We love to go out to eat so we’re lucky that London has so many excellent restaurants. Not all of them are family friendly but there are definitely more and more great places to eat that not only welcome kids but also offer kids’ menus.
Of course London is home to plenty of chain restaurants that will keep children happy including Wagamama and Pizza Express. But if you’re looking for somewhere different to eat then you’ll find that there are lots of family-friendly restaurants in London to choose from.
The following are some of our favourite places to eat in London with kids as well as some that come highly recommended. Don’t forget that London is also a brilliant place to enjoy afternoon tea and there are lots of venues offering dedicated children’s afternoon tea.
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The best kids restaurants in London
When looking for the best family-friendly restaurants for my family I don’t always look for places that have a dedicated kids’ menu as my children are a little older these days.
However, I do know that a children’s menu is really helpful (and sometimes vital!), particularly if you’re visiting London with younger kids. I’ve noted where a kid’s menu is available below.
Most of the restaurants listed below are in central London but I have included some of our favourites in places like Kings Cross. Generally, however, you’ll find a family-friendly restaurant wherever you stay in London with kids.
If you’re visiting some of London’s most popular museums then don’t miss the best places to eat near the Natural History Museum.
Best themed restaurants in London
The Rainforest Cafe
Located in London’s West End, the Rainforest Cafe always comes up in the list of the best London restaurants for families. It’s not the best option for food but younger diners love the waterfalls, tropical showers and animatronics!
Where: The Rainforest Cafe is located on Shaftesbury Avenue in central London.
If you fancy dinner with Batman then you’re in luck because Park Row opens in London on August 10. This themed restaurant is a tribute to all things DC Comics related with a particular nod to the man in the cape. This is going to be a big space with several different restaurants. There’s the Pennyworthy lounge – that’s Batman’s butler’s surname – as well as the Iceberg lounge, a nice nod to the Penguin.
There will also be the Rogues Gallery and Old Gotham City but the icing on the cake is The Monarch Theatre. This 20 seater, 11-course tasting menu that promises to be a theatrical dinner experience.
Although this sounds like the perfect place for families the target audience is apparently more grown up (and dressing up is strictly forbidden). Park Row says that they don’t have a children’s menu but smaller portions can be accommodated for kids.
Families are welcome for lunch every day but children under 12 are not recommended for dinner bookings due to live entertainment. The tasting menu at The Monarch Theatre is not suitable for children under the age of 16. And forget bringing the pram.
Where: Regent Street
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Located just off Leicester Square is Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., a southern American eatery based on the hit film Forrest Gump. Not surprisingly, shrimp is the star of the show here and you can order it 20 different ways. Other comfort foods on the menu include steaks, ribs and salads.
Kids’ meals come with chips, fruit and a special treat. Meal options include popcorn shrimp, macaroni cheese and chicken strips. The Kids’ meals cost £6.95
Where: Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is located near Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.
Best family restaurants in London for Mexican food
We lived in Mexico City for nearly six years and have been trialing London’s Mexican restaurants ever since we moved back. The following are my top three favourite Mexican restaurants in town.
So far, Santo Remedio tops my list for best Mexican restaurants in London. It’s not cheap and it doesn’t have a dedicated kids’ menu but it does serve the best tostadas and tacos in town.
If you’re visiting London with older children who really appreciate good Mexican food then make a reservation here.
Where: Santo Remedio is located near London Bridge.
Coming in second of my top place to eat tacos in London is El Pastor. El Pastor make very good tacos using non-gmo corn direct from farmers in Mexico. They also serve tasty small plates and sharing plates. Again, there’s no dedicated kids’ menu but there are lots of great options for young eaters.
Where: There are five different locations around London including one in Borough Market.
A great option for families wanting tacos without a fuss (or hefty price tag) is the colourful Wahaca chain of restaurants. Founded by MasterChef winner Thomasina Miers, Wahaca delivers lots of small and tasty dishes for sharing at a reasonable price. They also offer a very good children’s menu.
Where: There are Wahaca locations around London, see here for details.
Kids’ menu: Designed for children up to 8-years-old, the £6 kids menu includes a dish and a drink.
Best family restaurants in London for Indian food
Brick Lane, in East London, is most famous for its curry houses and Indian restaurants. Among the most popular here are The Famous Curry Bazaar and Aladin Brick Lane. Don’t miss the Beigel Bake while here, a 24-hr Jewish bagel shop.
Despite having lived in India with kids we don’t eat a lot of Indian food at home. However, there’s one place that we go back to time and time again and that’s Dishoom. This chain of Indian restaurants first opened in 2010 and has been wowing customers – us included – with their house black daal and sausage naan roll ever since. Their restaurants are a really fun option for the whole family.
Where: There are five locations in London; our favourite is in Kings Cross.
