Best Restaurants in London for Families

No London standby is more kid-pleasing than a helping of classic fish and chips
No London standby is more kid-pleasing than a helping of classic fish and chips

London hasn’t always had a reputation for amazing cuisine, particularly in comparison to other European capitals like Rome or Paris. But that’s an unfair assessment — the reality is that London’s restaurant scene has influences from all over the world, mirroring the diversity of its local population. Families can travel the globe, bite after bite, without ever leaving the city. 

From food markets to afternoon tea, London has amazing places to dine that will please every palate, even the pickiest. Here are some tried-and-true Ciao Bambino favorites for dining in London with kids.

Bibendum’s building is as incredible as the French food served within. Families love the stained-glass windows during the lunch service

Best Restaurants in London to Take Kids

Bibendum

Paris is only a 2-hour train ride from London, but families will be convinced they’ve crossed the English Channel at Bibendum, a French restaurant in South Kensington (walking distance from Hyde Park and Harrods). Housed in the former headquarters of Michelin Tires, the building itself is almost as impressive as the food. Families will love coming here for a fancy lunch, the time of day when the full effect of the incredible stained-glass windows is highlighted particularly well. For those with really young children, consider dining at the far more casual Oyster Bar on the ground floor.

Savoy Grill

If you want one splurge-worthy meal in London, consider Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill in the iconic Savoy Hotel. Its convenient location between Parliament and Covent Garden means its within striking distance of a visit while sightseeing or before a theatre performance. The three-course weekend menu is good value and the children’s menu with it’s deep fried halibut, pea puree and chips is a great mini introduction to fine dining.

Best Restaurants in London with Kids
London’s Borough Market is a vast expanse of food stalls and casual restaurants. Photo by Jeff Whyte/Adobe Stock

Borough Market

London is more than just fancy restaurants. Some of its food markets rival those found anywhere else in the world, and one favorite is Borough Market, the largest in the city, tucked away south of the Thames — walking distance from the Tower Bridge and Tower of London. Families love sampling from a variety of stalls or shopping for incredible picnic fixings to take to the Southwark Cathedral grounds nearby. If you’d like a sit-down experience, try Roast, which past Ciao Bambino clients have enjoyed. The restaurant gathers many of its ingredients from the market itself, including the items on the children’s menu.

Dishoom

Don’t miss out on a chance to sample some of London’s fantastic Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Brits order a curry from the local takeaway the way Americans call for pizza, but Dishoom is a great option for a more elevated, yet still casual and fun, experience. There are multiple locations throughout the city, including Covent Garden, Carnaby and South Kensington. Their children’s menu offers some mild, simple dishes, but most entrees on the main menu are served family-style, so this is a great place to let kids try new foods in a no-pressure way.

Ready to start planning a fabulous London getaway with kids?

Our expert Family Travel Advisors can help you book vetted kid-friendly accommodations, design a custom itinerary, arrange private guides and activities, and more. Click to send us a request!

The Wells Tavern

You can’t come to London without visiting a pub, and pubs across the capital have been busy turning themselves into gastro dining rooms recently. One of our favorites is The Wells Tavern on the edge of the picturesque London village of Hampstead. Dishes like smoked ham hock terrine, Scottish Angus hamburger and Cumberland sausage are designed to make your mouth water. Or visit on a Sunday for a typical British Sunday lunch of rib of beef and Yorkshire pudding. A children’s menu is also available.

Best Restaurants in London with Kids
No London standby is more kid-friendly than a heaping helping of fish and chips. Photo by Magdalena Bujak/Adobe Stock

The Mayfair Chippy

No trip to London is complete without indulging in the British classic, fish and chips. Every Londoner will lay claim to his or her favorite neighborhood “chippy,” so the options for enjoying this greasy goodness are endless. For a sit-down experience, try The Mayfair Chippy in the neighborhood of the same name. In addition to the signature dish, there’s an extensive menu of seafood specialties for those who want to venture beyond batter-dipped cod and haddock.

Wahaca

Most of England’s attempts at Mexican food are pretty far below average. But the exception to this is Wahaca, a small chain of Mexican street food-inspired restaurants. Not only is the food great and kid-friendly, but the atmosphere at every location we’ve tried is lively and fun. Kids are often given a book to enjoy while they dine. The St. Paul’s location even has a tabletop soccer game that children (and adults!) can play while they wait for their food. Service is quick and friendly, and the locations are convenient to many of the major tourist areas around the city (like their South Bank location, just a quick walk from the London Eye). It’s a good spot for parents to have on their radar when hunger strikes threaten to derail the day’s sightseeing plans.

