London is definitely a great place for a family day out. However, a long day of dragging your kids around the endless attractions is going to lead to some hungry stomachs, big and small. But where can you safely take the little darlings without having to go Nando's yet again? We're here to share the good news that there are plenty of terrific places to eat around London that will be just as accommodating to your child as they would to any adult.
Our pick of the best family restaurants in London includes places you’d probably choose to go even without kids, because you deserve a treat too. We’ve rounded up the best fancy restaurants that are still child-friendly, as well as some more casual places to grab a slice of pizza or enjoy a burger should the craving for a junk food hit come the half term holidays.
Some of our choices below have special set-ups to help your meal go as smoothly as possible. While a handful of the best child-friendly restaurants provide entertainment via the likes of colouring in equipment, almost all of them provide specially selected kids menus with your mini me(s) in mind. These selections of dedicated dishes are carefully prepared to appeal to little taste buds so are often kept simple and delicious. On many menus you’ll find pasta options, while things like mini burgers and chips are also a popular choice. An additional bonus of taking your gang to a kids restaurant in London is the cost-factor. Everything is expertly portioned to allow for as little waste as possible, and with that you get cheaper eats for the kids – plus menus often come with a drink and a dessert thrown in for good measure.
So, whether you’re after something casual and easy or somewhere more formal where your kids will feel just as much of a grown-up as the person footing the bill, here’s our pick of the best child-friendly restaurants in London.
The best casual child-friendly family restaurants in London
If posh nosh isn't what you or the family are looking for, then there are plenty of laid-back joints to bring your little ones to in London. A casual bite to eat will allow you to fully relax knowing that nobody is going to get upset if there's a bit of noise coming from your table, and there are sure to be options on the menus of the below restaurants that your children will enjoy. From pizza places to burger restaurants, these are the best tried-and-tested child-friendly restaurants to take your gang to.
Rosa’s Thai, Soho
Why: This popular Thai chain has restaurants all over London so you’re never too far away from a family-friendly meal if you’re stuck in town with hungry littluns. The kid's menu features a range of crowd-pleasing Thai classics, from chicken satay to crispy prawns, which are all served with egg-fried rice, tasty veggies and a glass of fruit juice. All mains come in at £6.50, and you can add a scoop of ice cream for £1 to finish with something sweet.
Where: 23a Ganton Street, WIF 9BW
What’s nearby: Carnaby Street, Oxford Street, Leicester Square
Book now: Rosa’s Thai
Why: The popular fast-casual pasta joint Pastaio offers half-size portions of some of its best-loved dishes. Priced at just £6 each, younger visitors can enjoy the likes of slow-cooked spaghetti Bolognese and tomato rigatoni - which is served alongside a fresh vegetable pot and an ice cream scoop of choice for dessert. Available for kids who are 12 years old and under.
Where: 19 Ganton Street, W1F 9BN
What’s nearby? Carnaby Street, Leicester Square, Chinatown
Book now: Pastaio
Koya Ko, Hackney
Why: Koya Ko in Hackney comes from the same team who brought us Koya, albeit a more casual, fast-paced version of the udon noodle bar. Offering Koya Ko kiddy trays for younger visitors, children are able to enjoy a perfectly-sized selection of dashi and udon with a portion of fresh vegetables, along with child-friendly chopsticks. The meal is served on a colouring tray too, to keep children busy while slurping their udon.
Where: 10 Broadway Market Mews, E8 4TS
What’s nearby? Broadway Market, Victoria Park, London Fields Lido, Hackney City Farm
Book now: Koya Ko
Heddon Street Kitchen, Piccadilly Circus
Why: Four words: kids eat for free. That’s right, kids eat for free all day, every day at Gordon Ramsay’s relaxed restaurant chain Heddon Street Kitchen, with all its child-friendly main courses on the house. Choose from the likes of meatballs with pasta, macaroni cheese, bangers and mash or burger and chips. Desserts are an extra cost, but for £3.50 you can’t really complain. Treat them to a chocolate brownie, or ice cream with chocolate sauce.
Where: 3-9 Heddon Street, W1B 4BN
What’s nearby: Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Chinatown, Hamleys
Book now: Heddon Street Kitchen
The Coal Shed, Tower Bridge
Why: The idea of a restaurant that is focused on serving predominantly steak and fish-based dishes probably sounds rather grown up. Luckily, The Coal Shed by Tower Bridge serves a children's menu which offers bite-size versions of the restaurant's signature dishes. Kids can tuck into either fish and chips or a cheese burger, followed by brownie with vanilla ice cream. And all that is only a tenner per head!
