16 child-friendly restaurants in London

From pizza and burgers to high-end dining, these restaurants all offer child-friendly options

Updated on 23 July 2019 • Written By Tom Gadd

16 child-friendly restaurants in London

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/horrors without having to go Nando's yet again?

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. Here’s our pick of the best child-friendly restaurants in London, 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. 

The best formal child-friendly 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).  

Bar Boulud at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

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Why: While Daniel Boulud’s brasserie may have a chic, business-like vibe, staff are very obliging when it comes to children. A set lunch and pre-theatre menu offers great value for money at £24 for three courses, including tea and coffee. An extra bonus for dads (or perhaps mums) is a baby-changing space for men. 

Where: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, SW1X 7LA

What’s nearby: Hyde Park and Winter Wonderland (around Christmas only), Harrods and Knightsbridge shops, the Royal Albert Hall

Café Murano Covent Garden

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Why: Expect an old-fashioned Italian welcome for families at the Covent Garden restaurant of Angela Hartnett, our AYALA SquareMeal Female Chef of the Year 2018. The restaurant treats all children under 10 to lunch or dinner on them, when they dine with paying parent/guardian ordering a main course during holidays. The perfect way to bring families together - whether a stop off from a day at the theatre, or just the treat of a grown-up lunch, the menus are deliberately made to the same high standards as the adult a la carte. 

Where: 36 Tavistock Street, WC2E 7PB

What’s nearby: Covent Garden and Strand theatres, the London Transport Museum, Somerset House ice rink

Daphne's

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Why: While it may be the personification of its Chelsea clientele – handsome, refined and utterly assured – that doesn’t mean this classic Italian won't welcome children. One of Daphne's trump cards is the usual slick service from owners Caprice Holdings (The Ivy et al), not least from Italian waiters who win reader praise for having “a good sense of humour”  – which should come in handy when they're dealing with kids.  

Where: 112 Draycott Avenue, SW3 3AE

What’s nearby: Science Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Hyde Park, Natural History museum and Ice Rink

The Goring Dining Room

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Why: Only a stone’s throw from Victoria, The Goring can provide a quiet respite from the mayhem around the station. The children’s menu might not be the cheapest around, but the likes of a gooey cheese omelette or knickerbocker glory are worth paying for. The Goring’s garden also provides an opportunity for kids to blow off some steam.

Where: The Goring, 15 Beeston Place, SW1W 0JW

What’s nearby: Buckingham Palace, The Apollo Victoria, Palace and Other Palace Theatres, Victoria station

The Grill at the Dorchester

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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. Take in the striking Murano glass chandelier while tucking into one of the many sweet soufflés on offer.

Where: The Dorchester, 53 Park Lane, W1K 1QA

What’s nearby: Hyde Park and Winter Wonderland, Green Park, Buckingham Palace

Hix Soho

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Why: With its moody basement bar, Mark Hix’s Brewer Street outpost might not be the first place that springs to mind for a child-friendly meal in Soho, but kids under 10 get one free main course between 4-6pm on weekdays and 12-6pm on the weekend. The menu also provides convenient distractions such as a word search, maze and the opportunity to write their own review.

Where: 66-70 Brewer Street, W1F 9UP

What’s nearby: Shaftesbury Avenue theatres, Hamley’s and Regent Street shops, Piccadilly Circus

Le Gavroche

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Why: Michel Roux Jr’s two-Michelin-starred bastion of haute cuisine probably isn’t somewhere that most parents would dream of taking their kids. But Le Gavroche does welcome little ones, although it’s worth noting that they do not provide high chairs or baby-changing facilities. There’s no children’s menu, but tip them off when booking and the kitchen can arrange appropriate dishes.

Where: 43 Upper Brook Street, W1K 7QR

What’s nearby: Hyde Park, Selfridges and Oxford Street shops

Nobu London

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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: COMO Metropolitan London, 19 Old Park Lane, W1K 1LB

What’s nearby: Hyde Park and Winter Wonderland, Green Park, Buckingham Palace

The best casual child-friendly restaurants in London

If posh nosh isn't the order of the day, then there are plenty of more 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. 

All Star Lanes Holborn

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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 four B’s: bowling, booze, burgers and bacon. 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.

Where: Victoria House, Bloomsbury Place, WC1B 4DA

What’s nearby: British Museum

Franco Manca Covent Garden 

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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 £5.

Where: 39 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7LJ

What’s nearby: Covent Garden and Strand theatres, Royal Opera House, the London Transport Museum, Trafalgar Square, Somerset House ice rink

Granger & Co King’s Cross

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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.

Where: 7 Pancras Square, N1C 4AG

What’s nearby: Platform 9 ¾ and the Harry Potter shop at King’s Cross, St Pancras station

Inamo Covent Garden

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Why: Inamo is a no-brainer for any parent dragging kids around London. This futuristic restaurant’s tables double up as an entertainment centre where you can spy on the kitchen with ‘Chef Cam’, play retro videogames like Pong or design your own place setting. Ordering the Asian cuisine by iPad will thrill the kids, too.

Where: 11-14 Hannover Place, WC2E 9JP

What’s nearby: Covent Garden and Strand theatres, Royal Opera House, the London Transport Museum, Trafalgar Square, Somerset House ice rink (in the winter only)

Pique-Nique

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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 and relax with a glass of something chilled and white.

Where: 32 Tanner Street, SE1 3LD

What’s nearby: Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, The Shard, Fashion and Textile Museum, London Bridge station

Wahaca Southbank 

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Why: Wahaca’s South Bank outpost is made up of eight recycled shipping containers which are decorated with graffiti and murals, something that should keep younger visitors distracted – as too the riverside location. An affordable children’s menu at Wahaca gives the choice of building your own tacos or cheesy toasted quesadilla sandwiches with a drink for £5.75.

Where: Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX

What’s nearby: National Theatre, Royal Festival Hall, IMAX Waterloo, the London Eye, Waterloo station

Wright Brothers South Kensington

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Why: If your child is the kind that loves seafood then they will be ‘Wright’ at home here. Wright Brothers' menu has oysters at its heart and there’s not much these folk don’t know about all kinds of shellfish. You can expect well-heeled locals and fellow museum visitors at this South Kensington branch.

Where: 56 Old Brompton Road, SW7 3DY

What’s nearby: Science Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Hyde Park, Natural History museum and Ice Rink

York & Albany

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Why: This Gordon Ramsay-owned gastropub is great for people watching, while children receive the red-carpet treatment. Kids under 12 eat free, as long as there is an adult dining from the a la carte menu, while slam dunk meatballs are among some stealthily nutritious dishes. A collection of children’s activities can be found and the menu is curated by Ramsay’s daughter Tilly.

Where: 127-129 Parkway, NW1 7PS

What’s nearby: Regents Park, Madame Tussauds, London Zoo, Primrose Hill, Camden Market

Still looking for more places to eat with your kids? Check out our list of the best child-friendly restaurants in London.