We already know Shanghai is an amazing city for us adults when it comes to eating out, but what about for the aspiring young foodie, the one who sees classic cheese toasties like we do French Dip or Cuban sandwiches? At these restaurants children are catered for with their own official menus so they can get fully in on the dining out experience.
Maya tone down the sauces and spices for the littluns but don’t stray on flavours so they can still enjoy some of the finest Mexican in town. Kids are spoilt for choice with chicken tortillas, beef tacos, simple cheese quesadillas and gooey ham and cheese pressed sandwiches that even adults might glance over at enviously. There’s also public pool down below for a post-meal dip when everyone starts to get restless.
Average price: 20-60RMB
Both Bella Napoli locations are great family restaurants with their welcoming trattoria-styled interiors and homely Italian fare. On the kids menu, eager eaters can load up on wood-fired pizzas topped with fries or up their Italian game with traditional lasagna and grilled seabass. Plus, they can get an extra taste of the dolce vita with dessert – either a generous helping of vanilla ice cream or a chocolate roll filled with biscuits and strawberry coulis.
Average price: 25-65RMB
Casual European eatery Geneva boasts a kids menu that’s every young diner's dream. You’ll find all the good stuff here from hot dogs to chicken nuggets and bangers and mash, so even picky eaters should be able to find something they like. For us there’s no going wrong with the carb on carb goodness that is mac and cheese, especially when it’s capped off with a richly satisfying ice cream-topped blueberry chocolate brownie for dessert.
Average price: 40RMB
The Bull & Claw
Brunching at The Bull & Claw is a timeless institution in Shanghai, one that younger palates also get to enjoy with their own special menu. While lobster eggs Benedict and fried chicken on waffles might be a touch heavy for your budding brunchers, small-sized fish and chips, a fruit salad with Greek yogurt or a juicy mini cheese burger make worthy substitutes, each paired with a fresh juice.
While your future foodies might not be ready to get stuck into the adventurous Xinjiang dishes at Xibo and that’s perfectly okay - because in the meantime the restaurant has a killer kids menu to tuck into. Waffles drizzled with chocolate sauce will never fail and the chicken noodle soup is great when you're looking for some fail-safe comfort food. The meals also include apple juice and a cookie to sweeten up the deal.
Average price: 48RMB
It’s not just grown-ups who can satisfy their comfort cravings at Al’s, little ones can too. The menu selection is small (probably best for dining with indecisive eaters) and keeps it simple with crowd-pleasers. It’s spaghetti with house-made meatballs, fish and chips or a Gracie’s burger that’s been down-sized into slider form – all of which provide perfect foil for tykes with bigger appetites.
Average price: 45-55RMB.
Health-conscious chain Element Fresh look after their young diners by keeping flavours light with a variety of small-portioned meals. The teriyaki chicken rice with Chinese greens is definitely the more nutritional option but we can’t fault kids for ordering a classic peanut butter and jam sandwich instead. The menu itself is source of entertainment with colouring pages and puzzle games guaranteeing fun long after the food has been finished.
The Boiling Crab
Kids love to hang out by the beach and at The Boiling Crab, you can bring them a little closer to ocean with some tasty seafood. While there’s not actually a dedicated children menu, the main one offers up chicken tender baskets and fried shrimp specifically designed for kids. Otherwise, youngsters can join the rest of the family in getting their hands messy with the venue’s signature seafood boils (just make sure to go the non-spicy route).
From flaky croissants to golden loaves, chewy cookies, wholesome pies and more, let the sugar rush begin at these brilliant Shanghai bakeries