Eating out can be a real challenge with the entire family to cater for. Even more so if you’ve got young children. However in London, there are plenty of fantastic options across the capital for families, with lots of excellent restaurants and eateries catering specifically for kids.
Whether you have a small budget and a big family, or you’re looking for a fancy restaurant in a posh part of the city, we’ve got it you covered. To inspire your culinary adventure to the capital, here are the best family restaurants in London.
- 1 Budget Family Restaurants in London
- 2 Mid Range Family Restaurants in London
- 3 Expensive Family Restaurants in London
Budget Family Restaurants in London
Giraffe is a staple restaurant experience for many families across the United Kingdom, as their excellent menu and great prices are a wonderful attraction. With dedicated kids menus for the youngsters, Giraffe also offers great lunchtime deals that are fantastic value. Giraffe restaurants can be found in many locations across the capital, but all of their venues offer open and colourful dining areas that create a welcoming and friendly environment for the entire family.
Giraffe serves food that’s inspired by cuisine from across the world, but they provide the usual kiddie fare too. You can indulge in a katsu curry from Japan or simply have a plate of fish fingers and lots of ketchup on the side.
Farmstand is an intriguing, ethical establishment set on Drury Lane in Covent Garden, which is incredibly family-friendly. The menu is mostly plant based, but there are also a few meat dishes that can be ordered too. Everything is sustainably sourced, meaning you can eat with a clear conscience.
It’s the prices that are the real winner though. If you need a budget breakfast, lunch or dinner and want to eat healthily, then this is the place to go. Breakfast options start from £3 for a bowl of porridge, while at lunchtime you can build Farmstand Lunchboxes, including such choices as Thai green chicken or Sicilian aubergine, for less than £10 per person.
Vauxhall City Farm
For a unique farm experience in the city, then one of the best places to visit with kids is Vauxhall City Farm. Despite being in the middle of London, you can feed and pet the farmyard animals and learn all about British wildlife.
At the same time, Vauxhall City Farm is a great budget option for families when it comes to eating out because the cafe here is entirely geared up for family outings.
The Old Dairy Cafe is open from morning until mid-afternoon. As well as being a great place for parents to refuel with coffee, the café offers a range of lunchtime sandwiches and snacks for the family.
Fish and chips is perhaps the most classic British meal and London is one of the best places in the country to find good old fish and chips. You can choose a greasy spoon or a fast food shop on any street corner in London, but finding quality fish and chips at a good price for the whole family is more of a challenge.
This is where the Golden Hind steps in because this iconic fish and chip restaurant offers some of the best value in the capital. Located in Marylebone, this is classic battered fish and chunky fried chips territory, and you can have all the trimmings too, be they mushy peas or tartare sauce.
With a century of experience frying fish, you can’t really go wrong. If you need a cheap but filling meal, the price won’t set you back too far either. For the adults, there’s even a BYOB policy on alcohol, allowing you to keep costs even lower.
Wahaca is a Mexican-inspired chain that has several restaurants and food trucks across the capital. If you’re looking for a budget family meal but want to take everyone to an eatery with a bit of spice and character, then Wahaca is the perfect choice.
The food here is just about as authentic Mexican as you can find in London and the prices aren’t too dissimilar either! You can order sharing plates of Mexican food to give the kids a chance to try everything or you can opt for a cheap plate of tacos stacked with fillings for just over £5. For the adults, there’s a range of alcoholic beverages and there are many more dishes on the menu to try, from the super loaded burritos to Mexican salad bowls.
The best budget option for families in London though could well be Bistro Union because if you get your timing right there are certain times of the day when kids can eat for free.
They offer excellent brunch and dinner menus, with simple dishes based on English classics. During the school holidays and if they are running their early dinner happy hour deal, then kids eat free if an adult is paying full price for their meal. The kids’ dishes are smaller versions of the adult dishes, and it can be a refined place to bring the whole family for a meal out in style.
Mid Range Family Restaurants in London
The Rainforest Cafe is a favoured place for many families to visit in London because this is a restaurant set up for children. This is an experience in itself for youngsters because the restaurant is designed to emulate the rainforest and there are waterfalls and jungle-themed tables that immerse you in a world that’s found far from the streets of London.
There are animatronic animals, bird sounds in the air and, of course, plenty of good food too. The menu is designed specifically with kids in mind, so you can rest assured that they won’t be complaining about the choices on offer at the Rainforest Cafe.
TGI Fridays – Thank God it’s Friday – is an American-themed restaurant that caters well for families and children.
In fact, TGIs is a favourite amongst both kids and adults, and you can find their restaurants in locations across London, be it central London or in shopping centres. The food portions are big, and there are milkshakes, beers, ice cream sundaes and all manner of burgers and ribs to devour. For birthday parties or big family outings, it’s a choice where you can’t really go wrong. Although the food might not be the best-regarded or most inventive in the capital, you always know what you’re getting and that it won’t cost your life savings.
