Travelling parents know that food plays a big part of any family holiday or day trip outing. Children can be picky eaters at any age, and finding a family-friendly dining spot to suit all tastes and appetites can be a huge challenge.
Vancouver is justly famous for its wide and affordable variety of dining options. The city’s multicultural mix has produced some of the best restaurants of their kind in North America. Here are our recommendations on where to eat with kids in Vancouver – tried and tested by yours truly. Bon Appetit!
Where to Eat with Kids in Vancouver
The reality is that nearly all Vancouver’s restaurants are kid-friendly, even some of the finer dining establishments in town. Go where you and your kids will be most comfortable, and enjoy dining in Vancouver with the family at any of these fantastic restaurants.
Guu with Garlic Izakaya – Robson Street Downtown. Recommended by Seattle Mom Lora S. as one of her favorite kid-friendly Japanese cuisine choices when they visit the city. Japanese tapas-style plates are meant for sharing, the atmosphere is noisy and happy, and the service is quick. Try the chicken karaage and if you’re adventurous, the octopus balls.
Nicli AnticaPizzeria – Gastown. The best wood-fired oven, thin crust Italian pizza in the city. Also serving the best Shirley Temples in town, according to our young drink aficionados. Choose and share some different pizza pies, such as the traditional Margherita, spicy Diavola, or salty Napoletana (more anchovies!) at this popular eatery. Gluten-free options are available.
The Keg – Granville Island. A family-friendly steakhouse with a good kids’ menu (including raw veggie plate) and a great selection of steak options for adults. A higher price point, but good value and friendly service.
The Old Spaghetti Factory – Gastown. A traditional pasta place with all-inclusive kids’ menu that offers very good value for money. If you have big eaters or are in a big group, the portions are large and everyone will leave full and satisfied.
Vancouver’s West Side
Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company – Kitsilano. Organic pizza and pasta offering with a kids menu that includes raw veggie plate and non-pizza favs like mac & cheese. A play area at the back of the restaurant allows kids to roam from the table (staff don’t mind) and put on a chef’s hat to bake their own pretend pizza. Good food, high-pitched atmosphere.
Bufala – Kerrisdale. Kids and pizza are a match made in heaven, and when the pies are this good, everyone in the family wins. This more suburban resto offers a twist on the traditional, including green peas & ham pizza bianco, and the oktail and kale, but classic faves are also available.
Kokopelli Cafe – Dunbar (west-side Vancouver). A popular cafe/restaurant with home-baked goods, light lunches and tasty kid-friendly options. A large play area towards the back of the cafe keeps kids happy and busy, and allows parents to sit and chat, enjoy a latte and a slice of their delicious lemon loaf.
Moderne Burger – False Creek. Some of the best burgers in the city. Portions are large, so if your kids are young, splitting an order is a wise choice. Great shakes and floats as well. Decor & music is vintage 1950s era, and you can choose a booth or bar stool to savor your made-fresh-daily Moderne Steak burger.
Temaki Sushi – Kitsilano. Everyone in Vancouver has a go-to sushi place, and this is our family’s sushi hang-out. Temaki offers great value, fresh fish and speedy service. It’s always bustling, and reservations are highly recommended.
Vancouver’s East Side
Tevere Pizza – This bustling pizzeria near Commercial Drive is packed with families noshing on truly delicious hand-crafted Neapolitan pizzas. Be prepared to wait on heated benches by the door, and be sure your entire party is there to be seated when your name is called.
Phnom Penh Restaurant – Decades in business has not dimmed the freshness of the Cambodian and Vietnamese cuisine here, nor the lines at the door. Order family-style and enjoy the butter beef, spring rolls, and incredible variety of vegetarian dishes.
AutoStrada – A casual Italian osteria on Main Street (second location is downtown), enjoy family-style sharing of hand-crafted pasta dishes with fresh meat sauces or vegetarian toppings. Lots of tasty apples too, like big meatballs and salty anchovies on toast. Save room for dessert.
Livia Sweets – ‘A small bakery, filled with joy and carbs.’ This bakery/brunch spot/weekend dinner restaurant on the Drive is beloved by anyone who loves freshly baked breads, decadent pastries, and simple yet delicious items like eggs and toast soldiers, polenta with poached egg, or spaghetti carbonara.
Popular Vancouver Restaurant Franchises
White Spot – Various locations. One of the most family-friendly dining spots in Vancouver and a local favourite since 1928. ‘Pirate Paks’ (created in 1968) for the kids include choice of burger, chicken strips, grilled cheese and fries, arrive in a boat with gold pirate coin treasure. Plus ice cream for dessert. Great shakes too, and a much improved selection of multicultural dining choices for adults.
Earls and Cactus Club Restaurants – Various locations. Local standard-bearers for high-quality, excellent cuisine that appeals to all ages and tastes. Curiously, no high chairs (hint), but fabulous for older toddlers and up. Chicken strips & fries, pizzas, pasta and great service. Always a good bet for great food.
Heading to Whistler? Here’s our list of the best restaurants to eat with kids in Whistler.
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This list is only a beginning. We’d love to hear about your favorites!
For a comprehensive list (and reviews) of all the great restaurants in this city, check out Vancouver Magazine.