when possible and is proudly 99% organic. You would think that such a model is kid friendly, but you have to enjoy a place that offers...  Read More



Lazy Daisy's may be a modern restaurant in Toronto, but it was built on a long lineage of people who have been caring about where their food has come from. Local farm-fresh food is served to busy coffee guzzlers and leisurely families alike....  Read More



Piano piano is the rare family-friendly restaurant that is sophisticated, classy and not at all turned off by the antics of your children (which are likely far from sophisticated and classy). The bright look evokes a playful Alice in Wonderland...  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