Looking for somewhere to take the family out to eat where the menu isn't nuggets and pizza? We pick the best restaurants, that also happen to be child-friendly, near to London's biggest tourist attractions
Museum Mile - Natural History, Science and V&A Museum
7-9 Exhibition Road London SW7 2HE
The food here comes quickly and it's of a high standard - two bonuses. Get a plate of jamon to share and then keep the dishes, like padron peppers and croquetas, coming.
55 Exhibition Rd, London, UK SW7 2PN
So this is a bit of a treat spot, but it's perfect for any school holiday. Fill up with dumplings during cold weather breaks and you've got a great outside terrace for when the weather is good. There isn't a child alive who wouldn't devour their meringues with Chantilly cream for dessert.
Wright Bros Kensington
56 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington, London SW7 3DY
Salt cod croquettes with aioli at this high end seafood chain should go down a storm and the fish pie should restore anyone who's just spent the day going up and down Museum Mile.
29 Thurloe Pl, Kensington, London SW7 2HQ
Teriyaki chicken bento at this Japanese cafe is always popular with kids - but best of all they get to have a matcha soft serve for dessert.
Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square
77 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 0AJ
The Nova complex revolutionised eating out in Victoria. Family friendly options include Sticks 'n' Sushi = the kids menu can be yakatori sticks, sushi or a mixture of both (see above) and includes dessert and a healthy soft drink. The express lunch at Stoke House features a homemade giant meatball with gravy and roast potatoes and Jason Atherton's Hai Cenato pizzeria serves up top notch pizzas.
Market Hall Victoria
191 Victoria St, Westminster, London SW1E 5NE
Maybe better for families with slightly older kids, if there's just one adult (the way it works is you order, find a table and then go back and grab the food when the buzzer goes off) - but there's really something for everyone here from pasta at Nonna's to udon noodles at Koya and the roti canai at Gopal's Corner. It's different, buzzy and the large sharing tables are great if there's a gang of you.
The ICA, The Mall, St. James's, London SW1Y 5AH
So close to the Palace it's actually on The Mall, the hummus and flatbread is second to none here and the pie is a great family pleaser - most recently it was Guinea Fowl & Paris Mushroom Pie. The bar snack menu's also a good bet with excellent buttermilk chicken nugget and aioli and arancini rice balls.
Also try: A short walk up Haymarket, Ole & Steen does a nice line in focaccias and stews (meat and vegetarian) as well.
Tower of London
3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6AH
They're best known for their riverside pods, but the kids menu at this Thameside restaurant is a cut above the average with dishes like British featherblade steak and white fish fillet cooked on the plancha.
Emilia's Crafted Pasta
C3, Ivory House, St Katharine Docks, St Katharine's & Wapping, London E1W 1AT
Pasta is made fresh everyday on site at this spot down at St Katharine Docks with prices starting at £10 for a dish of rigatoni with tomato and mozzarella sauce.
Butler's Wharf Chophouse
36e Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE
Across the river, this D&D restaurant does an amazing kids menu deal - currently 3 courses for £8 including hummus with cucumber and bread to kick things off and grilled chicken with steamed veg and salad as a main.
London Dungeon, Sea Life, London Eye, South Bank
49 the Cut, London, United Kingdom, London SE1 8LF
Pretty much the perfect family pitstop, this is just a few minutes off the main South Bank drag. If you just fancy a quick snack the pork chashu rice don at £5.50 is a steal and most kids will wolf down the kara-age chicken. If you need real sustenance make sure you go for one of their ramen bowls. And reward particularly good behaviour by ordering a beautiful raindrop cake.
Jackson Boxer's spot is usefully off the main drag, so it'll feel like your own special discovery away from the madding crowds. The menu changes daily, and it is probably for children with more adventurous palates, but if you've got any of those, here's where to come.
Also look out for: The Southbank Centre market has a good selection of street food traders and at certain times - half terms, school holidays - the traders offer special child size portions.
London Zoo/Camden Market
York and Albany
127-129 Parkway, London NW1 7PS
Part of the Gordon Ramsay group, this Camden gastropub is just a few minutes walk from the zoo. The children's menu here features dishes from Ramsay's daughter Tilly's first cookbook, so you'll find margherita pizzette or Tilly's slamdunk meatballs and pasta for £7.
