The Best Family Friendly Restaurants in HRM 2020
There are so many good restaurants in Halifax. Our family loves food. We love going out. I could do an excellent place on the best food we have had in Halifax alone. Although, I am sure if you are reading this then you are no longer in the position to freely travel downtown without a toddler in tow. Don't think just because you have had a kid that you can no longer go out to eat. The experience changes, but it is a nice way to get out of the house.
We have moved towards making our own food and minimizing how much we go out due to COVID-19. However, that does not excuse that there are some AMAZING restaurants we frequented pre-COVID (and even during) that go above and beyond when you take your little one.
The Rustic Crust: The Rustic Crust is one of my new favorite restaurants. On a regular day this is a great place to take your little one. The servers are very attentive and pay attention to your little. The cutest bit is that you can choose to have your toddler's pizza to be made into a bear or fish shape. Not only this, but their outside patio is wonderful!
We've tried the patio during COVID-19 when it was warm out, and it was one of the best dining experiences we've had with children. Your kiddo can run around while you sit and relax. Not to mention that the server brought over some chalk for our daughter to play with when mommy needed a break. Local craft beer and gelato available.
Must Try: Diablo Pizza
Location: 10 Sonny's Rd, Halifax
(Picture shows The Rustic Crust kid's "bear" pizza. Our girl loves cheese and black olives).
2. Edible Matters: I cannot tell you how many times we took our daughter to Edible Matters, especially when she was a baby. I was stuck in the house all week, so my husband would treat me by taking us to Edible Matters to get me out of the house (my request). This is another restaurant that has amazing homemade food, but also the service is unreal. Our girl was teething when we took her, and they would give us extra watermelon to help her with her tooth pain. They were always watching to see how they could make our meal better. The waiter would even offer to hold our carrier while we got situated sitting down.
Must Try: EM Breakfast Biscuit
Location: 1345 Hammonds Plains Rd, Hammonds Plains
3. Boston Pizza Bayer's Lake: I am not a fan of "big chain" restaurants. There is too much good food in Nova Scotia and beyond that warrants eating. However, Boston Pizza in Bayer's Lake has completely won me over with their family service. Enough to make top three? Yes! We have taken our daughter to a few different chains that are aimed towards families. Some of them don't have chairs to sit your child, some don't have change tables. This location hits all the marks in addition to a great kids menu with great service. The servers always ensure to ask if we'd like our daughter's food to come out first or with appetizers. They make sure she has her play book and crayons. Again, they are a restaurant that has gone above and beyond when our daughter was teething to provide oranges for her to suck on when they saw us struggling. You won't regret taking your littles here.
Must Try: Is there anything bad at Boston Pizza?
Location: 194A Chain Lake Drive, Halifax
4. The Chickenburger: I have to be honest, I haven't eaten inside The Chickenburger. I love this restaurant in the warmer months when my daughter can run around with her friends. They have a cute ice cream hut called "Chicken Little" (cute, I know) off of the main restaurant where you can get your ice cream and enjoy sitting outside while your little runs around the picnic table area (sorry those who aren't parents.. I am the lady who lets her kid run around you in outdoor eating spaces. You sat down in my mom quiet time area and you aren't taking this time away from me). I have heard the food is amazing as well! A bonus: they hold frequent outdoor movie nights for children in the summer months.
Must Try: Chocolate dip waffle cone with any flavor ice cream you choose!
Location: 1531 Bedford Highway, Bedford
5. The Canteen: I wasn't expecting this restaurant to be as child friendly as it was. I think it was because the food is glamourous and the inside is beautiful. However, the servers at this location didn't disappoint. They bent over backwards to ensure we had a great experience, and that our daughter was well taken care of. They were squeezed for space the last time we went for brunch, and they created a table that was out of the way for us and our daughter.(Did I mention our daughter had a fruit food fight, after the table was created, and they were so wonderful to help me clean it up. I offered to clean... I feel bad when my little causes chaos, but they did offer to do it for me). The atmosphere is great for kiddos. It feels very non-judgmental, which is hard to find in itself (some restaurants you feel the waiters and other diners glaring at you - things to look forward to). Upside: we have never had anything bad to eat here! We love their brunch.
Must Try: Huevos Rancheros (Brunch item)
Location: 22 Portland Street, Dartmouth
6. Two if by Sea Café: Ok, this isn't technically a restaurant.. but it requires mentioning! Sometimes all a mom gets to have when she goes out with her child is enough time to chug some coffee and eat a crescent. Well let me tell you, I have just the place for you! Cafés are usually hard to take a baby or toddler to. There usually aren't children chairs available. However, Two if by Sea has you covered. Their staff offer to run items over to your table if you are struggling with your little (or are juggling too many items) without having to ask. They have large cookies and other treats available if you kiddo is old enough. And their crescents... there are no words for their crescents except heavenly..
Must Try: Prosciutto and Provolone and/or Pain au Chocolat Crescent
Location: 66 Octerloney Street, Dartmouth
7. Mic Mac Bar and Grill: If you are looking for a restaurant that has food for even the pickiest toddler.. check out the Mic Mac Bar and Grill. This is one of the most impressive kid's menus I have ever seen.. brunch included. Again, really great service and food. It is really easy to find something for your child to eat and they keep the coffee coming frequently for the tired parents. Lots of room is available for those who are pushing strollers. I have heard their COVID-19 protocols are also on point.
Must Try: 8oz Filet Mignon and Eggs
Location: 219 Waverley Road, Dartmouth
8. Cora's on Lacewood Drive: Here I go again.. saying I don't like big chains and what has made my list, Cora's. However, this location specifically warrants attention for their exceptional service. The entrance way is not large, so when our mom group goes in for brunch with our strollers, you can tell we are on a mission. I had many of mom and baby meals during my first maternity leave, and hope to frequent again for my second child. If there was low traffic at the restaurant they would set us up in the side "sun room" so that we could have some privacy. They were very breast-feeding friendly. Offered to warm up what we needed if any babes had bottles, and another place that checked on us frequently to ensure we had lots of coffee.
Must Try: Tomato, Bacon and Green Onion Eggs Ben et Dictine
Location: 277 Lacewood Drive, Halifax
If you are looking to receive a review on a different family-friendly restaurant in the HRM let me know and I will try it out! Just because a restaurant is good does not necessarily mean it will be child-friendly. We have been to a few places downtown that we would consider our "favorite restaurants", but would not take our daughter.