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The Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants In Canberra

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Is there anything more awkward than showing up at a fancy restaurant with the kids in tow, completely shocked by the adults-only vibe? We don’t think so, and the unapproving glares from the wait staff and diners certainly don’t help.

To help you treat your whole family to a delicious meal out, we asked Canberra locals to share their favourite kid-friendly restaurants in the region. And now, the results are in. The top pick eateries welcome the little ones with open arms and serve up a tasty menu that’s sure to please even the fussiest of eaters.

So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

What makes a great kid-friendly restaurant?

Not sure what, exactly, you are on the lookout for when deciding on a place to eat with the kids? Not to worry. We suggest keeping an eye out for the following traits:

  • A kid-friendly menu.Most kids are not like adults – they don’t necessarily like trying strange, unfamiliar foods. The best family-orientated restaurants offer at least a few kid-friendly options, whether that be tried-and-true classics like fish and chips or something a little more creative.
  • A lively atmosphere. Kids make noise – there are no two ways about it. Opt for a restaurant with a lively atmosphere, so you don’t have to be worried about the kids laughing or chatting enthusiastically.
  • Friendly staff. The last thing you want is a rude staff member mistreating your children. The best kid-friendly cafes and restaurants enjoy seeing happy families investing in a little quality time together.
  • Fast service. While a three-hour dinner may be the preference of adult diners, kids generally don’t hold up that long. They can become tired or bored in an hour or two, so fast service is a must.

The top kid-friendly restaurants in Canberra according to you

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

It’s time to introduce the top kid-friendly restaurants in the Canberra region.

Trevs@Dickson

Hidden away on Challis Street is Trevs@Dickson, a local staple and family favourite. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the dedicated team at Trevs@Dickson serve up a creative range of dishes that make use of the best in-season produce. There truly is something for everyone, even the fussiest of eaters.

Spice Affair Indian Cuisine

Does your family like things a little spicy? Head to Spice Affair and get an authentic taste of India’s rich culinary history. Serving up a delightful range of dishes – some of which are spicy and others that are child-friendly – the passionate team behind Spice Affair get a real kick out of sharing the 5,000-year-old tradition of Indian cooking with Canberra’s locals. The atmosphere is laid-back and fun, and the service is incredible. What more could you ask for?

Agostinis

Kids love pizza and pasta – and so does mum and dad. Agostinis is a family-friendly Italian restaurant that serves up some of the tastiest Italian dishes in Canberra. All pasta is made fresh daily on-site, and all pizzas are cooked to crispy, melty perfection in the scorching-hot, state-of-the-art Marana Forni pizza oven. After your main meal, be sure to indulge in a scoop or two of house-made gelato!

Who did you pick?

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Do you enjoy a family meal out every now and again? Have you ever tried one of the restaurants listed above? If not, which is your go-to? Share your thoughts, feedback, and experience in the comments area below.


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48 Responses to The Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants In Canberra
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Matty Sullivan Matty Sullivan 5:19 pm 04 Jul 09

I’m pretty sure if Burke thought the kid was an inconvenience, he wouldn’t be posting about what now to do on here.

ant ant 1:15 am 11 Jun 09

The thing is, everyone LOVES everyone else’s kids and babies. Let’s face it. We’ll all put up with anything for other peoples’ kids. Shit, noise, boring stories, curbs on our freedoms, anything really. We won’t speed in school zones either, becuase someone else’s kids might be endangered, yep, we all care a LOT about other peoples’ kids. And we are really honest about it too.

Cletus 2 Cletus 2 12:00 am 11 Jun 09

Take it on a really long plane flight. Preferably sitting right behind me. Babies love that kind of thing, and so does everyone around them. Try to smuggle some satay skewers on board so we can all enjoy perforating our eardrums with them.

YapYapYap YapYapYap 11:54 pm 10 Jun 09

Hell ant, I dont mind lending a hand – I even sort of like the little buggas too – its just the extent to which the conversation descends that drives me crazy.

