Check out some of the city's best family-friendly outdoor restaurants
November 08, 2018 5:21 PM
Looking for somewhere to eat outdoors with the kids in tow? These restaurants are the perfectly family-friendly places to relax in the open air and let the kids (slightly) loose. From pizza and pasta sessions to places where the grown ups can enjoy a cold drink in the sun while the kids slosh ketchup all over their faces, there's something for every kind of family day out. We'll be the ones wrestling the pepper grinder off our nippers.
Boardwalk Spoiler alert: this is Time Out Dubai’s reigning Best Outdoor Restaurant 2018. With a massive terrace jutting out over the water, the views are sublime. The vibe is deeply laid-back and it’s the perfect place for an afternoon soaking up the sunshine. Kids get to channel their inner chefs at the pizza-making classes and their inner artists at the dedicated area. And then of course, there’s the vanilla ice cream. Open daily noon-midnight. Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Deira (04 295 6000).
Brothaus Bakery-Bistro This German bistro’s homely vibes and spacious green outdoor terrace make for a casual, friendly sharing setting. Brothaus’ social Fridays are all about the chilled out Berlin vibe with traditional dining options. There’s also a kids’ menu for little ones to enjoy and they eat free if they’re under six years old. Open Sat-Wed 7am-11pm; Thu-Fri 7.30am-midnight. Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay (04 369 0000).
Carluccio’s We dare you to walk into this Italian restaurant any time and not find at least one table with kids. Outdoors, you get a full view of the ever-magnificent Dubai Fountain. Kids can tuck into the complimentary crispy bread sticks while colouring in their cartoon menus, in which every dish comes with comes with fresh apple juice, orange juice or milk on the house. Their main courses are also available in half portions. Open daily Sun-Wed 9.30am-11pm; Thu-Sat 9am-11.30pm. The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai (04 434 1320).
Links Whether you go for the lazy weekend breakfast brunch, any of the daily deals or Saturday roast, this bistro’s terrace overlooking the golf course’s endless greenery offers quite the view. Kids love the place, and the bouncy castle, and get their very own menu. You’ll find parents waiting for their little ones to finish their lessons at The Academy – they even have sessions for kindergarten tots. Open daily, 6.30am-10.30pm. The Academy Building, Address Montgomerie, Emirates Hills (04 888 3444).
Maison Mathis There’s something about golf course-view dining that makes it so worthy of better weather days. Tucked away at the side of the Golf Club, this cosy European-style brasserie serves up simple Belgian dishes that pack a lot of flavour and is perfect for an English breakfast or family dinner. Plus, the wood-fired pizzas and home-baked breads are spot on. Open daily 7.30am-2am. Arabian Ranches (04 450 1313).
Pots, Pans & Boards From classic British to Mediterranean dishes, Pots, Pans & Boards is one kid-friendly venue. Their outdoor seating is perfect for enjoying a banoffee pie while youngsters run around the JBR, head to the playground or play in the kids’ area inside. Kids will love the mini burgers and selection of treat-worthy milkshakes. It’s run by Michelin star chef Tom Aikens, and the menu features some of his favourite small plates, too. Open daily 8am-midnight. The Beach, JBR (04 456 1959).
Reform Social & Grill Reform’s lush gardens make for a good time outdoors. There are tons of kid-friendly events, usually held on weekends, with entertainment, activities and food. Mum and dad can chill out in the garden and let little ones go wild in the small playground, as well as the makeshift football pitch that goes along with it.The restaurant offers traditional British breakfast, lunch and dinner classics as well as a seasonal barbeque, and limited-edition menus, in addition to a colour-in kids’ menu with a create-your-own pasta option, ice cream with kiddie-loved toppings and more.
Open daily 8am-midnight. The Lakes Club, Emirates Hills (04 454 2638).
Sugar Factory With a new menu that includes Fanta carrot cake, chicken Cheetos burger and a purple surprise mug cake, Sugar Factory is always stepping it up when it comes to creations that dazzle kids and adults alike. Sit outside at the La Mer branch and watch beach-goers stroll along, supercars pulling up – and little ones all over the boardwalk. Open daily Sat-Sun 10am-midnight; Thu-Fri 10am-1pm. La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (04 385 5312).
The Carving Board In a place that’s all about sandwiches, you can expect nothing but love from kids. The Spaghetti & Meatballwich is literally served between Parmesan spaghetti bread. The grilled sandwiches are also a hit with little ones, and they get their bowl of chips on the side while they contemplate getting a light-up balloon or exploring the many family-friendly activities at City Walk. Open daily 8am-11pm. City Walk, Al Safa (04 272 0516).
Trattoria Toscana An authentic Italian kitchen and views of Burj al Arab make this waterfront restaurant another family favourite – well, and the gelatos of course. Their “La Famiglia” menu is all about dishes designed for sharing with massive flat oven-baked breads and towering sundaes. And, of course, you can always go for the pizza and pasta. Open daily noon-11.45am. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Al Sufouh (04 366 6318).