Top kid-friendly patios on the North Shore
At NSK we are all about the kids. We almost always eat out with them, so we have developed our short list of favourite restaurant patios where we can enjoy a delicious meal but where the area will be safe enough. That means younger kids can step away from the table for a second without their carers having to choke on their food while trying to save them from imminent danger!
We've been customers of The Cheshire Cheese for several years but I had never realised how child-friendly their patio is until I had a kid! With fantastic water and city views this is now one of our favourite spots to go to when we don’t feel like doing all the cleaning. Try their nachos or their fish tacos, great for sharing even with the little ones! If you have picky kids, their simple children’s menu (printed on colouring paper) will surely hit the right spot.
This wonderful little place is the perfect spot for a bite when out and about in LoLo with an active kid who just wants to keep playing. They are located behind John Braithwaite Community Centre. Not only do they have their own patio, there are also picnic tables and turf in the common area where you can take one of their delicious offerings and enjoy while the kids run around. We had a mouth-watering Cubano sandwich and as much as I would have wanted to try my yam fries, my little one devoured them! A slice of pie made it the perfect lunch. Closed on weekends but well worth the visit any other day of the week!
The North Shore is home to a great Persian community, with no shortage of restaurants serving traditional Persian dishes, which allows other families to discover and enjoy their amazing cuisine. Cazba has been a favourite for many years: you can enjoy their patio and a shared platter which has a little bit of everything. My little one kept asking for more! We love that he can learn to appreciate other flavours right here in our neighbourhood. Don’t miss their Tah Deeg, if there is any left!
We have frequented Buddha-Full’s Northwoods location at Maplewood for years, and it is often our food stop after visiting Maplewood Farm or coming back from a hike. They serve plant-based wholesome bowls, salads, wraps, sandwiches and smoothies, along with an assortment of sweet treats and samosas. Our toddler isn’t the most adventurous of eaters, but he’ll happily chow down one of their delicious lentil-and-rice based bowls, while I love the Grilled Please sandwich or one of the smoothies. They have several tables outside, separated from the busy Dollarton Road by a parking strip.
This is our go-to for more festive beach days. The Boat Shed in Ambleside Park has a cute and inviting look, with the colourful garden and ocean views, and is literally steps from the beach sand, not to mention Ambleside Park Playground. You can order take-out and dine on one of the park picnic tables or simply on a picnic blanket on the sand (our preferred way), or you can eat on their patio. The special ‘dine under the stars’ greenhouses need to be reserved online, but the rest of the patio is first-come, first-serve. We love their kids’ fish and chips, and burgers or salads.
This is a quintessential brunch place, serving dishes inspired by classic breakfast and brunch fare. Their garden patio is on the back and completely out of the way from any car traffic, so you can eat a fairly relaxed meal even with small kids in tow. For family outings, we love their Huevos Rancheros and Macadamia Nut Banana Pancakes, but the menu is diverse and you’ll likely find something that works for everyone. The Bistro closes in the early afternoon, so plan accordingly.
So go on, grab the kids and go for a nice meal with the whole family without worrying as much!