Anyone with kids knows that dining out radically changes once a child comes into the picture. Gone are the days of enjoying a quiet atmosphere alone, a leisurely dinner, slowly enjoying every last morsel of food and sip of wine. This is replaced with trying to keep a little one entertained at the table, as they perhaps make a mess of their food, spill drinks on the table or ground, get noisy and disturb other guests. Dealing with lack of high chairs for toddlers, step stools for bathroom sinks and child toilet seats further complicates the dining experience for the parents. As someone who recently became the adopted parent to a hyperactive 3-year-old, the struggle is all too real for this writer, who sought out the following restaurants. These not only cater to the needs of parents but also offer quality food and dining experience.
Ke Dou Cafe
Built specifically with children in mind, this establishment was designed to offer parents a delicious, quality meal while their children enjoy play time. The front of the restaurant contains a sandpit, chalk board for drawing and lots of space to run around in while parents watch and enjoy a meal from the patio. There is a second play area with kids’ kitchen play sets and toys. Chef Gary, who has a decade’s experience cooking Italian and French cuisine around Taiwan, has crafted a menu with Asian-inspired western brunches and Italian pasta and risotto dishes. Standout items include Deep-Fried Soft Shell Crab Pasta (NT$328), Salmon Roulade Pasta (NT$348) as well as healthier, low-carb options like the Cherry Duck Breast (NT$328), served with purple rice and quinoa and a fruit salad. A children’s meal (NT$168) includes spaghetti, hard-boiled egg, sweet potato and french fries. The spaghetti and fries can be respectively substituted with rice or another dish as well as fruit. A large upstairs seating area is ideal for holding children’s birthday parties.
南屯區精誠路472號 (04) 2472-5885
472, JingCheng Rd, Nantun Dist
8週一~五/Mon-Fri 10 am-8 pm,
週六、日/Sat-Sun 9 am-8 pm
With large wooden tables, beautiful bookshelves filled with books and magazines and huge open spaces, Carpe Diem offers an extremely calm and relaxed atmosphere to enjoy authentic western-style cuisine. All dishes, including a variety of sandwich breads, are made in-house with ingredients purchased from reputable sources. The sandwiches are by far the most notable menu items. The Elvis’ Favorite Carpe Diem Style (NT$250)–thick slices of bacon, pickled pineapple slices, peanut butter, Tillamook Cheddar Cheese and Cuban mojo–and the Carpe Diem Chicken Burger (NT$250)–crispy hand-fried chicken with confit garlic mayo–are highly recommended and served with soup of the day or salad, pickled vegetables and candied almonds. An assortment of pastas, such as the Brisket in Tomato Sauce (NT$360), can be cooked al dente or tender according to customer’s preference. To keep kids busy, there are table games, color drawings, a sandbox with toys, and a playground (available weekends only). Large floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor seating allow parents to supervise their children from the dining table.
西屯區協和里福玄路189號 (04) 2329-4711
189, FuXuan Rd, Xitun Dist
11 am-8 pm (週三休/closed Wed)
Mr. Tree offers quite a unique parent-child dining experience, as it is an all-in-one restaurant, play area and full activity center for children of all ages and their parents. Parents and kids pay a small entrance free (NT$150-180) for a three-hour block, during which children have access to numerous play areas with toys, plastic kitchenettes, a large sand pool, ball pit and climbing areas, to name but a few. Experienced teachers offer classes in art, music and magic for children ages 2 and up and supervise them while parents enjoy a quiet time alone. For babies and toddlers under 2, there are special climbing and play areas as well as free diapers. The Japanese and Italian style menu includes plenty of options for children, such as Chinese Fried Rice (NT$249) and Rice with Grilled Chicken (NT$249), plus in-house-made baby food and fresh juices. Meal sets for adults include Grilled Mackerel (NT$390), Matsusaka Pork with Kiwi Sauce (NT$360), and Classic Prawn Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce (NT$330).
北區崇德路一段212號 (04) 2235-2253
212, ChongDe Rd, Sec 1, North Dist
11:30 am-9 pm (週二休/closed Tue)
Bear Bar Bistro
Bear Bar Bistro is the only restaurant featured here that offers traditional Taiwanese/Chinese cuisine as well as alcohol. All food is made from scratch using top-notch ingredients and menu items include Kung-Pao Chicken (NT$320), Shaohsing Chicken Hot Pot (NT$$389) and Three Cup Chicken (NT$350) The alcohol selection has numerous imported craft beers (NT$120-200) and a bartender can mix up classic cocktails alongside his own unique creations (NT$280-350). For children and those who do not drink alcohol, there is a selection of tasty “mocktails”, such as the Ocean Star (NT$150), made with yogurt, chamomille, butterfly peas and carbonated water. The children’s play area includes plastic kitchenettes and other toys and is located upstairs in a sound-proofed room where they can be as loud as they like without bothering other diners. The restaurant also has a treehouse out front.
西屯區朝馬路65號; (04) 2251-6826
65, ChaoMa Rd, Xitun Dist
週一~四/Mon-Thu 5 pm-12 am,
週五~日/Fri-Sun 11 am-2 pm, 5 pm-12 am