When I did a write up of this nature in 2017, Max wasn’t actually walking yet, he’d yet to turn one and do that thing where when you try to hold his hand he melts into the floor to get away from you. Simpler times. I reviewed a lot of restaurants in 2018 but not as many as I’d managed in 2017. I missed a bunch of places this year that all sounded like the same guy had named them. Tish, Titu, Rovi, Nest, Bright, Leroy, Ham, Brat. All these places are apparently excellent but I’ve not been and I don’t know if you can sneak a kid in. They’re still all interchangably on my list of places to hit. Hopefully 2019 but list is ever growing.
The premise of this blog has always been to feature restaurants that you might question if you can take a small person to. Obscure places, small places, fancy places, places everyone is talking about so the following list of newly opened restaurants in 2018 is just that. They may not all have children’s menus or baby change facilities or in the case of two restaurants on the list even highchairs but I’ve been there with a baby and we survived but most importantly we ate.
The obvious one
Filled with a wide range of excellent food options that are also quite quickly prepared, Market Halls Victoria is right by Victoria Station, has baby change, step free access and highchairs. The group behind the food hall decided to make this more of an adult option and omitted the play area that is available at their Fulham branch, however, they could definitely fit one under the stairs and if they decide to miss a trick and never end up putting one there, you can still use it as a cubby house which we do when we go.
The fancy pants one
I’ve written a full review of what is perhaps the best dessert restaurant in the world right now but it’s set to be published in February so to avoid spoilers just trust me and go. Cheesecake like you’ve never seen before. All manner of the fizzy stuff, highchairs and baby change. It is a complete winner.
The new Hawksmoor
I’ve only just published the review of this gem. We went for my birthday sans toddler but you can bring one if you really want to. Incredible cocktails and a tremendous menu where so many things are elegantly covered in lardo which works for grown ups and it’s part of a hotel meaning, they’ve legally got to give you a highchair. Be warned though, it is a sexy place and you might regret not using it for a date night.
The Filipino superstar
Bigger and better that their first outing in Kentish Town you can 100% get a buggy (no highchairs or baby change but you won’t be there long) in this place. They’ve got Milo ice cream which works for both the young and old but most importantly Filipino ice cream sandwiches. Yum.
The New York export
I really loved Redfarm when I visited in New York in 2014 but I love it even more for making the leap across the pond. These are the guys who do the pac man dumplings and the soup dumplings with straws in and the pastrami egg rolls which are killer. Space here is tight so you need to book ahead if you’re bringing a bambino but it can be done and they’ve got the equiptment (highchairs/babychange).
The high end one at the back of Westfields
Maple is lovely, spacious, baby friendly and plates its food beautifully. It’s a great all rounder. You could absolutely pop there for a post work drink or take the whole family for Sunday lunch. They even brew their own beer on site. Highchairs and baby change both available.
The hip one
It’s in Hackney so you already know how cool it is. Remember when people could actually afford to live in North London? Lol. They walk a really interesting line here between high end French cuisine (caviar features quite heavily on the menu) and deep South American junk (as does fried chicken). There’s enough space for a buggy or two. No highchairs or baby change available when we visited but they’ve got a sizeable disabled loo which will do in a pinch.
The solidly credible one
They do a lot of nice high end Italian food here but they also do deep dish cheeseburger pizza so everyone will be happy. They’re smack bang in the middle of Covent Garden meaning you can combine lunch there with a trip to the transport museum and they have everything you need to survive lunch with a kid. And the interiors are beautiful. Lovely.
The Dive bar
It used to be a food truck in Spitalfields, now it’s a fully fledged dive bar with a tiny bit of outdoor seating that you can squish a buggy in between. The food here is amazing as long as you like mozzarella sticks and philly cheesesteak. No other equipment available to help you survive a meal with a small but you can also get take out and go to the park.
The one Ryan Reynolds launched his own brand of gin at
The other fancy pants one, if you will. Hide, a much anticipated new opening from renowned chef Ollie Dabbous is like dining inside a very beautiful carved out tree. The food is excellent, the plating of said food stunning. They happily allowed entrance to two 18 month olds on our visit and personally escorted us to the baby change facilities.
Roll on 2019…