Top 10 Family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

St. John’s (one of my favorite places in the world!) has a wide variety of places to eat, from small to large, ethic to local, cheap eats to gourmet cuisine. But where are the best places to feed your kids – and yourself? No overplayed children’s menus here – these are great restaurants that serve excellent food. 

Here are my top 10 family-friendly restaurants on the Rock

(in alphabetical order so as not to play favorites - they are all favorites!)

Top 10 Family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

Pastries from Rocket Cafe. Yes, I ate two one.

Bagel Café 

The Bagel Café serves all day breakfast, including delicious Belgian waffles with local berries. Be sure to try the harbourside -  battered cod with eggs and toast – for local flavor. Everything is served with a healthy portion of fresh fruit like melon, grapes, orange sections. 

Bagel Cafe - one of the most family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

Photo Bagel Café, facebook

http://www.stjohns.ca/visiting/restaurants/6169

 

Celtic Hearth 

Also known for a great brunch including Jigg’s Dinner (pictured here), Celtic Hearth has traditional Newfoundland fare, as well as hearty Irish meals. Fish cakes are awesome; lobster lollies, divine. Located downtown on Water Street, it’s the perfect fuel for a hungry family. Bonus: Open 24 hours a day, also perfect if you have hungry teenagers.

Celtic Hearth - one of the best family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

Warm Irish welcome

Celtic Hearth - one of the best family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

Jigg's Dinner AND more, at the Sunday brunch buffet

Celtic Hearth - one of the best family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

Excellent fishcakes

Celtic Hearth - one of the best family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland
Lots to choose from

Celtic Hearth - one of the best family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland
Yep, you guessed it. The Celtic Hearth... 

http://www.bridiemolloys.ca/

Ches’s

Ches’s Fish & Chips is a true Newfoundland tradition, and has the best fish & chips in town - this is a locals' favorite place, and there are several locations in town. You can even get a certificate from them, stating that you ate the finest fish & chips in all of Newfoundland and Labrador! Get your fish and chips with stuffing and gravy – trust me, you’ll be glad you did. Order the pineapple crush – our 13 yr old daughter said it tasted like crushed up pineapple dum dums. A tray of tiny homemade cupcakes comes around at the end – perfect ending to a great meal!

Ches's Fish & Chips - a great restaurant that is very family friendly. St John's, Newfoundland

This modest exterior covers a lot of great food...

Ches's Fish & Chips - a great restaurant that is very family friendly. St John's, Newfoundland

See that stuffing and gravy? SWOON...

Pineapple crush at Ches's, St. John's, Newfoundland

Pineapple crush (who knew?)

First dessert at Ches's, St.John's, Newfoundland - homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

First dessert at Ches's - homemade Lemon Meringue Pie

Second dessert at Ches's, St.John's, Newfoundland - homemade cupcakes!

Second dessert at Ches's - homemade cupcakes! Call us hobbits...

http://www.chessfishandchips.ca/

Click to add a blog post for Ches's Famous Fish & Chips on Zomato

Hungry Heart Café

This is a café with a heart! The purpose of the café is to provide culinary “training opportunities to support those who have faced barriers to successful inclusion in the community.” So, know you’ll be helping others as you feast on their enormous scones or the Eggs Benedict with a yogurt-based hollandaise. For veggies, try the grilled beet salad with local goat cheese or roasted cauliflower soup. Hungry Heart also features homemade pasta. Note: Hungry Heart serves fair trade coffee and tea – Brava! Open 8-3, Monday-Sunday (Saturday features a brunch!), so be sure to get there on time.

Hungry Heart Cafe - a cafe that is not only family friendly, but serves fair trade coffee and tea, and is a culinary training ground for those that need help. St. John's, Newfoundland

Photo courtesy and copyright Hungry Heart Café

Hungryheartcafe.ca

 

Jungle Jim’s

This is a Canadian chain that has funky décor and a standard pub menu (including delicious hamburgers with perfect fries). But try the swampwater (a non-alcoholic soda beverage that delights both your tastebuds and your sense of humor), and definitely get the onion rings. It’s a fun place to hang out – colorful, zany, and interesting.

Swampwater drink for kids, at Jungle Jim's, St. John's, Newfoundland

Swampwater (eeuw?)

Jungle Jim's - a family-friendly restaurant in St. John's, Newfoundland

You'd never guess the colors inside, from the unassuming outside

http://www.junglejims.ca/

Mama Soula’s 

This Greek restaurant is extremely family-friendly, and has a fantastic brunch menu. At lunchtime, order the chicken souvlaki with homemade pita and a side of lemon roasted potatoes – you’ll have enough for dinner, too.

Mama Soula's - from Top 10 Family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

Love these colors!

