Going out for dinner is one of my favourite things to do! Once you have children, the eating out experience is very different. So it is important to me that the places we go are friendly, inviting and suitable for young children and basically meet the needs of the whole family. We have been bringing Sofia to restaurants since she was a baby.

The main things I would look for when choosing a restaurant would be.

  1. Childrens menu with lots of different options to choose from and good value for money.
  2. High Chairs
  3. Changing Facilities.
  4. Colouring or crayons (we always bring our own too). Great distraction, some of these restaurants have their own but we also bring a little bag with supplies too!
  5. Welcoming staff.
  6. Space to get around with a buggy.

I wanted to share with you the restaurants that I find are great with children and tick all the boxes for me. Its great to get out for dinner so whether it is a treat or a special occasion I find these places great. These are based on my own experiences, if there are any restaurants you find great please comment below and I will add them to the list!.

Little Caesars – Rathfarnham
I find the staff here are great. Really friendly and great with kids. There are lots of different options to choose from on the menu and Sofia just loves the animal shaped ice cream holder that you can take home with you!.

Milanos – Dundrum
They are renowned for being a great child friendly restaurant and we have never been disappointed. They do a great meal deal for children called the Piccolo Menu. You get a starter, main, dessert and bambinoccino all for €8.50. They give out activity packs and crayons as soon as you sit down at your table. In all their restaurants they have great changing facilities and there is plenty of space for buggies.

Wagamamas – Dundrum
They have great booths for the whole family to sit in. There are also communal wooden benches that a highchair seat can be attached to. You get to enjoy some great Asian Japenese food and they have chopsticks created specifically for little hands! The food portions are big and healthy and once the food is ready it is brought straight out to your table. Wagamama’s have restaurants in various locations across Dublin, Cork and Belfast.Main course, with fresh juice and dessert €8.25.

Merry Plough Boy
We love the Merry Plough Boy the staff are really friendly and the food is great! There is lots of free parking directly across the road. Once you are inside there is space for buggies. It is better to get a table on the lefthand side as you walk in as there is more room. There are highchairs for your little ones and there is great choice on the menu for older children. The Childrens menu turns into a lovely little colouring book and they provide crayons. It is a pub so just remember you will need to be finished up by 9pm ( not that they would kick you out).Main course meals are €6.95 and they do really big portions.

Nandos – Dundrum
Nandos is available in lots of different locations in Ireland. They are spacious and staff don’t mind a bit of noise, which makes it a perfect location to bring children to! The ‘Nandinos’ is a menu that is designed for Children under 10. They can chose from one main, pick one marinade ( as mild or as hot as you like depending on your littles ones taste buds), pick two dinos sides and a dessert or drink for €7.95.

Market Bar – Fade Street – Dublin City
There is loads of space in the Market Bar so plenty of room for buggies and high chairs. The menu is perfect for children with a wide range of Tapas to choose from. It’s located in the centre of Dublin City and has a great child friendly atmosphere. There is usually a table full of toys, books and games to keep the young kids amused while you eat.Price can vary from €8 to €13 for a sizeable portion of Tapas.

Joels – Naas Road
Joels would be well known as a family restaurant with great food any time we are there the food arrives really quickly. It is located on the Naas road and there is plenty of free parking around the corner from the restaurant. They provide colouring pencils. There is plenty to select from and lots of healthy options too. They also accommodate large groups. So perfect for Communions or Confirmations. They do a baby bowl with mash and soup for €2.50 and their Children’s main courses go from €7.90 – €9.10 this comes with a complimentary dessert or fruit salad.

Probably not your normal child friendly place but I found it really accommodating when I brought Sofia. Balfes is located right in the centre of Dublin city just off Grafton Street. It is part of the Westbury Hotel. There are no steps into Balfes which is handy for buggies. But it is the type of place you would need to book ahead so they can provide the right sitting down the back areas of the restaurant. Its stylish and I just love the food, It would be a place I would go with my friends too. We got the mini homemade burgers and gluten free fish and chips. There are gorgeous smoothies and fruit juices on offer too.

Jamies Italian – Dundrum
Jamies is just on the outside of Dundrum shopping centre and a nice place to go to before you head to the cinema. It has nutritious food options for children, and all childrens options come in two sizes to suit all ages and appetites. It is child friendly with a relaxed atmosphere. A main dessert and drink is €10.95, they have seasonal fruit and organic ice lollies for dessert if you want to go a bit healthier.

I will be adding more to this list as they come to me! Would love to hear your recommedations too.

Enjoy!! – Happy dining

Eimear xx








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