Dining out with the family isn’t always easy, especially if your kids have fully embraced the picky eating approach. But while some restaurants would prefer your children to be seen and not heard (or perhaps even kept at home), there’s a full menu of Richmond eateries that welcome families with open arms, providing special dishes for discerning junior diners. Read on for a few of our favourite kid-friendly places to eat at in the city.
Kids love the Pirate Paks at White Spot. | Photo: White Spot
Richmond’s legendary fish and chips business has three locations in the city, including their flagship floating restaurant in Steveston Village—a fun spot for most kid diners. The junior menu at Pajo’s includes a smaller cod and chips serving as well as non-fish options such as burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, and hot dogs, available in either beef or vegetarian varieties. And since not all kids have the appetite of a sparrow, each junior meal comes with bottomless fries and unlimited soft drinks. If a sugar high takes hold, tire them out with a run around nearby Garry Point Park (where you’ll also find another Pajo’s location).
Kids are also well-served at this casual Steveston Village restaurant, where locals mix with visitors on the waterfront-facing boardwalk patio. Seafood is a specialty at Sockeye City Grill (the kids menu has a fish and chips option) but, like the adult menu, there are lots of additional non-fish choices for kids to dive into. These include a burger and chips, chicken and chips, creamy cheese pasta, and a grilled cheese sandwich with chips. All come with a drink plus a free toy, while ice cream can be added for just $1.95.
Crank it up a notch—especially if you have a ravenous kid in tow—at this all-you-can-eat buffet inside Richmond’s River Rock Casino Resort. Popular with family groups, there are breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet options alongside grand views of the sparkling Fraser River. The buffet dishes change regularly but there are frequently sushi, salad, pasta, and roast meat options plus tempting desserts ranging from rich mousse to decadent cakes—which means that for kids (or adults) who dream about dinner plates piled high with sweet treats, this is the perfect place.
Hungry kids can dive into the Buffet at River Rock. | Photo: River Rock Casino Resort
Some kids eat pizza as if it’s the only food group. Many restaurants limit their junior pizza options to pepperoni or cheese and tomato, but at Boston Pizza, children can customize their choice with any topping ( including chicken, feta, bacon, mushrooms, and more). And it’s not just about pizza here; there are also kid-appropriate taco, spaghetti, quesadilla, and chicken finger dishes—plus mac and cheese that’s made with bug-shaped pasta. There’s also a must-have Worms ‘N’ Dirt dessert: chocolate pudding teeming with wriggly gummy worms.
With three ever-popular Richmond locations—including one at CF Richmond Centre—the granddaddy of BC family dining has perfected kid-friendly meals, serving a wide array of options for those aged 10 and under in its beloved Pirate Pak cardboard boats. There are three kid-sized breakfast options (with waffles, pancakes, sausages, and more), plus hearty lunch and dinner choices ranging from hamburgers to spaghetti and meatballs. The finale? A scoop of ice cream (with a sundae upgrade option as a special treat).
Pirate Paks are kid-friendly legend at White Spot. | Photo: White Spot
Befitting a local mini-chain that’s been operating in the region for almost 40 years, the Boathouse knows exactly how to feed hungry kids. Children receive a specially printed menu when they arrive at their table (complete with colouring and spot-the-difference tasks) and they get to choose from an array of junior favourites—including cheeseburgers, crispy fish, grilled cheese sandwiches, and even grilled salmon. Included side options range from fries to jasmine rice to fruit cups. Drinks are also included, while ice cream sundaes can be added as an extra treat.
Junior gourmands can explore their evolving foodie side here with a range of elevated child-friendly combos aimed at the under-12 set. Options at the Keg include crispy chicken strips, barbecue grilled chicken, shaved prime rib sliders, and even a kid-appropriate sirloin steak. Each is served with a choice of sides (fries, salad, or veggies), a soft drink (milk and juice included), and an ice cream dessert. They also have some special smoothies for kids here, including luscious peach and berry options blended with ice cream.
Delicious chicken fingers at The Keg. | Photo: The Keg
Back in the city centre, there are five enticing choices on the kids’ menu at Chop Steakhouse, including a vegetarian pasta dish served with garlic toast. Additional options include burgers, grilled salmon, and chicken fingers, each served with either fries or mashed potatoes. But our Chop favourite (yes, we wish were 10 again) is steak bites: small portions of marinated steak, served with seasonal veggies plus fries or mashed potatoes. All the child-friendly meals here come with a drink and an ice cream dessert.
It’s named after a local who’s fast-approaching his 100th birthday, but Harold’s—tucked inside the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel—is also popular with diners at the other end of the age spectrum. With one of the best-priced junior menus in the city (lunch and dinner combos here are $7 to $9), there are pizza, mac and cheese, or peanut butter and jam sandwich options available. Each is served with fries or carrot and celery sticks, plus a drink and a dessert choice of ice cream, yogurt, or a chocolate brownie.