If it’s pizza that the family are demanding, then it’s time for a trip to London’s fabled Homeslice restaurant.
Homeslice has become an icon in pizza-loving circles for the fact that the pizza portions are not only enormous, but the toppings are varied and the food excellent.
The pizza is excellent value given its size and you can order a large pizza for the whole family and even ask for different varieties. You can have half pepperoni and half margarita, so no matter what differences the family might see when it comes to pizza toppings, no one can argue when you eat out at Homeslice!
All Star Lanes
For a fun-filled and action-packed restaurant opportunity in London, then book a table and a lane at All Star Lanes. This is where food meets bowling because All Star Lanes offers both food and bowling in an ever-growing number of locations across London.
You can order from the Lanes Kitchen before, during or after your bowling games, and you’ll find everything from macaroni cheese to halloumi burgers. It’s fun for everyone and the food is great at All Star Lanes, while adults can also enjoy drinks from the bar, including beers and wines from across the world, and specially designed house cocktails.
Sticky Fingers is a restaurant chain owned by Rolling Stones bassist, Bill Wyman. The restaurant has a heavy dose of Rolling Stones memorabilia, a menu full of succulent burgers and juicy ribs, and they actively encourage families with children to visit.
The kids’ menu is perhaps one of the biggest and best in London. For only £8, kids can have a main meal, a drink and a dessert. There are nuggets, cheeseburgers, wraps, mac and cheese, and sticky toffee pudding on offer at Sticky Fingers, and it’s all served in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere in central London.
For a taste of Indian food in a family-friendly restaurant, then head to one of Masala Zone’s branches in London. The restaurants serve up classic Indian dishes and you can get everything from traditional tikka masala to a scorching vindaloo. They also offer wallet-friendly thalis where you are given a selection of rice and curries on a tray.
For kids, the mini thalis are a great way to feed them for excellent value while also introducing younger children to the diversity of Indian food. As well as this, while the kids are occupied enjoying their mini plates of Indian thali food, grown-ups can try a few cocktails or indulge in some fiery, spicy food at one of London’s best Indian restaurants.
Expensive Family Restaurants in London
Bubba Gump Shrimp
If you’re a fan of the Forrest Gump film – and who isn’t? – then Bubba Gump Shrimp will be your number one family restaurant in London.
The themed restaurant is inspired by Bubba Gump Shrimp, the shrimping company run by Forrest Gump in honour of his friend Bubba. The restaurant is light-hearted yet over the top, and it’s a fun place to take kids.
The menu is stacked with all sorts of shrimp goodness, and plenty of other American dishes from burgers to plates of onion rings. It’s not the cheapest outing, but it’s worth it for the atmosphere and the Forest Gump decor.
Hard Rock Cafe
Another American-style restaurant that’s perfect for families is Hard Rock Cafe. The famous brand offers huge burgers and American-inspired shakes and drinks to match, but the real draw is the musical memorabilia, which varies from location to location.
It’s another fun restaurant that’s great for families, with children’s menus and plenty of entertainment around the venue too. For burgers though, it’s hardly the cheapest place in London, but you are really paying for the atmosphere and for the experience when you take the family out to Hard Rock Cafe.
Yotam Ottolenghi is the iconic celebrity chef behind numerous cookbooks and restaurants, while his deli outlets across London are famous for their healthy takeaway menus.
There are both restaurants and takeaway options across London when it comes to Ottolenghi. But even a takeaway salad won’t be cheap, given they are all based in the most expensive areas of the city, such as Belgravia and Notting Hill.
The food is wonderful for healthy-minded families who want to indulge and splurge a little on breakfast, lunch or dinner. The restaurants have a communal atmosphere with long tables and friendly staff, and they are happy to cater to the needs of families with children.
Barrafina is one of London’s most sought-after restaurants because this Michelin-starred restaurant offers what’s often claimed to be the best Spanish tapas in the British capital.
While that will always be subjective, what’s not debatable is the price of eating out here – it’s one for a special occasion. But the pure pleasure of an eating experience at Barrafina is unmissable.
For a Michelin-starred restaurant, Barrafina is a surprisingly family-friendly establishment too. There are currently three locations across London, and the premise is that you not only enjoy excellent tapas inspired by the cuisine of Catalonia but that you get to actually watch the chefs preparing it. It’s a great way to keep the younger kids entertained while teenagers and adults will appreciate seeing Michelin-starred masters at work preparing their lunch or dinner.
Although it’s not cheap, it’s a fantastic culinary experience that can introduce the family to the wonders of Spanish tapas.
As London experts, we know a thing or two about the best places to eat in the capital. While you’re in town check out Premium Tours’ fantastic selection of London tours.