Kids’ menu: There is a dedicated children’s menu offering smaller portions and little spice. Staff are also happy to advise on child-friendly dishes from the main menu.
Masala Zone is a fun place for a family meal. There are locations across London but we like the one located in the West End, near the Royal Opera House, This is easy dining Indian style with regional food from across the country. Enjoy delicious thalis, regional curries and lightly spiced meats from the grill.
Where: There are seven locations across London in Covent Garden, Soho, Earls Court, Islington, Bayswater, Camden and Selfridges.
Kids’ menu: The children’s menu at Masala Zone includes thalis and spice-free food. It costs £6.00 for those under 7. They also offer kids painting books and crayons plus there are high chairs, nappy changing facilities and buggy access available.
Best family restaurants in London for Asian food
Dim Sum on a Sunday has to be on of our favourite things to do in London with kids. We’re also big fans of sushi, noodles and almost all other kinds of Asian cuisine. Fortunately there are lots of good Asian restaurants to choose from – as well as our very own cherry blossom season! Make sure to visit Chinatown while you’re here.
Inamo is the perfect place to sample a variety of Asian food. Serving Japanese, Chinese and Thai dishes the food is good but it’s the setting that older kids and teens in particular will love. Use the interactive tables to order food, play games and watch the chefs prepare your meals.
There’s no dedicated kids’ menu but lots of good sharing plates for the whole family to enjoy. Inamo is a great option for a fun family meal.
Where: Inamo has locations in Soho and Covent Garden
Benihana is a one of London’s most fun restaurants for families where chefs cook your meal at your table. This Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant showcases favourites including Hibachi steak, chicken and shrimp. It also serves sushi and sashimi. It’s good food but the real appeal here are the fast-paced theatrics by the chefs.
Where: There are locations in Chelsea and Piccadilly Circus
Kids’ menu: The Ninja Kids Menu menu is for children aged 12 years and younger.
This is one of my kids’ favourite restaurants thanks to the revolving conveyor that delivers sushi, sashimi and other tasty Japanese dishes direct to your table. The only downside to the Yo! Sushi dining experience is that the cost can mount up quite quickly!
Where: There are Yo! Sushi branches across London.
Kids’ menu: There is a kids’ menu for children under 12 which includes a main, side and drink for £6.50. Dessert is just a extra £1.50
There are two branches of Golden Dragon in London; one in Chinatown and the other in Colindale. I would only recommend going to the one in Colindale if you live in London. The weekend dim sum is excellent but it’s a long way to travel if you’re only in town for a few days Fortunately, you can try the Golden Dragon in the centre of town. There’s no kids’ menu but there are lots of delicious things to eat on the main menu.
Where: Colindale and Chinatown
Located in the Seven Dials Market Yum Bun is a great place to go for steamed buns. Seven Dials Market is a lively place to go to eat in Covent Garden with kids in general, with lots of different food stalls to choose from.
Where: In Seven Dials Market and Spitalfields Market
Din Tai Fung
If your kids like dumplings then make a beeline for Din Tai Fung. This Covent Garden branch of the world-famous restaurant from Taiwan delivers delicious dumplings and street food. Don’t miss their signature Xiao long bao (delicate steamed dumplings). Be prepared to queue.
Where: Covent Garden
Sticks ‘n’ Sushi
We’re big fans of Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, a Japanese chain with seven branches in London. They serve excellent sashimi, maki (rolls) and yakitori skewers among other really tasty Japanese dishes. They also offer a range of salads and large sushi sharing plates. For kids there’s a choice of three set menus that start at £7.80 each.
Where: There are locations in Wimbledon, Covent Garden, Greenwich, Canary Wharf, Victoria, Kings Road and Soho.
Kids’ Menu: There are three set menus for children as well as a choice of sides and dessert. The kids’ menu itself comes with activities and a drawing challenge.
Best family restaurants in London for Italian food
If it’s Italian that you’re after then you’re spoiled for choice in London. Here are some family favourites for when only pasta will do.
This Italian restaurant chain has been dolling up bowlfuls of spaghetti bolognese and penne all’arrabbiata for years. They have 10 restaurants across London including the original location in Goodge Street.
Where: They have 10 locations across London, see here for details.
Kids’ Menu: They have a really good and extensive Kids’ Menu that includes a choice of three starters and four main courses along with a desert £9.00 (£6.50 for two courses, add £2.50 for gelato).
Sartori Restaurant specialises in authentic Southern Italian food. Located near Covent Garden it’s a great option for a pre-theatre meal (they have a set menu for £12.95 valid from 12pm – 6pm), or just for ‘why not’ family meal together!
The menu is extensive with pasta plates, meats including Vitello Milanese (veal escalope) and Pollo Sartori (mozzarella cheese, tomato, ham, chicken breast in breadcrumbs), and fish on offer. They also do very good pizzas and a range of vegetarian options.
