A good daytime option is the Storytelling Café at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, open for lunches, coffees and snacks, wine and beer, and offering a kids’ menu. There are fish and chip shops dotted around the city, some with seating and some without. An Edinburgh must-try is fish and chips served with ‘chippie sauce’ – a runny brown sauce with vinegar that locals swear by.
A great spot for eating with kids is the Balmoral Hotel where Hadrian’s restaurant has a Family Weekend Menu featuring the likes of ‘Five a Day’ seasonal Scottish vegetable soup, fresh Scottish salmon fingers with baby new potatoes and garden salad, and Blairgowrie strawberries with vanilla ice cream. There are toys, books, colouring items, board games, an XBox and portable DVD players to hand so parents can linger over coffee while the kids enjoy themselves.
Reds, Portobello (254 Portobello High Street, EH15 2AT) is a great family friendly restaurant on Portobello High Street. They have a tempting bistro style menu with a wide array of cakes and treats, a selection of wines and beers to keep the adults happy, and a rather better than average children’s menu. They even offer homemade pureed baby food. The baby changing facilities are very good and there is plenty of space to park a buggy. With its soft play area for the little ones and an indoor climbing frame for tots, it’s all about families here.
La Favorita, Edinburgh (325-331 Leith Walk, EH6 8SA) specializes in delicious traditional pizza for which they won “Best UK Pizza Restaurant” in the Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association Awards 2012. There is also a wide variety of excellent pasta dishes and even have gluten-free options. La Favorita is very family-friendly and for every adult eating from the a la carte menu a child can have a main course for just £1 which is donated to a local children’s charity.
Hemma (73 Holyrood Road, EH8 8AU) (Swedish for ‘at home’) prides itself on being a ‘family-friendly haven’ during the day. This, and the fact it’s a bright, spacious venue, has made it a hot destination for quality family time. And as it’s child-friendly, weekend brunches are the perfect excuse to go and eat. Scandinavian inspired dishes like Swedish meatballs and cheesy hasselback potatoes will delight younger children. The restaurant has a very relaxed atmosphere with loads of comfy chairs, a bar on both levels, table football and even a kids’ zone complete with toys. So, while the juniors keep themselves amused you can sit back, relax and just make yourself ‘hemma’.
For more on where to eat with little ones in Edinburgh, see Time Out’s Guide to eating out for families.