Lovely mural at the family-friendly Mama Soula's, St. John's, Newfoundland

Get your kids to copy this mural on some paper - it's so much fun! Photos courtesy and copyright Bernadette Walsh

http://www.mamasoulasonline.com/

Moo Moo’s Ice Cream 

Go here not only for the ice cream, but the fun décor – and the outside of the building is painted like a cow! But let’s get back to the ice cream – very creative and well-named flavors, in addition to standard delicious ones. We went a few times while we were in town – it’s that good. Then again, my middle name IS ice cream...

Moo Moo's Ice Cream. From Top 10 Family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

Cute decor 

Moo Moo's Ice Cream. From Top 10 Family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

Friendly staff

Moo Moo's Ice Cream. From Top 10 Family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

Ok. See that British Butter flavor? GET IT. 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Moo-Moos-Ice-Cream/215375645140818

Newfoundland Chocolate Café 

Located in the Signal Hill Visitor Centre, this is a great place to grab a picnic – or dine inside, if it’s raining for a bit. Of course, you’ll want to get some chocolate. But for food, try the aged cheddar with sliced Granny Smith Apple on grilled panini with potato chips, or any of the sandwiches with chocolate in them! Be sure to save room for freshly made gelato with patridge berries – if you’re there in August, you’ll see them growing right on the slopes and hills of Signal Hill – or other Newfoundland fruit (and other delicious flavors, including local Screech Rum).  Note: You can also purchase chocolates at their downtown store. They serve Jumping Bean coffee here – my favorite. If you’re lucky, you might see some historical re-enactors heading by. 

Newfoundland Chocolate Cafe - from Top 10 Family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

Why yes, I'd love a side of history with my chocolate sandwich, chocolate gelato, and hot chocolate.

Newfoundland Chocolate Company

And the storefront, downtown

http://www.newfoundlandchocolatecompany.com/#!cafe/cecg

Rocket Bakery and Café 

You’ll love the comfortable atmosphere here, smack in the middle of downtown on Water Street. At lunchtime some days, you’ll have live traditional music. There’s great food, as well as a variety of delicious pastries. The coffee? Swoon-worthy. Get as many pastries as you can - some to go, of course.

Rocket Bakery and Cafe. From Top 10 Family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

You can't miss Rocket, located on Water Street, downtown

Rocket Bakery and Cafe. From Top 10 Family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

Cakes and pastry goodness, in all their glory

Rocket Bakery and Cafe. From Top 10 Family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

Real food, in addition to sweets and pastries

Rocket Bakery and Cafe. From Top 10 Family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

Yes, please

Live lunchtime traditional music at Rocket - musicians just stop by and play! It's glorious.

http://rocketfood.ca/

Sprout

Located in a jellybean house, this is one fun café. Wander in, and see great artwork, comfortable seating, plenty of light, and OH MY GOSH, the desserts (are you sensing a theme with me?). I had this luscious lemon cake that was just like my gramma made it. Perfect. Note: The coffee to go with the cake is lovely and strong. Definitely a great mid-morning break place, for when the hangries start up (at least, when mine do. Our daughter can last much longer).

Sprout! From Top 10 Family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

Where else in the WORLD can you eat in a jellybean house restaurant?

Lemon cake at Sprout. From Top 10 Family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

Oh, this lemon cake. It haunts my dreams...

http://thesproutrestaurant.com/

Here’s a bonus, because, well, wine with your meal:

Piatto Neapolitan Pizza

This is a chain, but well worth visiting for the thin crust, wood fire stove-baked pizza. Intriguing toppings, friendly atmosphere, and delicious food. Go for the Pizze Bianche Pollo Barbeque – swoon! A friend of mine ordered the Dolce e Fumoso (sweet and smoky) and said it was superb. Lunch time is perfect for fueling up on pizza to keep you exploring those nooks and crannies of goodness all over St. John’s. 

 

http://www.piattopizzeria.com/st-johns/

And an important Oh! Canada dish to introduce to your kids:

Any chance you can, get some poutine. There are poutine chains (!!), and it is often on the menu at just about any restaurant. You’ve probably had it (and loved it) before, but kids of all ages go crazy for the French fries covered with cheese curds and gravy. We had it at a few places, and the best was at one of the food trucks at the Newfoundland & Labrador Folk Festival – must have been the great music accompanying our meal.

Poutine at the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Music Festival. From Top 10 Family-friendly restaurants in St. John's, Newfoundland

Poutine at the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Music Festival. A variety of local and international foods were sold there - we went true Canadian.

 

What's your favorite family-friendly restaurant in St. John's?

 

Looking for great family activities in St. John's? We highly recommend going whale watching

Top 5 Things to do in St. John's, Newfoundland With Kids

 

Thanks to my family and friends for helping with this research - I appreciate it!

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Wandering Educators, except where noted

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