Where: 4 Crown Square, SE1 2SE
What’s nearby: The Tower of London, The Shard, Borough Market, HMS Belfast, The London Bridge Experience and Tombs
Book now: The Coal Shed
Pizza East, Shoreditch
Why: Pizza is a failsafe when it comes to feeding hungry children and also works perfectly as a treat. The always jam-packed Shoreditch branch of this pizza mini chain means the buzz is kept to a max, allowing rowdy children to roam free. Better still, kids eat for free, all day every day! Mains include lasagne, a margherita pizza or a burger, and there's the choice to include a scoop of gelato for an extra £4.
Where: 56 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ
What’s nearby: Museum of the Home, Sky Garden
Book now: Pizza East
Inamo, Covent Garden
Why: Inamo is a no-brainer for any parent dragging kids around London and this Covent Garden location one-ups your average restaurant. Kids will love being able to order food from its extensive menu via its state-of-the-art touch-sensitive tables. Plus, they can entertain themselves by playing games, drawing pictures or changing the design of the interactive table top.
Where: 11-14 Hannover Place, WC2E 9JP
What’s nearby: Covent Garden and Strand theatres, Royal Opera House, London Transport Museum, Trafalgar Square, Somerset House
Book now: Inamo
Dishoom, Covent Garden
Why: Dishoom is the restaurant that’s always there for you in a moment of need, and a reliable option for almost any occasion. So, if the occasion at hand involves bringing the whole family along, then you’re in luck! The team at Dishoom do encourage younger guests to order from the main menu, and are happy to point you in the direction of some milder dishes. However, to make things even simpler, there’s a special menu for little Dishoom-wallas which features dishes that benefit from being ‘smaller portions, very little spice, but just as nice’. Look out for murgh malai chicken thighs or paneer tikka served with Bombay potatoes, Dishoom 'slaw, and a glass of fruit juice.
Where: 12 Upper Street Martin's Lane, WC2H 9FB
What’s nearby: Covent Garden and Strand theatres, Royal Opera House, London Transport Museum, Trafalgar Square
Book now: Dishoom
Where the Pancakes Are, Southwark
Why: Little ones are bound to find the idea of eating pancakes for lunch or dinner boundlessly exciting, and to be honest, so will the parents if you're anything like us. Part of the fun of eating at this pancake-focused restaurant is being able to build your own dish – an option that’s available for both kids and adults alike. The children’s menu invites kids to pick their pancakes (buttermilk or vegan) and add as many toppings as they please, from sausage and halloumi to mixed fruit and chocolate sauce.
Where: 85a Southwark Bridge Road, SE1 0NQ
What’s nearby: Borough Market, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, London Bridge
Book now: Where the Pancakes Are
Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill, Chelsea
Why: Turning out comfort food for both adults and children alike, this family-friendly restaurant benefits from genial staff, a warm environment and a dedicated kid’s menu. Parents can devour rare-breed steaks, fish and poultry hot off the grill, whereas kids can sit happily with meatballs and pasta, burger and chips or bangers and mash. The best bit? All kids main courses are free, every day. Add a dessert for an extra £3.50 such as chocolate brownie, vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce or a sticky toffee pudding.
Where: 11 Park Walk, SW10 0AJ
What’s nearby: National Army Museum, Chelsea Physic Garden, Battersea Park, Purple Dragon
Book now: Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill
All Star Lanes, Holborn
Why: This bowling alley-cum-American diner has the unique advantage of not only being a place you can take the young’uns for dinner, but also giving them something fun to do. At All Star lanes, it’s all about the three B’s: bowling, booze, and burgers. With the exception of the booze, kids are guaranteed to love this place, and parents should too. While there are lanes reserved for walk-ins, it’s definitely worth booking ahead. Better still, there’s a dedicated kids' menu which includes things like chicken and waffles, halloumi wraps, mini fish and chips and vegan pasta. Add a drink for an extra two quid.