Perhaps a quick steam-clean. I’d imagine steam-cleaning followed by a 30 min blast from a hair dryer would have you on the way to a very tasty bambino peking. I’ll post a recipe.

ant ant 11:29 pm 10 Jun 09

I’m having a quiet chuckle, Yapyapyap, at some of the sentiments being expressed here too. The BabyBorg assimilates its people quietly, so they don’t realise what’s happening to them. Everyone else changes, they don’t. Except everyone else apparently has to come and provide babysitting, do a wash, clean the house, reorganise life etc etc for the child-blessed.

And I certainly wouldn’t eat a baby. Ye gods. I doubt one could ever be rendered hygienic enough to eat.

YapYapYap YapYapYap 11:18 pm 10 Jun 09

I prefer to render them for an hour or so, then confit them in their own fat. About 90mins at 90C. Allow the little fella to return to room temp and then finish with a quick sear in a vey hot pan – you won’t believe how crisp they get

YapYapYap YapYapYap 11:13 pm 10 Jun 09

BerraBoy68 said :

Hi Burkes08,

I’m a dad of two (aged 7 and 5) and from my experience, its great that your wanting to know hoe to keep your friends engaged with you. After our kids came along my single mates dropped by the way-side which in a way, means they really weren’t mates at all.

What, single blokes being bored shitless listening to stories about first fart, first, shit, colour of shit, colour of spew!!!

Heaven forbid – real mates would still be hanging on every boring detail of the little buggers’ second fart, second, shit, first gurgle, weight this week – “isn’t he daddy’s big fella” – first day at daycare, first day at pre-school………………..

I-filed I-filed 10:53 pm 10 Jun 09

Don’t bother till it can hold a conversation …

ant ant 10:44 pm 10 Jun 09

Holierthanthou said :

Gaffer tape them to a wall, that gives oppurtunity to do all sorts of things. You can keep a roll in the baby bag for outings. Many restaurants and some bars have a wall reserved for babies.

chuckle. Known as “the wailing wall”.

Interestingly, this is how most babies grew up through most of human history after we learned to agricult. People swaddled babies up so they were immobile, adn while working in the fields would hang them up in trees, so animals couldn’t start eating them.

Holierthanthou Holierthanthou 10:27 pm 10 Jun 09

Gaffer tape them to a wall, that gives oppurtunity to do all sorts of things. You can keep a roll in the baby bag for outings. Many restaurants and some bars have a wall reserved for babies.

canberra bureaucrat canberra bureaucrat 10:04 pm 10 Jun 09

I’m all for the encouraging comments here, but we shouldn’t let these hide the fact that life does change quite a lot and it is usually a challenging adjustment. Particularly for hitherto working Mums.

Your time is no longer just about you, but also about the kids and the family. Integrating the kids in with your life is absolutely the way to go (e.g. early training in cafe behaviour), but don’t be too worried if (when) it is harder than expected. We carry many many mis-conceptions about parenthood before we have kids, which can make adjustment to a new life difficult. If we pretend this is not the case, we alienate those who do find it very hard going (e.g. 1 in 5 Mums get some form of postnatal depression, and pretending motherhood should be unmitigated joy does not help them).

A top source of info, advice and support is a parent’s group. Get involved with one, or create one starting with a few people you know.

Anyway, I don’t want to sound negative because becoming a parent is a great thing, and you get a fantastic new (though modified) life that you would never give up.

bd84 bd84 9:33 pm 10 Jun 09

lock it in the cupboard?

Whatsup Whatsup 9:28 pm 10 Jun 09

Every baby is different, and each set of new parents can handle different situations. The big thing is flexibility, plans can change rapidly and if you don’t make a big deal then its win win for everyone.

Lunches can be good to start off, bubs are usually harder work in the evenings when they and their parents are tired.

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 9:20 pm 10 Jun 09

Hi Burkes08,

I’m a dad of two (aged 7 and 5) and from my experience, its great that your wanting to know hoe to keep your friends engaged with you. After our kids came along my single mates dropped by the way-side which in a way, means they really weren’t mates at all. So again, good on you!