There is no dedicated kids menu but there is plenty of the menu that is kid-friendly!
Where: 15 Great Newport St, WC2H 7JE. Near Leicester Square and Covent Garden.
Tavolino Bar & Kitchen
This is a lovely Italian restaurant that sits split across two floors with an outdoor terrace offering views of London. It’s located on the river near London Bridge and serves authentic Italian food.
Tavolino is definitely a more upmarket restaurant but children are very much welcomed (although I would probably save Tavolino for a lunchtime family meal rather than an evening one if you have very young children).
The menu features pasta and ‘secondi’ dishes of corn fed chicken breast or whole baked sea bream alongside aperitivi, spuntini and antipasti. The bread and pasta is made in house daily. There is no kids’ menu but the pizzas are excellent!
Where: 2 More London Riverside, SE1 2DB. Near London Bridge.
Pastaio (pronounced pas-tye-yo, meaning pasta maker) has two locations in London, the original in Soho and a newer outlet in Westfield. As the name suggests, this Italian restaurant is dedicated to making really, really good pasta made on site daily.
The food is simple but delicious with 10 antipasti dishes to choose from and 10 pasta dishes (11 if you opt for the whole lobster linguine for 2). The cheapest pasta dish is £6.50 and the most expensive is £14 (again, not including the whole lobster linguine which comes in at £38 for two people).
Where: 19 Ganton Street, W1F 9BN in Carnaby, Soho. They have a second branch in Westfield.
Kids’ Menu: For kids they offer half-size pasta portions with three different dishes to choose from. The kids menu is for children aged 12 years and under and includes a pasta dish, a fresh veg pot and an ice cream scoop for £6.
Best family restaurants in London for pizza
Sometimes only pizza will do! Pretend you’re in Italy with a slice or two of pizza from one of the following restaurants.
For amazing pizza head to this lively restaurant in Neal’s Yard. Be prepared to wait, however, there is always a queue at Homeslice Pizza (but I promise you that the pizzas are worth it!).
Where: There are five locations in London including Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden, Marylebone, White City, Shoreditch and City.
We love Pizza Pilgrims for their Neapolitan pizza, tasty toppings and friendly service.
Where: There are 14 locations around London.
Kids’ menu: Their kids’ menu includes half a Margherita pizza, a juice and ice cream. The menu has activities and colouring from kids too.
Street Pizza is part of the Gordon Ramsay restaurant empire offering bottomless pizza for £15 per person. Expect classic pizzas including Margarita and Pepperoni as well as some more colourful flavour combinations. The menu also includes a range of sides and desserts. There’s no dedicated kids’ menu but hey, what child doesn’t like pizza?!
Where: There are four locations in London in St Paul’s, Camden, Southwark and Battersea.
We’re big fans of Franco Manca who make excellent pizzas to order with a variety of toppings and flavours. Their £5 kids’ menu includes a pizza, drink and ice cream.
Where: There are dozens of Franco Manca locations across London
Kids’ Menu: Their kids’ menu is a steal at £5!
Best family restaurants in London for good fast food
Fancy something quick and tasty that’s not a happy meal? We hear you! There are some great fast food options if you’re in the mood for a burger or even fish and chips. Here are some of our favourite fast food restaurants in London.
Maxwell’s Bar & Grill
Located in Covent Garden this American style family-run diner that’s been serving delicious British and US favourites since the 1970s (the original restaurant was located in Hampstead in North London).
The menu at Maxwell’s Bar & Grill features family-friendly favourites such as burgers, mac ‘n cheese, BBQ ribs, fajitas, salads and more. One of the most popular items on the menu, however, are the Freakshakes, over-the-top, ultra-sweet milkshakes.
Maxwell’s is a great option for a pre-theatre dinner; the restaurant is within easy walking distance of Frozen the Musical at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, The Lion King at The Lyceum Theatre and Cinderella at The New London Theatre.
Location: 34 King St, Covent Garden, WC2E 8JD
Kids’ Menu: The children’s menu at Maxwell’s includes a meal, drink and a pudding for £7.95. Dishes on the kid’s menu include burgers, chicken burgers, BBQ ribs, grilled chicken breast strips or a kid-friendly fajita.
Poppie’s Fish & Chips
Owner Pat, ‘Pop’, Newland has been serving classic fish suppers for 60 years in this retro-fitted restaurant in Camden. Fresh fish is delivered daily to Poppies from Billingsgate Market and filleted on site. Choose to have your fish grilled or fried or go beyond cod and haddock and opt for mackerel, seafood platters or jellied eels.
Where: There are locations in Soho, Spitalfields and Camden.
Kids’ menu: Kids’ sized portions of cod bites and chips, fish cake and chips and sausage and chips are all available.