63-65 Parkway, London NW1 7PP
This popular seafood spot does a cracking line in sustainable fish and chips - love the seaweed salted chips. Fish tacos will probably go down well with teenagers and we defy anyone not to love the salt caramel and pretzel pie for dessert.
Cereal Killer Cafe
Camden Stables, Camden Town, London NW1 8AH
Look the kids are going to adore this place and despite any reservations you might have you'll probably love it too. The Sticky Monkey features Toffee Crisp cereal/chopped banana/whipped cream/crushed digestive/toffee sauce/banana milk in a bowl. Sold.
Also look out for:
Chin Chin Labs in Camden Lock Place makes its ice cream in front of you using liquid nitrogen. Jaw-dropping stuff for adults and kids alike.
5 Glentworth Street, London NW1 5PG
This old-school Chinese is incredibly family-friendly with lovely, warm service. If you're here at the weekends the place is knee-deep in children and their parents hoovering up the great dim sum. Bring a crowd.
Il Blandford's Cafe
65 Chiltern Street, London, W1U 6NH
Ignore the Carluccio's and Cafe Pastas in this touristy area and take the family to this wonderfully trad Italian just off the main drag. You can't go wrong with the pizza or pasta and the Spanish eggs for breakfast would set anyone up for the day.
50 Marylebone High Street, London, W1U 5HN
Pop in for a pastry or some more substantial schnitzel and enjoy one of their amazing hot chocolates. This Corbin & King establishment is particularly great if you happen to be a three generation party - grandparents will love it.
134 Baker St, Marylebone, London W1U 6SH
This fast food offshoot of Chick n Sours serves up exemplary free range fried chicken - as wings, tenders or burgers. There's also a cracking veggie version too - and their slaws are amazing.
The British Museum
31 Windmill St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2JN
With a classic bao starting at just £4.25 this can be a budget pitstop for parents wanting to grab and go. And the fried BAO horlicks ice-cream is a must-have for all family members. If you book ahead as a group of four or more you can order the PPP feast where they put out a platter of grilled meats with sharing baos for £25 a head.
9 Denmark St, London WC2H 8LS
Steak and a plain house salad costs a tenner here making it a useful place to regain your energy after braving the hordes in the Egyptology section. Add dripping cooked chips for £2.50 more.
80 New Oxford St, Fitzrovia, London WC1A 1HB
This US burger chain is a cut above the average and what parent wouldn't appreciate a burger restaurant where you can enjoy a glass of decent US wine while the kids fill up on malted shakes?
42-44 Great Windmill St, Soho, London W1D 7NB
The kids menu at this Soho steak spot is a £7 meal deal - we like the idea of the Creedy Carver roast chicken served in pitta with a tomatoe and cucumber salad. Kids also get a choice of fruit salad or homemade ice-cream with this. And on Sundays they do a kids roast for just £10 with a giant Yorkshire.
19 Ganton St, Soho, London W1F 9BN
Walk a little way up Regent Street and take a right into Carnaby where walk-ins only Pastiaio turns out top pasta nice and quickly for hungry kids (and their adult handlers). Grab some charcoal crispbread with gorgeous olive oil while you wait and then you'll be wanting bowls of the rigatoni with slow cooked tomato sauce for £6.50 or maybe cacio e pepe.
The key to surviving any shopping trip here with kids in tow, is stepping just one street off the main drag to find a much better choice of family-friendly establishment
62 Seymour St, Marylebone, London W1H 5BN
The cicchetti and pizzette section are a godsend for parents at this stylish restaurant - the beef and veal polpette in particular are super.
Patty & Bun
54 James St, Marylebone, London W1U 1HE
The original Patty & Bun, when you can get a seat, is still a great burger, three napkin minimum pitstop.
26 James St, Marylebone, London W1U 1EN
There's a handy small bites section on the menu at Alan Yau's Turkish restaurant - warm pide bread is great for quickly dealing with hangry kids.
And for in-store options
Selfridges - There's something magical about the conveyor belt system at Yo Sushi that'll make any child sit up and pay attention. Find it in the Food Hall at the back of the ground floor.
Debenhams - Towards the back of Debenhams on Henrietta Place you'll find The Mac Factory serving up the classic plus other varieties of mac 'n' cheese.