Where: Bloomsbury Place, WC1B 4DA
What’s nearby: British Museum
Book now: All Star Lanes
Franco Manca, Covent Garden
Why: This unbeatable sourdough pizza chain has a Covent Garden branch that is a perfect pitstop during a day out in the capital. The low prices offer fantastic value for families: the kids’ menu includes a pizza, a drink and ice cream for just £7.65. The fuss-free tables means spills aren't an issue and there's a speedy turnover time to prevent the age old issue of hanger.
Where: 39 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7LJ
What’s nearby: Covent Garden and Strand theatres, Royal Opera House, London Transport Museum, Trafalgar Square, Somerset House ice rink
Book now: Franco Manca
Granger & Co, King’s Cross
Why: Bill Granger’s relaxed, cool, and seemingly effortless café is well known for its brunch options, especially its ricotta hotcakes. Such sweet treats are bound to be a hit with kids, and at this child-friendly eatery parents can opt for more savoury options including an endless selection of egg dishes and the fabulous soft-shell crab fried rice. Granger & Co is a great place to head with more adventurous eaters, with the little ones’ menu featuring things like Parmesan chicken schnitzel with fries and green beans, and soy glazed salmon with brown rice.
Where: 7 Pancras Square, N1C 4AG
What’s nearby: Platform 9 ¾ and the Harry Potter shop at King’s Cross, St Pancras station
Book now: Granger & Co
Pique-Nique, London Bridge
Why: The perfect option for London-bound families in the summer, Pique-Nique’s location in Tanner Street Park is a great place to soak up the urban buzz. It also means there’s somewhere to let the kids run around after you’ve tucked into some affordably-priced rotisserie chicken with properly crisp French fries. The kids can join in the foodie fun too, with a dedicated menu that includes chicken, fries and ice cream for £10.
Where: 32 Tanner Street, SE1 3LD
What’s nearby: Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, The Shard, Fashion and Textile Museum, London Bridge station
Book now: Pique-Nique
Poppie's Fish & Chips, Camden
Why: Over time Poppie's has earnt itself a reputation for serving some of the finest fish and chips in the Capital and the good news is that it doesn't just do vast adult-sized portions. A section of the menu called 'food for kids' includes small portions of favourites including cod bites and sausage with chips, which cost just less than a tenner each. Head to the Camden outpost which has a particularly relaxed vibe, and then head on to the colourful markets which the children will love.
Where: 30 Hawley Crescent, NW1 8NF
What’s nearby: Camden Market, Regent's Park
Book now: Poppie's Fish & Chips
Why: Wahaca’s South Bank outpost is made up of eight recycled shipping containers which are decorated with graffiti and murals, something that should capture younger visitors' attention. An affordable children’s menu at Wahaca gives the choice of building your own tacos or cheesy toasted quesadilla sandwiches with a drink for £6.75. You can also add ice cream (if they've been good!) for an extra £1.75.
Where: Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
What’s nearby: National Theatre, Royal Festival Hall, IMAX Waterloo, the London Eye, Waterloo station
Book now: Wahaca
York & Albany by Gordon Ramsay, Regent's Park
Why: This Gordon Ramsay-owned gastropub is great for people watching, while children receive the red-carpet treatment. Kids under eight eat free at York & Albany, as long as there is an adult dining from the a la carte menu.
Where: 127-129 Parkway, NW1 7PS
What’s nearby: Regents Park, Madame Tussauds, London Zoo, Primrose Hill, Camden Market
Book now: York & Albany by Gordon Ramsay
The best formal child-friendly family restaurants in London
There's a place and a time for formal dining, and if you have the whole gang with you there's no need to miss out on a special meal. In the capital there are plenty of formal restaurants that are also child-friendly, from Soho to Shoreditch, and make the perfect spot to celebrate a birthday or catch up with friends (big and small).
The Rosarium, Waterloo
Why: This quirky restaurant located beneath platforms 20-24 at Waterloo station is a great choice after a day of sightseeing. Its kids' menu is inspired by Alice in Wonderland, with dishes such as Cheshire Cat Bread with mozzarella cheese, Tweedle Dippers which sees zucchini fried in Parmesan, and The Mad Platter featuring crudites and hummus. To finish, there's Croquet Sundae and a Choc-a Pillar Pudding.
