Eating out with kids

(11 Posts)
CurlyRach Thu 14-Mar-13 16:03:36

Hi all
Where do you eat out with kids? Find it hard to keep the kids occupied so was wondering if anyone knows any chains that are very child-friendly? Thanks

racingheart Thu 14-Mar-13 18:27:29

depends on their age. There are loads of chains that cater for kids. The ones I relied on for years when they were young were:
Pizza express (they have toy packs with little card games and colouring books for every child, and the chefs often give them free paper hats and let them watch the pizzas going in.)
Giraffe - they get cute dayglo giraffes to stir their drinks with and the menu has adult food not just LCD burgers.
Loads of people recommend Wagamama - never been in because it's inevitably next door to a restaurant my DC want to try even more. But it's a similar format - child friendly with high chairs and kids menus as well as grown up food.
Also - Nandos isn't bad at all. Only sell chicken, but there's a good variety and the food is fresh. I had home made humous last time, it was really good. You might have to asteer the Dc away from the never ending soda stream and frozen yoghurt pots, but apart from that, it's quite cosy.
In London there's Smollenskys, especially designed for children with table magicians who make balloon figures and do tricks, and a huge screen with cushions, so they can watch tv after they've eaten while you enjoy a coffee.
For older children, Byron burgers are great.

CurlyRach Fri 15-Mar-13 09:22:51

Thank you - that's really helpful. Giraffe is a great suggestion.

Most Italian restaurants are child friendly. There is also Frankie and Benny's but they are a bit hit and miss in terms of the quality of the food.

We play a LOT of eye spy while waiting in restaurants - play with colours instead of letters for little ones and go prepared with stuff - a new comic or something is good and if all else fails hand them your phone grin

Also, don't know if you have Jimmy Chungs or similar chinese buffet places? Tend to be child friendly as there is no waiting and under 3s eat free and they can try lots of different things - there is usually plainish noodles and chips etc for fussy eaters - also they can always have the chicken balls without the sauce and have ketchup instead.

Startail Fri 15-Mar-13 10:11:22

Nado's free trunk refills save me a fortune, DDs always want seconds.
Beefeater did big and little kids menus last I went, not bad food

Or F&Bennie's used to be good, but the standard of food has gone down markedly.

Pizza Hut (dull as dishwater), likewise Italians.
we have Pizza and spaghetti endlessly at home.

Pizza express is more interesting, but expensive.

Weatherspoons, I went once never again, the behaviour of other people's DCs was appalling (my two aren't angels)

Startail - do you have baby elephants? grin

Nado's free trunk refills save me a fortune

to be honest my kids favourite places to eat tend to be independant places rather than chains except mcdonalds Proper cafes that do good food and toasties and ice cream sodas and home baking.

upinthehills Fri 15-Mar-13 10:21:18

The trick with young ones is to go somewhere the food comes quickly (Wagamamas can never be beaten on this one) and to limit yourselves to a main meal only and possibly coffee only if they are having deserts. Don't even think of ever having a starter - ever!

As for the bill with the DC are still eating their desert so that you can leave when you want and aren't hanging around waiting for ages.

Will never step foot in a Frankies and Bennies again, they are truely dire. Over favourite is a local Italian, great kids menu and friendly. Not a huge fan of the chains - sick to death of pizza express.

seeker Fri 15-Mar-13 10:23:48

Take some colouring- then you can go anywhere.

noramum Fri 15-Mar-13 21:19:33

My DD finds Giraffe revolting.

We normally look for Italian places but not Pizza Express. Indian or Thai are also a big hit and normally they don't mind if you share a main meal.

I always take entertainment with me. We have a bag ready packed at home and in the car is paper and pen. If in a total hurry I buy a magazine and let DD play with our smartphone.

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