Fun Family Restaurants in Shanghai

Let the kids play while you chow down

by Parents and Kids | Tue, June 06, 2017

By Connor Bell

Lines, high chairs and beers, oh my!

This is your guide to restaurants in our fine city where you can drink and dine while your little ones play alongside. Shanghai is rich with fine dining restaurants, craft beer pubs and cafés galore but the city seems to change completely once you have a little one. Gone are the days of strolling the French Concession to find a quaint little bakery or grabbing a motor-taxi to Yongkang Lu. Once you bring a baby in to our bustling city, your options for dining out are instantly restricted to the spots that can accommodate your stroller, lack stairs, provide a family-friendly atmosphere and offer some great food to boot. We have scoured the ever-informative mommy group chats and travelled far and wide to bring you a list of some of the best dining options for the whole family to visit.

Thought For Food The Living Room by Octave

Promoting gourmet organic meal choices, Thought for Food is one place that really should be a go-to for family dining. Nestled inside a new urban wellness concept on Jianguo Lu, this hidden treasure boasts a vast menu of breakfasts, vegetarian and meaty set menus, dessert and even a salad bar. The service is kind and welcoming and, most importantly, friendly for all ages. The restaurant looks over a Zen garden and is connected to the little-known daycare by Octave with an indoor playground, library and more fun for the kids to enjoy. Best of all, they have ayis on duty to help watch the little ones while you get your brunch on.

We recommend: You should definitely check out the salad bar which is included in the 188rmb main course set. Give their roasted chicken a go – it’s perfectly cooked with a hint of lemongrass and will be sure to please.

Find it: 357 Jianguo Xi Lu, near Taiyuan Lu

Hengshan 99 Francis

If you’re looking for fine dining, look no further. We recently found out about this little gem located in the Ascott and could not be more excited to check it out. Hengshan 99 Francis is centrally located, offers up some carefully curated health food options and uses a variety of high-quality, organic produce and meats. If this hasn’t yet caught your attention, the fact that they have a basement club for kids with a kid’s playroom might! Head over for a fantastic date night meal, or even an afternoon brunch and make sure to send the kiddos to have some fun as well.

Find it: 99 Hengshan Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu

T for Thai

Not all of us are lucky enough to pop down to Thailand every holiday and for those of us stuck in Shanghai, T for Thai is definitely the runner up to that island getaway. With delicious, authentic Thai food, this restaurant is a staple for any diner but their kids play area makes it the perfect restaurant to visit with the family. They’ve got bean bags, hanging chairs, colouring station, a kids TV, blocks to play with and even a play house for the little ones. Honestly, it’s worth it just for the kids to play! Add in a wonderful menu of Thai food, great prices and amazing service and we’ve got a winner!

We recommend: Any of their curries are to die for but we love their Shrimp Pad Thai.

Find it: 1502 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Wulumuqi Lu

Yasmine’s Steakhouse & Butchery

Yasmine’s is more than just your average butcher shop. With two locations in the city – one in Puxi and one in Pudong – Yasmine’s has been offereing up some of the best steaks to residents all over Shanghai. They’ve got weekly deals, take home meats and an immense menu which includes their 3kg Burger Challenge. To make this place even more desirable, Yasmine’s Pudong location has a wonderful courtyard with an outdoor playground for the little ones. Head over, let the kids play and spoil yourself with one of the best steaks you’ll have in Shanghai.

We recommend: Head over on T-Bone Tuesday for an epic deal of Buy-One-Get-One Free on T-Bone steaks.

Find it: 178 Biyun Lu, near Baihua Lu

MUST Grill

This little gem of a restaurant is hidden off of Wuding lu and has been a Shanghai secret for many. Not only do they have a great menu of burgers and steak, a wonderfully personable and friendly French owner, and a beautiful outdoor terrace, but they also cater to kids with their weekend playground. Every weekend (while the weather is nice) MUST grill has a playground complete with a bouncy castle from 11:30am to 3pm for the kids to enjoy. To top it off, they’re offering up a kids brunch deal with one main, dessert and drink for just 58rmb!

We recommend: A must-try is their Baa Baa Burger with a huge deep-fried goat’s cheese puck atop a perfectly grilled beef burger. Yum.

Find it: 881 Wuding Lu, near Changde Lu

Garlic

Who doesn’t love Turkish food? Nobody, that’s who. Garlic has now re-opened after a brief hiatus for renovations and the food is still just as deliciously titillating as before. Resting a little higher on the price scale, Garlic has a huge menu of dishes that will please all meat lovers. Not only can you get your Turkish fill but you can also send the kiddies to their basement playroom to occupy their time while you indulge in the many appetizers, main courses and delectable desserts they have to offer.

We recommend: Try the grilled lamb with hummus. It just can’t be beat!

Find it: 698 Yongjia Lu, near Anting Lu

Little Huia

Little Huia has been a mainstay for family dining for quite some time now and we would be amiss not to put this one high on the list for everyone to try. This New Zealand restaurant is fun for the whole family with both an indoor and outdoor playground – though playground seems to be the wrong word to describe it. Their outdoor area has a huge play structure complete with a jungle gym, climbing nets, two slides and so much more to keep every kid occupied, no matter the age. The service is great, the prices are better and the classic Kiwi dishes are good for the whole family.

We recommend: Try their Fisherman’s Dish (fish & chips) for a perfectly cooked and massive portion even good for sharing.

Find it: Villa 1, 3911 Hongmei Lu

Mayita

Sister restaurant to the well-known Maya restaurant in the French Concession, Mayita is a crowd pleaser with fantastic Mexican-Californian food options. Located on the 6th floor of the Silver Court building, Mayita has an amazing view of the bund, an enormous 80-seat terrace, a grassy area which includes a playground and structure for the kids to play on while you sip on perfectly mixed margaritas, eat from their wonderful menu of tapas and a la carte dishes and while away these warm days in our fair city.

We recommend: You’ll be missing out if you do not give their Pork Belly Ragout a try. The pork is perfectly cooked with a poached egg, potatoes, nacho chips and spinach to top off this wonderful bowl. They’ve also got a wonderful brunch menu that is sure to impress.

Find it: 6/f, 98 Shouning Lu, near Xizang Nan Lu

Well, there you have it folks. We implore you to try out each and every one of these fantastic family-friendly restaurants and spread the word. We will see you there!