London boasts plenty of excellent kid-friendly options when it comes to eating out. But here's a list of top places which offer kids' food gratis, making the whole experience even sweeter.
Whether you've got a fussy toddler, an awkward pre-teen or a something in between, eating out with kids in tow can be a minefield. Throw in other diners, waiting staff and an unfamiliar atmosphere for distraction, and sometimes the food doesn't even get a look-in.
But eating out is an important skill to be learned; why not practice somewhere where at least the worry of cost has been taken care of?
The posh London restaurants belonging to celebrity chef Mark Hix might not spring to mind when planning a meal out with littlies. But Mark's very pro-kids, and has campaigned for better menus for children in the past.
Kids under 10 can eat for free at Hix Soho, trendy Tramshed in Shoreditch and also at Hixter Bankside. The catch? Pretty reasonable really; all children must order off the kids' menu, be accompanied by a dining adult, and order between 4pm-6pm Monday to Friday or noon-6pm at the weekend.
The Real Greek
Sundays are the best days to treat your little ones to some traditional Greek fare, as London's 10 Real Greek restaurants offer under 12s a free meal, drink and ice cream from the children's menu for every adult spending over £10. More meze for less? Sign us up.
Kids eat for free at Bromley's Belgian-style Belgo restaurant from noon onwards, seven days a week. One child (up to eight years old) can eat for free for every adult eating from the a la carte menu (up to three free kids' meal per table). The kids' menu includes cheesy pasta, fish goujons, as well as mussels for your more adventurous minions.
Greenwich is in any London parent's trick deck: there's the river, an expansive park, the National Maritime Museum and the Cutty Sark. And now there's another reason to stop by on a weekday, as Rivington restaurant serves up a gratis children's menu filled with mini schnitzels and spaghetti Monday-Friday. Usual rules apply — 'child' means under 12 and they must be with an adult ordering off the main menu — however they allow two children to enjoy the deal per paying adult, which is unusually generous.
Bread Street Kitchen (and more!)
Head to Gordon Ramsay's gaff near St Paul's where kids eat free all day, every day. In fact, nearly all 10 London restaurants owned by the celebrity chef offer free meals for young diners under 12 when accompanied by a main meal-eating adult. There's Heddon Street Kitchen in Regent Street, York & Albany in Camden, maze Grill in Mayfair and plenty more — view the full list here.
While the locations differ, the children's menu — inspired by Ramsay's own daughter, Tilly — is a little more constant. Options include fish and chips with crushed peas, mini margherita pizza, or sausage and mash, followed by a tempting-sounding sticky toffee pudding for dessert. Yum.
Gillray's Steakhouse and Bar
It's worth checking out Gillray's during your next school holiday saunter down South Bank, as this Thames-side steakhouse often runs kids eat free offers during half-term and summer breaks. In the past the offer has been for under 12s when accompanied by two paying adults, but do double check before you go. Top tip: try to book a window seat for fantastic views of the river to accompany your sumptuous Aberdeen Angus steaks, sourced from English farms.
Tom's Kitchen, Canary Wharf
Whether you're spending a weekend at Canary Wharf for the shopping, cinema or Museum of London Docklands, your little'uns can enjoy breakfast or brunch at Tom's Kitchen for free. Up to four kids (aged under 10), each with a dining adult, can eat from a kids' menu for nought pence per booking between 9.30-11am every Saturday and Sunday. Which strikes us as a great incentive to get down to Canary Wharf next weekend.
After feasting on culture in Barbican's galleries, families can choose from a wide range of options in the art centre's family-friendly ground floor restaurant: sandwiches, hand-made pizzas, hot meat sandwiches and hot specials all come from this open kitchen, plus cold salads and wraps. One child under 12 can eat free for every adult ordering a main meal.
Please check with individual restaurants for the full terms and conditions of these 'Kids Eat Free' offers before you travel.
Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below if there are more great places serving kids food for free in London.