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Family Friendly Places to Eat in London

Family Friendly Places to Eat in London

If you don’t know London, it can be difficult finding a family friendly place to eat & drink, especially if you are watching the budget. However, there are some great places to go where you will be welcomed with your brood & where you won’t leave feeling that you have been the victim of daylight robbery.

To try & make life easier we have listed our recommendations by area, concentrating on those popular with families. Jump to:
Covent Garden,
Oxford Street / Soho area,
The Southbank,
around the Tower of London &
near the South Kensington museums.

We have also listed some Local London chains where you will find branches scattered around – Google maps will always find your nearest.

If you’re looking for something to do, check out our pick of the London museums with free entry & our suggestions for free family activities in London.

Around Covent Garden

The London Eye

The London Eye

There is every chain you can imagine including Carluccio’s, Bill’s, Pizza Express, Zizzi, Wagamama & Cote to name but a few. These are always a good bet for kid friendly speedy service, but if you fancy somewhere a bit different (even if you do still end up eating pizza), here are our recommendations.

Belgo – This Belgian restaurant great if the adults fancy moules. They also do a wide range of other dishes & have a decent kids menu, which does include mussels as an option for your more adventurous tot.

Homeslice – these guys do fabulous 20 inch pizzas as well as pizza by the slice. There is no special children’s menu but you will be able to figure out a combination that gets everyone full with something very tasty.

Masala Zone – It often surprises people to find a family friendly Indian restaurant, but Masala is just that, with interesting street food & light lunches, as well as full meals.

Notes – If you fancy somewhere a little more adult in feel, check out Notes. They do not have a children’s menu, but they do a great range of small plates & sharing dishes. It is quite a small space, so if busy may be a little tricky with a buggy.

Wahaca – This is a very vibrant restaurant specializing in Mexican street food. Again, there is no kid’s menu, but if your child is reasonably adventurous in what they eat, you can easily order a selection of small dishes for the family to share.

 

Around Oxford St / Soho

The Cheesegrater

The Cheesegrater

Foxcroft & Ginger – my favourite café in London. Amazing french toast. No kids menu but plenty of yummy small dishes to choose from.

The Diner – American style diner. Great place for pancakes & good burgers. Small kids menu with macaroni, pancakes, burgers, meatloaf & grilled chicken. Branches in Soho & Covent Garden.

The Rum Kitchen – Caribbean themed restaurant. No separate kids menu but a nice selection of small plates & side dishes for the smaller appetite. Branches in Soho & Notting Hill

Rainforest Café – This kid centric themed restaurant is not to everyone’s taste , but it does have an extensive children’s menu & super speedy service. The sound effects are quite noisy so if your little one is a sensitive flower, you may want to stick your head inside & check it out before you all get settled. We have had a melt down from a 4 year old during a “thunderstorm”……

Bodean’s BBQ – This is a great place for pulled pork & wings. They offer a free kids meal for every paying adult until 3pm on weekdays and 5pm at weekends, with several favourites like mac n cheese.

 

On the Southbank

Big Ben

Big Ben

Near the Royal Festival Hall

You can find several of the chains here – Giraffe, Strada, YO! Sushi & Wagamama. If you want something a little different, try

Wahaca – again – this one has a fabulous view of the Thames

Canteen – these guys do traditional British food such as pies, sausage & mash, fish & chips etc. They have no set kid’s menu but do a selection of dishes in half size / price portions for children.

Gabriel’s Wharf

Studio 6 – There are several places to eat around here, but in our opinion this is the best of them. It has an outside area if the weather is good, a separate kid’s menu & a wide range of small plates perfect for family sharing.

Between The Globe and City Hall to Shad Thames

You can find all the chains along this stretch of the Southbank, with clusters near the Globe, Borough Market, Hay’s Galleria & Shad Thames. However, our favourite option by far is to head for Borough Market or Maltby Street Market. This works well with kids in better weather, as you can pick up your food and find a comfy spot along the river to eat it. Both markets can get horribly busy, especially on sunny Saturdays, so be prepared to abandon this plan if it all gets a bit much.

 

Near the Tower of London

The Tower of London

The Tower of London

There are all the usual chains – Pizza Express, Wagamamma, Cote etc, but if you want something a little bit different, we recommend the following.

The Kitchen @ Tower – not open in the evening but great for breakfast, lunch & afternoon snacks. Separate kids menu.

Bravas Tapas – buzzing tapas restaurant with no kids menu

Bodean’s BBQ – This is a great place for pulled pork & wings. They offer a free kids meal for every paying adult until 3pm on weekdays and 5pm at weekends, with several favourites like mac n cheese.

The Dickens Inn – this is a great place for a drink, especially in good weather, although it does get very busy. There are two restaurants, a pizza place & the grill. I have to say I would not recommend either, but you can order the pizza in the bar & the beer garden & it can be very handy to feed hungry small ones whilst you enjoy a drink.

 

Near the South Ken museums

The meridian at the Royal Observatory

The meridian at the Royal Observatory

There are several eating options within the museums themselves & if you are spending the day, these can be your best bet.

If the weather is nice, another good option is to stop off at the Pret branch opposite South Kensington tube & pick up a picnic to eat in the park.

In terms of chains, there is a Carluccio’s opposite South Ken tube, a Gourmet Burger Kitchen along the Old Brompton Road & a Pizza Express along the Brompton Road, about a 10 minute walk away from the tube. Around Gloucester Road tube there is a branch of Ask, Byron burgers & the ubiquitous Nando’s.

In terms of non chain options, we tend to head to

Aubaine – French bistro style restaurant. They do not have a separate kids menu, but will do a small bowl of pasta, chicken with a side dish or fish fingers.

Beruit Express – This Lebanese restaurant has lots of mezze options to choose from, as well as wraps & full meals. You can eat in the restaurant or pick up a snack at the bar.

Tom’s Kitchen – if you are looking for more of an eating experience, rather than just getting everyone fed, this is a really good option for modern British comfort food. There is a children’s menu.

 

Local London chains

Big Ben

Big Ben

Benitos Hat – Mexican favourites in a fast food type setting. No separate kids menu but you can order a selection of smaller dishes.

Yalla Yalla – Lebanese street food. No separate kids menu, but there is an extensive mezze menu so you can order small dishes.

Leon – Good all day menu with a broad range of dishes. Kids menu with items from egg & soldiers to Gobi rice box.

pod – healthy, fresh fast food to go. No kids menu but lots of family favourites like scrambled eggs, porridge & bagels as well as sandwiches, salads & hot meals.

Franco Manca – Great sourdough pizza. Very popular so there is often a queue. No separate kids menu but you can create your own pizza to share if the menu options don’t appeal.

Nicholson’s Pubs – There are 45 Nicholson’s pubs in London. They tend to have separate dining rooms which welcome kids & they have a kids menu with pub style favourites.

 

 

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