Head to The Parlour at Fortnum & Mason when the family needs a sweet and special treat while shopping on Piccadilly

Fortnum & Mason

Parents traveling to Italy bribe their kids with gelato, and Paris has crepes and macarons. What to do on a family trip to London to cap off the day with a sweet finish? My favorite spot is the ice cream parlour at Fortnum & Mason, a landmark department store on Piccadilly in the heart of London’s major shopping district. This is also a great spot to pick up edible souvenirs to bring back home, like some of the finest teas in the world, biscuits (cookies) and luxury picnic baskets. In fact, a convenient tip is that Fortnum & Mason now has outposts at St. Pancras rail station and London’s Heathrow Airport so you can grab gourmet food before a long flight or train ride.

Afternoon Tea

Tourists visiting England are often surprised to learn that afternoon tea involves much more than the hot beverage — it’s essentially a decadent and delicious afternoon snack. Parents weary after a day of sightseeing will enjoy that many packages include Champagne! Most 5-star London hotels offer a very traditional tea service (Claridge’s, Brown’s and the Ritz are all noteworthy), but Ciao Bambino clients have enjoyed themed children’s teas offered by Taj 51 Buckinghamgate (The Secret Garden) and One Aldwych (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). I love the nod to two classic British children’s book authors in these themes. Start with the bottom plate on the 3-tier stand that will come to your table, which will likely be small sandwiches or other savory bites. Then move up to the middle tier, which is typically scones, clotted cream and jam. The top tier will be a variety of small pastries or chocolates. Be sure to make reservations in advance, and ask about the dress code.

Best London Restaurants with Kids
A typical Nando’s spread: whole grilled peri-peri chicken, seasoned chips and sides like spicy rice and coleslaw. Photo courtesy of Nando’s

Chains

In the last few years, London has cottoned on to the fact that parents actually enjoy eating out with their children, providing they are fully catered for, and a number of upmarket chains now offer some great kids’ menus. Look out for:

Nando’s

Beloved for its grilled peri-peri chicken, Nando’s has locations all over the city. Although spicy flavors are the chain’s signature, the offerings for little “Nandinos” go easier on the heat. The set-price kids’ menu includes a main dish, a choice of two sides such as chips or corn on the cob, and a dessert.

Leon

Leon successfully achieves what many still only strive for: good, fresh, healthy, fast-food. We’re particular fans of the sweet potato falafel wraps and the meatballs. The kids’ menu comes with an activity pack. Look for their stand at Heathrow Airport when you want a healthy meal before the long flight home.

Browse our favorite destinations around the world for outstanding food and wine!

Culinary experiences and activities can be arranged just about anywhere, from afternoon tea lessons in London to sushi rolling classes in Japan. Click to get ideas!

Carluccio’s

The brainchild of celebrity Italian chef Antonio Carluccio, Carluccio’s restaurants can be found dotted across the city and offer a mouth-watering range of antipasti, pasta, secondis and dolcis. The kids’ menu is a miniature version of the adult menu and comes with crayons, puzzles and games. The location in St. Pancras train station makes a nice meal possible before you depart for Paris or upon arrival into London.

Pizza Express

For luscious pizzas and salads, you’re never far away from a Pizza Express, and their set-price Piccolo menu includes dough balls, side salad, pizza or pasta, ice cream sundae and Bambinoccino. Some locations allow children to watch the pizza being prepared in the kitchen.

Relevant Links:

Browse all family-friendly accommodations and activities in London on Ciao Bambino

52 tips for traveling in England with kids

5 fantastic neighborhoods for a family vacation in London

Best London parks and playgrounds for kids

Best London museums for families

Tips for visiting Buckingham Palace with kids

Editor’s Note: Photos by Nicole Wiltrout except where noted. 

Start a Discussion

1 Comments
  • Sunday roast is a true British classic. Traditionally this meal is eaten any time from 12noon to 5pm on Sundays. You can also try this food as well later 🙂

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let Ciao Bambino! Plan Your Dream Trip with Kids

Get the latest family travel news, exclusive deals & more!

Sign up for our newsletter and you’ll be the first to know about special promotions, perks, tips and hot destinations.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sign In

Want to save all the great intel and tips you are finding on Ciao Bambino? My Trip Planner allows you to bookmark articles, family-friendly hotel reviews, and family vacation packages. Simply click the heart icon on anything you want to save. Site registration is required to get started. Happy planning!

Create an Account

Please fillout the form below to create your free My Trip Planner account.