Eating out with young kids may sound like a disastrous experience but we LOVE it! We took both kids out for a meal the very week they were born and I think it set the tempo for our foodie pursuits. Whether we’re at ‘home’ in Toronto or globe-trotting we always try our best to find good spots to dine. Sure we love exploring tourist attractions and soaking in culture at every place we visit, but it is the food we discover that we talk about the most upon our return.
When we travel we have a list of places that come highly recommended and we try our best to schedule them into our itinerary but the reality is that we only manage to hit just a handful of spots. We live in Toronto and have barely made a dent in our ‘eating out with baby’ list! So you can imagine that when we travel, spending just a couple of days in a city, we’ve left yearning to come back! We do have some gems we’ve discovered that not only cater to the kids but also speaks to the craft beer and good eats that the hubby and I
deserve seek out. If you’re a craft beer, fine wine, cocktail loving family who enjoys dining out with young kids in tow, check out our list of top 3s we’ve discovered in the following cities.
Mill Street Beer Hall: This is a loud spot that’s quite huge, which means many families come here for brunch, dinner or afternoon beer sessions. Part of a brewery they offer a decent list of brews and have a fun menu that’s always got something new. Great spot to discover the distillery district from and we love that there’s a change table in both the men’s and women’s washrooms!
Lamesa : Toronto is a multicultural hub and you can find ethnic eats from all over the world here. Lamesa is a newly discovered spot for us and we loved their twist on Filipino cuisine and that they are very kid friendly! Including change table, high chairs and plastic cups.
Bannock : Part of the Oliver & Bonacini chains this one is by far our favourite. We dine here quite often and they always let us bring our stroller by the table if the kids are asleep. We love their menu and of course have faves here like their poutine pizza! No going wrong with fresh juices and some stellar cocktails made with them!
The Shore Club : A trusted favourite, this is a fabulous spot in downtown Ottawa for some steaks, seafood and cocktails. This is a chain we’ve frequented often as we love their cocktails and seafood fare. We weren’t sure how kid friendly this spot catering to business crowd would be, but we were thrilled by the attention the little one received and the way she devoured the fish and chips from the kids menu!
Fresco Bistro : We hit this place with two little toddlers for Sunday brunch and couldn’t have found a better spot for our large group. A fusion of breakfast options and some delicious smoothies and Caesars kept our group in high spirits as the little ones enjoyed their orange juice and scrambled eggs.
Black Tomato : We randomly stumbled up on this joint and were very afraid that the little one might break one of their fancy glasses but they didn’t seem to mind at all! We only popped in here for a beer sample but can say that it made us feel like we were al fresco dining in Italy. Not a bad thing at all!
Gatineau : Keep in mind that kids aren’t allowed in pubs past 8:30 p.m. in Quebec!
Brasseurs Du Temps : We spent a leisurely afternoon sampling their beer wheel and I devoured the best Baked Brie I’ve ever had! You simply must go in for the Brie which had bacon and pecans. I still dream of it a year later. With an exhaustive beer list and a giant patio you could easily spend an entire day here. Not only do they offer kid friendly eats but they also have a change table!
Bistro D’Lautre Oeil : If you’re looking for hard to find beers from around the world you’ll want to visit this cozy little house. Yes you read it right. A house. The food menu is limited but the beer menu is exhaustive and the servers extremely knowledgeable. There’s a grassy area where little ones can burn some energy if required!
Amazonas : I’ve heard many great things about this Peruvian restaurant and can’t wait to visit. Sadly this is one of the spots that I didn’t get to. That said I hear that they aren’t only kid friendly but kid loving! It’s a small family run spot and we do enjoy discovering quaint little spots during our travels.
This is but a tiny offering of the many fabulous restaurants in the corridor between Toronto and Gatineau and I hope we have the chance to explore it more. No matter where you travel to, go with an open mind and speak to locals who will guide you towards some of their favourite spots. It also goes without saying that you should travel with any gear you need to enjoy dining out with a baby!