The best kid-friendly dining experiences in Toronto

A good meal or a cup of decent coffee is hard to come by when you have kids. Nice restaurants are filled with couples who give you the death stare when your kid starts wailing because they are not going to get a toy with their meal. Not to mention the hipster brush off you get at trendy coffee joints; it’s enough to send you running to the embrace of fast food restaurants with ball pits. But fear not, parenthood no longer relegates you to a lifetime of plastic meals and an early cholesterol-induced grave. Now parents can have their cakes and eat them too.

Playful Grounds is a new kid-friendly coffee shop on College. Come and enjoy all the luxury and leather seats you find in a regular coffee shop with the added convenience of stroller parking, kid-friendly bathrooms and as many toys as you can play with. The mom-friendly menu is kid-friendly too and your wee ones can enjoy healthy snacks served in sippy cups and bowls with suction while you sip a latte and relax.

The Rainforest Cafe in Yorkdale Mall is like a fairytale wrapped in an adventure wrapped in an Indiana Jones movie. The rainforest decor is complimented by tropical fish tanks, live parrots and look out for the butterflies and moving elephants too. Menus include great options for adults and a wide selection for kids too.

The Originals Bar in Bayview has a ho hum kind of menu, but you can actually enjoy a drink while your kids get rid of their energy in the playroom. Kids can play games and win prizes while you relax in the laid back bar.  If you just want to get a bite, head to the Buddha Dog on the up-and-coming Roncesvalles. Here the kid-friendly menu is augmented by yummy adult meals that are healthy too. The kids can play with toys supplied by the toy store next door. Frequented by trendy parents and sporting a very organic menu, it’s a great place to have a meal and meet like-minded people. Try the organic hot dogs and yummy homemade sauces.

Medieval Times Restaurant and Tournament is the ultimate family restaurant. Simple set meals are served amid a fairytale staged before your very eyes.  There are fair maidens, brave knights and dastardly villains, live horses and falcons that will wow kids of all ages. Replete with sword fights and jousting; this is the perfect venue for the medievally minded.

Whatever your tastes in food and ambiance, it is indeed possible to have a nice meal, a cup of coffee or even a drink with your kids in tow.

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