There’s some good info on this thread but I’d say to also be patient with your friend as they will also go through changes as will their child. Late nights, early mornings, new stresses and joys all take an emotional toll on the individual so patience and love etc. are the keys to keeping your friends. Regular phone calls are great but also, as said by many others are the lunches, early dinners, outings etc. I think you’ll enjoy the baby too – you should, they’re great fun (especially once you stop treating them like fine china). Good Luck!

s-s-a s-s-a 9:10 pm 10 Jun 09

Agree with #32 that leaving the house pretty much daily is good. Pram walks are good, or walks to the local park. If you don’t know where the local parks are, go and find them because you’ll need to know pretty soon! 🙂

s-s-a s-s-a 9:06 pm 10 Jun 09

Also, babies need routine for best results. Try to do things that fit with routine.

I disagree. At 4m, as long as the baby has ready access to sustenance, somewhere comfortable to sleep (doesn’t have to be a pram or capsule), somewhere to change a nappy (doesn’t have to be an official baby change area) and a suitably warm environment given the wintery weather, then it can do any of these things pretty much anywhere.

At that age, my baby was taken on an overnight trip interstate to watch an international sporting event. She continued her usual eat-look around-play with little toys-poo-fuss-sleep activities while in transit on planes and in the midst of a noisy spectator crowd, and slept under a table in the motel room.

The least likely time the parents are likely to want to socialise is late afternoon and early evening – often known in the parenting trade as the “witching hour/s”.

At that age my daughter would sleep pretty reliably from 6.30pm until at least midnight. Hubby and I once went to see a band at Tilleys leaving her in the capable care of a mother-of-three who had to do nothing more taxing than keep the couch warm and drive the remote.

Another consideration is that if your friends have recently taken on care of a baby at 4m (ie new to them even though it’s not a newborn), I would really leave it in their hands whether they are ready for outings or not. I know when my daughter was 2w old the thought of going out for a meal was incredibly daunting, but within a couple of weeks it was fine. Even in the early days though I was more than happy to sit around the house in my PJs chatting over a cuppa to any friends who were inclined to drop in. I think I did get out of my PJs most days, but now 5y down the track it’s all a bit of a blur.

Another thing to remember is that most new parents are more than happy to spend more of their waking hours than they could possibly have imagined pre-baby just sitting and adoring their child, even if the baby is capable of not much more than gurgling, crying and waving its arms around a bit. These early days will be over in the blink of an eye and sometimes it’s nice to just stay at home and take it all in.

deezagood deezagood 8:56 pm 10 Jun 09

Stace, I made it a goal to get out of the house once a day; if not an outing, then a long nature walk (get a packpack!), a visit to a friend’s home or, if nothing else, a trip to the supermarket. This goal was harder than it sounds 🙂 I think getting out and about is the key to maintaining sanity during the early baby years!

stace8383 stace8383 8:01 pm 10 Jun 09

I’m really glad somebody posted this… I’m about to have my first baby, and I really don’t know how to maintain a social life afterwards, either! All I want is to feel that I’m still an individual, not JUST a mother, so it’s good to read these suggestions about more or less staying normal, but normal+baby. hehe

SheepGroper SheepGroper 7:59 pm 10 Jun 09

Pommy bastard said :

What do you do with a baby?

Slow roasted with a little garlic and olive oil. Can’t eat a whole one though.

Heathen! According to the Good Book you must boil them, then add spices.

Bundybear Bundybear 6:32 pm 10 Jun 09

There’s a heap of good info here, really just a matter of being willing to have a go and see how it works out. Kids are individuals, and different things work for the individual. Ask mum what she wants to do, be game to have a hold, change a nappy, push the pram, whatever. Kids are just the most awesome invention ever, especially when they’re not yours and you can have them in spurts. (I believe they were invented to give adults an excuse to do kid things so they don’t miss out on all the fun.) You are already showing the signs of being a good friend by trying to think through the new situation, but truly, relax and enjoy. And as previously mentioned, go the extra mile occassionally, cook a meal and take it over, babysit, do some washing/the dishes etc. and give your friend ten minutes break.

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