If the kids enjoy seafood, bring them to Lek and Rut, where the energy is high and people watching fantastic. Lek and Rut have become an institution. This small street stall got its start by getting the overflow crowd from the other famed street side stall across the street, T & K, but these days, Lek and Rut seem to have the lions share of the business. Tourists from all over the world flock here. The food isn't necessarily any better than anywhere else in Chinatown, nor is it any longer cheap, but the seafood abounds, plenty of black crab served with pepper sauce, huge prawns, stuffed scallops, cockle shells, and lots of fresh fish take up most of the menu. The place is hot, noisy, and chaotic, but that is part of the fun. People rubbing elbows with their neighbors, taking pictures, and watching plate upon plate of steaming seafood arrive.
If you can afford it, the kids and mom and dad will love the staggering views at Vertigo. The seafood grill here, led by roasted snow fish served with capers and butternut squash as well as the Appetizer Plate featuring seared bay scallops, seared foie gras, tuna tartar, and lobster spring rolls make the journey worthwhile, but the top reason to come to Vertigo is to dine with the best view in Bangkok. The restaurant is perched on the rooftop of the Banyan Tree Hotel on the 61st Floor, and the views are unmarred and open air. Besides seafood, Vertigo also does high end meat dishes, such as Wagyu beef and roasted rack of lamb. If you arrive early, you can have a drink at the neighboring Moon Bar.
Shogun has been around for awhile, and is noted for consistent and tasty Japanese food, with fresh sushi and sashimi leading the way on a large menu full of traditional Japanese dishes. They cater, do great teppan-yaki, and for families, are well worth a visit, as they are of good fun for the kids. The kids get large bibs and matching Hello Kitty utensils, not to mention that the teppan-yaki chef show is fun for them to watch, as he puts everything on the grill to great fanfare. They do great value set lunches here, have private dining rooms for groups or advance bookings, and for a restaurant in Bangkok to be in its third decade, it has to be doing something right.
For a fun lesson combining food and the birds and the bees, head to Cabbages and Condoms, where condom art fills the walls and the focus is on education, sexual awareness, and fun. You can eat good food for a good cause here. The restaurant raises funds for the family planning program with the Population & Community Development Association. It offers well-prepared standard Thai dishes such as sour and spicy shrimp soup, fried fish with chili, and chicken with cashew nuts, in a pleasant, covered but open-air dining area. If you want it really spicy, tell them: the heat is generally toned down for foreigners.
Gastro has a nice garden setting and a small kids menu, making it a good family eating choice for breakfast or lunch. They do bananas and peanut butter on toast and even child versions of full English breakfasts. Yes, it's pricey, but where else in Bangkok can you get poached eggs served with asparagus and truffle oil served in a beautiful outdoor garden? Gastro 1/6 would probably be more comfortable in a brunch borough of New York than Bangkok, with plenty of space to read the newspaper or stare at the cacti on your table, but be glad they are here. The menu features plenty of gourmet goodies such as Iberian ham or Tasmanian salmon which make their way into the delicious organic egg offerings. Other items include homemade yoghurt and baked muffins and the full size English breakfast will make it worth the trek here.
Plenty of antique teddy bears, kitsch, stuffed toys, and all else to make a child's playroom come to life is just one reason why parents will appreciate Mr. Jones' Orphanage. This unique cake shop and dessert restaurant, created by fantasy master designer Ashley Sutton (of Fat Gutz and Iron Fairies fame), has a toys, a carousel of horses and fruit, and all sorts of other storybook creations. For those without a sweet tooth, Mr. Jones does also have an assortment of pastas, salads, and other menu items. While Mr. Jones seems to be aiming at the adult inner child, the whole family will love the place for its gourmet cakes, cookies, pastries, milkshakes, and other treats. And if the kids want their own party, the library upstairs can only be accessed by people under 5 feet tall! The restaurant does have a second branch at the Siam Center downtown.
If you are looking for a unique and fun place to take the kids, you can't beat Katron. Katron specializes in chicken, and to be precise, in flying chicken! At Katron, grilled chickens are put into catapults and then shot across the room to the waiters. They ready themselves on the other side - armed with helmets that have metal skewers attached to them, with which to spear the flying birds! If this weren't a stunt enough, the waiters additionally are riding unicycles, and they pedal full bore to meet the on-rushing chickens. On rare occasion, you might even see someone riding on the waiter's shoulders, somersaulting into the air to make a poultry catch as well. At other times, the chicken is set aflame before being launched! The food here is average at best, but you aren't coming here for a gourmet experience, just to have a load of fun while munching down some grilled chicken!
As they say on their website, "kids are very much welcomed." This is one of Bangkok's most family friendly menus, offering a kids' menu, special corner with toys, and selection of comic books to go along with the delicious food. The regular menu goes for 6 pages with over 350 entries, and Crepes & Co serves savory crepes, ranging from traditional French crepes a la wine and cream sauces to more locally flavored ones with massaman or Penang curry. Additionally, there are flambé and ice cream crepes, plus plenty of Mediterranean specialties to keep you sated. Crepes & Co also does a mean brunch served all day, featuring eggs, pancake, fruit salad, yoghurt, and good coffee. With their extensive selections and pleasant looking eatery, Crepes and Co have become a mainstay on the weekend breakfast and brunch scene. Truly one of Bangkok's best breakfast joints.
Charley Brown's serves up Mexican food and makes it easy for the whole family to enjoy. While their margaritas and daiquiris will keep mom and dad busy and happy, there is a kid's menu to go along with the larger sized portions of quesadillas, nachos, tacos, and other Mexican specialties. The kid's menu offers mini burritos, chicken nuggets, and plenty more at bite and wallet sized appropriate portions. There are also high chairs for small children, a rarity in Bangkok, along with a crayon box and plenty of games for the young ones to indulge in while the older folks luxuriate over happy hour specials (Tuesday night offers half priced margaritas and sangria).
From Croque Monsieur to baguette sandwiches and build your own salads, the menu is seriously good here, with soups, sandwiches, salads, roast meats, and divine eggs Benedict rounding out the French boulangerie and cafe style menu. Mainly a breakfast, brunch, and lunch spot, Cafe Tartine is also wildly popular for being one of the most family friendly eateries in Bangkok, as they have highchairs for toddlers, plenty of colouring books, crayons, and books for the kids, and even children's movies playing throughout the day. Additionally, there is a full Kids Menu, a 159 baht deal that comes with a sandwich, drink, and cookies. The portions here aren't all that big, but where else can you get quiche Lorraine or a brie burger in Bangkok?