If you want a good burger then it’s hard to beat Five Guys. The burgers are made to order, the chips (fries!) are delicious and there are a range of other options on offer including hot dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s also a great spot for a milkshake! There is no dedicated kids’ menu at Five Guys.
Where: There are 15 locations around London including one conveniently placed near the Natural History Museum in South Kensington.
Best family restaurants in London for a special occasion
Think kids and a fancy meal don’t mix? Think again! There are a number of really good restaurants in London where you can enjoy really good food in the company of your kids.
Granger & Co
For good food in a stylish location head to one of the Granger & Co locations. Owned by Australian chef and restaurateur Bill Granger, the London restaurants serve good ol’ Aussie fare including sweetcorn fritters, ricotta hotcakes, and shrimp burgers. Food is healthy, wholesome and very tasty. We’re a big fan of weekend brunch in particular.
Where: There are four locations in London in Chelsea, Kings Cross, Clerkenwell and Notting Hill
Kids’ menu: There are no dedicated kids’ menus but lots of kid-friendly dishes on the menu.
The Coal Shed
The Coal Shed is a steak and fish restaurant that started in Brighton before opening a branch near Tower Bridge. Their concept is “meat, fish and fire” and they serve coal roasted rare breed heritage meat as well as South Coast seafood alongside triple cooked chips and other great-tasting sides.
Where: Tower Bridge
Kids’ menu: The £10 kids’ menu offers a choice of minute steak and chips, fish and chips or macaroni cheese followed by a dessert.
The Goring Dining Room
Think you can’t take your kids to a restaurant with Michelin stars? Well The Goring Dining Room in London’s Belgravia neighbourhood proves otherwise. This is an excellent family fine dining option – apparently it’s a favourite with the Royal Family too. The kids’ menu is not the cheapest in town but it’s guaranteed to keep the kids quiet and you happy.
Kids’ Menu: Dishes on the kids’ menu include bangers and mash, nuggets with chips and peas and macaroni cheese. Their knickerbocker glory for pudding is always a winer!
Owned by chef Angela Hartnett (who trained with Gordon Ramsay), Café Murano is truly one of the best kid-friendly restaurants in London. The Italian menu is excellent and there’s a dedicated children’s menu which costs just £10. Located in Covent Garden, not far from Leicester Square, this is the perfect spot to stop for lunch or an early dinner after a long day of sightseeing.
Where: There are four locations in London, our favourite is the spot in Covent Garden
Kids’ Menu: The £10 kids’ menu includes chicken MIlanese or a choice of pasta and sauces followed by pudding.
The best best food markets for families in London
I love London’s markets and some of my favourites are the ones that sell food including the following:
Top of my list of great food markets in London has to be Borough Market. This is the oldest food market in London with a history dating back more than 1,000 years. Today the market still acts as a wholesale market, opening at the crack of dawn for trade. But there are also stalls catering to the public and lots of food stalls selling everything from paella and chorizo sandwiches to freshly shucked oysters and empanadas.
Where: Southwark, near London Bridge
Seven Dials Market
Located Covent Garden, Seven Dials Market is a great place to head for an easy meal. You can find everything from crab rolls to steamed buns at this food market, which is also home to the Cheese Bar, a sushi-inspired conveyor belt cheese restaurant. Don’t miss Big Shot doughnuts while here.
Where: Covent Garden
On the ground floor is a large cafe selling coffees, Italian cakes and breakfast goodies. There’s also a fresh gelato stand here as well as a deli counter selling soups, salads and sandwiches. A casual dining space is home to pizza stands, bars and a fresh pasta counter – a fine dining space is supposed to open later this year.
Where: Liverpool Street
Camden Market is another great place to head for fun family dining. They have cafes, terrace bars, fresh-baked sweet treats and lots of street food options. From Lebanese wraps and traditional fish and chips to fried chicken, poke bowls, bagels and more.
The best chain restaurants for families in London
For tried and tested good food that you know your kids are going to eat, try one of the following well-loved chain restaurants.
A true family restaurant favourite, Giraffe is the kind of restaurant built for kids. Although they don’t have as many locations in London as they used to, the remaining restaurants are centrally located. Expect anything from curry to fish and chips on the varied menu.
Where: There are Giraffe locations in King’s Cross, Victoria and the Southbank Centre.
Kids’ Menu: Their kid’s menu includes pasta, bangers and mash, fish and chips and other kid-friendly fare such as pasta.
My kids love going to Cote, a French-style bistro with locations across the city. The menu offers grilled meats and fish as well as a range of salads and pasta. While the menus might not win any awards for innovation, the food is reliably and consistently good. They also offer a very good and well-priced kids’ menu.
Where: There are locations throughout London.
Kids’ Menu: The two-course kids menu is £6.50 per child and a three-course menu is £7.95, available for children up to 7-years-old.