Best Dining Spots for Families – CBD

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American Steak and Eggs
Cuisine: American
English-language menu: Yes
Kid-friendly food: Hot dog, chicken burger, grilled cheese sandwich. The kids’ menu is limited (only five items), but the main menu is quite extensive with many “adult” options that kids might like.
Three healthiest items for kids: Spaghetti and meat sauce, chicken burger, and grilled cheese sandwich (kids’ menu). Other options are the chicken fajita, tuna salad sandwich with a side of soup (instead of fries), and vegetable lasagna.
Staff: Speaks English
Bathroom: Sit-down toilet but no change table. Semi-clean.
Kids’ play area: N/A
Seating: No booths, stools, or couches. Limited highchairs. Outdoor seating in the summer.
Atmosphere: Cozy, bordering on crowded. Décor is a little outdated.
Average price: RMB 200
Parking: Yes, some street parking.
Credit card: Yes
Must-order item: Steak and eggs
In a nutshell: This “old-school” establishment is an expat staple; the owner, Paul, takes orders and serves patrons himself. Its extensive menu of comfort foods and brunch items in a typical diner atmosphere makes it one of Beijing’s expat favorites. Melissa Rodriguez

Daily 6.30am-midnight. Xiushui Nanjie, Jianguomenwai (directly north of the Friendship Store, one traffic light west of Silk Market), Chaoyang District (6592 8088/8788)
朝阳区建国门外秀水南街(友谊商店北面, 秀水西边第一个红绿灯)
See Directory under American for more locations.

Comptoirs de France
Cuisine: Cafe
Non-smoking section: None, but smokers head outside.
English-language menu: Yes
Kid-friendly food: Kids will love the ham and cheese panini, croissants, the all-day breakfasts (eggs, sausages, bacon) and of course, the cakes, macaroons and donuts. The rich hot chocolate was a hit too, but required a milk top-up.
Three healthiest items for kids: Breads, ham and cheese or tomato and cheese panini, fresh juice or a smoothie.
Kid-friendly staff: The Chinese staff know their menu well and speak some English. There is also usually an English-speaking French staff member around.
Bathroom: There is a tiny unisex bathroom, but it’s clean and modern.
Kids’ play area: N/A
Seating: About eight small tables inside the restaurant, but in nice weather you can nab a perch outside and pretend you are in Paris for an hour or so. No highchairs.
Average price: RMB 200
Parking: The Jenny Lou’s parking lot next door is available.
Credit card: No, but there’s an ATM across the road.
Atmosphere: The café is cozy in winter; outdoor seating in summer has a lazy Parisian feel.
Must-order item: Hot chocolate and a plate of to-die-for macaroons.
In a nutshell: It’s a very traditional French bakery – fresh breads and pastries are made all day, and they bake made-to-order delectable chocolate fudge cakes for birthday parties. Consistent, delicious fare complemented by excellent service and a cozy café feel – do not visit Comptoirs if you are on a diet! Johanna Selth

Daily 7am-9.30pm. 4 Ritan Beilu, Chaoyang District (8562 3355)
See Directory under Cafes & Sandwiches for more locations.

Crystal Jade
Chinese (Cantonese)
English-language menu: Yes
Kid-friendly food: No kids’ menu, but stick to the yum cha menu, with bite-size prawn dumplings, garlic broccoli, crispy spring rolls and flaky golden egg tarts.
Three healthiest items for kids: Garlic broccoli, the steamed dumplings (pork, prawn, vegetable) and the tofu.
Kid-friendly staff: The staff do not speak much English, but there is usually a waiter who can help out with queries in English. Bathroom: Very clean and modern but no change table.
Unique quality of restaurant: Gorgeous modern décor, great service, very light and bright, with huge fish tanks full of fish – you know you’re getting a fresh one!
Kids’ play area: None, but the staff seemed more than happy for the kids to run around the inner part of the restaurant. They also spent significant time inspecting the fish tanks and playing on the floor with the toys I brought with me.
Seating: The high-backed chairs are very comfortable and the view over The Place and Dongdaqiao Lu is lovely. Highchairs are available on request. The restaurant is airy and bright in a circular space, which means you can only see the customers a couple of tables away. (So if your child is having a meltdown, the whole restaurant doesn’t suffer!)
Price: RMB 300
Parking: Not provided, but use the parking at The Place.
Credit card: Yes
Atmosphere: A little on the fancy side, but still relaxed.
Must-order item: Prawn dumplings
In a nutshell: Excellent quality, healthy and modern Cantonese food in a luxurious atmosphere. Surprisingly kid-friendly with fabulous service. JS

