By Amber Folkman
Here’s the deal. I am not going to sugarcoat it. When we go out as a family, it is often when our lovely yaya, Chanda Poppins, is finished for the day or it is her non-working day.
Dining with kids is often not fun, can feel like a waste of money, and my patience is quite literally spent by the end. I have three monkeys, I mean sons, ages four, six, and two. They are the epitome of boys with energy. We try our best to dine out sans screens so that we are communing together. Don’t be fooled. If we don’t choose the right restaurant, the lifeline of sanity, a.k.a. the Iphone, will make an appearance and my husband and I will smash the food into our faces as fast as we can with hopes that it might even still be warm.
Lately, however, we have found that if we find the right environment and menu, the boys will entertain themselves and my husband and I can slowly eat our warm and flavorful meal, you know, like real humans. Imagine that, eating a meal that is at the intended temperature, flavor, and consistency?
Here is a list of restaurants that are kid-friendly and perfect for dining out as a family.
RESTAURANTS WITH OPEN SPACE
Sunset Bar at Sofitel: No need to be an overnight guest at the Sofitel to dine and enjoy their waterfront location. With a playground and a view, you can dine as a guest at Sunset Bar. If you time it right, you can have an early merienda, watch the sunset, and then order dinner all while your kids enjoy playing outside.
Vieux Chalet: Need to escape to the mountains? Vieux Chalet is a restaurant nestled on a mountainside with a skyline view of the city. While moms and dads enjoy their Swiss meal, the children can play at the playhouse, sand box, and swing set.
Tipulo: Tipulo is a completely open air restaurant hidden within a private compound in Antipolo which is the perfect brunch location for the whole family. Tipulo is surrounded by an open grass lawn for kids to play while parents dine. The air is clean and the grass is green.
RESTAURANTS WITH PLAY SPACES
Cafe Mary Grace at Greenbelt: In a bind and need to get some work done? Cafe Mary Grace at Greenbelt has a kids corner to keep them occupied while you type away. They are best known for their ensaymada.
Greenbelt, Makati City
Puzzles: Game night for the whole family! With tables for the height of their young guests, Puzzles caters to families eating and playing together.
BF Homes, Paranaque City
Ice Flower: A snow room for kids to play in while parents indulge on the famous Korean bingsu dessert? It exists in the South at Ice Flower Cafe. Save this one for the summer months to cool off.
Molito, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
RESTAURANTS FOR THE KIDS IN CHARGE
Genki Sushi: This is the Japanese phenomenon that sends your sushi order zipping out on a bullet train or race car. Genki Sushi is a real crowd-pleaser for all!
Bonifacio Global City
Yayoi: This is another Japanese gem that uses tablets to order. Yayoi has a nice selection of bento and a great kids menu. Their lunches include juice, tempura, veggies, chicken, rice, and a scoop of ice cream at the end.
Slappy Cakes: Too young for teppanyaki? Try Slappy Cakes! Kids are in charge of drawing and grilling their own pancakes on the tabletop burner in front of them. Be safe and only take children who are age-appropriate.
Makansutra: Makansutra is a cafeteria-style dining hall offering Singapore hawker food. Kids can walk to different vendors and choose among many for their meals. There is even a menu just for kids. They can also make fresh pressed sugar can juice.
RESTAURANTS TO KEEP KIDS OCCUPIED
Din Tai Fung: With a glass window for kids to watch the art of dumpling making, this is a sure hit. It often keeps my own kids mesmerized until our orders are served, which is always very prompt! Don’t forget to teach your little ones how to slurp dumplings correctly.
Bonifacio High Street Central and SM Mega Fashion Hall
Buffalo Wild Wings: Three words: tablets, loud, chicken wings. My boys pick this place every year for their birthday.
Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons and Glorietta 1, Makati
Rainbow Dreams Cafe: Do you have a unicorn lover in the fam? This is the place to live out all their unicorn dreams with decor and menu inspired by rainbows and unicorns. They even have one-piece unicorn pajamas you can wear while dining!
80 Maginhawa Street, Teacher’s Village, Quezon City
BEST ALL-AROUND FAMILY RESTAURANT AND EXCELLENT SERVICE
Texas Roadhouse: I have never been to a restaurant whose service for families was as good as Texas Roadhouse. This restaurant is built for families. Beyond the incredibly friendly and well trained staff, their magic formula is as follows: buckets of peanuts on the tabletop to keep kids occupied while waiting, bottomless bread basket with the most perfect of buttered rolls, children’s cups with lids and straws, and a kid-friendly menu. It is also a place where we don’t have to ask our children to be quiet the whole meal.
4F Uptown Mall, Bonifacio Global City