We get it - finding a child-friendly restaurant in Manchester is a difficult task. Having children in tow doesn’t stop you from going out to eat but it does mean there are a few extra things you need to consider. From worrying if restaurants will have options that your child(ren) will eat, to questioning whether you’ll get your money’s worth for a meal that might just be pushed around a plate - eating out with kids can be stressful.
Not all restaurants make it particularly easy for you to bring the kids along. You might be faced with a worryingly small menu, a quiet venue that has you dining in fear of a loud tantrum, or long waiting times that have the potential to be a huge test for your child’s patience. Whatever problems you’ve faced when dining out with the kids, you’re probably not alone.
If you’re heading for a day out in Manchester, then having an exciting lunch or dinner spot in mind could help save the day - whether that’s sweetening the deal for your kids, who are less than excited at the prospect of being dragged around all day, or having somewhere to go when the tummies start rumbling.
Dining out with kids isn't always smooth sailing, but we're here to make it that little bit easier and have pulled together the best child-friendly restaurants in Manchester for when you're unsure where to go. All of these spots are located in the city centre so shouldn’t require an awful lot of walking - no matter where you start from in the city. Most offer designated children’s menus and kids’ meal deals that are great value for money serving classic options like burgers or chicken and chips, and the likes of pad Thai or butter chicken for the more adventurous. You’ll be pleased to see that all these spots also have great main menus so you won’t have to compromise your foodie enjoyment to satisfy the kids.
Yard and Coop
What: Chicken and chips is the ultimate child-friendly combination and at Yard and Coop kids are very much taken care of, allowing adults to pick from a very exciting menu. Kids can choose from boneless fried chicken, a chicken mayo burger or a vegan seitan option which comes with a side of chips, mac 'n' cheese, cheesy mash or salad. It might also reassure you to know that your kids aren’t being served overly processed chicken as Yard and Coop operate with an ethos of ‘farm to fork in 48 hours’.
Where: 37 Edge Street, M4 1HW
Book now: Yard & Coop
What: Located right on the edge of Piccadilly Gardens, Shoryu Ramen is the perfect pitstop for when your little ones are done running around outside. A bright and lively restaurant, with a menu that features plenty of delicious options for kids and parents alike. The kids menu comes with an edamame starter followed by a selection of ramen or marinated fried chicken and rice and finished off with matcha, chocolate or mango ice cream - it's definitely a great place for your more adventurous youngsters, those who are always looking to try a bit of whatever you're eating.
Where: 1 Piccadilly, M1 1RG
Book now: Shoryu Ramen
What: It’s a cult Manchester favourite and you’ll be glad to know you can try it out (if you haven't already) to fulfil your Manchester foodie bucket list dreams even with kids in tow. They can choose from a cheeseburger, vegan burger or chicky strips with fries, a drink and dessert and you pay a fixed price for ‘Diddys’ and ‘Biggys’ depending on their age. Grownups can go all out with the highest piled burger you’ve ever seen, whilst the kids are entirely satisfied – win win.
Where: 100 High Street, M3 4EJ
Book now: Almost Famous
What: An option for the entire family, Kala Bistro is a bright and large restaurant in the heart of Manchester, the perfect place to go if you're out and about on a busy shopping day. It offers a children’s menu featuring breaded chicken stips or fish goujons served with chips and peas, and pasta with tomato sauce - simple meals perfect for even the fussiest eaters. Looking for a place for your next roast dinner in Manchester? Kala Bistro is definitely worth a visit, offering a full menu for adults and a free mini roast and dessert for your little ones.
Where: 55 King Street, M2 4LQ
Book now: Kala Bistro
What: For those who want to stray from kid’s chicken and chips, Mowgli’s kids’ menu is just as fun, fresh and tasty as the rest of its offerings. Mowgli’s ‘mini’ menu means kids can try similar plates to their parents at one of Manchester's best Indian restaurants, just on a smaller scale, like the house chicken curry and rice, temple dahl and rice, and mother butter chicken and rice (there’s also still a trusty gunpowder chicken and fries). The Manchester site is also beautifully decorated with twinkling lights and some swinging seating, which might prove fun (or stressful – you decide…).
Where: 37 Corn Exchange, M4 3TR
Book now: Mowgli
What: Tampopo is a high-street classic and, in case you didn’t know, it does have a kid’s menu. For Junior Explorers of up to eight years old, there’s mini corn fritters and rice, honey butter popcorn chicken and rice, and noodles with chicken or vegetables and a sweet Asian sauce. There’s also the helpful option to request a ‘Buddhist Monk Plate’ – an extra plate with cutlery so that your little one can try bits and pieces from your plate without having to order them their own dish. For older children you'll find smaller portions of adult menu dishes like pad Thai, chicken fried rice and katsu curry.
Where: Corn Exchange, M4 3TR
Book now: Tampopo
The Hip Hop Chip Shop
What: The Hip Hop Chip Shop is not the spot for a formal sit-down dinner by any means but that could make it perfect for a quick and delicious meal with the kids. It’s usually quite a lively spot, so it won’t necessarily matter if your kids are a little on the louder side. The ‘kiddie smalls’ menu has classics like fish and chips or sausage and chips as well as vegetarian and vegan alternatives like halloumi and chips or vegan fish and chips.
Where: 44 Blossom Street, M4 6BF
Book now: The Hip Hop Chip Shop
What: Not necessarily the first place you might think to take your children but Comptoir Libanais does have its own kids' menu full of main meals, drinks and desserts. All children’s mains are served with fries and hummus and they include options like a chicken wrap, lamb kofta plate and falafel wrap. Comptoir Libanais also has an extensive mezze menu from which you could just order a selection of small plates and share as a family. For kids’ drinks, there’s the option to choose from a range of homemade lemonades which will feel like a fancy and fun occasion for your little ones.
Where: 18-19 The Avenue, M3 3HF
Book now: Comptoir Libanais
What: At Pho, your kids can get the full experience for just a snip of the price of the regular menu. They can choose from dishes like wok-fried noodles with chicken, beef or tofu and mushroom, mini pho noodle soup or homemade pork meatballs with rice, veggies, prawn crackers and peanut sauce – and ingredients can be omitted upon request if it will make little diners happier with their plate. There’s even an option designed specifically for under 2s: the Baby Bun noodles picking plate made up of rice noodles, sliced chicken breast, cucumber, tomatoes, radish, prawn crackers and a sweet dipping sauce.
Where: Corn Exchange, M4 3TR
Book now: Pho
What: Albert’s Schloss is renowned for being quite a lively social hub in the evenings and on weekends but at its less boozy times of day it can be a great spot for a chilled meal in a unique setting. The Kindermenu offers up a mini bratwurst and fries, fish and chips and chicken schnitzel with spaghetti (on brand for Albert’s Schloss). There’s also a Sunday kids' roast that comes served with all the trimmings! Pop down for a Sunday dinner, sit down for a relaxed pint and let the kids explore Albert’s Schloss’ cool setting.
Where: 27 Peter Street, M2 5KR
Book now: Albert's Schloss
Looking to dine out in the city on a budget? Check out our guide to cheap eats in Manchester.
Words by: Cara Rogers