Daily 10am-10pm. 404, 4/F, Bldg A, The Place, 9 Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang District (6587 1228)
See Directory under Chinese for more locations.

Meeting Point
Cuisine: Italian
English-language menu: Yes
Kid-friendly food: It has all the Italian winners that kids love: pasta, pizza, soups, salads.
Three healthiest items for kids: Minestrone soup, grilled lamb chops, chicken breast with lemon.
Kid-friendly staff: Friendly. Limited English.
Bathroom: No private bathroom – use of nearby bathroom in mall.
Average cleanliness.
Kids’ play area: No designated play area but a small selection of toys.
Seating: Chairs, booths and highchairs available.
Average price: RMB 250
Parking: Yes
Credit card: Yes
Atmosphere: Comfortable
Must-order item: Tagliatelle carbonara
In a nutshell: Yes, it’s in a mall … but the food is really good! Authentic, well-priced Italian. Angela Snowball

Daily 11am-10pm. B103, Landgent Center, 20 Dongsanhuan Donglu, Chaoyang District (6775 8063)

Nasca Café
Cuisine: Cafe
Non-smoking section: No
English-language menu: Yes
Kid-friendly food: Thin-crust pizza, chicken tenders with chips, macaroni cheese, baked bean spaghetti, New Zealand natural ice cream.
Three healthiest items for kids: Baked cheese mashed potato with veggies, very good thin-crust gourmet pizzas with your choice of toppings (including Cranberry Chicken, Tropical Storm and Mexican Passion for the adults), sweet pizzas (with toppings like cinnamon apple, and banana, custard and chocolate sauce) and baked bean spaghetti.
Kid-friendly staff: The staff are suitably enthralled with small children, although their English is hit and miss.
Bathroom: Only one, but a very clean sit-down toilet with room in the cubicle to put a change mat on the floor.
Kids’ play area: No set play area, but there’s a playground outside; you can watch the kids from your table.
Seating: Booths and plenty of baby highchairs. During winter, no seating outdoors, but this may change.
Price: RMB 250
Parking: Yes, available right outside the café, opposite The Place.
Credit card: No
Atmosphere: Cozy café feel
Must-order item: Thin-crust gourmet pizzas
In a nutshell: Cozy and comfortable with food to suit every taste and helpful service. Stella and Hoegaarden on tap for the moms and dads.
Free Wi-Fi. Johanna Selth

Daily 10am-11pm. Unit 101, Bldg 18 (next to Etonkids), Central Park, Chaoyangmenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District (6597 9106)

Peter’s Tex-Mex Grill
Cuisine: American
English-language menu: Yes
Kid-friendly food: Very kid-friendly. Loads of Mexican and Western options for hungry kiddies. Macaroni and cheese, mini pizzas, mini burgers, toasted ham and cheese sandwich
Three healthiest items for kids: Vegetable skewers, beef and bean nachos, tuna and salad sandwich
Kid-friendly staff: Friendly. Good English spoken
Bathroom: Clean bathroom with sit-down toilet.
Kids’ play area: Yes, clean play area with toys.
Seating: Chairs/booths. Highchairs available
Average price: RMB 250
Parking: Yes
Credit card: Yes
Atmosphere: Homestyle and cozy.
Must-order item: Burgers and enchiladas
In a nutshell: Ticks all the boxes for hassle-free family meals – a great menu, a play area for little ones and prompt, friendly service. AS

Daily 7.30am-11.30pm. 88A St. Regis, 21 Jianguomenwai Dajie (next to the St. Regis Hotel), Chaoyang District (8532 2449)
朝阳区建国门外大街21号国际俱乐部88A 国际俱乐部饭店旁
See Directory under American for more locations.

