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Taking kids to restaurants from an early age is important as it gives them a positive attitude towards the social element of eating together. However, eating out with a small children can be a tall order for some parents with the experience being be more stressful than enjoyable. There are plenty of restaurants that will offer crayons, kid menus, high chairs and most importantly, lots of other understanding families. A recent visit to Rocky Mountain Flatbread made me realize that there is so much more to family dining than pirate packs. We had such a great time not just because Sadie was well behaved, but because she was so engaged and had an experience of her own. It left me inspired to put together a list of family friendly restaurants in the Lower Mainland that have taken kid friendly dining beyond booster seats and colouring sheets.
Rocky Mountain Flatbread
Two Vancouver Locations: 4186 Main Street & 1876 W 1st Avenue
Every Sunday & Monday, kids can make their own pizza from 5.00 pm – 7.00 pm for $6.95. Pizza making involves rolling out the dough, spreading tomato sauce and adding your favourite toppings (see photo above). Great menu filled with fresh local produce, free range and organic Canadian meats and Ocean Wise approved seafood. There is even a play kitchen for kids to enjoy while parents enjoy their own pizza and a glass of wine.
1716 Charles St. (off Commercial Drive)
A family friendly oasis at the heart of Commercial Drive, Little Nest boasts to be “a place where kids can be kids and the grownups still feel grown up”. Little Nest serves breakfast and lunch 7 days a week. The menu is fresh, local and organic wherever possible. A large play area, friendly and patient staff plus the most amazing freshly baked goods make this place a parent’s dream.
Café Deux Soleils
2096 Commercial Dr.
In the daytime, this Commercial Drive fixture is very welcoming to families. There is a large stage where kids can play and draw with chalks on the big black board. A very good vegetarian brunch menu.
4593 Dunbar Street
Kokopelli provide families with a stylish, yet comfortable environment to enjoy fantastic coffee, superb home-baking, light lunches and phenomenal service. There is a play area for kids and all kid menu items come with carrot sticks, not fries.
Big Feast Bistro
11920 227th Street, Maple Ridge
Big Feast Bistro has created a space and a menu that welcomes and encourages families to enjoy each other’s company, allows parents to enjoy a great meal, and allows kids to be just who they are – kids! The little feast menu comes with organic juice, fresh fruit salad and a special treat. Big Feast offers a variety of cooking programs for kids including in-class demonstrations & workshop as well as kids parties. Open for breakfast and lunch everyday from 8am to 4pm.