Where: The Sidings, Waterloo Station, SE1 7BH
What’s nearby: South Bank, London Eye, National Theatre
Book now: The Rosarium
Pivot Bar & Bistro, Covent Garden
Why: This Scottish-inspired restaurant from chef Mark Greenaway is offering free Sunday roasts for kids this summer, to help make the summer holiday a little bit more manageable for parents. With unrivalled views over Covent Garden's piazza, children under the age of ten can choose a free main meal from the sunday roast menu when two or more adults enjoy a main each.
Where: London Transport Museum, Trafalger Square, Royal Opera House
What’s nearby: 3 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8LU
Book now: Pivot Bar & Bistro
Coppa Club, Tower Bridge
Why: This non-member's site of the stylish Coppa Club offers a wealth of easy food options for the whole family, from its all-day menu to a gluten-free offering. Plus, there's an enticing kids' menu filled with starters, mains and puds. Think crispy squid with mayonnaise, pasta pomodoro, margherita pizza and chicken Milanese. It's also an easy distance from some of London's top landmarks, from the Tower of London to Tower Pier if you fancy taking a river cruise.
Where: 3 Three Quays Walk, EC3R 6AH
What’s nearby: Tower of London, The Gherkin
Book now: Coppa Club Tower Bridge
OXO Tower Brasserie, Southwark
Why: For a meal with the children which has the bonus of an incredible view across London, the OXO Tower Brasserie is tough to beat. The brasserie sits up on the eighth floor of the famous tower, which overlooks the Thames, and serves a dedicated children's menu which includes a juice, snack, main and pudding. Snacks span sweet and salty popcorn, and vegetable gyoza with sweet chilli sauce, while mains include popular favourites like loaded fries and a fish butty. For dessert, little ones are sure to love the red velvet cheesecake brownie with chocolate sauce.
Where: Barge House Street, SE1 9PH
What’s nearby: The London Eye, Royal Festival Hall, The Southbank Centre, The National Theatre
Book now: OXO Tower Brasserie
Café Murano, Bermondsey
Why: Expect an old-fashioned Italian welcome for families at Angela Hartnett's Café Murano. The restaurant offers a dedicated children's menu which costs just £10 and includes either chicken Milanese or a bowl of pasta, followed by ice ceam. The perfect way to bring families together, the menus are deliberately made to the same high standards as the adult a la carte.
Where: 184 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3TQ
What’s nearby: Tanner Street Park, The Shard, Leathermarket Gardens
Book now: Cafe Murano Bermondsey
Fallow, St James's Market
Why: Fallow is a sustainability-focused restaurant that offers children the ‘Mini Fallowers’ menu, serving little portions of some dishes from the main menu. Dishes include Fallow’s famous corn ribs and the smoked beef ribs, as well as fish fingers with smoky mayo, and homemade sausages with new potatoes and gravy. For dessert, chocolate soft serve and milk ice cream with a hazelnut crumb are on the menu. The children’s menu even comes with some colouring-in pages made from recycled seaweed to keep them busy.
Where: 2 St James’s Market, SW1Y 4RP
What’s nearby: Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Hamleys, Trafalgar Square
Book now: Fallow
The Grill at the Dorchester, Mayfair
Why: The Dorchester’s grown-up glamour might not scream child-friendly, but being a parent shouldn’t stop you enjoying the high life, and the hotel’s famous Grill will happily accommodate you and your child(ren), offering a dedicated menu for little ones. Take in the striking Murano glass chandelier while tucking into one of the many delicious dishes on offer. The kids’ menu at this family restaurant includes favourites like battered fish, chips and peas as well as spaghetti Bolognese and cream soft serve with dulce de leche for pudding.
Where: The Dorchester, 53 Park Lane, W1K 1QA
What’s nearby: Hyde Park and Winter Wonderland, Green Park, Buckingham Palace
Book now: The Grill at The Dorchester
Nobu London, Mayfair
Why: Nobu is the savvy parent’s secret posh lunch, providing all the necessary amenities, as well as helpful staff happy to warm bottles or recommend child-approved dishes. Although dinner gets booked up well in advance, at lunchtime, same-day bookings are common. The children’s bento box includes the likes of tiger shrimp and squid tempura.
Where: 19 Old Park Lane, W1K 1LB
What’s nearby: Hyde Park and Winter Wonderland, Green Park, Buckingham Palace
Book now: Nobu
Looking to treat the little ones like royalty? Why not check out our round up of the best children's afternoon teas in London and across the UK.