Cuisine: Chinese (Cantonese/Dim Sum)
English menu: Yes
Kid-friendly food: There are no kid-specific menu items, but few children can resist chashao bao (barbecued pork buns), spring rolls and egg tarts.
Three healthiest items for kids: The list of vegetable dishes is quite extensive – our favorites include shangtang bocai (spinach in broth) and Chinese kale (jielan) stir-fried with garlic or oyster sauce.
Kid-friendly staff: Staff are gracious and patient and the managers speak competent English.
Bathroom: Very nice hotel bathrooms including a facility for disabled guests to which parents can bring younger children – or kids of the opposite gender.
Kids’ play area: No play area, but there are big fish tanks to mesmerize younger diners. Bring books and your own drawing materials.
Play things: N/A
Seating: Booths and tables. Highchairs are available.
Average price: RMB 150 for a dim sum lunch with tea.
Parking: Yes
Credit card: Yes
Atmosphere: Comfortable but not informal. Elegant but not pompous.
Must-order item: Shrimp dumplings (xiajiao)
In a nutshell: The dim sum is excellent, the Gloria Plaza hotel is not too pompous and the layout of the restaurant is family-friendly with plenty of space between tables and window booths offering views of the Ancient Observatory at Jianguomen. If your kids adore dim sum, bring them here, slink into a booth and enjoy a superb lazy weekend lunch in a smart, relaxed setting. Adam Pillsbury

Daily 11am-3pm, 5.30-10pm. 1/F, Gloria Plaza Hotel, 2 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District (6515 8855 ext 3155/3166)

Schindler’s Tankstelle
Cuisine: European (German)
Non-smoking section: No! You need to be careful when bringing kids – go early or sit outside.
English-language menu: Yes (German menu too)
Kid-friendly food: Sausages, sausages, sausages. Most kids adore sausages, and there are many different types that are generally healthy, low-fat and imported. The mashed potato is the best in Beijing.
Kid-friendly staff: Yes, very kid-friendly. All speak some English. Bathroom: The bathroom is a squat but it’s clean, with toilet paper and soap.
Kids’ play area: N/A
Seating: Highchairs are available, but we recommend sitting outside on long benches, Bavarian beer hall-style so it doesn’t matter how much food gets on the floor.
Average price: RMB 250.
Parking: Yes
Credit card: No, but you can use Chinese debit cards.
Atmosphere: Relaxed, pub-style.
Must-order item: Sausages and mash combo. With a serving of two sausages, sauerkraut and mash only RMB 25, it’s a steal. We also highly recommend the Wiener schnitzel, which comes with a large salad and potatoes or mash.
In a nutshell: A very traditional German restaurant, right in Ritan Park. This casual, fun eatery will appeal to the whole family, with excellent service and exceptionally kid-friendly food. JS

Daily 11am-late. 15A Guanghua Lu (200m east of Ritan Park South Gate), Chaoyang District (8562 6439)
See Directory under German for more locations.

