Vacationing with a family in London (or living there) is costly, especially if your home currency is weak compared to the British pound sterling. Many restaurants are family-friendly or offer a kids menu, but if you really want to save money, there are a few restaurants where kids can eat for free (or very close to it) in London.
Mark Hix is an incredibly well-respected chef and restaurateur, so his chic Soho restaurant may not be an obvious choice for a family meal. However, if you want to give the kids (and yourself) a quality dining experience, this is the place to book.
Hix has campaigned to improve restaurant food for children, so although you will not see chicken nuggets and chips on the children's menu, the selection is still child-friendly. Options include breaded chicken escalope with wild herb salad, fish and chips with mushy peas, and smoked salmon.
The kids eat free offer is a special deal that appears from time to time. It is for one child 10 and younger on weekdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on weekends from noon to 6 p.m. when accompanied by an adult ordering from the a la carte menu. Children dining there are also encouraged to create a piece of artwork for a monthly prize drawing.
The Real Greek has more than a dozen locations including restaurants in both Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City. The restaurant offers modern Mediterranean cuisine that is popular with the entire family. The best day to treat the offspring is on Family Sundays when you get one free kid meal for every adult meal costing over 10 pounds. The offer is for children 12 and younger for a meal from the kids' menu. Items include souvlaki wraps and appetizer selections as well as a drink and ice cream or sorbet.
Located on the first level of the Tate Modern art gallery, the Tate Modern Cafe overlooks the riverside and is incredibly family friendly. It's a large space with plenty of high chairs, a buggy park, and crayons for drawing on a paper placemat. The cafe specializes in classic British food. A child aged 12 or under eats for free when an accompanying adult buys a main course from the menu. Do not miss a chance to try the chunky chips!
Morrisons Supermarket Cafe
Morrisons supermarkets have in-store cafes where children can eat free from the kids' menu from 3 p.m. onward. Beforehand, it's 3 pounds. To get this offer, an accompanying adult must order a meal over 4.50 pounds. A children's meal includes a piece of fruit, orange or apple juice, and water with entrees like fish fingers, spaghetti Bolognese, and British sausage and Yorkshire pudding.
If finding somewhere the kids can eat for free influences where you stay in London, take a look at the Crowne Plaza London-Kensington. Not only can children eat for free, but kids 18 and younger also stay for free if sharing a family room. Kids 12 and younger eat free from the kids' menu when an accompanying adult pays full price. The chefs prepare healthy low-salt, low-sugar meals that include many fruits and vegetables so children get a well-balanced meal. This does not apply to room service.
This West End hotel is within walking distance to several London attractions including the Natural History Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Science Museum. If you are looking to really save on lodging and meals while being close to some of London's popular tourist spots, this is a great place to stay.
If you're staying at this chain of budget hotels which has large family rooms, kids can eat breakfast for free. Premier Inn's offer is for up to two children age 16 and younger when one adult pays full price. There are special children's menus for lunch and dinner, too. Most everything is less than 6 pounds.
When you're looking for a meat feast, Bodean's BBQ offers that American cuisine hit that you're craving. Bodean's serves up award-winning Kansas City-style barbecue. Although it is not free for kids, Bodeans is very inexpensive. All locations offer a kids menu that is 4.95 pounds for three courses and a drink. Menu items include burgers, chicken wings, barbecue, macaroni and cheese, fries, and rice. Ice cream is included.
Sign up in advance for Bodean's Q-Card to get exclusive offers. Other deals throughout the week will keep you coming back.
If you are based in the United Kingdom or plan to stay for a while, consider getting a Tesco Clubcard. With this customer loyalty card for this major supermarket chain, you can redeem points at many chain restaurants in London—another great way to keep the family on a budget.