It may come as a surprise to some that Hong Kong has a number of family-friendly activities spread across town. Whether it’s countryside farms where you can pet animals and go strawberry picking or hiking trails that are suitable for the whole fam, not to mention public playgrounds, Hong Kong is great for families. But kids gotta eat too. From photogenic and adorable cartoon dim sum offered by Yum Cha and Dim Sum Icon to restaurants that come with a play area like Origami Kids Café, here are the best kid-friendly restaurants just to make things a little easier for mum and dad. By Julia Tobin, Graham Turner and Rachel Wu
RECOMMENDED: Need ideas to keep the little ones entertained? Here are the best things to do with kids in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s best family-friendly restaurants
Inspired by the iconic movie Forrest Gump, this seafood restaurant is a spirited place for families to chow down on fish and chips, decadent desserts and an extensive range of dishes featuring shrimp. The kid's menu is a favourite.
Who doesn’t love a burger? Certainly kids do. Known for its all-American burgers and cool, 19th-century American diner/abandoned railway car vibe, Burger Circus is ideal for the whole fam to kick back and fuel up on juicy burgers, DIY milkshakes and fresh sodas. For this Easter, the burger joint is hosting an Easter Kids Party on April 21, featuring an Easter playground with balloon artists, egg painting, Jenga and Connect Four stations for all.
Fans of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Woodstock and all their friends will love this themed café decorated with Peanuts characters and playing the classic cartoons on TV screens. The adorable desserts showcase strawberry mousse shaped like Lucy's head and Charlie Brown's face adorning the tiramisu.
This Chicago-style bar and grill caters to families with its convivial atmosphere and vintage model train on a track circling the ceiling above the bar. Kids love the comfort fare, especially the menu for ages 12 and under, and get a signature balloon and Dan Ryan's key ring every time they go. The restaurant can be contacted about having a magician or face painting for parties.
Dim Sum Icon regularly features different cartoons and anime characters in its menu and décor, and is well-known for its cartoon-inspired dim sum where fillings come leaking out (from mouths or other orifices) when diners give them a squish. Inviting children and grown-ups to play with their food, there’s plenty of photo-ops for the whole fam as well as a complimentary gift upon spending more than $300. Characters like Miffy, Spongebob, Gudetama and Crayon Shin-chan have taken the spotlight in the past, so there’s no telling who might be there on your visit.
Continue your magical journey at Hong Kong Disneyland with a buffet dinner at the theme park’s Victorian-themed restaurant in the adjacent Disneyland Hotel. Aside from a plethora of food to select from, kids and grown-ups alike can enjoy seeing Mickey Mouse, Olaf and Donald Duck transformed into various dishes and puddings that are almost too cute to eat. Have your smartphones ready in case your favourite Disney characters show up!
A good serving of fish and chips is something no one can resist, young or old. Offering highchairs, a kids menu with appropriate portions (so the little ones don’t have to unfairly tackle mountainous servings) and – most importantly – friendly and approachable service, The Fish Bar is a great option for the whole family to tuck into this classic fare.
This relaxed Belgian beerhall is enjoyably authentic, with benches that encourage conviviality, and the alluring aroma of ale seemingly ingrained into the very walls. Frites’ dishes are offered in hearty portions, making it easy – or messy – for families to dig in and share. The beerhall also regularly hosts holiday-themed affairs including an Easter party for kids, complete with an egg hunt and a magic show. For the grown-ups, Frites serves a smashing array of Belgian brews from its lengthy 'Beer Bible'.
An unbelievably cheap and fun fast food option for families, Ikea Food offers much more than hot dogs and meatballs – though they are seriously tasty. Simply grab a tray and mix-and-match your own meal from an array of affordable appetisers, mains, desserts and drinks. For the kids, the children’s set menu is made up of chicken meatballs with sweet corn, mashed potato and fruit juices – all for a bargain $15. Highchairs and changing areas are also available. Once recharged, head off to the free-entry Småland playroom where kids can play hide-and-seek and go nuts in the ball pit or on the spider web.
This authentic Italian restaurant demonstrates its concern for our planet by cooking with locally-sourced ingredients. Concern for little ones extends to its special kid’s menu. Adults order from the standard à la carte menu, which allows children under 12 to eat as much as they want from the kid’s menu for free between 4pm-7pm on weekdays. The menu features all the expected favourites like mozzarella sticks, mac and meatballs, and spaghetti bolognese. Bear in mind, parents can only bring along two kids at most for the deal.
Little Creatures is a unique, waterfront craft microbrewery that’s been churning out some incredible hoppy beers for the past decade. Its venue features some high ceilings, industrial fittings and a visible working microbrewery. The food menu, especially the popular weekend brunch, is hearty and fresh, offering everything from pizzas to sharing plates and steaks. But this Easter, look forward to their Easter egg hunt to win a pint of free house brew. Kids can also enjoy the face painting session in the afternoon with prizes that can be found throughout the microbrewery.
Designed with kids aged up to seven in mind, Origami is a literal wonderland that little ones dream about. Brimming with colourful wood décor, the cosy, innovative space affords stressful parents a respite with delicate Chinese fusion food to savour while kids are too busy exploring the indoor play zone, which includes a sandpit, mini kitchen and reading area. Entry fee for two-hour sessions starts from $138 during weekdays and $198 during weekends, and there’s a $100 minimum food and beverage charge for accompanying adults.
Attached to Tree's flagship eco-friendly furniture store is a café to relax in with wifi and goodies, such as sandwiches, coffee and baked treats. This café is all about making stressed out parents feel comfortable after shopping with a kid's play area, a baby changing room and a free babycino and a mini cupcake for each little one.
Going to a child-friendly restaurant doesn’t mean you have to be endlessly munching on pizza and chicken nuggets. At Zuma, parents can enjoy fresh, tasty sushi while the kids (who eat for free if they’re under 10) have a large, separate soft play area. When they tire themselves out and re-join the table, there’s even special Zuma colouring books and pencils to stave off any inkling of a tantrum.
Featuring supremely scrummy baos and dumplings, this spot also boasts quality ingredients and cutesy presentation. It’s the place to hit up if you want to enjoy Chinese classics alongside a casual vibe. In festive occasions like Easter, Yum Cha usually prepares a menu filled with themed dim sum including deep-fried turnip dumplings in the shape of carrots, as well as pork and cabbage buns shaped like turtles.