Tim’s Texas Bar-B-Q
Cuisine: American
Non-smoking section: None
English-language menu: Yes
Kid-friendly food: Chicken fingers and potato wedges (RMB 25); cheese nachos (RMB 20); bean and cheese burritos (RMB 20). The main menu boasts a range of appetizers and lighter meals suitable for children.
Three healthiest items for kids: I don’t think healthy eating is at the top of Tim’s Texas Bar-B-Q’s agenda. Nevertheless, the three healthiest are: pita hummus sandwich (RMB 48), taco salad (RMB 48), and quesadilla (RMB 48).
Kid-friendly staff: The majority of staff speaks English.
Bathroom: Although quite dark and dingy, the bathroom is clean and furnished with a sit-down toilet. No changing table.
Kids’ play area: Two dart boards and a pool table may attract the older kids.Crayons and an activity sheet are available from behind the bar.
Seating: No outdoor seating, couches or stools, but booths can be found upstairs and highchairs are available.
Average price: RMB 300 should leave the family pretty full.
Parking: Some on-street parking.
Credit card: Yes
Atmosphere: The country-Western music provides a comfortable ambiance – it’s a convenient spot to relax after trawling through the Silk Market.
Must-order item: Southern Fried Steak (RMB 78)
In a nutshell: A typical American hangout with sports memorabilia on the walls. Tim’s provides simple but tasty food at affordable prices. The range of imported beers may attract parents who long for something other than Tsingtao or Yanjing. Neil Fraser

Daily 9am-midnight. 14 Dongdaqiao Lu (south of Guanghua Lu), Chaoyang District (6591 9161)

Xiao Wang Fu
Cuisine: Chinese
English-language menu: Yes, bilingual menu with photos
Kid-friendly food: The dishes are served family-style and many of the items are favorites with our kids: the doufu si, cucumber with garlic, Beijing roast duck, the mandarin “squirrel” fish and the house fried rice. With no MSG and low oil, the food is appropriate for the whole family.
Three healthiest items for kids: The fried rice, any of the vegetable dishes, the cucumber with garlic.
Kid-friendly staff: Yes, some staff speak English; all the staff are great with kids.
Bathroom: Clean. Sit-down and squat toilets. They always have soap. You can change nappies on a sofa right outside the bathrooms.
Kids’ play area: None. But you have Ritan Park and the roof terrace.
Seating: Chairs with cushions; highchairs available.
Average price: RMB 150 – but drinks are expensive. Try the chrysanthemum flower tea for all family members to sip.
Parking: Free parking outside the North Gate of Ritan Park, or paid parking across the street from the North Gate.
Credit card: Yes
Atmosphere: Comfortable yet impressive
Must-order item: Roast duck
In a nutshell: The location in Ritan Park can’t be beat. It’s the perfect place for a family or group of families to meet for lunch and then play outside. The restaurant combines excellent food and friendly service with one of the most kid-friendly parks in Beijing. Jacqueline Cohen

Daily 11.30am-2pm, 5.30-10pm. Inside the North Gate of Ritan Park, Ritan Lu, Chaoyang District (8561 5985)
See Directory under Chinese for more locations.

Xihe Yaju
Cuisine: Chinese
English-language menu: Yes
Kid-friendly food: Vermicelli with sausage and vegetables, deep-fried beef with sesame, fried sweet corn and pine nuts. They specialize in seafood. Dishes can be expensive, but the servings are large and groups will enjoy the large steamed fish with soy.
Three healthiest items for kids: Lotus root with lamb, sautéed lily with papaya, sautéed lettuce with lamb
Kid-friendly staff: Speaks some English
Bathroom: Sit-down toilet but no change table. Clean.
Kids’ play area: No play area, but kids can roam in the outdoor courtyard.
Seating: Limited highchairs. Outdoor seating in the summer. Standard tables and chairs.
Atmosphere: The giant glass windows let lots of sunlight in, making it a nice, warm place to stop a while.
Average price: RMB 300
Parking: Yes, some street parking
Credit card: Yes
Must-order item: Shark fin soup
In a nutshell: Xihe Yaju has the feel of an indoor forest, complete with trees, vines and a hint of magic. Along with the outdoor courtyard, and Ritan Park located just next door, this restaurant will keep kids entertained. The menu is extensive and seafood lovers will be impressed. Imogen Kandel

Daily 11am-2pm, 5-10pm. Northeast corner of Ritan Park, Chaoyang District (8561 7643)
羲和雅居, 朝阳区日坛公园东北角

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